Spirituality is more than a practice—it’s a way of life. Those that travel often know that you can’t change who you are no matter where you venture. If spirituality is a big part of your life, you’ll want to bring it with you.
One of the best ways to celebrate your own spirituality—and learn about how others celebrate theirs—is by visiting countries that have rich spiritual roots and practices. For your next divine retreat, consider Bali villas for rent, hotels with their own shrines or remote lodges.
No matter where you stay, these eight spots offer the most spiritual experiences.
Possibly the most spiritual place on the planet, Nepal has plenty to offer those looking to keep things sacred. Traditional Buddhist monasteries, hilltop temples and the extreme solitude of the Annapurna Circuit are all incredibly important to the country. Combining unreal picturesque views with stunning religious sites makes for an incredibly spiritual trip.
The many islands of Indonesia are perfect for spiritual travelers, though Bali obviously takes the cake. This prominent island—one of the most traveled in the world—is home to many different yoga and meditation retreats. Even if you’re not there for a retreat, the many festivals, opportunities to experience traditional song and dance, local food and lush landscapes offer a divine trip every time.
There are quite a few places in Peru that spiritual travelers will want to visit. An obvious choice is Machu Picchu, a hard-to-reach ancient sacred site on top of a mountain. Surrounded by other peaks, the green spaces are gorgeous—and offer plenty of history. The historic Incan town of Cusco is another prominent spot as are Lake Titicaca and Aramu Muru.
History plays a major role in any trip to Ireland—and with history, comes religion in this country. Faith was incredibly important to the Celtic people, and they believed that God was everywhere. It’s hard not to believe such a thing when you see the rolling green, misty clouds and wild seashore. Visit cathedrals, the sacred sites of Pagan goddesses, homes of Christian saints and other spots in Ireland that offer peace.
Home to Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a must on any list of spiritual countries. This Buddhist city is made entirely of temples—and also contains the largest religious temple in the world. Exploring the temples’ various corridors, staircases and architectural designs along with unique statues and shrines will showcase the temple-city’s diversity. Other spiritual spots can be found at the holy mountain of Phnom Kulen, the ruins of Prasat Ek Phnom and the pagodas in Battambang.
While all of the U.K. isn’t necessarily a spiritual experience, there’s no denying that there are some mysteries in the English countryside. Stonehenge is an important site for many across the globe. But there are other sites that deal with the historic divine as well. The King’s Men ceremonial stone circle dates back to 2,500 B.C. The standing stones at Avebury are even older, and the area is also home to various crop circles.
India is another space where a spiritual journey is going to be met with endless excitement. There are so many ways to celebrate here, a place where devotion is above nearly all else. Spiritual gurus can be found all around the country, meditation retreats are plentiful and there are so many temples to visit. Varanasi, a sacred Hindu city, is a must-see as is Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga.
Another must on any list about spiritual travel is Thailand. Buddhism is a major part of the local culture, with more than 90 percent of citizens practicing the ancient religion. Because the divine is so important to the culture, it shows up in things like architecture as well. There are so many temples, monks, palaces and lotus flowers in Thailand that anyone even remotely in tune with their own spirituality will feel right at home.