The World’s Most Spiritual Places to Visit 4 min read
The world draws its spirituality from many different sources—ranging from religious traditions to ancient folklore. Whether you’re looking for a mental escape or want to plan future zen-inspired travels, these are some of the most spiritual places to visit around the world.
Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage extends from outside Biarritz, France to Santiago, Spain and welcomes hundreds of thousands of trekkers each year. Santiago, Spain is said to be the burial site of the apostle St. James. So while the trek has strong ties to Christianity, many simply use the nearly 500-mile journey as a chance to take a break from their busy lives and reconnect with nature.
The Western Wall (or the Wailing Wall) is one of the most significant spiritual locations on Earth for Jewish people. Located at the base of Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall is visited by millions of Christian, Muslims and Jewish people alike every year.
Those who come to pray will place their prayers, written on small pieces of paper, into the cracks of the wall. Others gather to sing and dance in prayer. Even for the non-religious, the spiritual experience of visiting the Western Wall can be felt deep in the soul.
Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, is the site of a former Incan civilization believed to have lived there at the height of the Inca Empire in the 15th/16th century. The ruins of Machu Picchu are located in the middle of the jungle, high in the Andes Mountains.
The visually captivating architectural ruins are made even more incredible by what historians have learned about the ancient civilization that lived there. Windows lined up directly to the equinox sunsets, walls built to withstand earthquakes and perfectly accurate astrological clocks are just some of the fascinating aspects of this spiritual site in Peru.
In central Sri Lanka, a mountain known as Adam’s Peak rises high above the small island country. This mountain is sacred to all of the country’s predominant faiths — Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims. To Buddhists, it is known as Sri Pada and they believe a footprint from Buddha is etched on the surface of the summit. Similarly, for Christians and Muslims, they believe the mark is of Adam. In Hinduism? It’s the footprint of Shiva and the mountain is called Sivan Adi Padham.
The mountain marks a pilgrimage for many faiths, but regardless of religion, the peaceful summit and its 360° views of tea plantations, blue lakes and lush rolling hills is undeniably spiritual.
With its depth of ancient history and beautiful Mediterranean nature, Greece is an incredibly spiritual country, to begin with. Meteora is the peak of Greek spirituality. These 11th-century mountaintop monasteries are a jaw-dropping site in the middle of mainland Greece. The stone-built monasteries are perched on the top of, at times, nearly cylindrical rocks.
Six of the monasteries remain active, and you won’t find a better place to feel close to God than on top of these rocks. Make sure to stay for sunset when time truly slows down, and the meaning of the name Meteora, “suspended in air,” is best felt.
Uluru is a sacred symbol to the Aboriginal people of Australia who worshipped natural Earthly formations rather than man-made structures. Uluru, the massive red rock (it’s taller than the Eiffel Tower!) situated in the Northern Territory, has been a prominent symbol of the indigenous culture of Australia for thousands of years.
It’s important to note that climbing Uluru is seen as disrespectful and all visitors should respect the spiritual significance of the rock from a distance.