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Winter fun on Jeju Island

Winter fun on Jeju Island

Winter is already here and it is getting colder and colder with each passing day. It won’t be long before a halo of snow is upon the peak of Hallasan.258426_159803_0832

That doesn’t mean you have to hide indoors under thick blankets and hibernate until the tress start sprouting new buds. However, as there are still numerous outdoor activities to keep you warm and active throughout the colder months (which will be really really cold), I promise you. Surprisingly, many tourists visit Jeju Island over winter specifically to enjoy its seasonal delights it offers, such as the snowcapped Hallasan and the winter landscapes that the rest of Korea can’t compete with. If the cold is a problem, then warm yourself up with some thrilling sledding, horseriding, walking and hiking. There are also fewer tourists running about, so you can have more of those solitary and perhaps zen like  moments out in the Jeju countryside.

Here are the best options for the wintry months from December to February.

Jeju Snow World festival and shuttle bus

Every year up at Eorimok Square, The Jeju Tourism Organization organizes a winter bonanza of winter sports and Korean culture experiences. The Jeju Snow World festival runs on weekends from Christmas Day to the end of January and includes a free shuttle bus bringing visitors to and from the city center.5016_8777_131


When: Weekends Dec 25th – Jan 31st

Where: 10am-4pm at Eorimok Square, San 220-1 Haean-dong, Jeju-si

Skiing, sledding, Korean food corner, games, souvenirs and more.

Shuttle bus:

There will be a shuttle bus running between the festival site and Jeju City. Check out the route and timeable at the Jeju Tourism Organization site.

Mt. Hallasan New Year hiking

Where: Seongpanak Trails

When: Midnight on New Year’s Eve

A specialNew Year’s Eve only experience, hikers are allowed to ascend Mt. Hallasan at night to welcome the new year in. Around midnight, walkers can ascend the dormant volcano for a uniquely different experience. The Jeju Tourism Organization will also be holding some celebratory events.

Horse riding:

It is not the first thing that comes to mind as a winter activity, but Jeju’s winter landscapes are even more beautiful while riding atop a beautiful bucking horse.5G9B6617

Jeju Horse Riding Park:

Where: 152-1, Nokgome-gil, Aewol-eup, Jeju City


When: Tues-Sun, 9am – 6pm

At over 1 million square meters, this is easily biggest horse riding park in all of Korea. You can also ride the Hallama, Jeju’s native breed. Worth your time and money.

Beginners: From 30,000 won (20mins) to 100,000 won (1hr 10mins)

Intermediate/Advanced: From 150,000 won (1.5hrs) to 200,000 won (2hrs)

Outdoor bathing:

Despite the severe cold chill, this is the optimal time for outdoor bathing and the hot herbal and sea waters to relieve your body and mind of all the impurities and badness. Watch the steam rise off the water and your skin as you look out across Jeju’s rural southwest. (expect awesome nature scene)제주산방산_탄산온천

Sanbangsan Tansan Hot Spring

Where: 192 Sagyebuk-ro 41-beongil, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si / 064-792 8300

When: Indoor hot spring: 6am – 12am

Outdoor hot spring: 11am ~ 11pm

Adults: 11,000 won

Children: 3-8,000 won

(Open-air bathing 3,000 won extra.)

22nd Seongsan Ilchul Sunrise Festival081225_p9_welcome1

Where: Seongsan Ilchulbong, Seongsan-ri, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo City

When: Dec 31st (Wed) to Jan 1st (Fri)

The most iconic location to take in the very first sunrise of the new year is none other than Seongsan Ilchulbong. From Dec 31st to Jan 1st, the Seongsan Ilchul Festival will have fireworks, performances, festival foods and drinks to warm your chilly bones. On Jan 1st, crowds of people will ascend the castle-like peak to see in the first sunrise of the year.

17th Seogwipo Penguin Swim146paenggwinsuyeongdaehoe

Where: Jungmun Saekdal Beach, 3039 Saekdal-dong, Seogwipo-si

When: 9:30am to 12pm, Saturday, Jan 2, 2016

Dive head on into the freezing winter waters and brave the cold with plenty the locals! Other events include traditional wrestling, musical performances, raffles and free winter snacks to munch on.

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