Often dubbed ‘Korea’s Hawaii’, Jeju is the country’s main honeymoon destination and a popular playground for Seoul’s jet set. But the island boasts some spectacular scenery too.
While the casinos, golf courses and town beaches soak up the crowds, take to the footpaths to discover the amazing volcanic formations of the coastline, or head through the citrus orchards lining the slopes of Hallasan (1,950m / 6,397ft), Korea’s highest peak, to reach an ancient Buddhist temple.
Udo, an islet off the northeastern shore, is where you’ll find white-sand coral beaches lapping black-rock cliffs. Divers and snorkelers, meanwhile, head for the city of Seogwipo, on the south coast, which has the warmest seas in Korea and some superb coral reefs.
The Haenyeo of Jeju
Jeju and the small islands off its shoreline are also the domain of an extraordinary band of all-female, freediving grandmothers, known in Korea as ‘Haenyeo’, who for centuries have dived in the rough waters of the Japan Sea to collect sea urchins and other delicacies. Many are over 70!