Right before me, white sandy beach studded with black volcanic rock run for miles. This morning, I awoke to the view of the rocky beachfront from my suite at Haevichi Resort and Hotel on the stunning island of Jeju, Korea. I am here to attend the World Trail Conference 2010 and get a taste of the Jeju Olle Trail – a network of hiking routes sprawled across the isle.
During World Trail Conference 2010, trail experts from around the world will be sharing information on their trails and exchanging ideas. It’ll be a global networking event for trail industry workers and for travelers like me. To further promote Jeju’s olle trail routes, a walking festival will be held right after the conference. Here are more details on the festival that’s open to the public:
Flickr photo by Wootang01
Jeju Olle Walking Festival 2010
Taking place from 9 to 13 November, Jeju Olle Walking Festival is a trekking festival for all the citizens of the world on Jeju Olle Trail, dubbed as one of the most beautiful trails in the world. As a global walking festival embroidered with nature, culture and human, the festival will bring hikers on a cultural and physical journey through Korea’s rarest gem – Jeju Island.
The festival participants will get the chance to soak in Jeju’s nature from the frontline while walking on Jeju Olle Trail surrounded by oreum, seas and stone walls slowly and enjoying various types of food and cultural experiences. Each village that Jeju Olle Trail passes through will enlighten the festival participants, providing them with a number of performances using diverse food and traditional culture of Jeju.
On average, each route on the Jeju Olle Trail is 10-18 kilometers in length and offers a unique opportunity to soak in the beauty of the Jeju coastline that varies rapidly from lowlands to highlands and back to lowlands again.These quick shifts in topography allow walkers to enjoy farmland and forests, grasses and palm trees, fresh water ponds and ocean vistas, waterfalls and cliffs, often all on a single journey. Almost all the planned walks are estimated to take between 4 and 8 hours to complete. There are absolutely no route fees.
The Jeju Olle Walking Festival brings participants on one Jeju Olle Trail route each day – covering a total of 92 kilometers over the five-day period. The event is open to the public – anyone can sign up and register to participate in the festival.
Flickr photo by ornellaswouldgo
How to participate:
1. On-line Registration on the Jeju Olle Walking Festival Website (by October 24,2010)
- Upon completing your on-line registration, you will make a payment to Jeju Olle at your designated route on the day of your arrival in Jeju.
- Even after the on-line registration period, you may apply to participate in the festival on-site at the beginning points of the Jeju Olle Trail routes 1-5.
2. Jeju Olle Walking Festival Route Assignment
- In order to prevent the participants from flocking to one specific route and crowding up the Olle route, each participant must walk on his/her designated route.
- For example, if you are assigned to start from the route 3, you may enjoy the walking festival in the order of Route 3, then 4, 5, 1 and 2.
3. Transportation to the Festival in Jeju Island
- Once your participation is confirmed, you need to reserve a plane or ferry ticket prior to the festival.
- When you arrive in Jeju, you may take either the festival shuttle buses or public transportation to your designated route.
- At your designated route (starting point), you can start your walking festival. You can pick up souvenirs only at your designated route.
4. Points to Note
- You may participate in the Jeju Olle Walking Festival at any time during the festival period(November 9~13)
- You may get the festival routes stamps from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on the festival passport.
- You may enjoy the festival while walking on routes in the order of your designated route.
- Village visits are highly recommended on each route. You can enjoy various programs prepared by local residents such as performances, food, specialty marketplace and harvest.
- You must complete each route in the order of your designated route. For example, you will receive a stamp for the third route in your fourth route. (Upon the completion of your third route, a stamp will not be issued if you go back to your first route.)
- If you complete all five routes during the festival and receive all 15 stamps, Jeju Olle will issue you a "2010 Jeju Olle Walking Festival Certificate."
Jeju Olle Trail Route Information
The routes that will be covered during the Jeju Olle Walking Festival are:
Route 1 Siheung to Gwangchigi 15km
Route 2 Gwangchigi to Onpyeong 17.2km
Route 3 Onpyeong to Pyoseon 22km
Route 4 Pyoseon to Namwon 23km
Route 5 Namwon to Soesokkak 15km
Jeju Olle Walking Festival 2010 Schedule
Dates: November 9-13, 2010 (Five Days)
Place: Jeju Olle Trail route 12,3,4 and 5 (The total of 92 km, one route/day)
Pre-Festival Ceremony: Jeju Folk Village Museum in Pyoseon at 4:00 PM on November 8, 2010
Prior Application fee:10,000 Won ($10) /person, 8,000 Won ($8)/person (group rate for 20 or more participants)
On-site fee: 15,000 Won ($15)/person
Over the next few days, I will be exploring more of Jeju’s trail routes and reporting back with my findings. Be sure to keep reading for more reports!