Jeju Olle is a series of walking courses that together trail around Jeju and nearby islands. As of January 2013 there are 26 paths. The icon of a Jeju pony, “Ganse” in Korean, acts as a guide along with blue and orange ribbons that help travelers find their way.
Starting Point: Onpyeong Port
Finishing Point: Pyoseon Haevichi Beach
Distance: 20.7 km
Estimated Walking Time: 6-7 Hours
Scenery: Farms, Oreum (volcanic cones), Coast, Forest
Main Sights:Tong Oreum, Dojka bong, Gallery of Kim Young-gap, Bada Mokjang farm
From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take the East Coast Line to Onpyeong-ri and walk towards the ocean for 10 minutes.
To get back from the end point, walk into the parking lot Jeju Folk Village Museum behind the Olle trailer at the finishing point. There is a bus that comes every 20 minutes.
This course does not have many bathroom facilities or places to purchase drinks or food. It is recommended to bring extra water and snacks or lunch.
We have often heard the Olle referred to as having powers of healing. While for the most part we do not believe in those kind of mystic powers, we usually find ourselves anxious to get back on the Olle path by Wednesday or Thursday. We hiked this course on Korean Memorial Day, with the pressures of the work week in our minds.
The course starts near a port in a small village. We are always happy to get back to the ocean and enjoyed walking along the coast for a short time before cutting into the farmland.
The path runs gradually uphill towards the two oreum. It was quiet and we enjoyed taking in the farm lands.
The view from Tong Oreum is very good, mostly of farmland and other oreum (volcanic cones).
On the second oreum, the path becomes more like a small forest. The seclusion of the dark added to our overall sensation of being far away from civilization at work.
By the time we got to the first half of the beach it was almost totally dark. We took off our shoes and walked in the sand. We lost the trail for a little while, and ended up crossing through some fields with waist high weeds and almost cut through private property.
After the two oreum, the course goes back to the ocean. We had left late on this particular day and the sun was already getting close to setting. The livestock farm is essentially a large open field with horses. We were surprised to see white birds with the horses, apparently appreciating a symbiotic relationship. We watched the horses grazing and the sun setting while slowly strolling next to the ocean.
We were laughing but happy to find the course again and walk along the coast back to the end point.
The tension of the previous day was gone and we went home mostly not worrying about going to work the next day. It was a typical day on Olle, not exactly magical, but peacefully stress free.