What brings to your mind when you think of Jeju Island in Korea? Many people would recall the deep blue sea and Hallasan Mountain which rises high in the sky. Still, you’ll praise how different from place to place Jeju Island is, especially when you walk along the Jeju Olle Trails, which are a series of walking trails that circumference around the entire Jeju Island.
It is natural to marvel at the insides of Jeju Island because each coast, mountain, and village have various looks and moods! By introducing Jeju Olle Trail, we will lead you to fully enjoy the treasure island, Jeju!
‘Olle’ means ‘alleyways’ in the Jeju dialect, and Jeju Olle Foundation constructed the Jeju Olle Trail in 2007. The foundation aims to make sure travelers walk safely on the trails.
Please don’t worry about not knowing the Korean language for there are signposts on the trails to guide you. Here is the guide of signposts from ‘Jeju Olle(Jeju Olle Organization Website)’. You can easily follow the conspicuous signposts and finish your hike!
1) A → Horses
Horses point toward the direction of the route at a forked road. At tourist attraction spots, a description of the places is written on a saddle of horses. An image of a wheelchair and the letter ‘S’ mean ‘a starting point’ of the wheelchair-accessible area and those of the letter ‘F’ mean ‘a finishing point’.
2) B & C → Arrows
Blue & orange arrows are located on the ground, stonewalls, and telegraph poles. Blue arrows mean the right direction of the trail from the starting point toward the finishing point. Orange arrows mean the reverse direction of the trail. Be aware that you should follow orange arrows, not blue arrows when hiking from the finishing point to the starting point of trails. Yellow arrows are for a wheelchair-accessible detour.
3) D → Ribbons
Ribbons are tied to either trees or telegraph poles. 2 orange ribbons mean a temporary detour section. If you don’t notice a ribbon on the way, please go a little further, you won’t miss it.
4) E → Distance Plate
Distance plates are attached to telegraph poles or trees and show the remaining distance and direction.
5) F → Detour and Hazard signposts
Detour and Hazard signposts are placed in dangerous areas or temporary detours and describe the detour routes, maps, the total time required and distance. There are 2 orange ribbons on a detour.
3. Things to Prepare
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Essential: trekking shoes, water bottle, garbage bag
Optional: long sleeves & long pants, jumpers and raincoats, hat & gloves, sunglasses, flashlight
4. Safety Rules
- The trail closes officially at 6 pm in the summer and 5 pm in the winter. Refrain from hiking after these hours.
- Refrain from walking in a storm, heavy rain, or snow, and from visiting steep valleys & cliffs off the trail.
- Carry emergency contacts with you at all times.(Jeju Olle Call Center @ 064-762-2190, Police @ 112)
- Remember the remaining distance to the finishing point by checking out the signs(name of the building) and distance plates.
- Go back to the spot where you saw the last signpost if you missed one.
- Regularly check announcements on the official website(www.jejuolle.org, jejuolletrailguide.net) of Jeju Olle Trail.
5. Routes of Jeju Olle Trail
The total number of Jeju Olle Trail is 26, including 5 sub-trails of which names are 1-1, 7-1, 10-1, 14-1, and 18-1. The others are given numbers from 1 to 21. The trails were created in 2007, linking to a single road on the outskirts of Jeju Island and reaching a total length of 425km. Every route is around 15 km long and it takes about 5-6 hours on average to finish a course.
Each route consists of connecting alleys, mountain paths, field paths, coastal roads, and hills mainly of Jeju’s coastal areas. You will have fun choosing from various routes. For more than 10 years, approximately more than 8 million travelers have been visiting Jeju Olle Trail.
Don’t worry if you are not a big fan of hiking. You can also take public transportation or a taxi in the middle if you are exhausted.
1) Route 1
Route 1 is located on the far east of the Jeju and includes the famous Seongsan Ilchulbong Sunrise Peak, the UNESCO World Heritage. Descending from the peak you will make your way to Gwangchigi Beach, where you will get to see the stunning view of the ocean and algae-covered rocks.
Tours or attractions you can enjoy near Route 1:
- Scuba Diving near Seongsan Ilchulbong in Jeju
- Jeju Jet Boat Discount Ticket – near Seongsan Ilchulbong
- Jeju Rail Bike Ticket
- Horse Riding on Jeju Island’s Beach
2) Route 19
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Route 19 is a trail that covers the north-eastern coast of the island. The trail introduces the beautiful scenery of the island as well as the patriotic modern history of the Jeju people.
Starting from Jocheon Manse Dongsan (mound) and end at the Hamdeok Beach area, you will get to see volcanic hills, pine-scented hills, and beautiful emerald beaches.
3) Route 10
Route 10 is a trail that covers the south-western coast of the area. The trail is filled with unique geological features. You will pass the famous Sanbangsan Mountain and see the southernmost islets of Marado Island. At Songaksan Mountain, you will get to see an awesome view of the island’s main mountain Hallasan Mountain.
After passing the Gaesong-gil, a pathway lined with pine trees, the hike will commence after walking over some oreums. You will also get to stop by Yongmeori Coast (dragon head coast), where you can witness a grand rock formation that resembles the head of a dragon.
Tours or attractions you can enjoy near Route 10:
- Sanbangsan Mountain Carbonate Hot Springs Discount Ticket
- Spring Special: Jeju Island Cherry Blossom & Canola Flower Private Tour
- Spring Special: Jeju All-Inclusive Package – Flight + Private Flower Tour (+ Hotel option)
4) Route 7
Like the majority of routes, Route 7 also faces the shoreline. Yet, it is the most visited one among 26 routes because of the graceful southern sea of Jeju Island. The cool sea breeze will welcome you. It starts at the ‘Jeju Olle Tourist Center’ located in the downtown of Seogwipo, which reaches toward the west, and finishes at ‘Wolpyeong Awenangmok’. Then it passes through famous tourist destinations including ‘Oedolgae Rock’. These are the main attractions that will feast your eyes on.
- Soesokkak Estuary: It is a tourist attraction where seawater and freshwater combine. The ‘teu’, the world’s slowest mode of transportation, floats on the chute.
- Lee Jung-Seop Art Gallery & Park: You can see the artworks of Lee Jung-Seop, the famous local artist, and the postcards that were exchanged with his wife.
- Oedolgae Rock: It is named after the rock rising alone in the middle of the sea. The erosion of waves formed a stone pillar, which has developed to a cliff.
- Columnar Joint: It is a natural feature that was formed when lava flew into the sea. Since Jeju is a volcanic island, you can witness the distinguishing landscape of columnar joint cliffs.
Besides, the route goes by way of a beautiful road where black small stones lie like a whole velvet carpet. Its total distance is 17.6km and it takes about 4-5 hours, depending on every hiker’s pace.
Tours or attractions you can enjoy near Route 7:
5) Route 14-1
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Since the great part of routes lies at the shoreline, it would be unique to go on a hike at a route that winds at the inland area. Route 14-1 starts at Jeoji Arts Information Network Village heading towards the southeast and ends at O’sulloc green tea fields.
- O’sulloc Tea Museum: It is the museum that introduces Korean tea history and tradition. It is one of the beloved attractions in Jeju Island for its historic tea utensils and scenic green tea farms.
- Mundoji Oreum: Oreum is an inactive volcano comparatively small in size. Mundoji Oreum looks like a horseshoe. Almost the entire surface is covered with silver grass and the area is used as the pasture for horses.
- Wollyeong-ri Cactus Natural Habitat: It is the only area in Korea where cacti grow wild, creating an amazing landscape.
- Bracken Forest Trail: It is the forest trail filled with Gosari (bracken).
If you select route 14-1 as one of your trips to the Jeju Olle trail, you will pass through a valley and a unique forest that contains both subtropical and temperate flora. Its total distance is 9.2km, taking 3-4 hours depending on every hiker’s pace. It is recommended for travelers who prefer short hiking.
Tours or attractions you can enjoy near Route 14-1:
- Jeju Glass Castle Discount Ticket
- Jeju Aerospace Museum Discount Ticket
- Shinhwa Theme Park Discount Ticket in Jeju
- Soingook Miniature Theme Park Discount Ticket in Jeju
6. The Best Way to Explore Jeju Olle Trails
The best way to explore the Olle trails on Jeju Island is to join Jeju Olle Trails Hiking Tour on Trazy! You will get to choose from 2 hiking tours and get to learn about the life, culture, history, and nature of Jeju Island from an English-speaking tour mate. Transportation back and forth between gathering points and trail routes, admission fees at tourist spots, and lunch are all included.
Check out the best ways to explore Jeju Island:
- Jeju Taxi Tour
- Car Rental in Jeju Island
- Jeju City Tour Bus: Hope On & Hop Off 1 Day Pass
- Jeju East/West Course 1 Day Bus Tour with Photographer
The following tours are currently unavailable:
Visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop to discover the latest, trendiest, newest things to do in Jeju Island and other parts of Korea!
Jeju Olle Trail Official ((사)제주올레) ( www.jejuolle.org)