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sandbar at hamdeok beach

Hamdeok Beach is absolutely one of the best beaches on Jeju Island. With turquoise seas, white sand, and tropical vibes, it even went a little way towards convincing me about the whole “Jeju is the Hawaii of Korea” claim.

hamdeok beach on jeju island

I visited Hamdeok Beach on a solo trip with my toddler, and it turned out to be the perfect place, with calm water, a super long tide and tons of amenities. Travellers without children would also be VERY happy there. Hamdeok is simply one of the best beaches to be found on Jeju Island.

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Why choose Hamdeok Beach | 함덕 서우봉해변

When I think of the perfect beach, it always has crystal clear water and creamy sand, and Hamdeok Beach has that in spades. Add in the excellent amenities, beachfront hotels, many activities, and cafes and restaurants nearby, and it’s easy to see why this is a great choice.

hamdeok beach at sunset
Hamdeok Beach at sunset is also incredibly lovely. Photo courtesy of Cafe Delmoondo

Hamdeok is actually made up of 3 separate beaches, and all are shielded by Seoubong Mountain. This is a BIG bonus, because Jeju is notorious for strong winds. But because of the mountain’s protection, the water here is super calm. And that’s always a good thing. There’s nothing worse than sand blowing all over the place when you’re trying to enjoy a beach day.

I also chose Hamdeok Beach because it’s known as a great place for traveling with a baby in Korea. If you’re visiting with kids, Hamdeok Beach is the perfect toddler-friendly place to play, with soft sand, tidal pools to cool off in, and small sea life for wee ones to discover.

hamdeok beach jeju with kids
Jeju is a perfect place to take a family vacation in Korea

Things to do in Hamdeok Beach

You could happily spend all your time on Jeju just bobbing around in crystal clear seas, but it you need a change, here are some other worthy things to do in Hamdeok Beach.

Admire the disappearing sandbar

The disappearing sandbar is a totally unique feature of Hamdeok Beach. It vanishes at night and magically reappears every morning. And it’s absolutely massive. You can park yourself on that incredible sandbar in the middle of the sea and spend practically the whole day there, before it gets covered by water again in the evening.

sandbar at hamdeok beach

The disappearing sandbar is a unique feature of Hamdeok Beach

The sandbar is technically not part of Hamdeok’s 3 beaches per se, but at low tide, it’s totally possible to walk all the way over to one of the real beaches if you desire.

The tide was SO long, and the sand so clean and soft, that I could let my 22 month old, wander away for quite a distance exploring, before I had to go chasing after her. Best of all, the tide stayed out until long after we (and our little ones) were ready to call it a day.

Take in Hamdeok Beach Views at Cafe Delmoondo

Without a doubt, the place to see and be seen at Hamdeok Beach is Cafe Delmoondo. With good reason. It’s eminently instagram-worthy with several different patios from which to take in incredible views of crystalline blue seas, while munching on baked goods and sipping on iced coffee.

cafe delmoondo hamdeok beach jeju island

The view from Cafe Delmoondo is spectacular

They’re also one of the few (maybe only) places on Hamdeok Beach that has couple cabanas, and real sun beds available for rent. They start at 10,000 won per hour per person, and it’s something I’ll definitely be looking into next time I’m there.

Stroll across a volcanic rock bridge

Head past Cafe Delmoondo and you’ll find a volcanic rock bridge to cross. It’s connected to a small island that you can explore.

Visit at sunset for an alternative view of Hamdeok Beach, and some fantastic light for pictures. Kids will love climbing on big boulders by the sea and throwing the little black rocks that litter the ground into the water.

Bubbles and black volcanic rocks. Photo by: Hallie Bradley

Try some water sports

It’s possible to try a number of different water sports at Hamdeok Beach. You can rent motorboats, try waterskiing, ride a banana boat, or go sea-fishing. You’ll find various service providers all around the beach.

Check out the mosaic tiled break wall

There’s a long break wall next to the sea that’s covered in a mosaic of colourful tiles. You can walk next to, or on top of it. Just be warned that it’s very hot, with little shade, so be sure to have a hat or some other form of sun protection.

She’s pooped after a full day at the beach

Where to Stay on Hamdeok Beach

We stayed at what used to be called the Co-op City Hotel Jeju Beach, in a double room with partial sea view, balcony, wifi, unlimited draft beer at happy hour and breakfast included. I was super happy with the view, the comfortable bed, amount of space and cleanliness of the room.

The hotel has now been renamed Jeju Beach Hamdeok Hotel. I used Booking.com to reserve it originally, but you can now book it directly here.

There are beachfront hotels lining Hamdeok Beach

If you’re traveling to Jeju with kids, I’d recommend booking something that’s walking distance to the sea. It’s really hot and humid in Jeju during summer and you want to be as close to all the amenities as possible… especially if you’ve got toddlers hanging off of you.

If you plan to travel during high season, or on weekends in the summer, reserve your hotel as early as possible for the best selection and rates.

The following highly-rated hotels, pensions and resorts are all across the street from Hamdeok Beach.

  • Utop Ubless Hotel Jeju: This is one of the most booked hotels near Hamdeok Beach, with AC, wifi and free parking. It’s just 400 metres away.
  • Jeju Jukwang Resort is a well priced resort a little further away from Hamdeok Beach, but not by much. It’s still beachfront, quiet, and has an outdoor swimming pool!
hamdeok beach jeju
Its best to stay within walking distance of Hamdeok Beach. Photo: Cafe Delmoondo

Getting to Hamdeok Beach

Address: Johamhaean-ro, Jocheon-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
In Korean: 제주특별자치도 제주시 조천읍 조함해안로 (조천읍)

If you plan on serious beach time, a metred taxi to Hamdeok is a good choice is you’re less than 4 people and don’t have much luggage. This is what we did, and it took around 45 minutes and cost less than 25,000 won.

If you plan on exploring a bit further afield, are more than 4 people, or simply can’t travel light, renting a car or hiring a private driver is really the best option.

Hamdeok Beach: Essential Info and FAQs

When is the beach open?
You can access Hamdeok Beach in every season, but the swimming season is usually from late June to the end of August. Hours vary in summer time, but usually the beach opens at 10AM and closes between 7 – 9PM.

For me, the fact that there are even “hours” at the beach has always been a strange quirk of Korea. How do they even police these dates and times? But it turns out they do – which we learned when police boats arrived to tell Agri to get out of the water at Gyeongpo Beach after its “closing date” in early September. Swim at your own risk. 😉

What facilities are available at Hamdeok Beach?
You can find pretty much everything you need at Hamdeok Beach. There are toilets, dressing and shower rooms, restaurants, cafes, and convenience stores onsite. You can buy or rent almost anything you need for the beach there, including sand toys, floaties, and boards. You’ll also find hotels, motels, and even a campsite nearby.

hamdeok beach

Hamdeok Beach. Photo courtesy of Cafe Delmoondo

Are there sunbeds and umbrellas available?
It’s possible to rent tables and chairs directly on the beach, but these are not the typical sunbeds with umbrellas we’re used to in North America or Europe. They’re basically just the plastic table with chairs you’d find outside any convenience store in Korea. They do have umbrellas though and offer shade if that’s what you’re after. Cost: 20,000 won per table.

The only sunbed type services I saw at Hamdeok Beach were at Cafe Delmoondo, but they’re not directly on the sand.

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Comments:

  • October 13, 2017

    You made traveling solo with kid sounds so easy and definitely manageable. Your daughter seems to be from the same cloth as yours anyways, eh? 😀 Your images make me want to fly, or take a dip. 😀

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    • October 14, 2017

      Haha really? Cuz it was manageable but definitely not easy. Toddlers are super exhausting, always running away from you and poking their fingers where they don’t belong. 😉 Jeju is super close to Japan no? Next summer maybe? 🙂

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  • September 13, 2017

    Wow..you did it. hats off to you. To be honest I am scared even now to take a solo trip with mine although she has turned 3 now. Now, you are really inspiring me to…

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    • September 19, 2017

      You can totally do it Neha! And technically I wasn’t solo…I went with a girlfriend and her daughter, and that might be a good way to start. It was perfect actually cuz one of us could watch both, while the other went to do what they needed to you. I’m not entirely sure how it would’ve been if I’d truly been solo – but I guess I’ll find out next week when I take the little monster to Thailand by myself. Gulp.

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  • September 13, 2017

    There’s a lot to be said for hanging out in just one place when your time is limited! If I had a hotel room view like that, I’d be at the beach or on the balcony 24/7!! Except when I was eating, of course – those monster burgers look like enough food for all day, haha!

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    • September 19, 2017

      I really wished I had more time there to enjoy just sitting on the balcony, writing and drinking in that view, but alas, with a little one, those days are over for at least a little while…

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  • September 13, 2017

    Our kids were huge beach babies in their early years although I don’t think I ever took them solo (3 kids born every other year would have made that completely insane!). This looks like the perfect mother-daughter x 2 trip – I would have loved to do this with a girlfriend way back then!

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    • September 19, 2017

      Haha yeah, 3 kids solo would’ve been insane. We had a great trip, but I was pretty exhausted by the end, that’s for sure. Honestly, I can’t wait till Naia’s just a little older and we can go on a REAL mother-daughter solo trip…or better yet, a daddy-daughter solo trip. 😉

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  • September 13, 2017

    Keep it up, Shelley! You can do everything you want to, even with kids! And Jeju sounds like a really nice destination. Actually, I wanted to go there last year. However, due to non-availability of flights from Hong Kong, we ended up in Okinawa. I heard that the Chinese tourists are avoiding Korea and Jeju at the moment, so, did you feel it was too crowded? Perhaps I’ll explore it next year for a beach getaway, then. Cheers! Dennis

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    • September 19, 2017

      When we visited, it was definitely busy – but mostly with Koreans because there was a 2 week break with all the after school programs. LOTS of families on vacation…but I still didn’t feel overwhelmed and it was easy to find our own little space next to that sandbar. I’m told the best time to visit in terms of warm water, less crowds and cost is early September, so maybe keep that in mind for your visit. (And I so want to get to Okinawa!!)

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  • September 12, 2017

    the water looks awesome! great location

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  • Sha

    September 12, 2017

    Good tips! I’m planning to get to Jeju next March…but I’ve not started any research yet so I shall keep all these in mind, is it still cold in March you think?…:)

    reply...
    • September 19, 2017

      Yeah, I think it’s pretty cold in March still – maybe even raining, but there’s tons to do there even if you’re not beachin it. I’ve been told by locals that September is actually the best month for swimming – the water’s still warm, but it’s not as crowded and much cheaper!

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      • Sha

        September 22, 2017

        Will have to think of other places to visit instead then if the weather is like that…Hallasan maybe??? Hehehehehe

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