Yeosu City Guide – Island Hopping

The southern coast of South Korea is inarguably beautiful and Yeosu has, in our very bias opinion, some of the best parts. Littered with islands, Yeosu’s waters are a veritable playground for anyone willing to board a ferry. While some cities have more “Korea Famous” islands like Namhae, Jindo, and Jeju, our peninsular home city boasts 373 small islands (mostly uninhabited) which create spectacular views across the water.

Yeosu City Guide Islands Cover

The large and medium sized islands often have hiking trails and are well worth seeking out if you grow tired of crowded national parks and are looking for a drastic change in scenery.Korea has roughly eleventeen million mountains (some mathematicians contest this number) but the most remote can often be the most rewarding. Our love for Yeosu’s islands have inspired many posts and several people have requested more information on Yeosu’s many islands. So, without further adieu, a guide to Island Hopping in Yeosu!

1. Hahwado Island


Hahwado is one of the smaller islands off of Yeosu, but the coastal views are simply stunning. Across the water from Jangdeung Beach, Hahwado is a thin strip of island with a great hiking course in the middle of a field of islands. Reminiscent of islands far to the southwest in more famous Asian countries, Hahwado gives countless views of the sea speckled with remote islands in all directions. Hiking the circular path not only brings you back to where you need to catch a ferry, but also ends at the only stores and restaurants on the island where you should end your excursion with some pajeon and makgeolli. Camping is also available for free just down the road from the houses, and provided one of our best camping experiences in Korea to date.

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2. Gaedo


Gaedo was the first islands we toured upon arriving in Yeosu. This island is an easy 45 minute ferry ride from Yeosu’s Passenger Terminal and has some great hiking. Not often traveled, this island has very few amenities and is best experienced on a single day trip unless you’re wanting to negotiate a reservation at a minbak from the kindly lady running the corner store. This island has a great trekking trail that hits both of the major peaks of Gaedo and puts you near an amazing horshoe-shaped, black-rock beach. Gaedo is an excellent day trip with a lot to see for people who enjoy walking. Don’t expect taxis on Gaedo, but you should expect friendly faces, as most residents get excited when people visit.

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Unexpected beaches


3. Geumodo

Made it to the island! The beach is the perfect place for chilin’… oh and Taiwan mango beers! 🚢

A photo posted by Ryan & Stephanie: Travel Blog (@hedgersabroad) on


Geumodo is easily the largest island we have chosen to feature in this quick summary of noteworthy island destinations, but it is in no way less charming. Again, this island has hiking (I hope you’re noticing a trend, here) by way of nearly 19km of trails. The main island is dotted with villages where visitors can resupply, but we found the small island of Ando (안도) much more to our liking. While the hiking trails of Geumodo are quite nice, we were more than surprised by the quality of sand at Ando Beach. We hiked and camped over a very full weekend on Geumodo and will probably always consider this island to be one of the best places to visit for anyone wanting a beach away from the crowds. Not easily accessible  without a car and too large to walk in a day, Geumodo does have a fabled bus route or two (we didn’t see it) but most visitors are wise to write down taxi phone numbers from the ferry and ferry terminal so that you can call for a pickup while on Geumodo. For more information on hiking trails on Geumodo’s big island, we highly recommend our friend Tom’s site with great details on his time on the island.




4. Sado Island

While Sado is one of the smallest islands off the coast of Yeosu, it certainly doesn’t lack for character. The string of small islands are in the shape of a “C” and they are all fairly devoid of people. The sand beach there is lovely, making this island the perfect getaway location. Oh, and there are dinosaurs. Huge dinosaur sculptures are spread across the island. The island was once home to these giants and you can still see their footprints on Sado today!


Image from Travel World Heritage

Image from Travel World Heritage

5. Geomundo Island

This group of islands is a bit further away from Yeosu city, but still beautiful to visit nevertheless. There is an array of things to do such as hiking, beaches, and even scuba diving! Day trips to the nearby Baekdo Islands can also be taken from the Geomundo Ferry Terminal. The island is pretty remote, so if you are looking for information upon arrival, be sure to stop by the police station.



Image from Runaway Juno


Image from Runaway Juno

Maps & Hiking Courses

Each of the islands have awesome hiking courses. Click on the images below to see each course and where they are located in relation to the ferry terminals. Designated camping locations are available on Hahwado and Geumodo and you can buy return ferry tickets the next morning at the ferry terminals. Gaedo does not have any designated camping, however you can still camp since camping is allowed pretty much anywhere in Korea (just make sure to pack out your trash). There are also plenty of minbaks (similar to hostels) on each island that you can stay at if you can speak a bit of Korean and talk to the owner.


If you have any questions that we didn’t cover, or want to see more about Yeosu’s beautiful islands, let us know in the comments below.


2017-03-06T09:21:08+00:00 By |Hiking, Jeollanamdo, Other Cities|5 Comments


  1. mindoe November 27, 2015 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Now I know what I want to do when the weather warms up! We will be coming back down to Yeosu to see you guys! Perhaps we will be lucky enough to stay with Brad Pitt again!

  2. […] the cable cars (featured above,) the Expo Center, and Dolsan park. You can also hit up some of the nearby islands for hiking and a quiet, countryside getaway. Check out this post by Hedger’s Abroad to learn […]

  3. […] subjected to ferry schedules and occupancy limitations. Many posts in the past have highlighted our favorite Yeosu islands, but we’ve never covered the largest and most famous until now. Famously featured in Busker […]

  4. […] are thousands of islands off the southern coast of South Korea just waiting to be explored. There is nothing like a weekend […]

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