As an appendix of the Korea Peninsula, Jeju Island is an island located in the Korea Strait, known for its beach resorts, and volcanic landscape of craters and cave-like lava tubes. Its contrasting features and unique character of the island made Jeju an exciting destination that fit many different types of travelers. Either you like to hike, to dive, to eat, or to learn about the native culture and history – Jeju has a lot to offer and that’s why I was so surprised when I visited there in April. Obviously, it was not the time to swim or get a suntan on the beach (Jeju could be very cold during winter), yet it was the time to celebrate spring; to those who like a good view, it’s also a good time to walk around the island in one of the Olle walking trails that round the island.
One of the most popular scenes in springs if the canola bloom. There are a couple of places to see them on the island, along with some exciting activities and food. Here are my picks and I have also included some recommendations on food and accommodations.
Something about Jeju:
Jeju Island is called Samdado because of its abundance of rocks, wind, and women. It was known as the Kingdom of Tamna, a kingdom that lasted for 464 years. Covering 1849 square kilometers, Hallasan is the highest point in the center of the island that is 1,950 meters in height.
The island is designated as Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. It is the Republic of Korea’s largest island. A world-famous volcanic island with more than 90 percent of its total area covered with basalt. It is a strategically located island that connects continental nations (Russia and China) to island nations (Japan and Southeast Asia). It is a resort island with magnificent views of nature. Jeju is an oval-shaped island that is 73 km from east to west and 31 km from north to south, with Hallasan Mountain in the center. The island has a coastal ring road of 176 km and 530.09 km of coastline. It has a temperature climate with temperatures that rarely drop below zero degrees.
It is home to 77 types of mammals, 198 species of birds, 8 kinds each of reptiles and amphibians, 873 types of insects, and 74 varieties of spiders. The island, with Hallasan Mountain at its center, has recorded a total of 2,001 types of vertically distributed sub-tropical, temperature, and polar vegetation, in comparison with Baekdusan Mountain, which has about 500 types, and Jirisan Mountain, which has about 1,000.
Wonders Jeju – New 7 Wonders of Nature:
The New7Wonders Foundation known for the “New7Wonders of the World,” selected the most beautiful natural sceneries of the world through an international site to select the Seven Natural Wonders of the World in November 2011, Jeju Island accomplished the great feat if being selected as one of New 7 Wonders of Nature.
New 7 Wonders of nature are:
- Iguazu Falls on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná.
- Hạ Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam.
- Jeju Island in the Jeju Province of South Korea.
- Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan, Philippines
- Table Mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa.
- Komodo one of the 17,508 islands that comprise the Republic of Indonesia.
- Amazon rainforest located in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and France (French Guiana)
How to get there:
The easiest way to get to Jeju is by flight. Jeju International Airport is located in Jeju city and it’s connected to the rest of the island by Limousine Bus. However, it’s a much more convenient way to get around the island is to rent a car. Another way to get to Jeju is by ferry. Ferry services connect to Busan and it’s about 20 minutes away from the airport by the intercity bus.
Where to stay:
La Pause Pension in Seogwipo City is a modern design resort that features 7 rooms with a magnificent view of the ocean and surrounding nature.
Each room has a clean and sleek design, and some of them have a private mini pool. The suites are about a 15-minute drive away from Seogwipo town center and it is a great choice for those who are driving around the island.
Back to Canola – Apart from visiting Jeju Canola Flower Festival Canola Flower Plaza in Gasi-RI, there are places to view the canola like the following:
Noksan-ro is where you can enjoy both cherry and canola blossoms. Starting near the Jeju Horseback Riding Park, this 4 to 5-kilometer-long canola flower Road is lined by a row of cherry blossom trees, making a gorgeous backdrop. Known also as the Jeongseok Airport Road, it is “one of the 100 most beautiful roads in Korea.” Driving along the road in the spring, speckled with intoxicating yellow canola flower scents and a hint of cherry blossoms in the air is an unforgettable experience.
To me, this is the best location to take gorgeous photos in the canola field, the windmills at the back of the field is a great prop, even better, ride a horse and have a stroll in the field!
Seong San Sunrise Peak and SeopJi Koji
This stuff cone formed when an underwear volcano erupted in the middle of the ocean. Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak) was designated National Monument No.40 in 2000 and a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 2007. The climb is steep, so please bring water and a handkerchief. In spring, the canola bloom could be found in SeopJi Koji that is right in front of the mountain.
Mount Sanbang / Yongmeori
The Sanbangsan Mountain area, located along the Sagye-ri coastline in southwestern Jeju, is where flowers bloom first in the spring, along with Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. On bright spring days, the area becomes crowded with tourists who want to photograph this scenic view because the brilliant yellow canola flowers covering the land, in contrast to the dark background of Sangbangsan Mountain make the place truly picturesque.
Lotte Hotel Jeju is a luxury hotel of Lotte Hotels & Resorts, opened in 2000 in the heart of Jungmun Resort. It’s a well-known and famous attraction to not only the tourists but also the locals. Many locals have parties or weddings here and there take beautiful pictures in the garden. The canola bloom in spring is an exciting scene and don’t forget to stop by and take pictures!
Tangerines are the representative fruit of Jeju Island and are popular among Koreans for their taste, texture, and price. Jeju produces different variants of tangerine fruit all year round. Visitors can easily find tangerine orchards with yellow tangerines hanging on the trees all around. Autumn is the main season for tangerine harvesting on Jeju.