In the summer, a ravishing, tropical landmass that floats at the foot of South Korea, Jeju Island forms one of two points that connect to form the most traveled commercial air route in the world. With its natural beauty, Jeju Korea never lets you forget how it earned its nickname “the Hawaii of Korea.”
- 1 Jeju Island, South Korea
- 2 Outside Jeju City
- 3 A Jeju Island Escape
- 4 The Hidden Coves by Hwasun Beach
- 5 How to Get that Private Beach Feel
- 6 Secret Coves of Jeju Island
- 8 How to Get to the Hidden Beach of Jeju Korea
- 9 Like this post?
- 10 You Might Also Appreciate…
- 11 Any other Jeju Korea favorites?
Jeju Island, South Korea
Imported palm trees line the tiled city centers spangled every shade of Korean beauty, lingerie, or athletic store. We’ve told you about the easy-to-reach Iho Beach of Jeju City, and the best sites in Jeju City to find the Korean cherry blossom trees in the spring. We’ve detailed our experience teaching English abroad and our brush with the Jeju Island winter in the city. But outside the cities is where you hit the heart of Jeju Korea.
Outside Jeju City
Serpentine roads ride along jagged coastal cliffs, the black volcanic rock contrasting majestically with sapphiric jewel sea hues. Every square meter of land in Jeju Korea outside the cities springs forth lush summer greenery, a verdant dream that further compounds the drama of black volcanic rock and sea foam blue-green water. Outside Jeju City is where you’ll find the vibrant green tea fields of O’Sulloc, the massive volcanic mountain and highest point of South Korea known as Hallasan Mountain, the imposing crater of Sunrise Peak (as well as Jeju Island’s best beachy fish and chips restaurant).
It’s also where you’ll find one of the best hidden beaches of Jeju Korea.
A Jeju Island Escape
With its mild weather (relative to mainland Korea), and languorous turquoise waves, Jeju Korea attracts millions of tourists every year. Korean and Chinese tourists stripe Jeju Island’s beaches every summer, and it seems near impossible to enjoy the stunning ocean scenery Jeju has to offer and escape the crowds.
The Hidden Coves by Hwasun Beach
The black sand shores of Hwasun Beach itself don’t bring that much in the way of achieving that classic island escape feeling. It’s a perfectly nice beach, to be sure—a wide sprawl of dark brown/black lined with the red and white stripes of perky beach umbrellas sees its fair share of visitors on a sunny day. Boats, kayaks, and jolly water bikes are easily available for rent, and a miniature water park is built right on the sand, with kid-friendly water slides. Pack a picnic, load up on sunscreen, and you have everything you need for a family-friendly day in the sun at Hwasun Beach.
But you won’t get that private beach feel.
|GET THE LOOK|
How to Get that Private Beach Feel
On a particularly beautiful and sunny Jeju Korea day, we walked through Hwasun Beach, but only so we could reach a restricted area lined by caution tape. Walking over the tape, we met a pile of rubble leftover from a seemingly abandoned construction site on the edge of Hwasun Beach. Climbing the rubble, walking past the eye-sore of the construction site, we emerged into a stunning cove. And the best part? There was no one else there.
Secret Coves of Jeju Island
Climbing down to the coves, we dove head first into the clear water to cool off, enjoying the best Jeju Korea swim we’d had the entire summer. Rich emerald in some parts and breathy turquoise in others, the water hues bounced off the glimmering caramel-colored sand.
Off the water, jet-black volcanic boulders provided some much-needed shade from the powerful afternoon sun. A bottle of sparkling wine (public drinking is perfectly legal in South Korea!) completed the magnificent scene.
The perfect day to spend a romantic summer afternoon on Jeju Island, our rendezvous at this hidden cove off of Hwasun Beach is a wonderful way to capture that island escape feeling. It does require a bit of hiking to get to it, but the pay-off is more than worth it!
Our recommendation? Pack a picnic and enjoy the beach for the day, then walk to the nearby Sanbangsan (mountain temple) for a spectacular sunset!
How to Get to the Hidden Beach of Jeju Korea
The closest bus stop to Hwasun Beach is Hwasun-ri (Hwasun Village).
- From Jeju-si Intercity Bus Terminal: Take the 750-1 or 702 bus to the Hwasun-ri stop.
- From Seogwipo Intercity Bus Terminal: Take the 702 bus to the Hwasun-ri stop.
Once you get off the bus in Hwasun-ri, head downhill towards the ocean. Keep Mount Sanbangsan on your right as you walk downhill. The main part of Hwasun Beach is about a 5-10 minute walk from the Hwasun-ri stop. Once you reach the big Hwasun Beach, keep walking along the beach until you reach the end, past the water slides. At the end of the beach there are cliffs and rocks that you need to walk past as well. This far portion of the beach may be blocked with caution tape due to renovations of the beach—it’s up to you if you want to let it stop you or not.
- If you cross the caution tape, keep walking over the loose rocks at the base of the cliffs for a few minutes, and then you’ll reach the first cove. This cove had some construction materials around it, so we kept walking to the next cove.
- If you choose not to cross the caution tape, you can also take the Olle Trail 10. The second cove we settled into is about a 5-minute walk on Olle Trail 10 in the hills at the far end of the cove. To the right of the caution tape, you’ll see a set of steep stairs leading up to several trees. Climb these steps, and follow the path through the trees until you soon come upon this second cove. If this cove isn’t to your liking, you can walk as long as you like along Olle trail 10 until you find the perfect cove!
Olle Trails are a network of 26 trails that lead around the entire perimeter of Jeju Island. Hwasun Beach is the end of Olle trail 9 and the start of Olle trail 10.
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More Jeju Posts
- At the Foot of Sunrise Peak: Yellow Submarine Guesthouse on Jeju Island
- Spring in Korea: 2 Korean Cherry Blossom Sites in Jeju City
- The Fun (& Wet?) Side of Teaching English Abroad
- O’Sulloc Tea Museum and Green Tea Fields: Jeju Island, South Korea
- Hallasan Mountain: The Ultimate Guide to Hiking South Korea’s Tallest Mountain
- Sand, Sea, and Jeju-Si: Iho Beach on Jeju Island, South Korea
- (Shark?!) for the Soul: Willala Fish and Chips on Jeju Island
- The Jeju Island Winter That Shut Down the “Hawaii of Korea”
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Any other Jeju Korea favorites?
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