Beautiful Scenic Views of Gapado, the Hidden Gem of Jeju Island

Imagine yourself stepping onto the island of Gapado, a hidden gem nestled within the breathtaking Jeju Island. As you explore this enchanting destination, you’ll be captivated by its beautiful scenic views that combine stunning rock walls with the vast expanse of the sea. Gapado, named after its resemblance to a swimmer’s posture, offers a serene and peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With a population of around 177 residents, Gapado is a small island that can be easily explored on foot, allowing you to immerse yourself in its natural beauty at your own pace. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the picturesque fields of barley, known as “cheongbori,” which have become a famous tourist attraction. Every year, in early spring, the Gapado Cheongbori Festival takes place, offering various activities such as walking through the barley fields and treasure hunts along the Olle trail. Embark on a journey to Gapado and discover the hidden wonders of this charming island.

Introduction to Gapado

Located in Jeju, South Korea, Gapado is a hidden gem that offers stunning natural beauty and rich history. This article will introduce you to the location, legend, history, population, and accessibility of Gapado.

Beautiful Scenic Views of Gapado, the Hidden Gem of Jeju Island

Location and basic information

Gapado is the fourth-largest island in Jeju and is shaped like a stingray swimming in the sea. The name Gapado comes from its resemblance to a stingray, and it was also called “Gaedo” because of its shape like a lid. The island is divided into two parts, Sangdong and Hadong, and is home to approximately 177 residents across 93 households. Gapado is easily accessible by ferry and offers a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere for visitors.

Legend and history of Gapado

Gapado has a rich history and is believed to have been inhabited since the Neolithic period. The island is known for its prehistoric dolmen sites, with 135 dolmens still remaining on Gapado out of the 180 on Jeju Island. In the Joseon Dynasty, the residents of Gapado communicated with Mosleupo, another island, using signal fires and smoke to send messages.

Population and accessibility

Despite its small size, Gapado has a small but vibrant population of approximately 177 residents. The island can be reached by ferry, and there are regular scheduled passenger services that operate between Gapado and the mainland. The lack of steep hills makes it easy to explore the island on foot, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Gapado.

Scenic Views of Gapado

When it comes to scenic views, Gapado doesn’t disappoint. From the rock walls and the sea to the Cheongbori barley fields and the emerald green waters, there are numerous awe-inspiring sights to behold. The island is also known for its spectacular sunsets, creating a romantic and picturesque atmosphere.

Rock walls and the sea

Gapado is famous for its unique rock walls that blend seamlessly with the sea. The combination of these rock walls and the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island creates a breathtaking sight. Visitors can stroll along the coastline and admire the natural beauty up close.

Beautiful Scenic Views of Gapado, the Hidden Gem of Jeju Island

The beauty of Cheongbori barley fields

One of the highlights of Gapado is the Cheongbori barley fields. The residents of Gapado have been cultivating barley on the island for generations, and the fields stretch as far as the eye can see. During the spring months, the vibrant green waves of barley create a stunning contrast against the blue sky and the surrounding sea.

The emerald green waters

Another enchanting feature of Gapado is its emerald green waters. The clear and pristine sea surrounding the island is perfect for swimming and snorkeling, allowing visitors to explore the diverse marine life that inhabits the area. The colors of the water seem almost unreal, creating a mesmerizing experience for all who visit.

Beautiful Scenic Views of Gapado, the Hidden Gem of Jeju Island

Spectacular sunsets

As the day draws to a close, Gapado offers spectacular sunsets that paint the sky with vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple. Watching the sun setting over the sea is a truly magical experience and provides the perfect opportunity for relaxation and reflection.

Exploring Gapado on Foot

One of the best ways to experience Gapado is by exploring the island on foot. Whether it’s walking along the coastline, discovering the charming village, or following the Olle Trail, there are plenty of opportunities for adventure and exploration.

Walking along the coastline

For those who enjoy nature walks, Gapado’s coastline offers stunning views and a peaceful atmosphere. Walking along the shoreline allows visitors to appreciate the rugged beauty of the island and provides a chance to encounter unique rock formations and marine life.

Beautiful Scenic Views of Gapado, the Hidden Gem of Jeju Island

Exploring the village and Cheongbori fields

Taking a leisurely stroll through the village of Gapado allows visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture and observe the traditional way of life. The Cheongbori fields, with their golden waves of barley, provide a captivating backdrop and showcase the agricultural heritage of the island.

The Olle Trail

The Olle Trail is a network of walking paths that spans across the entire Jeju Island, including Gapado. Following the Olle Trail on Gapado allows visitors to traverse through the beautiful landscapes and experience the island’s unique charm. The trail takes visitors through various terrains, including coastline, forests, and farmland, offering diverse scenery along the way.

Gapado as a Hidden Gem

While Gapado was previously overshadowed by its neighboring island, Marado, it has slowly gained recognition as a tourist destination in its own right. The rise in tourism can be attributed to the development of Cheongbori and the establishment of the Olle Trail on Gapado. These developments have made Gapado more accessible and have allowed visitors to discover the island’s hidden beauty.

Beautiful Scenic Views of Gapado, the Hidden Gem of Jeju Island

Previously overshadowed by Marado

Marado, the southernmost island in South Korea, has long been the main tourist attraction in the area, drawing visitors away from Gapado. However, Gapado’s unique landscapes and cultural heritage have begun to attract attention, providing visitors with an alternative destination to explore.

Rise in tourism with Cheongbori and the Olle Trail

The establishment of Cheongbori as a tourist spot has brought more visitors to Gapado. The picturesque farming fields and the opportunity to experience traditional farming practices have become a major draw for tourists. Additionally, the inclusion of Gapado in the Olle Trail has further increased its popularity and accessibility.

Annual Cheongbori Festival

One of the highlights of Gapado’s tourism industry is the annual Cheongbori Festival held in April to May. During the festival, visitors can participate in various activities such as walking through the Cheongbori fields, treasure hunts along the Olle Trail, and outdoor performances. The festival showcases the beauty of Gapado’s landscapes and the vibrant culture of the island.

Historical Significance

Gapado has a rich historical significance, with its ancient dolmen sites and communication with Mosleupo during the Joseon Dynasty.

Prehistoric dolmen sites

Gapado is home to numerous prehistoric dolmen sites, indicating human habitation from the Neolithic period. These dolmens provide insights into the ancient cultures and burial practices of early inhabitants on Jeju Island. The dolmens serve as valuable archaeological resources and highlight the island’s historical significance.

Communication with Mosleupo during the Joseon Dynasty

During the Joseon Dynasty, Gapado played a vital role in communication with the neighboring island of Mosleupo. Signal fires and smoke were used to relay important messages, such as requests for supplies or emergencies. This communication system demonstrated the resourcefulness and resilience of the island’s inhabitants during that time.

Recommended Attractions and Activities

When visiting Gapado, there are several attractions and activities that should be on your itinerary. From exploring the Jeju Olle 10-1 Course to capturing stunning photography spots, there is something for everyone to enjoy on this island.

Jeju Olle 10-1 Course

The Jeju Olle 10-1 Course on Gapado offers a scenic walking route that takes visitors through the island’s stunning landscapes. The trail allows you to immerse yourself in nature and experience the island’s unique beauty up close. Along the way, you will encounter breathtaking ocean views, charming villages, and cultural landmarks.

Photography spots on Gapado

With its natural beauty and picturesque landscapes, Gapado provides a plethora of opportunities for photography enthusiasts. From capturing the vibrant green waves of the Cheongbori barley fields to the captivating rock walls and the sea, there are endless possibilities for capturing stunning shots on the island.

Alpha Camp and other accommodations

For those planning to spend the night on Gapado, Alpha Camp and other accommodations offer a cozy and comfortable stay. Alpha Camp is a popular choice, providing unique lodging options such as glamping and traditional Korean-style guesthouses. Staying overnight allows visitors to fully experience the serenity and tranquility of the island.

Food and Dining Options

Gapado is well-known for its local seafood and Jeju cuisine, offering a delightful culinary experience for visitors. From fresh seafood caught in the surrounding waters to traditional dishes made with local ingredients, there are plenty of dining options to satisfy your taste buds. Restaurants and cafes on Gapado offer a variety of dishes, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

Accommodation

When it comes to accommodations on Gapado, there are several hotels and guesthouses to choose from. Whether you prefer a cozy guesthouse or a comfortable hotel, you will find suitable options on the island. The accommodations provide a peaceful and pleasant stay, allowing visitors to fully enjoy their time on Gapado.

Transportation to Gapado

Getting to Gapado is easy and convenient with ferry services operating to and from the island. Regular passenger ferries provide transportation to Gapado from the mainland, offering a hassle-free journey for visitors. Once on the island, getting around can be done on foot since the lack of steep hills makes exploring Gapado on foot a pleasant experience.

Planning a Trip to Gapado

When planning a trip to Gapado, it’s important to create a well-rounded itinerary to make the most of your time on the island. Whether you are interested in exploring the natural beauty, learning about the island’s history, or indulging in local cuisine, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Here are some tips to help you plan your trip:

Creating an itinerary

Start by prioritizing the attractions and activities you want to experience on Gapado. Consider the scenic views, historical sites, and cultural experiences that interest you the most. Be sure to allocate enough time for each activity and factor in transportation and meal times.

Tips for visiting Gapado

  • Dress comfortably and wear suitable footwear for exploring the island on foot.
  • Pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Bring a camera to capture the beautiful landscapes and moments during your trip.
  • Respect the local culture and customs, and be mindful of the environment.
  • Check the ferry schedules in advance and plan your transportation accordingly.

Recommended time to visit

Gapado is a year-round destination, each season brings its own unique charm to the island. Spring is a popular time to visit when the Cheongbori fields are in full bloom, creating a vibrant and picturesque backdrop. Summer offers the opportunity to enjoy the clear waters and soak up the sun. Autumn showcases the changing colors of the landscape, and winter provides a serene and peaceful atmosphere. Choose the time of year that suits your preferences and interests.

In conclusion, Gapado is a hidden gem that offers stunning scenic views, rich history, and a chance to explore on foot. With its natural beauty and historical significance, Gapado has emerged as a popular tourist destination. Whether you are captivated by its rock walls and emerald green waters or fascinated by its history and cultural heritage, a trip to Gapado is sure to leave you with lasting memories.