▲ Olle trail in the hills of Mongolia Photo courtesy Jeju Olle
An "olle" was originally a Jeju word for the narrow path leading from a house to the street. Since 2006, it has taken on another meaning altogether.
Olle Trails are a series of extensive walking and hiking paths that cover Jeju. Founder and Jeju native Suh Myoung-suk was inspired to develop these trails after walking the “Camino de Santiago”, or Way of St. James, in Spain.
The Jeju Olle Foundation will open its newest sister trails in Mongolia on June 18 and 19 after an agreement was reached between the Jeju Tourism Organization, the Ulaanbaatar tourism board, and the Mongolian capital’s tourism agency association.
The trails - both in the vicinity of Ulaanbaatar - are 14.5 and 11 kilometers respectively.
The longer 14.5 km trail takes walkers through a traditional yurt tent village near the city before returning through a forest path to give walkers a taste of both Mongolian culture and nature.
The shorter 11 km trail includes an overnight stay in a yurt tent in Terelj National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors will be able to see firsthand Mongolian herding culture with yaks and horses.
Representatives for the Mongolian trails have visited Jeju to receiving training to create the famous Jeju “ganse” pony symbol and colored ribbons as trail markers.
The Jeju Olle Foundation is helping to develop the trail routes, and produce manuals and trail facilities. The Jeju Tourism Organization is also helping to promote and fund the project.
There are plans to add two more trails to the Mongol network by 2019. Trail organizers hope that the partnership helps to boost travel and cultural exchange between Mongolia and Jeju.
The Jeju Olle Foundation has teamed up with travel agency Pongnang to organize four-night, five-day treks in the land of Genghis Khan in order to coincide with the opening of the Mongolian trails in June.
The deal includes a return direct flight from Jeju Island to Ulaanbaatar with Jeju Olle staff and supporters. For further details visit jejuolle.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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