WHAT TO SEE AT SONGAKSAN MOUNTAIN IN JEJU? IS IT WORTH VISITING SONGAKSAN MOUNTAIN?
Songaksan Mountain is located in the southernmost point of Jeju. Hiking in Songaksan is one of our favorite things to do in Jeju. The trail is going around the volcanic mountain alongside the coast, making it a beautiful spot to admire the gorgeous nature that Jeju has to offer.
Songaksan hiking guide
From Songaksan you can see Gapado and Marado islands, you can admire the Hallasan Mountain in the middle of Jeju and the impressive Sonbangsan Mountain. We actually really like this part of the island. It is wilder that the rest of Jeju.
In this post we describe all you need to know to hike around Songaksan Mountain in Jeju.
Songaksan Mountain has two major craters at the highest peak, and other small craters that were formed by the process of explosions within the bigger crater. That’s the reason Koreans call Songaksan the 99 peaks. Apparently you can count 99 peaks formed by volcanic activities.
The main peak rises 104 meters above sea level. To the northwest of the main peak is an expansive prairie with several peaks. There is a crater about 500 meters in diameter and 80 meters in depth, with some volcanic ash still remaining inside
With Marado and Gapado islands at a distance, the view of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the beautiful Songaksan Mountain on the other side, this place is magnificent. Thus, we recommend to add it on your list of things to do in Jeju.
To check all our recommendations of things to visit in Jeju, click here.
Essential information about Songaksan?
In Korean Songaksan is written: 송악산
Address: Songakgwangwang-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do / 제주특별자치도 서귀포시 대정읍 송악관광로 (상모리)
How to Get there?
By bus: From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal take bus 755 to Moseul and then local bus 950 or 951 to Sanisu-dong, or from Moseul catch a taxi (about 10 minutes) to Songaksan.
By car: the best way to travel to Jeju is by car. You can rent a car easily directly from the airport. We recommend using Trazy to rent a cheaper car (exclusively for foreigner). Check it out here. Just make sure to have your international driving license when driving in Korea.
There are many parking spaces just before starting the trail.
If you want to hike all around Songaksan count approximately 2 hours to finish the trail. The trail is very easy and perfect for beginners.
What to see in Songaksan?
1. Amazing rugged coastline
The trail starts from the parking lot. As often in South Korea, the path is well marked so you can simply follow it all the way around the Songaksan.
We walked the very picturesque Songaksan Mountain on a beautiful spring day. With a little bit of wind and plenty of sunshine, we had the perfect afternoon ahead of us. The hike is only 3 kilometers and circles around the volcano of Songaksan. This hike took us just under 2 hours. We had plenty of breaks to enjoy the views and the magnificent coastline with many volcanic shapes. However, you can easily finish the hike in 1.5 hours.
The first part of the trail goes up roughly midpoint of Songaksan. From there you can already have a beautiful view of Jeju and see the impressive Hallasan Mountain (for a hike on top of Hallasan, you can check our guide here).
The coastline of Songaksan was formed by volcanic eruptions. Songaksan is also a place with strong waves and sea breezes. Hence the cliff shapes are very impressive.
After about 30 to 40min, you will reach 2 small seafood restaurants. The food seemed pretty good. So you can consider stopping there if you are hungry on the way and want to try local food.
If you like this kind of trails, check Seopjikoji to admire the rugged and beautiful coastline of Jeju (full post here)
2. Cave trenches built by the Japanese army
Songaksan Mountain was used by the Japanese army during its invasion of China during the final hours of WWII. More than 60 cave trenches were built from 1943 to 1945 along the coastal ridge line of Songaksan.
The cave trenches in Songaksan along with other military facilities still remain on Jeju and are proof that the Japanese were fortifying Jeju as their last defense line to fight against the enemies. Other facilities in the vicinity includes aircraft guns, hangar for fighter aircrafts, underground bunker etc.
The cave trenches have high preservation value because the caves were built using the shore cliff, and the trenches are located by the seaside to create excellent oceanic view.
3. Marado and Gapado
While Songaksan is the southernmost point of Jeju, Gapado Island and Marado Island are the southernmost point of South Korea. Both islands can be visited by taking a ferry.
Gapado is 0.84 square kilometers and located 5.5 kilometers off the Jeju coast. Low lying, the highest point is only 20.5 meters making the views from the flat barley fields to Jeju Island really stunning. What is unique about Gapado is that is a 100% carbon-free island, the first in the nation.
Marado Island, the most southerly, is 11 kilometers off of the Jeju coast and is only 4.2 kilometers in circumference. It has dramatic cliffs and seaviews, rising to 34 meters at its highest. Gazing south across the water, it is humbling to know that there is nothing but water between you and the Philippines.
When continuing the hike, the landscape will become greener with more nature, trees and lush vegetation. This is when we started to see amazing horses grazing happily on thick grass between pine trees. We absolutely loved seeing some horses here, almost in the wild, with Songaksan as a beautiful backdrop! At this point, we were really so happy that we decided to hike Songaksan.
5. A Beautiful forest
Towards the end of the trail we will have to cross a beautiful forest to reach to the parking lot. Before entering the forest you can also choose to turn right, in the middle of the lush vegetation to get back from where you started.
This is actually a longer route. We just hiked there for a few minutes, but then decided to get back as it was sunset time and really wanted to catch some good shots.
Where to stay near Songaksan?
Sun and Moon Resort
As mentioned above, we really like this part of Jeju. It is quieter that the rest of Jeju, with many natural sights to visit. One of the hotel which we love staying at when visiting Jeju, is Sun and Moon Resort.
All rooms are directly facing the sea. There is also a nice beach just 5 min walk from the hotel. Sun and Moon Resort also has a swimming pool on the roof. We recommend a stay at this hotel if you want to visit this part of the island. Check it out here.
Other things to do near Songaksan
Enjoy one of the best brunch in Jeju
If you are in this part of the island, make sure to stop at Tropical Hideaway Brunch Cafe. This is honestly one of the most stunning cafe in Jeju and by far one of the best brunch.
The cafe recently relocated in a brand new building, facing the sea with plenty of comfortable seats looking at the beautiful Pacific Ocean. A must-see in Jeju. More info here.
Address: 284 Brothers Haean-ro, Daejeong-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju
In conclusion – Is Songaksan worth visiting in Jeju?
Songaksan is a beautiful trail along the coast of Jeju and circling around a Volcano. Expect stunning views of the sea and panorama of Jeju Island. The fact that the trail is super easy makes it a great experience for the whole family while visiting Jeju.
For us it is absolutely worth a visit!
Make sure to check out our other recommendations in Jeju, here.