• JEJU OLLE TRAIL PART II

    Routes 2 to 7-1

    A female Olle Trail hiker standing by a Hallabong mosaic mural, looking out to sea on Jeju Island
  • JEJU OLLE TRAIL PART II

    Routes 2 to 7-1

    A female Olle Trail hiker standing by a Hallabong mosaic mural, looking out to sea on Jeju Island

JEJU OLLE TRAIL PART II

Routes 2 to 7-1

Our first week on the Jeju Olle Trail had been a great one. We’d admired the island’s dramatic northern coastline, learned much about the fascinating culture, and become reaquainted with our love for Korean food. We’d settled into a comfortable rhythm, grown stronger by the day, and were excited to continue our journey. This next stage would take us down the east coast of Jeju Island, all the way to its second city, Seogwipo.

MISSED OUT ON THE FIRST PART OF OUR JOURNEY?

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What is the Olle Trail?

The Jeju Olle Trail, if you don’t already know, is a 425 km network of trails that circumnavigates the whole of Jeju Island. There are 21 routes (two with differing inland and coastal options) plus five side routes, giving 28 in total. While some people walk a route here or there, an increasing number choose to tackle the Olle Trail as a thru-hike, and over the course of a month, that’s exactly what we planned to do.

Where to start?

As we were flying in and out of Jeju City, it seemed like the natural starting point for us. You can of course begin at Route 1 on the northeast corner of the island, following the trails sequentially. Another option is to start and finish in Seogwipo on the south coast. The Jeju Olle Centre in Seogwipo is now the only place to get a certificate for completing all the trails, so it’s worth considering if you’d like such a memento. It also feels like the true Jeju Olle Trail hub, with the pub, guesthouse, office and three routes starting or finishing there. Planning on going full circle like us? The excellent bus system will get you easily to your starting point of choice.

What to expect in this guide?

In this, the second of our four part Olle Trail guide, you’ll find an account of the six routes going clockwise from Route 2, including Route 7-1. We also include times, distances travelled, food and accommodation options, a few thoughts and reflections, and the second of four videos from our hike around Jeju Island.

WATCH THE VIDEO

THE JEJU OLLE TRAIL

As we camped more often than not, our days on the Olle Trail didn’t neatly follow the official routes. Having identified a good place to camp, we would often stop before or after the stamp spot that marks the route change. As such our account of the Olle Trail is broken down into our own day by day experience. 

If you’re looking for a detailed account of each official route, the Jeju Olle Trail Guidebook is an excellent reference. It’s available for free at Jeju Olle Centres but there aren’t always English copies around. A full PDF of the guidebook is available for download. It can be tricky to view on your phone though so it’s handy to have the actual book. More importantly, don’t forget to pick up your Olle Trail Passport. You can self stamp your progress along the way at the beginning, middle and end of each route, and claim your official certificate when all are completed.

A Note On Times

The daily times mentioned below are split into total time and walking time. The total time is everything from start to finish with all stops, sometimes including both lunch and dinner. Walking time is the amount of time (roughly) that we spent on the move. As we carry big bags and take a lot of photos and video, this is longer than many would take to walk these routes.

Read through our account day by day, or jump to a particular section by clicking on the links below

OLLE TRAIL DAY 8: ROUTE 2
~
GWANGCHIGI BEACH – ONPYEONG

DISTANCE

16.25 km

Watch The Relive

TIME

8 hours (total)

5 hours (walking)

CAMP SPOT

Grassy area about 1 km outside of Onpyeong


This was a day where we started full of optimism and energy, but by the end were dog tired and distinctly underwhelmed. While it had its moments, a lack of clarity around changes to Route 2 meant it was a frustrating one.

We woke early to see the sun rise over Seongsan Ilchul-bong, a flaming jewel perched atop jagged crown. In no rush, we enjoyed coffee and breakfast with the view, got packed up and left around ten.

  • Sunrise behind Seongsan Ilchulbong, a massive tuff cone on Jeju Island, South Korea
  • Sunrise behind Seongsan Ilchulbong, a massive tuff cone on Jeju Island, South Korea

Sunrise over iconic Seongsan Ilcul-bong

Short on supplies, we headed into town first to pick up snacks and fill up water, before backtracking in order to walk the 5 km loop around a wetland area and up a small oreum. We walked back to the start of the route but the arrows didn’t match the directions in the book or any mapping apps. The trail flags we did see were old and faded, and as we tried to follow the supposed route, we found ourselves instead on the leveled out dirt of a half-constructed road. Frustrated, we had to give up and head back the way we came. 

In the end, we wasted two hours and a lot of energy in the sun trying to figure it out, before finally realising that the loop at the start is no longer part of the route, and that a long-term detour is in place. As a result, Route 2 is now about 5 km shorter. Not wanting to waste more time, we quickly ate triangle kimbap at a GS25, got our mid-stamp having just walked 3-4 km in circles, and headed inland for the climb up Daesusan-bong.

Putting the frustrations of the morning behind us, we settled into the walk and were soon in the forest, ascending the steep but shaded path to the top of the oreum. The views from the top were fantastic, lifting our mood. Inland, the mighty Hallasan rose through the haze; on the coast, beaches and bays stretched south from Seongsan Ilchul-bong. We stayed a while to enjoy it, chatting to a couple of Korean women who were hiking the trail too.

A view of Seongsan Ilchulbong, a massive tuff cone, and Udo Island from the top of Daesusanbong Oreum on Olle Trail Route 2

Views of Seongsan Ilchul-bong and Udo from the top of Daesusan-bong on Olle Trail Route 2


A view of Seongsan Ilchulbong, a massive tuff cone, and Udo Island from the top of Daesusanbong Oreum on Olle Trail Route 2

Views of Seongsan Ilchul-bong and Udo from
the top of Daesusan-bong on Olle Trail Route 2


The descent was beautiful. Shafts of light pierced through the densely packed trees, dappling the dark green leaves while rich forest smells hung in the warm air. At the bottom the route joined a country back road, winding through tree-lined fields and between high hedges. Referencing Kakao and Naver Maps, we realised that this was also different from the original route; the shiny new signs and vibrant colours of the trail flags gave added testimony to the fact.

While there were flashes of scenery around us, the views were minimal; pounding the hard concrete in the blazing sun with barely a breeze proved quite tough. Feet throbbing and legs burning with heat rash, Kim wasn’t her usual enthusiastic self. After stopping for a welcome rest in the shade at Honinji, we finished the last couple of kilometres, scouted out our camp spot and arrived in Onpyeong, a picturesque little port town.

Children playing in shallow water at Onpyeong port, surrounded by black lava rocks

Kids playing in the water at the little seaside town of Onpyeong


Children playing in shallow water at Onpyeong port, surrounded by black lava rocks

Kids playing in the water at Onpyeong


We got our Route 2 end stamp, had a tasty bowl of noodles at a Vietnamese restaurant, then headed back out of town to make camp. A grassy area on the rocky coastline, separated from the road by an old wall, it turned out to be a pretty good site. With the tent up and ready we crashed out, looking forward to the next day.

ROUTE 2 RECOMMENDATIONS

FOOD

Restaurants, Convenience Stores and Cafes
at Goseong-ri (Route 2 start)
and Onpyeong (Route 2 end)

CAMP SPOT

 At top of Daesusan-bong
(33.4380, 126.9022)
By coast before Onpyeong
(33.4072, 126.9080)

ACCOMMODATION

Onpyeong area
Ocean Square Resort
Jeju Gaetkkeusi Pension
Jeju Bille Log Pension
 Very Good Day
Sinsan Area (into Route 3-B)
Oyasumi Jeju (dorms available)
Redpiano Pension


FIND ROUTE 2 ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com

OLLE TRAIL DAY 9: ROUTE 3
~
ONPYEONG – PYOSEON

DISTANCE

17.25 km

Watch The Relive

TIME

9 hours 30 minutes (total)

6 hours (walking)

ACCOMMODATION

Bada Maru Pension
Pyoseon


Our ninth day on the trail was one of attractive coastal sections, tasty food, friendly dogs and the odd cafe thrown in for good measure. Although a bit overcast, it was warm and dry, and the cloud cover made walking conditions much more pleasant than the day before.

Route 3 has a choice of two trails to follow. Going inland, Route 3-A is 20.9 km and climbs a sizeable oreum. Route 3-B mostly sticks to the coast and is just 14.6 km. Fancying a more leisurely day and preferring the coast anyway, we opted for 3-B.

After another stunning sunrise, we set off around half past nine, stopping back at the Vietnamese restaurant in Onpyeong where the ladies kindly filled our water bottles. Leaving town, the trail wound over a rocky coastal section before heading inland through a nice little forest trail.

A rusting old bicycle propped up against a cairn of black Jeju lava rocks

The trail takes you over the black rocks of Jeju


A lone fisherman at the end of a stretch of black lava rock on Jeju Island

Always a fisherman to be found


A rusting old bicycle propped up against a cairn of black Jeju lava rocks

The trail takes you over the black rocks of Jeju


Back at the coast, we dropped in at J Island Cafe, watching the waves crash in and sipping coffee in their quirky glass cube. Not much further down the road we stopped again, this time at the village cafe in Sinsan-ri. We’d heard about their famous green tea ice cream and didn’t want to miss out. The cafe is community run and the recipe for the ice cream was developed with the help of one of Korea’s very first chocolatiers.

A woman wearing hiking gear, sitting drinking coffee in a glass cube protruding from the second floor of a coffee shop on Jeju Island

Coffee with a view at J Island Cafe


A close up image of green tea ice cream in a glass bowl

The green tea ice cream definitely lived up to its reputation


A close up image of green tea ice cream in a glass bowl

The green tea ice cream lived up to its reputation


A woman wearing hiking gear, sitting drinking coffee in a glass cube protruding from the second floor of a coffee shop on Jeju Island

Coffee with a view at J Island Cafe


We carried on, not quite ready for lunch but not sure exactly where we’d stop. The Olle Trail Guidebook often had suggestions but for Route 3 there was nothing past Sinsan-ri. Looking for options on the local map apps turned up very little either. After a few disappointments – expensive raw fish places or closed establishments – we followed a welcome sign for a noodle place. Well, it was delicious. A friendly couple served us one guksu (noodle soup) and one gukbap (rice soup), both with the island’s famous heuk dwaeji (Jeju black pork). It was a great find, and judging by the many messages written on the wall inside, we weren’t the only Olle walkers to have topped up energy levels there.

A top down view of a bowl of dwaeji guksu, Jeju black pork noodles

A most welcome hearty bowl of dwaeji guksu


A top down view of a bowl of dwaeji guksu, Jeju black pork noodles

A most welcome hearty bowl of dwaeji guksu


This coastal section was a bit industrial, not the dramatic and beautiful coastline you might associate with the island. We passed many large fish farms – a landscape of green mesh covered buildings and thick pipes. It’s all part of the Jeju experience though, and to us, one of the great qualities of an Olle Trail thru-hike is you get to see the different facets of island life. 

The trail does become spectacular again as it passes through Sinpung Sincheon Farm. The path winds through wildflower covered grassland on the farm’s edge, following the coast past weird and wonderful rock formations.

Twisted rock formations by the coast along Jeju Olle Trail Route 3

The rocky coastal section next to Sinpung Sincheon Farm: what do you see?


A twisted rock formation by the coast along Jeju Olle Trail Route 3

The rocky coastal section next to Sinpung
Sincheon Farm: what do you see?


Rejoining the road, the route carries on another 5 km to Pyoseon, passing more villages, harbours, fish farms and strips of sand. Walking the path round Sincheon-ri, we were greeted by three little puppies, tumbling around and falling over themselves. They kept us entertained for a good ten minutes, one of them even managing to undo Kim’s double-knotted laces.

Eventually we reached Pyoseon Beach, a huge flat expanse of sand, bay-shaped and only revealed at low tide. We strolled around to the end stamp spot in the town and decided to try our luck at a local burger joint, called Wave. Sitting on the roof terrace and enjoying the day’s end with a couple of excellent burgers, we were kept company by a good-natured collie.

A happy looking collie dog

Just a friendly neighbourhood collie there to keep you company at Wave


A woman cuddling a black puppy

Cute puppies brightening up the day


A happy looking collie dog

Just a friendly neighbourhood collie
there to keep you company at Wave


A woman cuddling a black puppy

Cute puppies brightening up the day


With a storm forecast, we’d booked that night and the next at a pension just a little into Route 4. A two kilometre walk along the coast in the drizzly dusk got us there, where we were greeted by the smiling owner. A tad embarrassed by the stench as we took off our boots at the door, we headed upstairs for our first shower in a week, before cracking open a couple of beers and settling in for the Game of Thrones finale.

ROUTE 3 RECOMMENDATIONS

FOOD

Green Tea Ice Cream at Sinsan-ri Cafe
(at mid-stamp point)
Jeju Black Pork Noodles at
국수창고
(33.3672, 126.8703)
Handmade Burgers at Wave (Pyoseon Beach)

CAMP SPOT

Pyoseon Beach Official Campsite

Pyoseon Area
Rezion Hotel
A Little Into Route 4
Bada Maru Pension
Wahaha Guesthouse (Dorms Available)
Wind House
Haevich House Pension


FIND ROUTE 3 ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com

OLLE TRAIL DAY 10: ROUTE 4
~
PYOSEON – NAMWON

DISTANCE

17.7 km

Watch The Relive

TIME

9 hours 30 minutes (total)

5 hours 45 minutes (walking)

CAMP SPOT

Coastal park area 1.5 km before Route 4 end


Route 4 is an enjoyable route, taking in a variety of scenery including rocky coastal sections, forested paths and village life. The real highlight for us though was the opportunity to observe Jeju’s women free divers again, the haenyeo, and this time having the chance to see several different aspects of their work.

It was windy as we started back on Route 4, the effects of the storm still being felt. But instead of grey, the sky was a bold blue and shot through with streams of wispy cirrus clouds. The first few kilometres were on flat roads, but the coastal scenery was beautiful and enough to keep our minds off the monotonous road walk.

A coastal scene from Jeju Island with black rocks, red seaweed, green vegetation, white sand and blue water

After the storm: blue skies, white clouds and a healthy breeze


A coastal scene from Jeju Island with black rocks, red seaweed, green vegetation, white sand and blue water

After the storm: blue skies, white
clouds and a healthy breeze


We spotted some haenyeo in the water, going down to the shore to get a closer look. As they swam off we walked further along, until we saw a group of them walking from sea to road, bent over under the weight on their backs. We even saw a teenage boy with them (a haenam?), something never seen before or since. Some got on their scooters while others walked the same road as we did.

A middle aged haenyeo, Jeju's female free divers, and a teenage boy carrying their catch up from the shore along Jeju Olle Trail Route 4

A haenyeo and teenage boy coming ashore – the only time we’ve seen a non female diver in Jeju


A middle aged haenyeo, Jeju's female free divers, and a teenage boy carrying their catch up from the shore along Jeju Olle Trail Route 4

A haenyeo and teenage boy coming ashore –
the only time we’ve seen a non female diver in Jeju


An elderly haenyeo, or female free diver, bent over while carrying her net full of sea urchins from the shore to the road

Still diving and going strong, this
lady looked to be in her seventies


Carrying on around the coast, skirting the port, the trail led us right to their changing rooms at Gama-ri. By the time we arrived most were getting showered and changed, their wetsuits hanging up to dry and full nets lying piled on the ground. One by one the women started to take a seat and sort through their nets, scooping out the edible insides of the sea urchins into a pot or bucket. They seemed to welcome our presence and treated our curiosity with good humour. One woman called us over and gave us some sea urchin meat to try. It was surprisingly good – salty with a texture like mussels. She told us to order sea urchin seaweed soup at a haenyeo restaurant, repeating miyeok guk, miyeok guk.  We nodded in agreement and watched a while longer, then continued on, delighted with the experience.

An elderly haenyeo hanging up her wetsuit to dry by a makeshift changing room

Time to get those wetsuits dry


A tub of freshly caught sea urchin

Sea urchins: more delicious than they look


An elderly haenyeo hanging up her wetsuit to dry by a makeshift changing room

Time to get those wetsuits dry


A tub of freshly caught sea urchin

Sea urchins: more delicious than they look


From here the trail wound through trees and along rocky coastal sections, skirting a large, mostly hidden resort. We’d picked up some supplies from a Tous Les Jour bakery the day before, so stopped for a quick lunch on a rock with a view.

  • Pink and green wooden chairs against an ocean backdrop along the Jeju Olle Trail, the perfect photo prop
  • A female Olle Trail hiker standing by a Hallabong mosaic mural, looking out to sea on Jeju Island

The colours of the Olle Trail

Crossing the main road and heading inland, we had coffee at a vintage American cafe – a huge memorabilia-stuffed barn of a place – before reaching the mid stamp spot soon after. Getting our stamp, we nodded and smiled at a solo female hiker we’d first seen in a cafe on Route 3 (our paths would continue to cross, all the way to our final Olle Trail route on Chuja-do). The Olle Guidebook’s elevation map had shown a climb from this point and we’d assumed it would be a forested oreum, but the route just followed back roads through orange groves and village streets.

Before long we rejoined the coast. Here we met a couple of young guys who’d just completed their two year Korean Navy service – they were walking four of the Olle Trail routes on a short trip to celebrate their new found freedom. We got talking, each of us to a different one, and stuck with them for a good 4-5 km. They were travelling light and walking fast, so we made good time. Turns out we can walk at quite the pace when we don’t stop for photos or video!

Realising we’d almost reached our intended camp spot, we said goodbye and went looking for dinner. You never know what you’re going to find in Jeju. We got lucky with an Italian restaurant (소요 0617), up a side street in the village before Namwon. Hungry after a lighter lunch, we filled up on an extremely delicious combo pizza. Unfortunately though, there were no shops. We had to make do without our standard post-dinner bottle of makgeolli, and without breakfast supplies, we’d have to wait till reaching Namwon at the start of Route 5.

A close up of pizza with aubergine and basil on top

A surprising find: high quality pizza in a backstreet village restaurant


A close up of pizza with aubergine and basil on top

A surprising find: high quality pizza
in a backstreet village restaurant


Our camp was next to a pagoda in a bushy park area overlooking the water. There was a bit less space than anticipated from satellite view but we made the best of it. As we relaxed on the pagoda with dusk arriving, a couple of Sri Lankan guys came by, picking herbs from among the bushes. Knowledgeable about such things, they assured us these herbs were perfect for cooking. Having lived and worked at a nearby fishery for a few years, they spoke enthusiastically about how much they loved Jeju and wanted to stay.

Fishermen at sunset on the rocky black coast of Jeju Island

A popular spot for fishing at sunset near Namwon at the end of Olle Trail Route 4


Fishermen at sunset on the rocky black coast of Jeju Island

A popular spot for fishing at sunset near
Namwon at the end of Olle Trail Route 4


Before setting up camp we’d noticed a lamp post on the path close to our tent, but with little space, our options had been limited. As we went to bed, the bright light sprang to life. It would remain on until dawn the next day.

ROUTE 4 RECOMMENDATIONS

FOOD

Pizza at 소요 (Soyo) 0617
(33.2821, 126.7354)

CAMP SPOT

Pagoda and grassy park area before Namwon
(33.2792, 126.7312)


FIND ROUTE 4 ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com

OLLE TRAIL DAY 11: ROUTE 5
~
NAMWON – SOESOKKAK

DISTANCE

17.4 km

Watch The Relive

TIME

10 hours 30 minutes (total)

6 hours 30 minutes (walking)

CAMP SPOT

Grassy area with pagodas overlooking the harbour


Another day of Jeju coastal appreciation. Route 5 led us along some quintessential rocky coastline, through sun dappled forest sections and past more charming villages. It ended, as Route 6 began, with some unexpected and truly spectacular scenery.

After drinking coffee on the pagoda and witnessing local men completing their morning exercise routine, we set off for Namwon around nine. Already sunny and bright, we could tell we were in for a hot one. A short distance took us the Jeju Olle Information Centre on the edge of town, where we filled our water bottles inside and got our passport stamped at the Ganse outside. 

Heading off trail into the town itself, we picked up supplies at the Paris Baguette and GS25, eating at the tables outside and watching the world go by. Breakfast done, we were back on the trail and underway by 10:30.

A Jeju Olle Trail passport and Ganse horse stamp point at the start of Route 5

The familiar blue ‘Ganse’ housing the route stamp


A man selling fruit and veg off the back of his truck on Jeju Island

A fruit seller on the streets of Namwon


A Jeju Olle Trail passport and Ganse horse stamp point at the start of Route 5

The familiar blue ‘Ganse’ housing the route stamp


We never usually get far before something catches our eye. True to form, we’d barely left town on the coastal road before stopping again – this time to watch a couple of haenyeo coming ashore.

Squid hung up to dry on a line by the coast on Jeju Island

We just can’t get enough of squid drying in the sun


An elderly haenyeo carrying her basket of sea urchin up a stairwell

The fascination with haenyeo continues


Squid hung up to dry on a line by the coast on Jeju Island

We just can’t get enough of squid drying in the sun


An elderly haenyeo carrying her basket of sea urchin up a stairwell

The fascination with haenyeo continues


 Realising we’d better get moving, we carried on and were glad for some shade as we entered the forested section on the Keun-ung coastal path. There was a bit of climbing but nothing too strenuous, and the sea views were impressive. Skirting round more resorts barely visible through the trees, we were soon out in the open, rock hopping over the trickiest section of the trail – jagged black rocks of all shapes and sizes.

A female Olle Trail hiker looking out to sea along the coast of Jeju Island

The coastal path leads down onto the rocks by the sea


A female hiker walking through a narrow tree lined path on the Olle Trail

Tree lined paths offer some welcome shade


From the coast, the route meanders inland towards the mid stamp point on the outskirts of Wimi-ri. We took advantage of the restaurant across the road, ordering a spicy pork lunch set meal (perhaps a little bit too spicy). We carried on for a bit but the heat of the day was sapping our energy levels. Down at Wimi Harbour, a quirky cafe called Blue Planet caught our attention so we stopped again. The owner and her daughter were super friendly, the little girl gifting us drawings on scrap paper and lollipops from her personal stash. Pointing through the open window, the woman excitedly told us about how they often sighted dolphins from the harbour breakwater. We left revived after iced coffee, ice cream and a wonderful welcome.

Continuing round the harbour to another shaded coastal section, the trail then led along a succession of paths past picturesque seaside villages. This area has long been regarded as a good place to live due to the plentiful supply of fresh spring water. We stopped for a further rest at a small shaded stone harbour just before Mangjang Port, enjoying the play of light on the still water.

A female hiker sitting in the shade on a bench near a natural harbour pool of water

The perfect place of peace and stillness to rest from the heat of the day


A female hiker sitting in the shade on a bench near a natural harbour pool of water

The perfect place of peace and stillness
to rest from the heat of the day


Beyond that, all that was left of Route 5 was a short climb over an oreum and past orange groves. Coming down the other side, Hallasan dominated the horizon beyond a landscape of glistening greenhouses.

As we crossed Soesokkak bridge to get our stamp, the river canyon below came as a complete surprise to us. Known as Soesokkak, this area is a famous tourist attraction in Jeju, but it was news to us. As we followed the boardwalk downriver to the sea, the scene bathed in a magic hour glow, it reminded us of both rocky wadis in Oman and the impressive Takachiho Gorge in Japan (a place we visited while hiking part of the Kyushu Olle Trail).

The narrow gorge-like canyon of soesokkak on Jeju Island

We were delighted with the views of the river canyon at Soesokkak


The narrow gorge-like canyon of soesokkak on Jeju Island

We were delighted with the views
of the river canyon at Soesokkak


After appreciating the views and watching the tourists in the boats below, we found the perfect bench on which to relax and enjoy a well-earned late afternoon beer.

An aerial shot looking straight down on row boats at the entrance of soesokkak where the sea and fresh water meet

Tourists queue for boats at the point where the sea and river meet


A man sitting on a bench looking out to sea, a large backpack next to him

This bench was sitting waiting for us; the perfect spot for a cold afternoon beer


An aerial shot looking straight down on row boats at the entrance of soesokkak where the sea and fresh water meet

Tourists queue for boats at the point
where the sea and river meet


A man sitting on a bench looking out to sea, a large backpack next to him

This bench was sitting waiting for us;
the perfect spot for a cold afternoon beer


Our attempts to find a restaurant for dinner were thwarted. Everywhere was either closed or closing, apparently only set up for the daytime tourist crowd – even the 7-Eleven was closing.

Thankfully the GS25 was open so we picked up a Bibigo (a meal in a bag type thing), along with the usual makgeolli and a few other essentials. As we shopped, a far too-talkative Malaysian cyclist accosted us – he clearly felt it was his duty to explain a whole bunch of things about Jeju that we already knew, non-stop for a good fifteen minutes while we nodded along, unable to get a word in edgeways. When he declared that he would be camping at the same spot we were aiming for, our hearts sank. Thankfully, when we got there after him, he just nodded in greeting and left us to it. We made camp, admiring the sea views with the last of the light, and made dinner with the local cats looking on intently.

ROUTE 5 RECOMMENDATIONS

FOOD

한라앤탐밥상 (Halla Entam Bapsang)
Across from the mid stamp spot

CAMP SPOT

Pagoda and grassy area a little into Route 6
(33.2485, 126.6195)

ACCOMMODATION

Soesokkak Area 
Seong Ge Dol Pension
쇠소깍천일펜션


FIND ROUTE 5 ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com

OLLE TRAIL DAY 12: ROUTE 6
~
SOESOKKAK – SEOGWIPO

DISTANCE

10.4 km

Watch The Relive

TIME

10 hours 30 minutes (total)

5 hours (walking)

ACCOMMODATION

Gudeok Guesthouse
Seogwipo


A cracking day from start to finish. Route 6 is fairly short, but there’s so much to appreciate that it turned out to be one of our longer days. It was a day of spectacular sights, and Hallasan kept us company most of the way. When we were done, we agreed it was an absolute shoe-in for our best Olle Trail routes.

After enjoying the sunrise and beautiful morning light, we left camp around nine thirty, the day warm and bright. Progress was slow – we stopped often to take pictures of the tortured rock formations and watch more haenyeo in action.

An orange and white tent pitched on grass, overlooking a harbour on Jeju Island

This camp spot near Soesokkak is the perfect place to welcome the sun


An orange and white tent pitched on grass, overlooking a harbour on Jeju Island

This camp spot near Soesokkak is the
perfect place to welcome the sun


A small red and white lighthouse with a pink hued sky above

Morning colours at the harbour


As we walked, the morning peace was slightly disrupted by a sizeable group of middle school boys, their teachers leading them on some day trip. Coming past, five here, ten there, they shouted HELLO! as music blared out from their smartphones.

After just a couple of kilometres the trail takes a detour inland, following the road and skirting large greenhouses to come at Jejigi Oreum from behind. You could of course miss this part out but you’d be foolish to do so. The forest trail is pretty and the views from the top are worth the short climb – it’s steep but not overly tough.

Our climb had us laughing as we sang Will Smith’s Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It, prompted by the oreum’s name, and we amused ourselves on the exercise machines up top. After looking on in admiration at the views of Seopseom and Seogwipo, we followed the sun-dappled forest trail back down to the coast.

A view of Seopseom island through the trees on top of Jejigi oreum on Route 6 of the Jeju Olle Trail

The view of Seopseom through the pine trees from the top of Jejigi Oreum 


A view of Seopseom island through the trees on top of Jejigi oreum on Route 6 of the Jeju Olle Trail

The view of Seopseom through the pine
trees from the top of Jejigi Oreum 


Aware that there weren’t many food options before Seogwipo, we scouted out a few places and settled on a new looking BBQ restaurant in Bomok-ri. We didn’t want a full-on barbequed meat lunch, and they were happy to serve us a couple of smaller dishes, delicious kimchi Jjigae and mul naengmyeon.

Continuing on, we followed the coast through shaded forest until the trail dropped us down at So Cheon-ji: a stunning spot with particularly impressive rock pools. Looking inland, there’s a fantastic view of Hallasan reflected in one of the pools.

Hallasan mountain reflected in the rock pools of So-Cheonji

One of the most dramatic settings to view Hallasan from afar on Jeju Island


Hallasan mountain reflected in the rock pools of So-Cheonji

One of the most dramatic settings to view
Hallasan from afar on Jeju Island


From here the coastal views kept us entranced all the way to So Jeonbang waterfall. This smaller waterfall is relatively quiet; we sat in peace and admired the water cascade over the curved dark rock.

Water cascading over rocks at Sojeonbang waterfall on Route 6 of the Jeju Olle Trail

Sitting just below the smaller of the two waterfalls: Sojeonbang Pokpo


Water cascading over rocks at Sojeonbang waterfall on Route 6 of the Jeju Olle Trail

Sitting just below the smaller of the
two waterfalls: Sojeonbang Pokpo


After picking up the mid stamp and topping up our energy levels with a Dr. Yoo protein bar, we walked the last stretch to the highlight of the day, Jeonbang Pokpo (Waterfall). Falling from a height of nearly 25 metres, the water thunders into a deep pool before flowing into the waiting sea. Surrounded by sheer cliffs and lush vegetation, it’s quite the setting. A series of stone steps lead you down to jumbled boulders at the base of the falls, where crowds throng to admire and take photos. 

This is one of those occasions when you feel the contrast between the relative quiet of the Olle Trail and the busyness of one of Jeju’s premier tourist attractions. We’d been here once before, among big crowds in sweltering August heat. Now in late May, the experience was much more pleasant – until that is, we were inundated by a noisy school group. But anyway, regardless of crowds or temperatures, this waterfall is hugely impressive and not to be missed.


A female hiker sitting on a rock looking up at Jeonbang waterfall in Seogwipo, Jeju Island

A female hiker sitting on a rock looking up at Jeonbang waterfall in Seogwipo, Jeju Island

Appreciating the grandeur of Jeonbang Pokpo


Finished with the falls, we strolled the last section into Seogwipo. Our third time in the city, there was a comforting familiarity as we walked in through recognisable streets, looking forward to dinner at a favourite place from a previous visit. Sadly, the fish and chips place was no more, but we found an excellent replacement, chowing down on some authentically tasty Vietnamese food at Monstera Jaguri.

Vietnamese rice paper rolls at Monstera Jaguri restaurant in Seogwipo

Excellent fresh rice paper rolls at Monstera Jaguri in Seogwipo


A female hiker walking under a traditional Korean gate in Seogwipo

Walking into Seogwipo


With dinner done, it was a visit to Cafe MayB for a couple of Magpie Porters, then time to check in at our usual place, the ever friendly Gudeok Guesthouse.

ROUTE 6 RECOMMENDATIONS

FOOD

Bomok-ri
BBQ and seafood restaurants
Seogwipo
Monstera Jaguri
(Vietnamese food on Route 6, near colourful school)
Cafe MayB
(Drinks and snacks, bottom of Lee Joong Seop Street)
Daehyang
(BBQ, on Taepyeong-ro round the corner from Cafe MayB)
Olle Pub
(at end stamp spot)

CAMP SPOT

 In pine forest near start of Route 7
(around 33.2388, 126.5475)

ACCOMMODATION

Seogwipo
Backpacker’s Home (Dorms Available)
Gudeok Guesthouse (Dorms Available)
Hotel Gaon J Stay (Dorms Available)
Hotel Winstory
Heyy Seogwipo Hotel


FIND ROUTE 6 ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com

OLLE TRAIL DAY 13: ROUTE 7-1
~
SEOGWIPO – SEOGWIPO

DISTANCE

15.5 km

Watch The Relive

TIME

6 hours 30 minutes (total)

5 hours 20 minutes (walking)

ACCOMMODATION

Gudeok Guesthouse
Seogwipo


Today was an out and back journey, one of the Olle Trail’s side routes. Starting and ending in Seogwipo, 7-1 heads inland and offers a distinctly different perspective – a side to Jeju that you won’t quite see on any other route.

The trail starts on the outskirts of the city, in front of the Seogwipo Bus Terminal, so we took a short ten minute bus ride to get there. As we got ready to set off, a woman approached us who recognised us from our Hallasan video. She was appreciative of our efforts and we set off on the trail with that warm glow that comes from knowing you’ve helped someone out.

As we were doing a loop and staying at Gudeok Guesthouse again that night, Kim was hiking without a bag and I had a slimmed down version of my usual monstrosity. We felt like we were flying up the road, climbing the steep streets towards Gogeunsan. The morning was hot and we were glad to be travelling light. We rose above the city quickly and soon left the streets behind. The scenery became lush and tropical as the narrow paths, lanes and roads took us past countless orange groves.

After a quick four kilometres we arrived at Ungtto Waterfall. There hadn’t been much rain so there were no falls, but the curved, vegetation draped cliffs were impressive nonetheless. Carrying on, we felt like we were in a scene from Jurassic Park, and the life abundant tropical scene felt different to anything we’d seen on the Olle Trail so far.

Trees and rocky cliffs at Ungtto Falls in the dry season

No water falling when we were there but it was still an impressive scene


A female hiker waloking along a boardwalk section near Ungtto Falls on Route 7-1 of the Jeju Olle Trail

Approaching the Ungtto Waterfall viewing platform


Soon we were climbing through beautiful leafy forest, the sunlight filtered mood almost dreamlike. A short road section followed before we hit the trees again, climbing wooden steps to the top of Gogeunsan. At nearly 400 metres it’s a decent climb, but the whole journey is a steady one and the trail is easy to walk on, making it feel relatively unstrenuous (especially given our lighter loads). The view from the top was impressive, giving us yet another angle on Hallasan; back at the coast, we could just make out one of the islands through the haze. After a picnic lunch at the viewing platform, we began our descent, hopping down the well constructed up-ended log path.

A view of Hallasan mountain from the top of Gogeunsan on Route 7-1 of the Jeju Olle Trail

A huge expanse of the inner island is layed out before you from Gogeunsan


A view of Hallasan mountain from the top of Gogeunsan on Route 7-1 of the Jeju Olle Trail

Yet another view of Hallasan


A close up of purple thistles with Hallasan blurry in the background

Getting Scotland vibes on Gogeunsan


Coming out of the trees we met a little puppy on the road. Kim must have given it a bit too much love because the poor thing was on her heels for a good bit after. There was no owner or mother in sight, but we managed to leave her at an orange grove with another puppy and a kind chap who indicated that everything would be alright.

A female hiker bending down to play with a puppy

Kim can’t resist a puppy and this little critter was only too happy to lap it up


A female hiker bending down to play with a puppy

Kim can’t resist a puppy and this little
critter was only too happy to lap it up


After passing the mid stamp point and stopping for a CU refreshment, we continued on through pretty lanes and backstreets, before crossing a main road and following the path down into the Hanon Crater. This large volcanic crater is wide, flat and extremely fertile. It’s an important place for studying biodiversity on the island. A large farm for growing rice (highly unusual on Jeju) lies at the centre, with an irrigation system channeling water around the outside.

On the way into the crater the trail passes Bongrim-sa, a pretty little temple sat near the base of the hill. We took our time here, admiring the grounds and saying hello to the handsome dog.

A colourful wooden Korean temple and surrounding garden

A fine example of a quiet and well taken care of Korean temple


White T-shirts drying on a line in front of a yellow and red temple wall on Jeju Island

Scenes of daily life round the back


A large white dog sitting in front of his kennel

It’s not a temple without a handsome white dog


A large white dog sitting in front of his kennel

It’s not a temple without a handsome white dog


A colourful wooden Korean temple and surrounding garden

A fine example of a quiet and well
taken care of Korean temple


The trail left the crater and suddenly, views of Seogwipo appeared as if from nowhere, the buildings rising up above the trees. Before long we were in Geolmae Ecological Park, a pleasant setting in the heart of the city. The stone steps took us up past an attractive temple with views back over the park. 

Geolmae Ecological Park in the foreground, with Seogwipo city buildings behind and misty mountains in the background

Looking back down over Geolmae Ecological Park


Geolmae Ecological Park in the foreground, with Seogwipo city buildings behind and misty mountains in the background

Looking down over Geolmae Ecological Park


Then just like that, we were in the city streets, arriving at the end point outside the Jeju Olle Tourist Center. This was where we’d finished our first Olle Trail adventure back in 2017 and felt good to be there again. We got our end stamp, finished off Part 2 of our video, and headed inside to the Jeju Olle Pub for a well deserved pint.

That night we treated ourselves to the usual Seogwipo BBQ feast and went to bed excited for the days to come.

ROUTE 7-1 RECOMMENDATIONS

FOOD

Take packed lunch

CAMP SPOT

Possible to camp at pagoda on Gogeunsan Peak
(33.2668, 126.5137)
Or pine forest area into start of Route 7
(around 33.2388, 126.5475)

ACCOMMODATION

Seogwipo
Backpacker’s Home (Dorms Available)
Gudeok Guesthouse (Dorms Available)
Hotel Gaon J Stay (Dorms Available)
Hotel Winstory
Heyy Seogwipo Hotel


FIND ROUTE 7-1 ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com

JEJU OLLE TRAIL PART II

Routes 2 to 7-1

That’s it for Part Two. We hope you’ve enjoyed our account of Jeju Olle Trail Routes 2 to 7-1, and if you’re planning your own Olle adventure, will find the information and recommendations useful. And if you have a question about anything at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch by leaving a comment below.

ORGANISE YOUR TRIP TO JEJU NOW

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