Though many of us would like to visit such well-known spiritual destinations as Stonehenge, Mecca, and anywhere in India, there are hundreds of spiritual destinations worth seeing around the world.
Even though this list includes household names, it focuses more on some of the amazing spots that get less press.
They also top the list of places I hope to or have already experienced.
Here are 8 worldwide destinations that might just change your life and your outlook:
1) Camino de Santiago, France/Spain
If you want to work for your spiritual epiphany, take a walking pilgrimage on UNESCO World Heritage Site’s Camino de Santiago.
Though there are many starting points throughout Europe and North Africa, this Christian pilgrimage to the burial place of the apostle St. James often begins in France, winding its way to the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela.
Typically taking about four weeks, the French route is filled with gorgeous landscape and is dotted with hostels mostly dedicated to the pilgrims.
Hiking along the Camino de Santiago. Photo: Fresco Tours
2) Sedona, Arizona
Though spiritual destinations are often connected to ancient lands such as India and Thailand, there are places in the United States that are gaining spiritual appeal.
One of these is Sedona, Arizona, where artists, healers, and those seeking a deepened sense of spirit flock to in order to experience the powerful red rocks and its vortex energies.
Sedona not only provides a landscape conducive to meditation and reflection, but it also offers a wide-variety of alternative healing therapies such as detox, astrology, Reiki balancing, and shamanic healings.
The red rocks of Sedona. Photo: Ed Siasoco
3) Josefov/Jewish Quarter, Prague
The history of Josefov in Prague is not easy, much the same as the rest of Jewish history.
Located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River, the Jewish community in Prague was forced to relocate to this small area in the 13th century.
Even with cramped quarters for Jews over the next eight centuries, the area maintains the best preserved Jewish monuments in all of Europe.
Six synagogues remain, and it is incredible to see the cemeteries where caskets were buried on top of each other because there was such little room to honor the dead.
A cemetery full of headstones in the Jewish Quarter of Prague. Photo: Emmanual Dyan
4) Uluru/Ayers Rock, Australia
The sandstone formation known as Uluru (or Ayers Rock) not only is Australia’s most identifiable spiritual destination, but may be the country’s most famous natural landmark.
The large, reddish-brown structure juts out from the ground at over 1000 feet and is about 6 miles in circumference.
This area is sacred to the Aboriginals of Australia, and they request that certain sections of the mountain not be photographed due to traditional beliefs and rituals.
Ayers Rock rises from the ground. Photo: dincsi
5) Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu draws hundreds of thousands of people each year to its stone walls and magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.
Located deep in the valleys of Peru, this ancient Inca site was inexplicably protected from the invading Spanish during their conquest.
Also a World Heritage Site, the buildings are considered to be sacred rocks and carvings, believed to have been built in alignment with key astronomical events important to the Incas.
Many people who visit the site are profoundly affected by both the landscape and the powerful spiritual energy.
Machu Picchu from above. Photo: exfordy
6) Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
The oldest Islamic monument that stands today, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is not a traditional mosque but a shrine.
It is considered a sacred spot to Muslims because it is believed to be the place where the Prophet Muhammed ascended to heaven.
The golden dome was originally built to rival the Christian domes of the 7th century and allowed only Muslims to enter.
The site now allows non-Muslims into the compound at certain times of the day, though they are never allowed inside the Dome itself.
The golden dome shines in Jerusalem. Photo: brett.wagner
7) Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Another World Heritage Site, the intricate temple at Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the world’s largest religious building.
Built during the 12th century as a Hindu temple designed to represent Mount Meru – home of the devas in Hindu mythology – it later became a Buddhist center.
With a great deal of restoration work going into the temple over the last 25 years, Angkor Wat is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia.
It also invites a daily set of Buddhist monks who pray and meditate inside and outside of its walls, along with travelers from all over the world.
Angkor Wat temple as the night falls. Photo: experez
8) Mount Kailash, Tibet
You may not have heard of it, but according to Sacred Sites, Mt. Kailash has the “unique distinction of being the world’s most venerated holy place at the same time that it is the least visited.”
That’s because it may be the hardest spiritual destination to get to on this list.
The mountain is located in a remote region of Tibet, where no form of public transportation – including planes – can go. Even in an over-land vehicle, it may take days to journey there.
But for dedicated pilgrims and adventure-seeking travelers alike, this supposed home of Lord Shiva according to Hindus may be the pinnacle of spiritual travels.
Mt. Kailash pokes out from the horizon. Photo: Sunciti _ Sundaram ‘s Gallery Galore
What are the spiritual destinations that you want to visit or have already visited? Share them in the comments!
If you liked this, you might also like: Hampi: the Most beautiful Place on Earth
Main image: icathing.