• THE BEST BEACHES ON JEJU ISLAND

  • THE BEST BEACHES ON JEJU ISLAND

    A lady stands holding her baby on Gwakji Beach in Jeju, in front of the aqua sea and blue sky.

THE BEST BEACHES ON JEJU ISLAND

So what are the best beaches on Jeju Island? As you might expect it has a lot of them. Known as the Hawaii of Korea, Jeju has a temperate to subtropical climate and a coastline of more than 200 kilometres. That coastline is marked by a wide variety of beaches, often skirted by the island’s ubiquitous black volcanic rock – the legacy of old eruptions from its unmistakable centrepiece, Hallasan.

On our third visit to Jeju we made a complete circuit of the island, walking the 422 kilometre Olle Trail. Now while a few sections of the Olle take you inland, the vast majority follow the coast. So after our month long trip around the island, we reckon we’ve seen 95% of its beaches, making us well placed to pass judgement on which are the best. 

But before we get stuck into what the best beaches on Jeju are, let’s make one thing clear. What does it mean to be among the best? Are we talking about pristine white sand and still blue water, or something a little more wild but just as beautiful? Our list considers the whole package. It has beaches great for sunning yourself, others perfect for activities, and some that are simply stunning stretches of coastline. So here you have it, our rundown of the best beaches on Jeju Island.

NEED SOME KOREA TRAVEL INSPIRATION?

 DIVE INTO OUR
SOUTH KOREA PAGE


JEJU’S BEST BEACHES

Our best beaches on Jeju will follow in no particular order, but we thought we’d start with our absolute favourite first.

Geumneung

The well known and much touted Hyeopjae Beach is a mere 500 metres along the coast, but for us, Geumneung wins hands down. The two are connected by a long strip of sand backed by grassy dunes, with an extensive campsite nestled in between. But while Hyeopjae is more built up, surrounded by cafes and busy with people looking for that Instagram shot, Geumneung feels open and spacious even when busy.

An aeriel view of pristine white sand, turquoise blue water, black vocanic rocks, a lone figure and Biyangdo Island in the distance. This is Geumneung Beach, one of the absolute best beaches on Jeju Island.

Tiny figures on the huge beach at Geumneung, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

An aeriel view of pristine white sand, turquoise blue water, black vocanic rocks, a lone figure and Biyangdo Island in the distance. This is Geumneung Beach, one of the absolute best beaches on Jeju Island.

Tiny figures on the huge beach at Geumneung, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

The wide, gently curving beach wears two faces. When the tide is in, the water can reach to the sea wall, the beach all but disappearing. But when the tide recedes, the real beauty of Geumneung Beach is revealed – a huge expanse of white sand crisscrossed by fingers of black volcanic rock. Sandbanks appear for a hundred metres or more, brilliant turquoise water snaking out to sea. Reflections of distant figures wandering the beach seem like a mirage.

  • Figures on the sandbanks at Geumneung Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju.
  • Figures on the sandbanks at Geumneung Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

When the sun sets, a riot of rich colours explode across the sky. It’s a special place.


The sun setting at Geumneung Beach on Jeju Island, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

Next to the beach is the charming Geumneung Village. It’s a pleasure to wander the narrow lanes among traditional houses, and there’s a number of great little cafes to chill out in. At the end of the village, 금능반지하 is a converted traditional house with tables outside offering an amazing view.

A condensation covered glass of iced coffee and a brownie, sat on a table made from old driftwood at Geumneung Beach on Jeju Island

A person sits at a table in front of a dry stone black volcanic rock wall looking at the blue sea at Geumneung Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

A person sits at a table in front of a dry stone black volcanic rock wall looking at the blue sea at Geumneung Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

At the southern end of the beach, 닻별 is a great modern coffee shop with comfy chairs and big windows facing the beach. Next to 닻별 , pop in to Geumneung Sand (금능샌드) for one of the best sandwiches you’re ever likely to taste.

Geumneung Village is also a great spot for seeing Jeju’s women free divers in action. There’s a spot (see map below) where the haenyeo enter the water when the tide is right.

ENJOYING OUR PHOTOGRAPHY?

COME JOIN US ON INSTAGRAM


Gwakji

Further up the west coast lies Gwakji Beach, a wide flat expanse of golden sand that slopes gently down towards the sea. This has to be one of the most picture perfect beaches. It’s great for lounging around, playing in the sand or cooling off in the water.

At the southern end, two traditional stone spring water baths (one for men, one for women) are an excellent place to relax and rinse the salt water away.

A lady stands holding her baby on Gwakji Beach in Jeju, in front of the aqua sea and blue sky.

Two surfers walk across the wide white sand expanse of Gwakji Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

Two surfers walk across the wide white sand expanse of Gwakji Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

A lady stands holding her baby on Gwakji Beach in Jeju, in front of the aqua sea and blue sky.

There is a good selection of bars, restaurants, shops and hotels nearby, with areas to camp too. Buildings are set well back behind grass and trees, making Gwakji feel much less claustrophobic than others.

  • A tent pitched in the grass behind Gwakji Beach on Jeju Island.
  • A tent pitched in the grass behind Gwakji Beach on Jeju Island.

Jungmun

Probably the most famous of all Jeju beaches, Jungmun lies on the more tropical south coast. It’s surrounded by the Jungmun tourist complex – a huge area of glitzy hotels, shops, restaurants and bizarre museums. As such you can expect the beach to be busy most of the time and heaving at the height of summer.

Jungmun Beach, busy with people, seen from the east.

Jungmun Beach, busy with people, seen from the east.

Jungmun’s spectacular setting however, keeps it from feeling too much like a tourist trap. Lush green vegetation spills down the steep cliff behind, separating its golden sand from the tourist complex above. And if you head to the western end of the beach, you can always find quiet spaces away from the crowds.

The golden sand of Jungmun Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju, seen from the west.

The golden sand of Jungmun Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju, seen from the west.

Sagye

Another south coast beach, Sagye is an altogether different animal to Jungmun. A darker sand beach reminiscent of brown sugar, it’s less a beach to lie on and more a beach to walk on while soaking up the stunning scenery. The beach curves round the coastline backed by low grassy dunes, the distinctive bell shaped mountain, Sanbangsan, dominating the skyline behind. Sprawling rock formations are revealed at low tide, and the winds and rougher seas make it a popular spot for surfers.

A view of Sagye Beach and bell shaped Sanbangsan Mountain on a windy, overcast day.

Surfers make their way out of the sea in blue hour at Sagye Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

A view of Sagye Beach and bell shaped Sanbangsan Mountain on a windy, overcast day.

Surfers make their way out of the sea in blue hour at Sagye Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

There’s no official campsite, but we pitched our tent in the grassy dunes behind the beach. A 24 hour toilet block is just five minutes down the road, heading west.

A person sits on the grass next to a tent behind Sagye Beach, looking out to sea in the bright morning light.

A person sits on the grass next to a tent behind Sagye Beach, looking out to sea in the bright morning light.

The town behind has some good looking places to stay, as well as great cafe bars like Hey Brother and Salon de Soja 38. It’s also perfect if you fancy a hike. Jeju Olle Trail Route 10 (one of the best) runs through the town and along the back of the beach. And oh yeah, it’s not too bad a spot for sunrise either.

  • Sunrise over Sanbangsan and Sagye Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju to watch sunrise.
  • Sunrise over Sanbangsan and Sagye Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju to watch sunrise.

Gimnyeong

Heading to the opposite side of the island, the northeast coast is littered with attractive white sand beaches. While many would be worthy inclusions in any list of the best beaches on Jeju, Gimnyeong stood out for us. We arrived just an hour before dark, on a day of blustery conditions and overcast skies. The weather couldn’t dampen our mood though. The combination of picturesque wind turbines, expansive white sand and black volcanic rock had us jumping in delight.

A couple pose for wedding shots on Gimnyeong Beach as two massive wind turbines spin on the headland behind them.

Cool blue tones at dusk at Gimnyeong Beach on Jeju Island, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

The sun setting among dark clouds looking out from Gimnyeong Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

A couple pose for wedding shots on Gimnyeong Beach as two massive wind turbines spin on the headland behind them.

The sun setting among dark clouds looking out from Gimnyeong Beach, one of the best beaches on Jeju.

Gimnyeong Beach is famed for having the clearest water around the whole of Jeju. One look at satellite view will tell you everything you need to know about how amazing this beach can look. 

The beach backs onto a large campsite, and the village itself has a quirky wire art thing going on. It’s a fascinating place to wander and soak up the local culture.

Wire art on a wall of a Jeju haenyeo, the women free divers.

Wire art on a wall of a Jeju haenyeo, the women free divers.

Hado

Swinging round to the east, we come to Hado Beach. Another wide beach, Hado’s golden sand curves around like a crescent moon, flanked by black rock and backed by sparse low grass. The calm well-protected bay makes it a great place for a swim. It’s also a popular spot for activities like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

  • The green grass, golden sand and blue sea of Hado beach on Jeju Island. Tiny figures, seen from a distance, walk on one of the best beaches on jeju island.
  • The green grass, golden sand and blue sea of Hado beach on Jeju Island. Tiny figures, seen from a distance, walk on one of the best beaches on jeju island.

Hado is another great spot for watching the haenyeo at work. There’s a big changing room next to the beach and we saw a ton of them just around the headland.

If you fancy combining a trip to the beach with a short hike, Jimibong rises close behind. The path is steep but the views from the top are all the reward you need.

The curved golden sand of Hado Beach, one of the best beaches on jeju Island. Jimibong, a Jeju oreum, rises behind.

The curved golden sand of Hado Beach, one of the best beaches on jeju Island. Jimibong, a Jeju oreum, rises behind.

Hagosudong

Rounding up our selection of the best beaches on Jeju is Hagosudong. Technically this beach is on Udo rather than Jeju, but as it’s only a fifteen minute ferry ride away, it’s absolutely worth including. Hagosudong Beach sits on the northeastern side of the small island, in front of the most populous area. As the population is pretty small, that’s not saying much, but it means there are plenty of places to eat and drink, plus options if you want to stay.

The beach itself is a strip of golden sand sloping gently down to a calm blue sea – a great place to chill out and go for a swim. Separated by rocks, there’s a cheeky little beach at the southern end, great to get away from the crowds.

  • Palm trees line the foreground, with Hagosudong Beach and the sea in the background. This is one of the best beaches on Jeju Island.

If you stay overnight on the island, Hagosudong is also the perfect place to watch the sunrise.

  • A tall statue of a women free diver with the sun bursting between the crook of her arm. An image from one of the best beaches on Jeju Island, Hagosudong Beach.
  • A tall statue of a women free diver with the sun bursting between the crook of her arm. An image from one of the best beaches on Jeju Island, Hagosudong Beach.

ALSO WORTH A MENTION

Two more north coast white sand beaches not to be overlooked are Hamdeok and Woljeong. They’re both attractive beaches in their own right, and both are in built up areas with lots of hotels, restaurants and cafes – Hamdeok especially so.

A view of the coastline at Hamdeok in Jeju.

Looking back down towards Hamdeok during a break in the rain.


A person sits on a cute green chair facing Woljeong Beach on Jeju.

Cutesy chairs at looking out to the white sand of Woljeong Beach.


A view of the coastline at Hamdeok in Jeju.

Looking back down towards Hamdeok
during a break in the rain.


A person sits on a cute green chair facing Woljeong Beach on Jeju.

Cutesy chairs at looking out to the
white sand of Woljeong Beach.


Further down the east coast Pyoseon is another great beach – a flat sandy expanse that’s popular with surfers. There’s a big campsite behind the beach and the town has a nice laid back vibe. Head to Wave for a delicious burger and a beer.

Surfers on the beach and in the water at Pyoseon Beach on Jeju Island.

Surfers on the beach and in the water at Pyoseon Beach on Jeju Island.

To the west of Jeju City, just a few kilometres from the airport, you’ll find Iho Taewoo Beach. An attractive golden sand beach, it’s a popular spot for windsurfers, and is famous for its two horse-shaped lighthouses.

Iho Taewoo Beach near Jeju City, the two distinctive horse shaped lighthouses in the background.

Iho Taewoo Beach near Jeju City, the two distinctive horse shaped lighthouses in the background.

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BEACHES ON JEJU

Beaches on Jeju, like elsewhere in Korea, can be hugely different places depending on the season.

Beach Season

If you’re visiting in official beach season, July or August, expect all beaches to be jam packed. Think umbrellas and temporary pagodas for rent, and be prepared to swim only in roped off areas. 

On the flip side, official beach season means there are more facilities open, such as shower blocks, extra toilets, plus more food and drink options. If busy beach season is not your thing, then any other time is perfect.

Swimming

 For swimming, the water is warmest in August, but September runs a close second and it’s outside official beach season, meaning you can swim where and when you want. Water temperatures in June are still a little chilly for our liking.

Camping

If you’re interested in combining camping with beach going, we believe that all the campsites mentioned above are free to use throughout the year. They certainly are outside of beach season, and there’s no information indicating a charge during the busy summer months. If you do camp outside of beach season, expect to find many of the facilities closed. Saying that, there’s always one ‘Safety Restroom’ open 24 hours and all year round.

Follow our adventures

COME JOIN US ON FACEBOOK


GETTING TO JEJU’S BEACHES

Jeju has a fantastic bus system servicing the island. All the beaches mentioned are easily accessible by bus, with the exception of Hagosudong on Udo of course. For Udo you can take the ferry from the port in Seongsan-ri, which runs regularly throughout the day.

Get The Apps

The best way to find the nearest bus stop to you is on Kakao Maps  (iOS/Android) or Naver Maps (iOS/Android). Download the app to your phone, zoom in on the road till the bus stop symbol appears and click on it. You can also use navigation on either app to get the correct bus links for where you want to go.

Bus Info Websites

You can also check out this website which gives you similar information. Search by bus number, view route maps and get live tracking info.

Also, visitjeju.net gives you up to date bus information on an excellent English language version site. It has a downloadable PDF of all the bus routes.

Get A Transport Card

Buy a T-money card for 3,000₩ at any convenience store, put 10,000₩ on it to get you started and top it up anytime. You can tap on and off any bus in Jeju, or any bus or subway in Korea. It’s the easiest way to pay, your balance pops up each time and if you change buses or lines within 30 minutes, you won’t pay for the second journey.

Check out the map below to find all the best beaches on Jeju Island

THE BEST BEACHES ON JEJU ISLAND

Well, that’s it, our rundown of the best beaches on Jeju Island. We’ve included a real mix of different beaches, so hopefully there’s something for everyone. If you have any questions at all, let us know in the comments below. And if you feel we’ve missed anything out, get in touch and join the discussion. Happy beach going!

ORGANISE YOUR TRIP TO JEJU NOW


Booking.com

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links – if you purchase a product or service via these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps offset the cost of running this blog and keeps us travelling so that we can continue to produce great content for you. We greatly appreciate your support!*

Liked This Post?
Pin It For Later!

The Best Beaches On Jeju Island

Share Logo

FOLLOW US

EXPLORE MORE OF ASIA

A catamaran sails on the calm water at sunset off the south coast of Jeju Island
A barman makes a cocktail in TCRC , one of the best places to eat and drink in Tainan.
A female Olle Trail hiker standing by a Hallabong mosaic mural, looking out to sea on Jeju Island
Yurts lined up at Tulparkul, in the shadow of Peak Lenin
Two small kids wandering the wide dusty streets of Karakul in northern Tajikistan
The Best Beaches On Jeju Island
A magenta tuk tuk carries passengers on the road past the ruined walls in front of Wat Mahatat in Ayutthaya, Thailand
An intricately arranged motorbike repair shop in Dadaocheng, Taipei, Taiwan
A bowl of delicious Khao Soi, one of the most famous Lanna Cuisine dishes
Looking out from wat Pha Lat over Chiang Mai, reflected in the still water and surrounded by lush green vegetation
San Kamphaeng Saturday Market in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Songkran in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Fann Mountains Trekking Routes And Practicalities
Veniks & Hot Pots: A Morning at Almaty's Arasan Baths
Soviet-era art and architecture in Almaty
Independent Trekking In The Fann Mountains: Haft Kul To Alauddin
Our Favourite Places To Eat And Drink In Bishkek
7 Days In The Gobi: A curious kid in small town Mongolia
A Guide to Hahoe: Korea's Most Charming Folk Village
The Essential Guide to Visiting the Tsaatan Reindeer Herders, Mongolia
Sitting area at Ikoi Ryokan, Kurokawa Onsen
A True Gobi Welcome
Budget Gobi Tour: Sunset over the Khongor sand dunes, the Gobi, Mongolia
Sunset Point: the best sunset spot in Tongyeong
Diving Jeju Island South Korea
The Essential Seoul City Guide
A Week On The Olle: Jeju Olle Video
Hiking Hallasan: South Korea's Highest Peak

Still Not Sorted Your Travel Insurance?
It’s Not Too Late! Get A Quote Now



2
Leave a Reply

avatar
1 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
Going the Whole HoggKristin Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Kristin
Guest
Kristin

I believe you have to have hotel reservations to be able to go to Udo.

The definitive list of best beaches on Jeju Island, South Korea. Having spent a month walking the circumference of the island, we\'ve seen every stretch of sand there is. From idyllic spots ideal for sunning yourself, to the best surf beaches and dramatic coastlines, here\'s the very best of Jeju\'s beaches. #Korea #Jeju #AsiaTravel
426 Shares
Pin403
Tweet
Share23
WhatsApp