They advertise hiking Mt Hallasan on Jeju Island as the perfect leisurely jaunt for honeymooning couples, so it couldn’t possibly be all that bad could it?
I didn’t realise it at the time, but at almost 2000m Mt Hallasan is actually South Korea’s tallest mountain. On the rare day that there isn’t any cloud at the top, and that the haze has disappeared, Mt Hallasan’s peak can be seen no matter where you are on Jeju Island. Let coming Hiking activities
While there are five hiking trails on the mountain, only two of these will take you all the way up to the extinct volcano’s crater lip; the Seongpanak trail, and the Gwaneumsa trail.
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Despite it’s extra 900m length, the Seongpanak trail is by far the most popular of the two, due to its milder incline. Regardless, all reports pointed towards the 8.7km Gwaneumsa trail as being the most picturesque of the two and for that reason alone we decided to give it a crack!
We were staying in the Jeju Ecosuites on the southern side of the island, so it was a little bit of a drive to get to the trailhead. Considering how good the accommodation was we didn’t mind at all though!
Leaving our hire car in the massive car park at the Gwaneumsa Temple trail head (be prepared to pay a small fee), we made use of the facilities before commencing what was to be one of the most epic 8hr treks we’ve attempted of all time!
Eight hours and one ridiculously rooted knee later and we returned to the carpark. It was a sensational hike, but I really should have done a little bit more preparation to harden up the body.
On driving away we noticed that there were quite a few taxis parked at Gwaneumsa. It turns out that the best itinerary is to actually walk in on the Seongpanak trail, and then to leave via the Gwaneumsa, ensuring you get the best of both worlds and returning to the Seongpanak trailhead (and your parked car) by taxi.
I’d definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to explore the mountain. It was tough, but we loved it. Best of all though was the many beers that were drunk in the spa on our return to our accommodation at Jeju Ecosuites!
We found Seogwipo to be the perfect base to explore Jeju Island, and the Jeju Ecosuites provided a really quirky yet comfortable oasis away from the madness. You really should check them out here on Booking.com and see what you think!
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