Jeju Olle Trails have been the highlight of my last two years. With international travel being limited, I looked inwards to get my travel fix and was not disappointed. The Olle Trails quickly became hands down my favorite thing to do in Korea. Now having finished all 26 trails, I can finally compare them to each other and tell you which are the best. I’ll try to say enough to get you interested but not give away too much. And of course, this is just my opinion, and yours may differ.
#5 – Olle Trail 2
Olle Trail 2 is really the one that set the tone to what I love about the Jeju Olle. You start in Gwangchigi Beach, one of the most crowded spots in all of Jeju. 10 minutes into your hike and you’re in an abandoned fish farm without a soul in sight. The calm lake reflects like a perfect mirror which leads to stunning pictures. There are plenty of surprises from view points to nice villages along the way. Make sure not to miss the fantastic Vietnamese restaurant “Tot Tot” at the end.
#4 – Olle Trail 6
Trail 6 is a great mix of city and nature. On one end is old Seogwipo city, combing through its charming streets and crossing the best marketplace on the island. Then, you’re back to walking along the ocean and catching a glimpse of the female divers, “Haenyeo” doing their thing. The trail is stunning with plenty of picnic opportunities and yummy food options along the way. However, the connection to the Terracotta Army of Xi’an, China, was one thing I definitely did not expect. Olle Trail 6 also ends at Olle HQ, which is a restaurant, a bar, a hostel, and where you have your completion ceremony if you do indeed finish all 26 trails.
#3 – Olle Trail 18
Trail 18 holds a special place for being the last trail I did to complete the set of 26. I also think I went during the perfect spring season, so caught a nice glimpse of cheery blossoms on the mountains. While the nature is great, the murals in the old Jeju City take the show. Countless paintings for kilometers on end would satisfy any street art aficionado. If you approach this trail in the reverse direction, you will finish off at the heart of the old town in Jeju Olle’s very own “Ganse Lounge” serving a number of dishes and beers brewed right on site.
#2 – Olle Trail 12
Trail 12 along with the #1 entry below share a unique characteristic that few other Olle Trails have. They both are also part of the Geo Trails, which are geologically significant parts of Jeju. Trail 12 starts in a farm in the middle of nowhere. We happened to be there during the harvest, which was quite interesting to see. After a small oreum you come across an abandoned building that is both spooky and fascinating at the same time. This trail has it all and it ends its last few kilometers with what I believe to be the most visually stunning part of the entire island of Jeju.
#1 – Olle Trail 8
Olle Trail 8 has it all. If you like beaches, temples, ports, restaurants, mountains, you name it, Trail 8 has got it. A fair warning that this trail is quite long and if you add the site hike to the hexagon columns (highly recommended), it spans over 20km, so you may be best splitting it into two days. If there is a single Olle you do in your trip to Jeju, make it Trail 8.
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