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1. Seongsan Ilchulbong, your destination in volcanic Jeju (Top 10 M...



 

Seongsan Ilchulbong, a commanding structure naturally formed over 5,000 years, is one of Jeju Island’s top tourist destinations. On a fine day, the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong provides an unparalleled panoramic view of Udo Island and the famous Oreums of Eastern Jeju. However, with everything Seongsan Ilchulbong has to offer, there is one thing that is a major drawcard - the view of Jeju’s exquisite sunrise. In fact, this sunrise view from Seongsan Ilchulbong’s peak is listed number one on Jeju’s Top 10 scenic destinations.

 


 

Lose yourself in Seongsan Ilchulbong’s ancient landscape


The unusual landforms naturally created by volcanic activity are features unique to Jeju Island. Hallasan Mountain is known to have the largest amount of Oreums in the world—368 such parasitic volcanos in all, to be exact, providing a sense of awe to the geographical landscape of Jeju. Among so many Oreums, Seongsan Ilchulbong is one of the most unique, and it is similar in how Surtsey, an Icelandic oreum born in 1963, was formed. Just like Surtsey, Seongsan Ilchulbong originally had a rounded top when the first underwater eruption occurred some 5,000 years ago, but as the area where the oreum meets the ocean continued to be eroded by the crashing waves, it formed the bowl shape you see today. According to geologists, Seongsan Ilchulbong is the third youngest volcanic edifice on Jeju. The youngest volcanic edifice? You might be surprised to find that it is Baengnokdam Crater Lake, on top of Hallasan Mountain, at 2500 years old, followed by Songaksan Oreum at 3500 years old.  

 


 

 

Black granulated lava and the haenyeos’ diving show are an additional bonus!


When you come down from Seongsan Ilchulbong and walk through the rear of the parking lot, you find a waterfront that leads all the way to Gwangchigi Beach. The waterfront is not covered with fine, black sand or the commonly seen basalt of Jeju, but rather what appears to be small, black grains. It turns out, however, that these little grains are actually a type of basalt as well, known as basaltic magma. It is created when the magma erupts from the ground and creates a round volcanic cone. However, since Seongsan Ilchulbong is located near the ocean, the magma forming the cone became little grains when the lava reacted with water.

Udo Island, Dusanbong, Yongmeori Beach, Songaksan Oreum, and Gunsan Oreum also have this basaltic magma, so be sure to notice what is right underneath your shoes when you are traveling these areas.


Seongsan Ilchulbong’s Wartime History


Almost all of the Oreums in Jeju Island have cave fortifications that Japanese Forces used towards the end of the Pacific War. They tried to use Jeju Island as a resistance base. There are a few remnants of that time remaining on the Island, including at Seongsan Ilchulbong. The cave that is by the waterfront behind the parking area once served as a hangar to keep small, one-man boats used for kamikaze missions.

 

 



· Admission Fees: Adults 5,000 won, Youths & Children 2,500 won

· Location: 284-12, Ilchul-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si (see the map)

 


[How to enjoy Seongsan Ilchulbong 100 times more]

 

1. ‘Seongsan Sunrise Festival’, 3 days, Dec 30-Jan 1

This annual festival takes place near Seongsan Ilchulbong for 3 days over the New Year period.  The festival consists of traditional events that are only found in Jeju Island such as sheaf burning and fireworks.

 


2. The Haenyeo Diving performance at Seongsan Ilchulbong Umutkkae Beach

Here, you can see how the world heritage Haenyeos dive, as well as take pictures with them. Their performance includes not only diving, but the singing their traditional songs, something very special and unique to this area. The event is free.

 



 · Venue: Under the right side of the stairs after you pass the ticketing booth of Seongsan Ilchulbong (you will see the sign that says Haenyeo Diving Performance)

 · Date and time: Open year round, twice a day from 1:30-2:30 pm and 3:00 – 4:00 pm

 


3. Seongsan Sunrise from Gwangchigi Beach

To see the sunrise from behind Seongsan Ilchulbong, visit Gwangchigi Beach that is right by Seongsan Ilchulbong. You can get both Seongsan Ilchulbong and the rising sun in your photo.


      

4. Seongsan-Ojo Geo Trail

The Geo Trail, opened in 2015, goes around Seongsan Ilchulbong at the far eastern side of Jeju. This is a trail where the volcano and the ocean, people’s stories from all over the world, and the precious Jeju scenery all meet. The trail is unique in that it begins from Seongsan Ilchulbong. The total distance is 7.1km and takes about 3 hours on foot (an additionional 1.2km applies if you are hiking Seongsan Ilchulbong) 

  

 

5. Jeju Olle Route 2

Starting from Gwangchigi Beach, this 14.8km course goes around Ojori Town, leading to Onpyeonri Town. The Ojori Town course often overlaps with Seongsan-Ojo Geo Trail. It takes about 4 to 5 hours to complete the walk.

 

Click here to see the details on Jeju Olle Route 2

· Photo by JTO


Getting Here

 From Jeju Bus Terminal

   1. Take bus No. 110-1 (express bus) → stop at "Seongsan Ilchulbong Entrance" station (8 stops, 1 hr 2 min.) → walk for about 4 min. (280m)

   2. Take bus No. 210-1 → stop at "Seongsan Ilchulbong Entrance" station (49 stops, 1 hr 21 min.) → walk for about 4 min. (280m)


 From Seogwipo Bus Terminal

   1. Take bus No. 101→ stop at "Seongsan Transit Center" (7 stops, 1 hr) → transfer to bus No. 205, 210-1, 210-2 or 721-2 & stop at "Seongsan Ilchulbong Entrance" station (4 stops, 7 min.) → walk for about 4 min. (280m)

   2. Take bus No. 201→ stop at "Seongsan Ilchulbong Entrance" station (95 stops, 1 hr 50 min.) → walk for about 4 min. (280m)

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