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5. Travel back in time: Geological Trail (Top 10 Must Visits)

 

As a volcanic island, Jeju Island is a geological testament to the earth’s turmoil, with natural scars and structures created by volcanic activities dating back as far as 1.8 million years ago. The island itself was acknowledged as a Global Geopark by UNESCO in 2010. The main attractions include Hallasan Mountain, Manjanggul Cave, Seongsan Ilchulbong, Seogwipo Formation, Cheonjiyeon Falls, Jungmun Daepo Port Jusangjeolli Cliff, Sanbangsan Mountain, Yongmeori Coast, Suwolbong Peak, Udo Island, Biyangdo Island, and Seonheul Gotjawal.
While you may not get to all twelve locations, you should definitely not miss the 4 geographic trails that were developed as hiking courses. These courses contain various features such as environmental resources that are unique to each region, the history and the culture of the town, myths, and the lives of those who live here. Not to mention, they also have delicious local foods made of the freshest ingredients available on Jeju, borrowing motifs from the geological features of the Geoparks along the way.

 


1. Walking along with Ilchulbong – Seongsan-Ojo Geological Trail

 

Seonsan-ri is known to have the earliest sunrise, with Ojo-ri soon bathed in the first rays of glorious morning sunshine. Along with Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak), one of the greatest creations of nature and time, and the beach is touched by the ebb and flow of inland water, the Seongsan-Ojo Geo-Trail is where you will find marine culture in abundance. The migratory birds, Sikssanbong (a natural habitat of yellow rosemallow), and Ojeoonggae Port all meet on the natural breakwater, creating a scene of such unique beauty. Seongsan Ilchulbong will also seem to follow you as you walk, almost as if it is trying to protect you.
The pickled seaweed, made with seaweed plucked fresh from the ocean by Seongsan Haenyeos, coupled with seaweed hurigake (a rice seasoning) is a delicacy unique to the area.
The trail course opened in April 2015, and it takes roughly 3 hours and 30 minutes, when you include the Seongsan Ilchulbong hike.

 


  · Distance: 7.1km (8.3km including Seongsan Ilchubong Tuff Cone trekking) / 3.5~4 hours

  · Course

  · Getting to the starting point from Jeju city: Take bus no. 111 (express) at Jeju international airport or Jeju bus terminal & stop at ‘Ilchulbong

    Entrance’ (11 stops, 1 hr.) →  walk for about 5 min. (341m)

  · Getting to the starting point from Seogwipo city: Take bus no. 101 (express) at Seogwipo intercity bus terminal & stop at 'Seongsan Transit

    Center' (7 stops, 1 hour) → transfer to bus no. 211, 212 or 721-2 & stop at ‘Ilchulbong Entrance’ (4 stops, 7 min.) → walk for about 5 min. (341m)


      [Seongsan-Ojo Geo-food]

 


SeongSan Ilchulbong Peak Muffin


When hot magma meets with cold seawater, a massive explosion erupts. Any rocks nearby are broken and finely ground, which was how SeongSan Ilchulbong Peak was formed. The birth of this spectacular volcano is represented in a muffin, with Jeju’s rich green tea representing the lava. Delicious!





 



2. Field Stone Walls (Bat-dam) and Bille Road on top of the cave – Gimnyeong-Woljeong Geological Trail

 

This is a hiking course where you can see the life and the culture of the people who live beside the blue ocean of Gimnyeong and Woljeong, along with the Bat-dam (field walls) and harsh Bille (hardened rocky land created by the running lava). There are many caves featured along the hike such as Manjanggul, Gimnyeonggul, Yongcheon and Dangcheomul Caves, and many that are yet to be explored. The locals are actually living above the caves while cultivating the field.
The field walls and Bille road provide an amazingly picturesque view. The field walls, built with basalt, are especially considered a work of art, with their aesthetically curved lines.  
This trail opened in October 2014, and it takes about 5 to 6 hours if you walk slowly.

 


  · Distance: 14.6km (4~5 hours)

  · Course



  · Getting to the starting point from Jeju city: Take bus no. 101 (express) at Jeju international airport or Jeju bus terminal & stop at ‘Gimnyeong

    Transit Center’ (11 stops, 54 min.) →  walk for about 8 min. (567m)

  · Getting to the starting point from Seogwipo city: Take bus no. 101 (express) or 201 at Seogwipo intercity bus terminal & stop at  'Gimnyeong

    Transit Center' (10 stops, 1.5 hrs) → walk for about 8 min. (550m)



3. Sanbangsan Mountain-Yongmeori Coast Geological Trail – a road that contains 800000 years of history of the Earth


 



 

There are two courses open for Sanbangsan Mountain-Yongmeori Coast Geo-trail. Course A (13.2 km) includes a route where you begin from Yongmeori Coast, through to Seolkumbadang, Hyeongje Caost Observatory, and Dansan Oreu. Course B (10km) starts from Yongmeori Coast, then loops around Sanbangsan Mountain and Hwasun Gotwajal, to Hwasun Golden Sand Beach.
Both courses begin at the parking lot of Yongmeori Coast, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Sanbangsan Mountain, Yongmeori Coast area, Hyeongjeseom Island, and Marado Island. The Hyeongje Coastal Road of Course A leads to Songaksan Mountain, where people of the Joseon Dynasty would carry earthenware by raft. This road was chosen amongst the top 100 views in Korea.

 


 · A Course: 14.5km (4.5 hours)


 · B Course: 14.4km (4.5 hours)


 · Getting to the starting point from Jeju city: Take bus No. 251 at Jeju bus terminal & stop at 'Sagye-ri dongdong' (45 stops, 1.2 hrs.)

    → walk for about 6 min. (372m)

 · Getting to the starting point from Seogwipo city: Take bus no. 202 at Seogwipo bus terminal & stop at 'Sagye-ri dongdong'

   (35 stops, 42 min.) → walk for about 6 min. (372m)


[Sanbangsan Mountain-Yongmeori Coast Geo-food]

YongMeoRi Tuff Ring

Stratum Castella

 

HaMoRi Stratum Volcanic

Bomb Cookie

 

HaMoRi Stratum T

Tot Cookie

 

SeoGwiPo Stratum Shell

Fossil Madeleine

 

MelChaRong Lunchbox



 


 


 


 


SanBang Mountain

Lava Dome Pasta

 

SeolKumBaDang NuRuk

Bille Rice Ball

 

SeolKumBaDang Sherbet


 

Tumulus Yoghurt


 

 


 


 


 


 

 



4. The pure Jeju of 18,000 years – Suwolbong Peak Geo-Trail

   

 

An unexplored region opens itself up to you once you reach the end of the cliff under Suwolbong Peak. This 1.5km cliff provides an ancient view of the island. For 18,000 years, the cliff is evidence of the volcanic eruptions that once rocked the Island. Strolling around Suwolbong Eongalgil (the word Eongal, in Jeju dilalect, literally means a cliff and Eongalgil refers to a trail or a road underneath the cliff), you will be in absolute amazement of how beautifully the volcanic landscape and the crystal blue ocean blend in with each other. At sunset, the volcanic ash strata that was created 18,000 years ago, turns to a golden color as each layer is hit by the setting sun.  

Suwolbong Geo-Trail opened in April 2014. There are three trails which include A Course (4.6km) that goes through Chagwido Port and Suwolbong Peak, B Course (3.2km) that circulates around Dangsanbong Peak from Chagwipodo Port, and C Course (takes 1 hour) in which you need to go into Chagwido Island and walk around the entire island. Chagwido Island is a deserted island and you will need to go there by ship, but you will know it was definitely worth the effort once you catch sight of the precipitous cliff and strange geological formations such as Janggunbawi Rock.

 


 · A Course (Eongal-gil Trail): 4.6km (1.5 hours)



 · B Course (Dangsanbong Dulle-gil): 3.2km (1 hour)



 ​· C Course (Chagwido Island Trail): 3.2km (1 hour)


 · Getting to the starting point from Jeju city: Take bus no. 102 at Jeju international airport & stop at 'Gosan Transit Center' (9 stops, 1.1 hours)

   →  walk for about 25 min. (1.6km)

 · Getting to the starting point from Seogwipo city: Take bus No. 202 at Seogwipo intercity bus terminal & stop at 'Gosan Transit Center'

   (57 stops, 1.1 hrs.) →  walk for about 25 min. (1.6km) 


   [Suwolbong Peak Geo-food]

Man Nyeon Pork Cutlet


 

GweNeGiTo Noodles


 

Suwolbong Peak Potato

Soboro Bread


 


 



  [How to enjoy the Geo-Trails 100 times more]


1. Geo-food – foods that resemble the geological stratum of Jeju Island

Geo-foods are local foods that are made with local ingredients based on the geological features and the cultures of Jeju Island. Bibimbap that resemble the field walls, noodles that look like Dojje, Castella that looks like the geological stratum along the ocean, and the muffins that resemble Seongsan Ilchulbong are some of the menu items that were selected from a contest. You will enjoy looking at these foods as much as eating them!

 

2. Fall Geo Festival

The Geo Festival takes place for 3 days on all Geo trail courses every November. Along with the Geo-Tail walking festival, you can enjoy watching the Haenyeos’ diving, explore the underwater geological features, and eat delicious geo-foods.

  


 [What you need to know about Geological Trails]


1. Geological Trail Signs

Unless you are there during the festivals, people usually walk along the trails on their own. It is therefore important to understand the ribbons and other signs, so you do not get lost. If you do not see the signs along the way or think you may have lost your way, go back to the place where you last saw a sign in order to get back on track. It is especially important to look at the signs at crossroads.

   


2. Checklist for walking the Geo-Trails
​· Sneakers: all you need is a durable pair of sneakers or running shoes for walking
​· Water and light snacks: Although there are a lot of different geo-foods along the Sangangsan/Yongmeori Coast Course, other courses do not have them so it is good to be prepared with water and light snacks.
​· Sunscreen and a basic emergency kit (bandage, gauze, pain reliever, etc.)


3. Where to get information about the trails offline
Jeju International Airport Tourist Information Center, Jeju Welcome Center, Jungmun Tourist Complex, Seogwipo Tourist Information Center, Seongsan Ilchulbong Information Office, Gimnyeong Aulim Center, Sanbangsan/Yongmeori Coast Tourist Information Center, Woljeongri/Ojori Office, and other main tourist information centers


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