5 Best Travel Destinations for Spiritual Discovery

No matter your religion or spiritual persuasion, spending time in ancient holy sites can be a cleansing and inspiring experience. There’s something about these ancient sites that can make a traveler feel both extremely small and incredibly connected to something larger — much like gazing up into a night sky.

Of course, you don’t need to visit these top destinations to have a spiritual travel experience… nearly every town on earth has some kind of holy site, whether it’s a small chapel or a majestic mountain spring. But if you’re interested in visiting some of the most commonly visited spiritual destinations on earth, here are five starting points (don’t worry, we do have one more secular option on our list!):

Rishikesh, India

Rishikesh, India, is a holy city revered for its yoga and meditation schools. The reason Rishikesh has become so popular with yogis and meditators is because the practice has ancient roots there, and The Ganges River, which is holy according to Hinduism. Visit the town, explore the Himalayan surroundings, and if you’re so included, stay at a temple or ashram in Swarg Ashram, an enclave of spiritual centers in the city. Just don’t expect to party—there is little to no alcohol or meat to be found in the area.

Cusco/Machu Picchu, Peru

For those who are secular and uninterested in meditation but still want a moving spiritual experience, the city of Cusco and the wondrous Machu Picchu are a fantastic option. Due to the trend of exploring the Peruvian rainforest in search of “enlightenment,” many little yoga schools and spiritual-seeking expats have populated Cusco. Make the two-hour journey to the astounding ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu, and you’re sure to leave with a new perspective.

Camino de Santiago, Spain

Those of a Christian background or who enjoy Christian tradition will find great meaning in Camino de Santiago. Camino translates to “walk,” and Camino de Santiago is a walk from  Roncesvalles, a village on the French border, to the Atlantic coast, passing by the tomb of the apostle St. James in Santiago de Compostela.

88 Temple Circuit, Japan

The Japanese Island of Shikoku is the destination of 88 temples. According to Buddhist tradition, there are 88 human passions that must be overcome to obtain enlightenment. Buddhists believe you can address these passions by making a pilgrimage in which you walk (or bus, these days) between the island’s 88 temples, beginning in Tokushima.

Mt. Kailash, Tibet

Few destinations signify spirituality quite like Tibet, home to the Dalai Lama and numerous other monks and spiritual teachers. Mt. Kailash is a spiritual circuit that is a pilgrimmage for people of numerous religious backgrounds, including Buddhists, Jains, Hindus and Bonpos. While the trek to Mt. Kailash can be done in a day, many travelers choose to take the journey slowly, pausing for meditation along the way.

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Marie W
Marie W5 months ago

Thank you.

Kathy K
Kathy K5 months ago

Thanks. Wish I could get to even one of them.

Shirley P
Shirley Plowman9 months ago


Cindy S
Cindy Smith9 months ago


RICKY SLOAN10 months ago


Ingrid A
Past Member 10 months ago

Thanks for posting

Marija M
Marija M10 months ago

Interesting, tks for sharing.

Carole R
Carole R10 months ago

I wish I had the strength ,money and ability to visit all these places. I have been to Sedona, Arizona and that is kind of cool.

Peggy B
Peggy B10 months ago


Angela J
Angela J10 months ago