Jeju-do is clearly South Korea’s most beautiful island and refutably one of the best in the world. It has practically everything that vacationers could hope to see and experience in their next island destination. Jeju-do is home to Korea’s highest peak (Mount Halla), most exotic land formations such as the Jusangjeolli Cliffs, majestic waterfalls, the world’s largest known lava column (inside Manjanggul Cave), lush botanic gardens, and a number of pristine beaches. Since Jeju-do is an isolated island, it is bound to be bordered by many beaches. Located in the Korean Strait just below mainland South Korea, Jeju-do beaches are among the best in Asia. The only reason why they are not as popular as they should is that they are overshadowed by the many spectacular attractions in the island.
Perhaps the most popular beach in Jeju-do is Jungmun Beach (or Jungmun Saekdal Beach), which is famous for its fine white sands. The beach is located within the Jungmun Tourist Complex in Seogwipo, the island’s second major city next to the capital city of Jeju City. Jungmun Beach’s sands have three unique components other than its blinding beauty and perfect texture beneath one’s feet. The white sands are actually a comingling of different sands, which include black, grey and red sands. Within the sands are black Hyeonmuam Stones that are unique in the island; and three, the sands are about 1.2 meters deep. Locals call the beach “Jinmosal” to refer to the quality of its sands. Near the 560-meter long Jungmun Beach are other island attractions such as Haesikgul Cave, cliffs, unique rock formations and springs. It is also known for offering an array of water sports.
Another leading Jeju beach is Hamdeok Beach (or Hamdeok Seowoobong Beach). Local and foreign tourists enjoy frolicking in this beach not only for the allure of nature but also for the delicious sea foods served hot and fresh, safety of the area, and convenience facilities such as a camping ground, restaurants, food joints, drinking fountains, dressing rooms, showers, restrooms and a wide parking area in the beach. The beach is also popular for windsurfing, the lighted fishing boats at night, a nearby watermelon field and a 500-meter sand dune between the facilities and the beach area. Hamdeok Beach is about an hour away from Jeju City by bus and a bit farther from Seogwipo.
A third widely known beach is Hyeopjae Beach, which is very near the equally-popular Hallim Park. Most Korean families on an excursion visit Hyeopjae Beach, and the kids’ favorite pass time is picking up the so many white shells that get washed ashore. The shells actually make the sands more interesting as they get stepped on and pulverized to tiny powdery pieces. The fine white sands of Hyeopjae Beach are actually sands and sea shells. Coupled with the cobalt blue sea and the surrounding lush greenery, visitors get a perfect picture of paradise. Major island attractions nearby are Hyeopjaegul Cave, Ssangyonggul Cave, Hanrim Park, and the iconic Mount Halla (or Halla-san).
Other alluring beaches that promise paradisiacal relaxation to visitors are Iho Beach (best known for its gray and yellow sands), Hwasun Beach (a lesser known beach but well known to be very windy and relaxing), Geumneung Beach (200 meters long), Samyang Black Sand Beach (best known for its volcanic basalt sands that are supposed to be therapeutic), Shinyang Beach (popular among windsurfers) and Hamo Beach. These Jeju-do beaches are not arranged in any particular order. It is difficult to rank them from prettiest to the least pretty since they have unique characteristics of their own. In the first place, there is no such thing as an unattractive attraction, and that is truer of no place than Jeju-do.