Best Spring Jeju Olle Trail Hike Recommended by Thru-Hikers
Cope with COVID-19 depression and bring vitality to your life back with spring flowers on the trail
Jeju Bonus Store throws a spring promotion presenting the Jeju Olle Plants
Yellow canola flowers decorating the black stone walls, fully bloomed cherry blossoms filling the streets, and trails embroidered with wild flowers welcoming the footsteps of visitors mark the arrival of spring, the best season for hiking trails. According to a recent report by the Korea Tourism Organization, walking trails are selected as the safest non-contact travel destination and the best outdoor tourist destination (50.4%) amid COVID-19. Respondents tend to prefer visiting walking trails over parks (42.5%), mountains (34.5%), beaches (33.8%), and camping sites (20.3%).
The Most Beloved Routes of Jeju Olle Trail Selected by Jeju Olle Thru-Hikers.
If you wonder which routes to choose for spring hike among 26 routes of Jeju Olle Trail, the most visited walking trail in Korea last year, refer to the following route recommendations made by Jeju Olle thru-hikers, who completed the 425-kilometer long trail consisting of 26 routes. According to Jeju Olle thru-hikers, the best routes are Route 7 (35.8%), Route 10 (32.3%) and Route 18-1 (24.6%).
Route 10 starts from Hwasun Beach and continues to Hamo Sports Park in Moseulpo. The route displays Jeju Island’s history during the Japanese occupation and sites relevant to the April 3rd Massacre. Beautiful and meaningful at all times, its beauty particularly shines the most in the spring. The yellow canola flower fields by Sanbangsan Mountain and green vegetables in harmony with the black basalt stonewalls by Altteureu Airfield are the most outstanding spring view on the Jeju Olle Route 10.
Route 7 passes Oedolgae, Sammaebong, Beophwan Port, and Gangjeong village. It starts at the Jeju Olle Tourist Center and finishes at Wolpyeong village. This route boasts the island’s most magnificent coastal view. During the spring season, canola flowers and wild radish flowers are found almost everywhere on the route and royal azalea flowers and camellia flowers blooming in villages announce transition of the two seasons.
Route 18-1, also known as “Best Jeju Olle Route to Hike before You Die”, explores every corner of Chuja-do. The route reflects both Jeju Island and mainland Korea culture in addition to a spectacular view of wide canola flower fields as shiny as sunlight reflected off the Ocean.
Enjoy the Spring Bloom and Taste of Spring Greens
Natural flower gardens are not only on these favorite routes: they can be found at different sites across Jeju. Cherry blossoms along the Dodu-bong (peak) walkaway on Jeju Olle Route 17, the strong scent of white daphne in the Gotjawal forest on Jeju Olle Route 11 and Route 14-1, and wild flowers on oreums on each route, including Al-Oreum on Jeju Olle Trail Route 1. These are the spring flowers cheering the steps of Jeju Olle hikers. Spring greens, such as shepherd's purse, wild chive, and bracken, on the dining tables of Jeju are the special gifts on the trail delivering local taste to hikers.
Seasonal taste can also be found in coastal paths. Top shells are commonly caught at any coast with stretching broad and flat rocks. Particularly, seafood such as top shells and turban shells are in their best condition to be cooked in spring tides of March. There is no need to be greedy to catch turban shells and octopus which are the women divers’ main means of living. Rather, just catch enough top shells and mini crabs for a meal of the day. “Recently, serious damages have been caused to fishermen in Jeju due to illegal seafood collection. Even though catching seafood may be a valuable experience, remind yourself that any products from the land and sea are directly related to the residents’ living. Only catch a small amount enough for a sample taste”, says Myung Sook Suh, chairwoman of Jeju Olle Foundation.
Picking seasonal greens or catching seafood isn’t the only way to experience the spring taste of Jeju. Trying traditional foods cooked with seasonal ingredients is an essential part in on-foot travel. In spring, local restaurants offer porridge or noodle soups with top shells as part of their seasonal menu. Arginine and tryptophan in top shells stabilize the autonomic nervous system and help prevent depression as well as spring fatigue. Tilefish is at its best in spring which is its spawning season. Grilled tilefish and braised tilefish are typical traditional food due to its sweetness. It is worth trying tilefish radish soup or tilefish seaweed soup cooked with freshly caught tilefish. Jeju Olle Trail Route 4 and 5 pass Namwon which is famous for tilefish. In late spring, just before the summer, damselfish is one local specialty that you should not miss. Bomok-pogu (port), where Jeju Olle Trail Route 6 passes, is famous for cold raw damselfish soup and Moseulpo, where Jeju Olle Trail Route 11 starts, is known for grilled damselfish.
Each of the 26 routes of the 425-kilometer long Jeju Olle Trail connects the coasts of Jeju and has its own unique charms. However, spring charms and tastes can only be experienced now in the spring. Forget about COVID-19 and leave on-foot on a Jeju Olle Trail. The Jeju Olle Foundation also offers a spring promotion at the Jeju Bonus Store across from Jeju Olle Tourist Center. “Jeju Olle Plants”, a booklet with stories of wild flowers and plants on the trail will be gifted with any purchase above 50,000KRW during April and May.
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Jeju Olle Foundation l Marketing & PR Division
Youmi Baek l Manager
Jeong Seon Lee