The central method of transportation to Jeju Island off the southern coast of South Korea, Jeju International Airport brings millions of visitors a year from the mainland and major cities throughout Asia. The airport sits on the northern side of the island, near the lively capital city of Jeju City. Though ferry service is available from the mainland, most passengers choose Jeju airport for quick getaway access to forested hiking trails, lava tubes and Mount Halla Nature Reserve.
Since its opening in 1942, Jeju Airport has positioned itself as a major player in the Asian tourism market, servicing more than a dozen South Korean cities and international routes from places such as China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It sits about 3 kilometres from the centre of Jeju City.
One domestic and one international terminal facilitate a steady flow of tourists, with plentiful airport amenities that include restaurants and bars, in addition to a currency exchange, internet cafe, banking, medical clinic and pharmacy. Transportation from the airport is by taxi, bus or limousine, with a dedicated stand for inner-city bus routes in Jeju City, and another stand for limos or private car services across the island to the southern town of Seogwipo. One of the best ways to explore Jeju Island is by picking up a rental car at the airport, as many tourist destinations are outside city limits.
Jeju Airport wasn’t always a carefree gateway for holiday travellers and honeymooners, having its origins as an army airfield and military facility. It gradually reinvented itself as a full-scale international airport by 1968.