Jeju is the largest island off of the Korean Peninsula, most known for its beaches and resorts but also South Korea's highest mountain. Renting a car is the best option for getting around the island, and a Skyscanner search can help with finding the best deal.
About Jeju Airport Car Rentals
Finding a rental car agency is simple at Jeju International Airport. AJ Rent-A-Car, Lotte Rent-A-Car, and Avis are the most popular car rental agencies. Europcar and Hertz Korea, other internationally recognized companies, are available, too. When exiting the airport, head to the free shuttle bus area. If traveling light, follow the pedestrian foot path to the rental car center.
Note that a valid international driver's permit is required and must be issued from the same country as the renter's driving license. Also, drivers must be at least 26 years of age with three years of driving experience to rent a SUV or RV. Be sure to present valid forms of photo identification, too.
Gasoline is expensive in Korea, though most companies offer a variety of vehicle types, including mid-sized and fuel-saving cars. Opt for a compact or economy-sized car to be more fuel-efficient if a hybrid vehicle is not available. Take the opportunity to save before returning the rental car and fill up at one of the many gas stations located along 1132, just outside the airport. Also, do a quick price comparison on Skyscanner to find the best rental rates and book a rental car as early as possible. Be sure to ask about including a GPS system in English.
Tips for Traveling Around Jeju
Located 64 kilometers (approximately 40 miles) away from mainland Korea, Jeju Island is fairly easy to navigate. Jeju International Airport is located on the northern coast. Landmarks are clearly signaled on the roads, and in 20 minutes or less, travelers can peer over the rocky bluffs at Yongduam ("Dragon Head Rock"). Don't miss the stunning waterfalls on the south coast near Seogwipol, which is about a one-hour drive.
Drivers need to be efficient and heed caution on the roadway. Traffic is heavy during peak travel hours (early morning and late afternoon), though roadways are less congested when heading outside of urban areas. Be aware of some of the hilly or "mountainous" areas of the island and speed limits, too; speed-control cameras are set along many of the roads.
Luckily, parking is widely available on the island. Many locations are free or inexpensive to park, including parking locations near popular tourist attractions, museums, shopping centers, and hotels.
What to Do in Jeju
A major benefit to exploring Jeju by rental car is the freedom to travel without waiting for public transportation. Head to the highest mountain and notable shield volcano, Hallasan, located in the center of the island. Towards the north-west, visitors will find the Olle Trails, designated routes composed of 26 hiking paths that include scenic views and "selfie" opportunities with breathtaking backgrounds. Plan to spend three to six hours enjoying the awe-inspiring views. Perhaps head to Seongup Folk Village, a traditional fisherman's village surrounded by a fortress.
Whatever the final destination may be, the fresh seafood is a must in Jeju. Try the haemul tang, a shellfish concoction that includes shrimp, crab, or clams in a semi-clear seasoned broth.