Jeju Island is the largest volcanic island in Korea, where officially called Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. This premier tourist destination boasts mild weather, as well as the scenic beauty of beaches, waterfalls, cliffs and caves in the volcanic Island. Some of the fatastic tour sites include Hallasan National Park with very diverse species of flora and fauna, Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Cheonjiyeon Falls with Walking across stone bridges, botanical gardens at Hallim Park, Seongeup Folk Village hearing folk songs and legends, Manjanggul Cave, the world’s longest lava tube and registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, ans so forth.
Jeju island was awarded the Global Geopark certificate and Biosphere Reserve, achieving triple crown from the UNESCO. In fact Jeju island has been selected as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Jeju is a volcanic island that was formed from volcanic activities occurring up to relatively recent times. It has well-preserved diverse volcanic landforms and unique geological features which form beautiful natural landscapes and are the source of particular scientific value as delineated below;
- Dimension: 74 km length (East-West), 32 km width (North-South)
- Coastline: approximately 418 ㎞ (land: 307 ㎞, insular areas: 111 ㎞)
- Area: 1,847 ㎢
- Average Annual Temperature: approximately 16 ° C
- Population: 570,000 (2010)
- Annul Number of Visitors: approximately 7.7 million (2010)
- Year of UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves Designation:2002
- Year of UNESCO World Heritage Inscription: 2007
Jeju Island Geopark was confirmed as a Global Geoparks Network member in October, 2010. Jeju Global Geoparks includes nine Geosites: A. Suweolbong Tuff Ring, B. Sanbangsan Lava Dome, C. Yongmeori Tuff Ring, D. Jungmun Daepo Columnar-Jointed Lava, E. Seogwipo FormationF. Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, G. Mt. Halla, H. Manjanggul Lava Tube, I. Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone. The entire Jeju Island is in fact a World Geopark recognized for its diversity of volcanic formations and geological resources. Among various sites, the nine particular sites are sought popularly by visitors.
First, there is the symbolic icon of Jeju, Mt. Hallasan located at the center of the island. Suwolbong tuff ring is a well-known research site for its hydrovolcanic landforms. Mt. Sanbangsan is famous for its lava dome. Yongmeori Coast reveals a well-preserved history of hydrovolcanic activities during the early formations of Jeju Island. Jusangjeolli Columnar Joint is a popular educational site with the hexagonal lava pillars. The volume in the solidified lava shrank as the hot lava-flows from volcanic explosions cooled down. As a result, the hardened lava formations were split vertically forming its hexagonal pillar shapes. Seogwipo Formation tells the marine environment one million years ago in the excellent preservation of the shell fish fossil layers. Cheonjiyeon Falls show eroded sedimentary deposits while revealing the formation progress of the valley and the falls. Seongsan Ilchulbong sunrise peak, is known as one of the most representative landforms of tuff cone. Finally, there is Manjanggul cave. It is the only one open to visitors as part of the Geomunoreum Lava Tube System.