Located southwest of the Korean Peninsula, Jejudo Island (제주도) is a volcanic island in the shape of an oval that measures 73km from west to east, and 31km from north to south. As Korea’s most southern region, the weather on Jejudo Island remains significantly warmer than the mainland even during the cold winter months. Jejudo Island is sometimes referred to as “Samdado Island” (삼다도, meaning the “three many”) because of its abundance of rocks, women, and wind. Wind from the ocean blows steadily throughout the year and past volcanic activity has littered the island with an assortment of beautiful and unusually-shaped black rocks. The island’s reputation of having an abundance of women points back to the time when fishing was the primary means of income and many men were lost at sea.
Among all of Jeju’s natural wonders, three sites have been recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO (2007): Hallasan Mountain, Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, and the Geomunoreum Lava Tube System. Hallasan Mountain is perhaps Jeju’s most prominent geographical feature, rising out of the very center of the island. Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak has been recognized for its sedimentological characteristics and is one of the best places in the world to study Surtseyan-type volcanic eruptions. The third and final World Heritage Site is Geomunoreum Lava Tube System, one of the most extensive series of lava tube caves in the world.
[World Natural Heritage Jeju]