Jeju is known as a summer destination with its beaches, coast and glorious countryside, but the winter holds many attractions, too. In fact, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province wants to make Jeju a winter wonderland by promoting winter hiking, ice skating, sledding, and even skiing. There are many options available and The Jeju Weekly has the choicest cuts for your winter pleasure.
With summer being so hot, many riders prefer winter riding when Mt. Halla and - if you’re lucky - the oreum are dusted with snow.
Jeju horse riding park: This is the biggest horse-riding park in Korea over 1 million square meters and you can ride the Hallama, Jeju’s native breed.
Intermediate and advanced: (At least two riders must ride for a minimum of 1.5 hrs.) Four and over: 120,000 won/Less than four: 150,000 won
When: Tues.-Sun., 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Where: 152-1, Nokgome-gil, Aewol-eup, Jeju City
Contact: 064-799-9540Web: jhrp.net
Ttarabi Riding Club: A day pass for beginners here is 100,000 won and includes two 1-hour lessons (one morning, one afternoon) and one hour’s free riding after the second lesson.
For intermediate and advanced riders, 100,000 won gives you 1 hour of grassland horse riding with a professional guide.
When: Weds.-Mon., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: 3149-33, Gasi-ri, Pyoseon-myeon, Seogwipo city
The highlight of the festivities is the Mt. Halla Winter Festival at Eorimok Square. A variety of sports and events will be held including skiing, photos and ice carving, ice slides, and Korean folk games. Foreign participants will also be given the opportunity to receive free souvenirs and Jeju guide books. Jeju Tourism Organization will also provide a free shuttle bus to the event.
Dates: Weekends between Dec. 21 - Jan. 26
Time: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Where: Mt. Halla (Eorimok)
Mt. Halla Shuttle Bus Service Route
Tourist Information Center (Tapdong)⇨Tourist Information Center (Yongduam)⇨Tourist Information Center (Bus Terminal)⇨Jeju Airport
Gate No. 5⇨Tourist Information Center (Shin Jeju Baojian St.)⇨Eorimok Square
For a full shuttle bus timetable, visit jejuweekly.com under Culture>Festivals
Mt. Halla is not normally open at night. However, for a few hours around midnight on New Year’s Eve, hikers are allowed to scale the dormant volcano to see in the new year. There will also be some winter events hosted by Jeju Tourism Organization. It is truly a unique experience.
Where: Seongpanak and Gwaneumsa trail.
When: Starts at midnight New Year’s Eve/Day, Dec. 31/Jan. 1
Contact: 064-725-9950/064- 756 9950
The penguin swim at Jungmun has become something of an annual tradition and people will gather at Jungmun Saekdal Beach - no registration needed - and dive into the wintry waters.There will be various programs planned such as balloon flying and a ssireum (Korean wrestling) competition.
When: Sat., Jan. 4, 9:30-12:30
Where: Jungmun Saekdal Beach, Andeok-myeon
The iconic place to see in the first sunrise of the new year is Seongsan Ilchulbong. From Dec. 30 to Jan. 1, the Seongsan Ilchul Festival will include fireworks, performances, festival foods and drinks to warm your cockles. On Jan. 1, crowds will ascend the castle-like peak..
On the 516 between Jeju and Seogwipo, every year the fields of horse pasture on Mt. Halla open to the public when the snows are deep enough to facilitate sledding.
Where: San 14-17, Yonggang-dong, Jeju
When: Sledding is only safe after heavy snow and in daylight hours
Sled rental: 3,000 won per hour
Gamgyul “experiences” are all over the island, but the best - as per the mandarins - are down south. At Jeju Agriculture Ecology Park you can eat as much as you can and take home around 1 k.g. for only 3,000 won.
When: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed 12-1 p.m. for lunch) (Available until the harvest end in January)
Where: Jungsangandongno 7413, Namwon-eup, Seogwipo City
Tickets: 3,000 won
Note: Large groups must make a reservation.
▲ Photo by Douglas MacDonald
Outdoor bathing in winter? Yes. In fact, it is the best time of the year for it. The hot herbal, sea or just plain mineral waters relieve your body and mind.
Haemian Seawater Sauna
Where: 338-1 Oedo 2-dong, Jeju City, 064-713-2715
When: 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Tickets: Adults, 7,000won; Children, 3,000 won
Sanbangsan Hot Spring
Where: 981, Sagye-ri, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo City, 064-792-8300
When: Indoor hot spring: 5 a.m. - 12 a.m./Outdoor hot spring: 11 a.m. ~ 11 p.m.
Camelia Hill includes the camellia arboretum, theme garden and trail, ecological pond, gallery and accommodation.
Where: 271, Sangchang-ri, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo City
When: 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. during winter. (Open until 7 p.m. in summer.)
Tickets: Adults, 7,000 won; teenagers, 5,000 won; primary, 4,000 won
This is also referred to as ‘Camellia Hill’ but its actual title is Dongbaekdongsan, in Jocheon-eup. It was selected as an ecotourism destination this year and designated as a Ramsar wetlands site last May.
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