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Jeju's Olle Trails reviewed and rated. Which one is the best?
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승인 2017.09.19  11:29:55
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Walking past Mt. Sanbangsan. Photo courtesy Kang Yong-ho

Unsure about which Olle Trail to walk next? Perhaps you are only on Jeju for a couple of days and only have time for one or two trails?

Well, if you are unsure about which trail to hike, then we are here to help!

Back in 2011, The Jeju Weekly reviewed all the island's Olle Trails. (at the time there were only 24).

This article is a full list of all those reviews. It shows you a quick snippet of each review as well as the overall rating that was given to the trail. Simply click on the link to the individual trail to find out more information.

How were the trails were evaluated?

Firstly, these reviews are the opinion of just one person. However, as Steve Oberhauser had walked every single one of the trails when he wrote the reviews, we beleive he was very well qualified to rate all the trails.

The trails were given a score out of five in the following ten categories:

  • Natural scenery and landscape
  • Conditions of the trail
  • Environmental damage/lack of footprint on the area
  • Bilingual opportunities
  • Crowd control/compared to how many people are using the trail
  • Facilities around the area
  • Improvements
  • Park planning/architecture
  • Short-term impression factor
  • Long-term impression factor

This gave each trail a score out of fifty. The highest ranked trail on our list scored a massive 49.5, while the lowest ranked trail only scored 30 out of 50.

Which is the best Olle Trail?

Again, the best will depend on what exactly you are after on a trail. Some of them are full of oreums, some go past the island's most famous sights, while others take you deep into gotjawal forests, or past beautiful beaches. However, according to our list, the top five Olle Trails are:

1. Olle Trail 14.1: Gotjawal forest and green tea fields.

2: Olle Trail 6: A hike past some of Jeju's most famous sights.

3. Olle Trail 18.1: The Olle Trail on Chuja Island.

4. Olle Trail 10: Four different oreum.

5. Olle Trail 9: A look at the island's different terrain.

Here is the full list of the Olle Trails. Simply click on the link for a full review.

Olle Trail 1: Full Review

Score: 40.5 (10th overall)

What we said:

“While there are constant reminders of modernity around - motorbikes, plastic coverings on gardens, and powered digging equipment - seeing a woman clearing her own field can take a walker back to a simpler time.”

Olle Trail 1-1: Full Review

Score: 36.5 (18th overall)

What we said:

"The course markers on Udo seem to be problematic in parts, perhaps due to overuse. Tourism numbers continue to climb for visits to the island, which reduces reflective time for individuals and small groups during peak season."

Olle Trail 2: Full Review

The Gotjawal in Olle Trail 2. Photo courtesy Jeju Special Self-governing Province

Score: 41.5 (8th overall)

What we said:

"Nature presents itself after descending from Daesusanbong all the way toward the finish at Onpyeong. For a little while, a hiker enters a free-roaming horse area where close encounters are possible."

Olle Trail 3: Full Review

Score: 42 (7th overall)

What we said:

"In Samdal-ri, housed in a converted old elementary school is the gallery for Kim Young Gap, Jeju’s preeminent photographer who passed away in 2005. One of the top 10 highlights for all of Jeju’s Olle trails."

Olle Trail 4: Full Review

Score: 31.0 (23rd overall)

What we said:

"The heavy concentration of tangerine fields provides a detailed look into a Jeju farmer’s life and its main agricultural crop."

Olle Trail 5: Full Review

Score: 32.0 (22nd overall)

What we said:

"As with Course No. 4, there is a lot of pavement walking, more so than all other Olle segments. A lack of strong points on this course signals a weak point."

Olle Trail 6: Full Review

▲ Photo courtesy Steve Oberhauser

Score: 49.0 (2nd overall)

What we said:

"If a person has never been to Jeju before and they walk this course that primarily goes through Seogwipo, they will love Olle and the island."

Olle Trail 7: Full Review

Score: 36.5 (17th overall)

What we said:

"There are numerous short hits, revolving around water, to this course, including Oedolgae, Sokgol, Soegeondo, and the palm tree forest (just above the coastline)."

Olle Trail 7-1: Full Review

Score: 36.0 (19th overall)

What we said:

"There’s a lot of concrete on this trail. Coming out of the city, what else can be expected? There’s not many sites along the way."

Olle Trail 8: Full Review

Score: 40.5 (9th overall)

What we said:

"Variety in small doses is apparent on this course. For lovers of the natural night, the Fireflies Reservation is the place to see lightning bugs in all their glory. Before that, Jungmun Beach is always a stronghold on the south coast."

Olle Trail 9: Full Review

Score: 43.0 (5th overall)

What we said:

"This course, although short, is almost entirely in highlands nature. This is where Olle turns for a different look into the island’s various terrain."

Olle Trail 10: Full Review

Olle Trail with Sanbangsan in the distance. Photo courtesy Kang Yong-ho.

Score: 46.0 (4th overall)

What we said:

"This may be the most action-packed course on the whole network of trails."

Olle Trail 10-1: Full Review

Score: 28.5 (15th overall)

What we said:

"From late winter to early summer is the best time to go to the island because the barley fields are in their full glory. One of the most serene walks, it has a no-rush feel to it."

Olle Trail 11: Full Review

Score: 40.0 (12th overall)

What we said:

"Gotjawal is a front-runner for this course. Although it is only a few kilometers, every step is worth the journey. Many articles have been written in English about Gotjawal and it enriches an experience to have that background knowledge before entering magical land for the first time. "

Olle Trail 12: Full Review

Score: 39.5 (13th overall)

What we said:

"The one-two punch of Suwolbong and Dangsanbong overlooking Chagwido and the other collection of islands can be considered in the running for Jeju’s best natural beauty spot. "

Olle Trail 13: Full Review

▲ Photo courtesy Steve Oberhauser

Score: 37.5 (16th overall)

What we said:

"There are two reasons to walk this trail, the collection of chairs at Nakcheon Village and Jeoji Oreum."

Olle Trail 14: Full Review

Score: 39.0 (14th overall)

What we said:

"This course has an abundance of cactuses, which may be surprising for a newbie of Jeju Island. They flourish in certain parts of this course."

Olle Trail 14-1: Full Review

Score: 49.5 (1st overall)

What we said:

"The minor hits are Mundoji Oreum and O’Sulloc green tea fields. The home run is the long walk through Gotjawal, the pinnacle of nature on Jeju Island. This course reveals Jeju’s best-kept secret to those who do not know; affirmation to those who already do know. Gotjawal is all action, no talk. It is what it is, the best."

Olle Trail 15: Full Review

Score: 35.5 (20th overall)

What we said:

"More of the same with long road segments Olle has to cover to get to the good spots. A bit bland, a bit boring, to say the least."

Olle Trail 16: Full Review

Score: 30.0 (24the overall)

What we said:

"Around Susanbong, there are a few nice offshoot trails, as well as on the backside a person will meet a very old (400 years) Japanese black pine and the Susan Reservoir. This short blip on the course is the place to be."

Olle trail 17: Full Review

Score: 42.5 (6th overall)

What we said:

"See Jeju City in a way, perhaps, never seen before, as it links at least a dozen equally worthwhile sites, delighting all the way. "

Olle Trail 18: Full Review

Score: 34.0 (21st overall)

What we said:

" It does not seem like an Olle course because, once again, this is a fringe course (transitional) heading east out of Jeju City wanting to, but taking too long, to reach the country. "

Olle Trail 18.1: Full Review

Score: 48.5 (3rd overall)

What we said:

"No need to repeat all the superlatives for Chujado. If a potential hiker has a weak stomach, the high-speed ferry to the island is going to be a gamble. Prepare ahead of time for any sea conditions. Even the most harrowing ride over will be a must-do trip to experience this island’s grandeur."

Olle Trail 19: Full Review

Score: 40.0 (11th overall)

What we said:

"All parts of the course south of road 1132 are a complete surprise. Little is know about that stretch of land. It goes through some interesting terrain of tight forest paths and overgrown areas forgotten years ago. "

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