Seogwipo, Jeju Island, South Korea cruises

Enchanting Seogwipo is a tiny natural gem nestled in a lush coastal landscape, boasting fascinating UNESCO volcanic lava subways, and filled with temples, art museums, and botanical gardens.

Nestled in a dramatic natural setting on a rocky, volcanic coastline and stretching across the entire southern half of Jeju-do Island, enchanting Seogwipo is waiting to be explored.

The city is quite compact and easily walkable, with plenty to discover. The Olle Market in downtown is a traditional daily market, and the heart of the city is an art and cultural hub where you’ll find Lee Jung Seop-ro, one of the coolest streets on the island.

Seogwipo boasts a wonderful collection of quirky museums, with offerings such as green tea and African art, to teddy bears and chocolate. The immense Yakcheonsa Buddhist temple sprawls out over 1.3 million square feet and is home to 80,000 miniature gold Buddhas. Nearby in the Botanical Garden Yeomiji, you can wander through the largest botanical garden in Asia, with over 1,200 species of plants.

The Lush mountain landscape is dominated by wild forests, jagged peaks, and lava fields – 10% of the island is made up of volcanic lava subways, which have been designated a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. 

You’ll also find gorgeous waterfalls, including the spectacular 75-foot-tall Jeongbang Falls, the only waterfall in Asia that falls directly into the ocean. At the Cheonjeyeon Waterfall, which is crowned by the iconic Seonimgyo Bridge, you can marvel at the seven dazzling 65-foot-wide white nymphs that embellish each side of the bridge.

Located along the coast, many of Seogwipo’s restaurants specialize in fresh, local seafood, with excellent sashimi. The activities offered naturally also revolve around the ocean, with boat rides and exceptional scuba diving. But if you prefer to keep dry as you explore the colorful undersea landscape, do try a submarine ride, which takes you to depths of 130 feet.

For lovers of The Beautiful Game, Seogwipo was a host for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and is home to the Jeju World Cup Stadium.

The island’s landscape of volcanic lava rock and incredible ocean cliff views is spectacular. Wander the tangerine groves, dine on seafood and tune your mind to the bells of the cliff-top temple.