Udo – Jeju Day Trip Island

Question: Which one of Jeju’s surrounding islands is the largest?

-Not Marado, it’s the most southern point of Korea, with only 90 inhabitants, nice guess though!

-It’s Udo 우도 (translated as Cow island, named for its resemblance to a lying cow).

Conveniently situated 3.8 km (2.36 mi) off the south-east coast of Jeju Island, meaning the trip here only takes around 15 minutes by ferry (but more about how to get here later). Udo is so cute and tiny, they say it’s a miniature of Jeju Island. How small is it?

Size: 1 x 1.1km (6.18km squared) .62 x .68 mi (3.82 mi squared)

population: 1752 (inhabiting since 1679!)

Isn’t every island a miniature version of Jeju?

No, Udo boasts fertile soil, abundant schools of fish, and scenic sights (more about that later); as well as local heritages (female divers, stone walls, and stone tombs) as well as other natural attractions. So yea – Jeju’s mini-me 🙂

“According to experts, various land formations and continuous volcanic activity caused the island to rise off the coast of Jeju Island some hundreds of years ago, and the aftermath of this is still visible throughout the island. The scale of the beach area is constantly decreasing due to repeated cycles of coastal erosion, therefore creating multiple sea caves, cliffs and more impressive works of nature.”

This island was officially named as a Maritime Park in January of 2001 and visitors can appreciate maritime tourism at its best with a trip under the sea by a submarine (no affiliation).



Table of Contents

  1. Getting to Udo

  2. Getting around

  3. Things to do/see

  4. Eat

  5. Stay

Getting to Udo


From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take Bus No. 701 or 710 to Seongsanhang Port Bus Stop. Walk for approximately 12 minutes to Seongsanhang Port Passenger Ferry Terminal.

The ferries between Seongsan and Udo start around 7:30 am and 8:00 am and end around 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm depending on the month. They run about every 30 minutes.

The ferries between Jongdal and Udo’s Haumokdong start at 9:00/9:30 am and end at 4:00 pm (from Udo) and 5:00 pm (from Jongdal), again depending on the month.

Ferry services may be canceled in case of typhoons, rough seas, or strong winds. Always check the weather forecast beforehand or call your respective port on the morning of your departure (Seongsan GPS tel no 7825671).

Round-trip Ferry Fees (as of Sept 2020)

Adults 8,500 won ($7.50)

Middle, High school students 8,100 won

Elementary students 3,200 won

Preschoolers (ages 3-7) 2,400 won

Senior citizens 7,000 won

 

Getting around


***Remember to bring along your international driver’s license if you plan on renting the electric scooter.***

 

Things to do/see

  1. Jeju Olle Trail – Route 1-1 (Udo Island Olle) (제주올레 1-1코스 (우도올레))

(click above to see the most comprehensive information about this course)

*Course route: Cheonjinhang Port → Hongjodangoe (white coral) Habin Beach (2km) → Haumokdonghang Port (3.2km) → Entrance of Sanmultong (4.2km) → Papyeong Yun Clan Park (5.5km) → Hagosu-dong Beach (6.4m) → Hasugodong Beach (6.4km) → Yeonjabo (7.8km) → Udobong Peak (8.8km) → Cheonjinhang Port (11.3km)

*Course difficulty: Easy

*Total distance: 11.3 km (a little over 7 miles), approximately 4~5 hours

Jeju Olle Passport Stamp Stations at Udo Starting point: Cheonjinhang port and Haumokdonghang port Middle point: Hagosudong Beach Ending point: Cheonjinhang port and Haumokdonghang port

Udo island’s Ole trail is a part of Jeju’s 425 km (264 mi) sightseeing loop, which is made up of 26 different routes. Upon completion, hikers/walkers are able to apply for a completion certificate, medal, and prize. Read more about it here.


  1. Bathe in Jeju’s 2nd most favorite attraction: Udo Sanho Beach – Seobinbaeksa (우도 산호해변 (서빈백사)). Famous for its white sandy beaches and the sea which to some resembles the Mediterranean Sea due to its bright emerald or deep sapphire hues.

  1. Explore Geommeolle Beach (검멀레해변), located on the Eastern side of Udo, this beautiful black sand beach leads you to a cave, which is encompassed by significantly sized boulders. Here you can observe some of the infamous Haenyeo female divers.

Did you know?

Haenyeo female divers collect seafood for a living while only holding their breath. This tradition dates back from 1629 and has rightfully earned a title of an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Some of the brave women still continuing this line of work are in their 80s!

At Geommeolle Beach, you’re also able to hire a boat (around 10,000krw per person ($8.80)) to take you to see the caves up close and personal. This trip of about 20 minutes provides a nice side view of Udobong Peak as well.

  1. Hike Someori Oreum (Udobong Peak) (쇠머리오름(우도봉)) that is located at 132 meters (433 feet). From here the island will present itself as though on the palm of your hand with endless turquoise waters surrounding you. This is a must when on Udo!

"Udo's lighthouse was originally installed in 1906 and operated for a whopping 97 years before finally breaking down. Today it is a Cultural Heritage sight #7 and has been preserved to remain in its original shape forever."

Eat

Food specialties at Udo include black pork, peanut ice cream, and abalones.

Specific recommendations are pointless here because Korean cafes and restaurants evolve and change so rapidly, so rent a bike/scooter, go explore the island and when you’re hungry/thirsty/tired pop into any of the places. I’m sure any of them would be happy to serve you, especially if you come in the offseason. Get off the phone and explore!

I only say that because we went to a very highly rated Burger place and were severely disappointed. But hey, it’s a part of the adventure!


After eating our lunch at the mediocre burger joint, we came across this super adorable place that I wish I waited to visit and patronize. I won’t tell you where it is, I’ll just say – let your adventurous spirit guide you and you can’t miss it!

Stay

Overnighting it in Udo, you probably should make a reservation, as I imagine rooms go fast, especially during the summer/early fall season. Location wise, I’d suggest the East Coast and Geommeole beach area if you want to stay close to restaurants/cafes/crowds, but if you don’t then the island is your oyster 😛


Let me recommend my favorite booking platform, which has been good to me as a host and a guest since I’ve joined in 2014! If you’re new to Airbnb, allow me to gift you a few bucks towards your next adventure (you’re very welcome!). I love unique Airbnb stays and experiences that you can book all around the world, so if you check out Udo Island Airbnb Stays, and make a reservation, I’ll receive a small kickback that doesn’t cost you anything but helps me to continue to travel and create more helpful posts.



A few more cute images that wanted to be a part of this awesome post

Whether you’re tackling your first Ole Trail 1-1, came to take in some turquoise waters alongside black and white sand beaches, taste peanut ice cream (pretty good!), or drive your first electric scooter in a traffic-less area, then Udo Island is for you! For me, it is peaceful, insanely photogenic, a perfect size to explore in a day’s trip, so I’ve been here twice already. I can see myself returning to explore more of the nooks and crannies like the Pirate Cafe that wasn’t here 2 years ago, maybe do some dives or return to race the electric scooters side by side!

Staying in Jeju? Here is an ideal place in case it rains!

I’ve lived in South Korea for more than 12 years, check out other picturesque posts!

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