Whether you’re relieved or sad seeing your kids back to school, don’t forget it’s still summer in Seoul until close to end of September! So if your family is not yet ready for summer to end, pick a few items off our Summer List and go have some fun while the air is hot and the sun still shines!
Jeju Island is arguably the jewel crown of South Korea. A beautiful volcanic island, just 1-hour flight away from Seoul, Jeju offers a unique variety of landscapes, pristine beaches, numerous local attractions as well as a specific blend of culture. A Mediterranean feel right in Korea!
Jeju Province is one of the nine provinces of South Korea, located in the Korean Strait – south of the peninsula. Jeju is a volcanic island, dominated by the South Korean highest mountain Halla-san (1,950 metres high). The island measures approximately 70 kilometres from East to West, and 40 kilometres from North to South.
Given its size and the variety of attractions, the island is best enjoyed for a long weekend and we recommend renting a car. This is a fantastic and easy-to-book getaway option for a few days of break. Just beware that during the main Korean holidays and summer season, air tickets and accommodations are quickly sold out or more expensive.
Western side sunset
Among places we visited and loved, we would particularly recommend:
Eoseungsaengak trail: an easy hike on Halla-san’s sister mountain, smaller yet already culminating at 1,169 meters high
Hallim Botanical Park and its neighbouring white-sand beaches
Enjoying Jungmun’s resorts area and its golden-sand beach
Marvelling at Seongsan Ilchulbong, the “Sunrise peak”, a mysterious volcanic formation surrounded by the sea.
Heukdoeji black pig BBQ
Jungmun beach view from Hyatt hotel
Of course, there is so much more to love in Jeju than the above list: yummy seafood harvested by the Jeju’s grandma-divers “haenyeo”; delicious Black Pig BBQ (“heuk-doe-ji”); the sweetest Hallabong oranges; beautiful beaches; meadows and volcanoes panorama; etc.
In fact, you will certainly need to visit several times to discover more. We hope that this short highlights list will provide a proper guidance for first time visitors. To be continued and expanded after our next trips to beautiful Jeju Island.
At the end of the Highway 50, reaching the East Sea (Donghae – 동해), lies beautiful Gyeongpo, a seaside village with a white-sand beach and a picturesque lake. Perfect beach destination for the weekend from May until October.
Located in the northern part of Gangneung, Gangwon-do Province, Gyeongpo is one of the many seaside villages boarding the East Sea coastline. Approximately 250 km from Seoul, it is easily reachable even for a one-day trip only – if you’re lucky with road traffic.
Gyeongpo Beach: pristine, blue water and a few attractions
When we reached our destination, we headed first to the beach! This is a very long strip of white sand, bordered with pine trees. The sea is very clean and water particularly transparent. You may expect a few waves if windy (as is usually the case along the East sea). There were fun attractions as well: pony and horse-riding, banana boats, jet skis, etc.
There are dozens of seafood restaurants and cafes along the beach street – we found them all very attractive, clean and picking up the one with the best shrimps, crabs and fishes was a great challenge!
Gyeongpo Lake: enjoy a beautiful family walk and stream boat-crossing
There’s more to Gyeongpo than just its fantastic beach… Check out the Lake side! We had a blast running around, watching the fun Korean-traditional sculptures on display, observing birdlife… But the highlight for us was the wetland area with its wooden bridges and the canal-crossing boat (by pulling a rope).
Enjoy this beautiful East-sea coastline option to make the best family memories and take many wonderful snapshots.
How to get there:
Direct buses from Seoul Express Bus Terminal to Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal (2h40′ approximately 15,000 KRW). From Gangneung Terminal, take bus 202 to Gyeongpodae.