Bicycle Paths on Jeju-Do

Bicycle on Jeju-Do

Korea is a great country for leisure cycling. This can be experienced first hand at the major rivers and on Jeju-do, the largest island of South Korea. I’d been cycling Jeju-do along the shore for a week. The island is very special in many aspects. Here I want to take a closer look at the bike infrastructure because  Jeju-do offers certain types of bike lanes.

Update: A slightly edited version of this blog post was published in The Jeju Weekly.

Update 2: If you plan to cycle around Jeju-do, then I recommend you to buy the guidebook about Jeju-do by Korean Rooftop and additionally, watch their documentary on cycling on Jeju-do.

 

This was my route (each color represents a different day):

Jeju-do Bicycle Paths

Please click here for an interactive Google Map! As usual for cycling Jeju-do, the route was anti-clockwise. I recorded the trip with Strava and at the end it said that I cycled 283 km.

 

Highway 1132

Around the whole island leads the highway no. 1132 and on both sides of the highway are bike paths. The bike lane along the road no. 1132 looks like this:

Cycling Path on Jeju-do

It’s wide and even, perfect for fast rides but the view is also worse than on the shore road. The highway no. 1132 always keeps a certain distance to the coast. Cars are passing by with a speed of 60 to 100 km/h which feels very uncomfortable and noisy on a bicycle.

 

Bike Lanes Along Coastal Roads

I’ve almost always tried to stay as close as possible to the coast. The easiest way was to follow traffic signs saying “해안도로” (Shore Road).  Regularly I checked with Daum Maps but it isn’t really necessary. As long as you follow the rule to keep the ocean always on your right side you won’t get lost.

Coastal Cycle Path Jeju

A disadvantage of this road is that often cars (mainly rental cars from tourists) are parked on the bike path. Thus, sometimes I had to lower my speed and find a way around the obstacles. However, it was just a small problem. More often I stopped because the view was unbelievable beautiful. Jeju-do has really something to offer every one hundred meters or less!

The majority of coastal roads has also a physical separation. Hereby the funny thing is that the gap between the blocks is very small and only every few hundred meters is an opportunity to easily enter the bike lane. And what’s then parked there? A car!

Cycling Jeju-do

Other major local roads have a bike lane without physical barriers as you can see here:

Cycling Jeju-do

Sometimes the lanes become very narrow and they are only for pedestrians and cyclists. Locals use them with their cars but the amount of traffic is very low:

Cycling on Jeju-do

 Roads Without Bike Lanes

Sign for Cyclists JejuEnd of Bicycle Path JejudoJeju-do Province acknowledges that people come to Jeju-do to cycle, even though it is probably a very small share of tourists. Once I’ve experienced that the bike path disappeared for fifty meters and a sign said “Walk Your Bike”. Underneath it explained that the bike lane is discontinued and cyclist are advised to get of their bike out of safety reason. At the end of the small disruption in the network, another sign wishes you a nice vacation and promises to expand the bike network. Even though it is somehow exaggerated, it is a nice recognition of cyclists. I’ve never really felt in danger on my bicycle in areas without bicycle lanes. Actually I expected tourist buses or thousands of rental cars but none of them really drove along the coastal roads or at least not a very high amount of cars. So I could enjoy the ride to the fullest.

Bike Tour Jeju-do

Farmers use the shoulder of roads (usually marked bike paths) for drying their farm products. When I was there, it was the season for garlic:

Road Jeju-do

That’s probably the most charismatic point of cycling Jeju-do.

 

Future of Cycling Jeju-Do?

This is the status quo. In the near future (probably at the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016) Jeju-do will be added to the national bicycle network and stamps can be collected along the course (which may differ from the route I took). After collecting stamps , it will be recognized as a “grand slam” (more information in Korean here). The bike path network on Jeju-do is already so well developed that the improvements only require a construction of 68 km bike lanes.

It was my third time on Jeju-do. The first time I had a rental car and the second time I used public transport. I think that using the bicycle was the best way to discover Korea’s greatest nature.

 

 

Sources and Related Information: The Jeju Weekly | IBike

About This Author

Co-Author of Kojects. Interested in Sustainable Transportation, Urbanism and Korea.

15 Comments

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  • Hi I am Daryl, I am from Hong Kong and I am planning to visit Jeju for a cycling trip, your blog post gave me great confident ! Thanks! I am an active cyclist, and I am planning to finish the whole trip in 4-5 days(Morning of the 4th day visiting Udo), is there a list of places that I must visit?

    Daryl Doo 2 years ago Reply


  • Hi Nikola,

    I am Shadow , also coming from Hong Kong and will visit Jeju in September. However, I just only stay in Jeju for 4days 3 night. Just only have 2 full days. Therefore, maybe I cannot visit all attraction location during this trip.

    However, I also will plan to 우도 in one day. Here are few question need you comment. Thanks Nikola:

    1) Drops to ask how many KM if cycling from Jeju internation Airport to Ocean Suites Jeju Hotel ? Which No. of road I need to ride ? Still No. 1132 ?

    2) As my arrival time is 2030 at night. So, is that safe if I ride at night from airport to Hotel

    3) I will plan to 우도 and 성산 on the 2nd day. So, drops to ask how many KM from Ocean Suites Jeju Hotel to 성산 pier ?

    4) If I visit 성산알출봉, is that not allow cycling there ? I need storage well my bike then up stairs by walk ? am I right ?

    5) So, what suggestion you suggest I visit on my 3rd day in Jeju ? What cycling road that you suggest ?

    As may be I have not enought time go to Sanbangsan Guesthouse that you mentioned above which placed on the western park in Jeju, I am afraid no time lu….

    Thank for your suggestion

    Very best regards
    Shadow

    Shadow Ho 2 years ago Reply


    • Hey!

      Thank you for your comment and the email. We aren’t a tourist information website. I replied on the previous comment only regarding my personal experience. So I can’t answer all your questions. Concerning riding at night, you should use the sidewalk because visibility of cyclists is low and the danger of drunk drivers is higher at night. Going to 성산알출봉 is a great idea! You are right. You will have to leave your bicycle at the entrance. I just locked my bicycle close to the tourist information.

      Best regards,

      Nikola

      Nikola 2 years ago Reply


  • […] Cycling Jeju Island: Tips and recommendations, which speaks for itself (written by: Nikola Medimorec; his original article is Bicycle Paths on Jeju-do) […]

    Cycling Around Jeju | Eric Hevesy Photography 1 year ago Reply


  • Hi

    I came across your site while browsing for mtb trails in korea. Can I ask if you know any trails in Jeju?

    Austin 1 year ago Reply


  • We received this via Facebook message. I thought it would be good to share here:

    Hello, I am planning to do a ride round Jeju Island in Sept 2016. I am sourcing for information now to gauge if it is doable. I may be riding alone. So I am glad to have read your article in Jeju Weekly. May I trouble you with some questions please?
    1. My phobia of cycling alone is if anything happens to the bike. Are there bike shops near the cycling trails?
    2. Do we need to book accommodation ahead of time or is it easy to get a room/bed where ever the stops are?
    3. Doing it in 3.5 days would mean you cycled about 80km+ aday?
    4. Is Sept a good time to ride in there?
    Sorry for the bother…
    Thank you!

    Hello,

    Great to see that you are interested in cycling around Jeju Island. Regarding your questions….
    1. Bike shops are located in Jeju City and Seogwipo. I don’t think that there are any shops somewhere else. But Jeju-do isn’t that big. If you have a problem, you can get into a taxi or hitchhike to one of the two cities. A spare tube might be a good idea.
    2. Booking an accommodation isn’t necessary except for the time during Korean Chuseok (September 14 to 16, 2016) and the weekend right after Chuseok (17 and 18). It is a big holiday in Korea and while the majority of people travels to their hometown, some also use it to visit Jeju-do.
    3. I took a whole week (7 days for 280km) for Jeju. But 80km a day is doable! The paths are nice and safe. You can ride relatively fast. Still don’t forget to enjoy Jeju’s scenery, food and people.
    4. September is a perfect time! Weather will be nice, maybe a little bit of rain.

    Nikola 1 year ago Reply


    • Hi Nicola,

      I’m planning to ride Jeju between August 4-7 this year. Will it be very hot?
      I received advice not to camp out as it will either be raining or too hot.
      Is it safe to ride alone? Thank you!

      Btw, anyone who reads this post and would like to ride Jeju during those dates I mentioned, please let me know on this post.
      Thanks!

      Anna 9 months ago Reply


  • Hi,

    I found your blog so informative – thank you. I live in Seoul and I own a mountain bike. I am wondering if I should bring my bike from Seoul to Jeju. Bringing a bike on the KTX and then the Ferry would seem like a hassle. Also putting the bike in a box and bringing it on a airplane seems like a hassle. Would it be easy to rent a bike in Jeju for four or five days? You mentioned two bike shops above. Do you know if those bike shops have websites in English and if they rent bikes? Thank you so much for your help.

    Regards

    James 1 year ago Reply


  • Hi Nikola.
    Are you still there?
    What is the best month to cycle in Jeju island?
    I’m from tropical Indonesia and will obviously prefer
    cooler climate and less rain.
    cheers,
    andrew budiyanto

    andrew budiyanto 9 months ago Reply


    • Hey Andrew,

      if you prefer a cooler temperature, then probably autumn (September-October) will be better to cycle on Jeju.

      Thank you for your comment. I hope that you enjoy cycling on Korea’s biggest island :)

      Nikola 9 months ago Reply


      • Dear Nikola:
        Thanks for the info. Does it also mean that spring time will be equally fine?
        Please give some information about bike rental stations and accommodation along
        the route. We are 2 married couples aged more than 55 years old, which route do you recommend,
        and how far? We are planning to do this in 3-4 days.
        Anyway, we have just returned from 80-km shimanami kaido biking in Japan.
        Do you live in Jeju island?

        andrew budiyanto

        andrew budiyanto 9 months ago Reply


        • Hello Andrew,

          you’ll maybe face some rain in Spring. For bike rental, I found these two websites:

          http://www.bms-hiking.co.kr/

          http://www.jejuhiking.co.kr/

          Both sites are unfortunately only in Korea. Maybe also try to contact the person: http://jejuscooter.blogspot.kr/

          For routes and places to stay, I would recommend you to just follow the coastal roads. There are plenty of motels, guesthouses and hotels along the way. As long as you avoid main Korean holidays (New Year in February and Chuseok in September), there shouldn’t be a big problem of finding a place to sleep. The coastal route is around 250km, 3-4 full days for cycling is OK, I think.

          I live in the Seoul capital region, otherwise I would join you :)

          Nikola 9 months ago Reply


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