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  • Writer's pictureWandering Eli

Exploring Geoje Island: Top Attractions and Transportation Tips

Planning your next getaway to South Korea? You've come to the right place because I have the perfect destination for your trip! Explore Geoje Island's top attractions and discover the beauty of South Korea's hidden gem.


Oedo Botania 외도 보타니아
Oedo Botania (외도 보타니아)

Is Geoje island worth visiting? What to see in Geoje? How to get to Geoje?


Geoje island, nestled in the South Gyeongsang province, close to the vibrant city of Busan, is renowned for its beaches, mountains and captivating attractions. Geoje is the second largest island in South Korea, after the famous Jeju Island. Ideal for those seeking a relaxing but also adventurous atmosphere, especially during the hot summer months!

In this post I will talk about the top attractions in Geoje, how to get to the island and how to move around.


Why Geoje Island Should Be Your Next Destination

This island is absolutely worth visiting! Geoje, with is relaxing atmosphere and breathtaking landscapes, offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Despite living in Busan, where beaches are within easy reach, I found the vibe in Geoje uniquely calming and less crowded. Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or a longer holiday, Geoje makes it a perfect choice for any season, though it truly comes alive in summer and spring. I will talk about the beaches in Geoje in another post!

I spent a few days on the island last August, and I absolutely loved it. I will definitely re-book my summer getaway again this year.


What to See in Geoje - Top Must-See Attractions


1. MAEMISEONG (매미성)



One of the most photogenic destinations is Maemi Castle, a fortress named after the devastating Maemi typhoon of 2003. The fortress was built to shield the island's crops from future natural disasters. What truly stands out is that the fortress was built by a single man, without any blueprint. A man constructed it brick by brick, drawing inspiration from medieval European architecture.



When you get to the entrance of Maemiseong, you'll have to go down a small street leading to the fortress. You'll see lots of small shops, cafes, and ice cream stores where to get some snacks. The fortress and its story are truly fascinating. This place has lots of famous photo zones where you'll see people lining up for the best shots! It's a must-see place in Geoje!


2. WINDY HILL (바람의 언덕)


Windy Hill, just like its name, is the windiest spot in Geoje. This place definitely lives up to its name! Located on the left side of the island, on a hill at the end of the fishing village of Dojangpo, is a must-see destination, known for its stunning scenic views and natural beauty. At the top of the hill there's a big windmill. To get there you need to follow a staircase trail with various observation points. The view from the top is breathtaking. At the base of Windy Hill, you'll find an array of charming cafes and restaurants, and a small port. Just like its name, it's going to be windy in every season! I went during the hottest summer day, and the wind was very strong. It's definitely a very fascinating place to see.

3. NOJASAN - PANORAMA CABLE CAR (거제 파노라마 케이블카)


Nojasan Geoje Panorama Cable Car
Nojasan

You definitely cannot miss one of the best and most stunning cable car rides and views at Nojasan mountain! The Geoje Panorama Cable Car is a 1.56km ride that connects Hakdong Pass to the summit of Nojasan. It offers a truly breathtaking view of the mountain, sea, and forest leading to the top. You can either choose the normal cable car, or the glass cable car option. I advise you to get a normal cable car if you're afraid of heights like me! In fact, I booked the glass cable car, just to change it last minute to a normal one! If you're a fan of hiking, then you can also opt for hiking the mountain which offers many different trails, and it takes about 5 hours to get to the summit. Maybe it's not the best choice during the summer, but it would be a very nice hike during spring or fall season!



The cable car ride is 15-20 minutes long, showcasing the island's natural beauty. The building at the top of the mountain has a cafe, restaurant and a few observation decks. However, the best observation point is located outside the building. You have to take a wooden staircase leading to a two-floors observation deck to get there. Seeing the scenery from the tallest mountain was truly beautiful. There is an open view of the sea, the surrounding islands and mountains.



Even if you're not a fan of cable cars, I honestly recommend visiting this place. Although the cable car is very far from other attractions, I'm sure you won't regret visiting it. You can take the public bus which stops at the cable car building. And the cable car ride is about 15-20.000won per person (round trip) depending on which option you choose.


4. OEDO BOTANIA (외도 보타니아)


Oedo Botania is a small island transformed into a Mediterranean-style botanical garden, crafted by a Korean couple in the 1970s. With over 700 plant varieties, this small island boosts beautiful colors and landscapes that evolve with the changing seasons, offering different views four times a year.


The island is accessible only via Geoje, with ferries departing from various ports. You can find more information about the schedule and booking on the Oedo Botania official website. Make sure to book it in advance because you might not be able to get a ticket last minute. The ferry ride is about 30 minutes long, and it typically includes the viewing of Haegeumgang (해금강), a beautiful rocky island.


Once arrived on Oedo Botania, you'll have approximately 3 hours to visit the island, after that you need to return to the departure deck and take the same ferry back. To make the most of your Oedo experience, you should consider visiting in the early morning to avoid crowds during peak hours.


5. HAEGEUMGANG ROCK (해금강)



As mentioned above, on the way to Oedo Botania, the boat typically stops near Haegeumgang. It's a beautiful rocky island which can be visited only by ferry. A truly landmark of Geoje, consisting of beautiful cliffs and a natural cave. The ferry will stop close enough for you to view it. Before booking the ticket to Oedo, make sure that Haegeumgang is included.


6. GEUNPO CAVE (근포동굴)


Geunpo Cave is a twin cave, located on the beach behind Geunpo Village. It's a very famous photo zone, best to visit during sunset to get the most breathtaking shots.


7. GYERYONGSAN MOUNTAIN (계룡산)


Gyeryongsan is a mountain overlooking Gohyeon. There are many hiking trails to the top of the mountain, alternatively you can take the Geoje Tourism Monorail which only recently re-opened. The monorail is located at Geoje P.O.W. Camp Historic Park (거제도 포로수용소 유적공원).

More information can be found on the Geoje Tourism Monorail official website.

Cafe Recommendation in Geoje:

8. ON THE SUNSET



This cafe is located on the upper left side of the island. It's a beautiful three-story Hawaiian-decorated cafe connected to a sea deck, perfect for sunset views. Unfortunately, I visited the cafe on a cloudy day, but despite not being able to see the stunning sunset view, I had plenty of opportunities to take beautiful pictures! Their signature coffee and cakes were delicious, and the terrace gives a very cozy vibe. Nearby there're restaurants and a bus stop. The cafe is located just 30 minutes away from the Geoje Gohyeon terminal, so it would be a good place to visit as last stop before heading back home!


I recommend arriving at the cafe early on a sunny afternoon to secure a sea-view window seat, though it can get crowed even on weekdays.


How to Get to Geoje

- Seoul to Geoje → You can take the intercity bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울) to Gohyeon Bus Terminal (거제 고현) or to Jangseungpo Bus Terminal (거제 장승포), which is further down. There are 4 buses every day, and the cost is approximately 45.000won. Alternatively, there are more bus options leaving from Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal (서울남부).

- Busan to Geoje → You can take the bus from Busan Dongbu Bus Terminal (부산동부) to Gohyeon Bus Terminal (거제 고현), or from Seobu Sasang Bus Terminal (부산서부 사상) to Jangseungpo Bus Terminal (거제 장승포). There're many buses leaving throughout the day, and the cost is approximately 15.000won.


Transportation

The best way to visit Geoje is by car. Geoje is a big island, although it's possible to move by public transportation, you might have to wait longer for a bus as buses don't run as often as they do in bigger cities. So, you need to plan well your itinerary. Alternatively, you can opt for a taxi. Even though it will be more expensive, if you plan your visits to attractions which are next to one another, is doable.


On my trip to Geoje I moved around by taxi as I was short on time, and I also wanted to check out as many places as I could.



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