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What are Jeju Oreum? (Plus top picks for hiking)

Short and fun hikes found throughout Jeju.

Hiking | Nature

Yongjusan Oreum view

Many people visit Jeju to spend time in nature. One of my favorite ways to do this is to hike one of the island’s oreum. These small volcanic hills are found throughout Jeju and are bite-sized walks you can enjoy whenever you have a free hour or so.

Here is all you need to know about Jeju’s oreum, as well as some of my favorite to hike.

What is an Oreum?

Oreum is the name given to the volcanic hills that you can find throughout Jeju. They’re parasitic volcanos that formed around the island’s main volcano, Hallasan Mountain. Many of the oreum have craters at the summit, which hints at their volcanic past, although not all of them do.

There are over 360 of these hills on Jeju and you’ll see them throughout the island, from those on the coast to those on the slopes of Hallasan Mountain. The image below shows a quintessential Jeju oreum.

Keun Saseumi Oreum
Photo: Keun Saseumi Oreum has a typical oreum shape.

Some of my favorite hikes on Jeju are Oreum. Most of them have a summit around 50 to 100 meters above the level of the surrounding area. They’re often quite steep, although they tend to have well-defined paths, stairs, and barriers which, combined with their low height, makes the climbs quite manageable.

Some oreum are covered in the forest while others just have grass. Either way, their relative height compared to the surrounding area means you’re guaranteed excellent views out over the island. Even the oreum covered in forest tend to have viewpoints that show the surrounding area.

Jeju Oreum myths ⛰️

Oreum play a keen part in Jeju folklore. The story goes that while Seolmundae Halmang was creating Jeju, lumps of soil fell from her skirt, creating the oreum that are scattered around the island.

My 8 top picks for Hiking Jeju’s oreum

There are over 360 oreum on Jeju. Often the best one to climb is the one nearest to where you are staying. Having said that, I’ve climbed a lot of oreum while living on the island: these are the ones that stand out to me.

Yongjusan Oreum

Yongjusan Oreum view
Photo: View of Hallasan Mountain as seen from Yongjusan Oreum

Yongjusan Oreum is my favorite. It’s situated on the southeast side of the island and rises above anything else in the area. This means you get panoramic views of the area stretching as far as Seongsan Ilchulbong to the east and Hallasan Mountain to the west.

Yongjusan Oreum Views
Photo: View of Seongsan Ilchulbong and Udo Island as seen from Yongjusan Oreum

The east side of the oreum is mainly grass and bushes, meaning you get great views all the way up. The descent on the other side enters a thick forest and gives another welcome side to the hike. The summit of the oreum is 326 meters above sea level and 176 meters above the surrounding area. The hike to the summit is 2.3 km and takes around 40 minutes. There are also two other paths in the area that you can explore if you have the time.

Address: Jeju-do Seogwipo-si Pyoseon-myeon Seongeup-ri san 18-1

Ttarabi Oreum

Ttarabi Oreum summit
Photo: View from the summit of Ttarabi Oreum

Ttarabi Oreum in Jeju’s southeast stands out due to the path that runs around its crater. After hiking through forest to the top of hill, the path opens up and you get views of the entire oreum. The oreum is part of the Jjolbun Gapmajang Trail that takes hikers past the area’s highlights, including Keun Saseumi Oreum and the Canola Flower Plaza. The former is well worth a visit if you’re in the area and want to climb another oreum, just be prepared for a lot of steps!

Address: Jeju-do Seogwipo-si Pyoseon-myeon Gasi-ri san 63

Seoubong Peak

Hallasan Mountain Hamdeok Beach
Photo: Hallasan Mountain and Hamdeok village as seen from Seoubong Peak

Seoubong Peak is situated on the north coast next to Hamdeok Beach. The climb provides beautiful views of Hamdeok beach and village to the west with Hallasan Mountain in the background on clear days. There’s a path that goes around the summit which offers up views of the east coast of Jeju.

Parts of the hike are out in the open, while others go through the oreum’s woody areas. The path is well-defined although it is extremely steep in places. The oreum is also one of the highlights of Olle Trail 19 and it rises 113 meters above sea level. There are several routes up and around the oreum but you can hike to the summit and then explore some of the trails in an hour.

Address: Jeju-do, Jeju-si, Jocheon-eup Hamdeok-ri 1004-5 (Hamdeok Beach Parking lot)

Jimibong Peak

Jimibong view
Photo: Seongsan Ilchulbong and Udo Island as seen from Jimibong Oreum

Jimibong Oreum is an oreum on the north east of Jeju, right on the coast around 8 km west of Seongsan Ilchulbong. It has a noticeably triangular shape due to its steep sides, which can make climbing the oreum quite a challenge! Although there are stairs in steep places to help. When you reach the hill’s 164-meter-high summit, you get views of Seongsan Ilchulbong and Udo Island, as well as the surrounding area.

Jimibong Oreum
Photo: Me stopping for a break on the stairs going up Jimibong Oreum

Address: Jeju-do Jeju-si Gujwa-eup Jongdal-ri san 2

Jeolmul Oreum

Jeolmul Oreum is situated in Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest. The trail to the top of the oreum is one of 6 in the park, with the others being more focused on the area’s forest. The oreum trail is super short as the hill is only around 50 meters above the surrounding area and you can be up and down in an hour.

Because the hill is in the mid-mountain area of Jeju, you get incredible views of the west side of Jeju and Hallasan Mountain from the top on a clear day. Once you reach the summit, there’s a circular path that goes around the crater at the top of the hill so you can see it from all angles. Another reason to visit Jeolmul Oreum is that it’s is a short drive (or bus journey) from Jeju City and there’s a large car park.

Address: Jeju-do, Jeju-si, Myeongrim-ro 584

Gwangi Oreum (Halla Arboretum)

View from Halla Arboretum
Photo: Shin Jeju as seen from Halla Arboretum

Gwangi Oreum is part of Halla Arboreteum. It stands out due to its location on the edge of the new Shin Jeju City, making it easy to access for people staying here. There are several paths around the park, but the one to the top of the oreum goes through the hill’s forest before opening up to clear views out over the city.

The hill’s summit is 296.7 meters above sea level, there are several paths around the area so you should leave around an hour to explore. Other oreum’s in Jeju City include Min Oreum, which is on the other side of Shin Jeju, and Sarabong Peak and Wondangbong Peak, which are in the old area of Jeju City.

Address: Jeju-do Jeju-si Sumokwon-gil 72

Songaksan Mountain

Seongaksan Mountain
Photo: Songaksan Mountain looks deceptively flat from a distance.

Songaksan Mountain is an oreum at the southwestern tip of Jeju. From a distance, the peak looks relatively flat but the summit in the center of the area reaches 104 meters above sea level. There are several trails around the oreum, along the coast, and up to the summit.

The coastal trail offers views of Sanbangsan Mountain and Hallasan Mountain to the east, and then Gapado Island to the south. While hiking, you may also see horses grazing. One of the best things about Songaksan Mountain is its location, which makes it easy to fit into a trip that also visits Sanbangsan and Yongmeori Cliff.

Horses grazing on Songaksan Mountain
Photo: Horses grazing on Songaksan Mountain

Address: Jeju-do Seogwipo-si Daejeong-eup Sangmo-ri 179-4

Byeoldobong Peak

Photo: The start of the path up Byeoldobong Peak

Byeoldobong Peak is one of two oreum located in Sarabong Park in Jeju City. It’s one of my favorite oreum thanks to its location on the coast of Jeju City, which not only makes it easy to access, but also ensures you get beautiful views out over the city and sea.

The hike itself is pretty easy and shouldn’t take more than an hour. While visiting, also be sure to walk up Sarabong Peak, the park’s other oreum. This provides views out over Shin Jeju and the coast.

Address: 74 Sarabongdong-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, South Korea

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Duncan Elder

Duncan first came to Jeju in 2011. The plan was to stay for six months. 11 years later, he's still here and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the island on Inside Jeju.