23 November 2018
Spirituality means different things to different people, but something that most will agree with is that feeling spiritual concerns the human spirit or soul being at ease. There are many places across the world that inspire such feelings, so we’ve picked out a selection of our favourite spiritual destinations, which are perfect for your next adventure.
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor, the ancient capital city of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th century, is one of Cambodia’s most popular attractions thanks to its temple complex. It is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world, featuring more than 1,000 temples spread over 400 square kilometres and Angkor Wat is its headline act.
Away from the magnificent ruins there’s plenty going on including local food tours where you can sample delicacies such as deep-fried tarantula, visit the War Museum, which has a unique collection of landmines and tanks from the Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese occupation in the 1970s and traditional aspara dance shows, which uses Khmer dance to convey their story.
“On day two we rose early to see the sunrise over the Angkor Wat temples from across the water, which was a peaceful and tranquil hour reflecting on what we had learnt and seen. We then continued to what became my favourite site, Ladies Temple – it was stunning. It had intricate carvings on pink and green coloured walls and set in a beautiful location. A photographer’s paradise.”
Tanuja, Travel Counsellor
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a giant sandstone monolith in Australia’s Northern Territory. It’s a national landmark and sacred place for the indigenous Aboriginal people, who believe that the spirits of ancestral beings continue to reside there.
Visitors can take a tour of the red desert inside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and see the fascinating geological landforms and natural beauty which made this area of central Australia so special. Learn about the ancient ways of the world’s oldest living culture and enjoy wine and canapés with the backdrop of a dramatic landscape on an Uluru Sunset Tour, or head south and explore the spectacular views of the outback on a Kings Canyon Day Tour.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire is the site of a mysterious 4,100-year-old stone formation and is a British icon. People travel from all over the world to visit the rocks, often coming on a day trip from London, which is only two hours away by road. A popular time to visit is during the celebrations of the Stonehenge Summer Solstice Festival, which takes place each June. Walk among the stones as the sun sets and celebrate the year’s longest day with thousands of other revellers.
If you’d like to extend your stay, try lodging in nearby New Forest National Park. In addition to beautiful gardens and greenery, you’ll find attractions such as Paultons Park, a hit with kids and home to Peppa Pig World, as well as miles and miles of walking trails which you can either enjoy on a guided tour or at your own pace.
Standing almost 400 metres high, this uninhabited limestone island sits two kilometres off the west coast of Ibiza opposite Cala d’Hort. Shrouded in myths and legend, Es Vedra is believed to be the third most magnetic spot on Earth after the North Pole and Bermuda triangle, even though there is no evidence to support this outside of a few reports that navigational instruments are affected in its vicinity.
Regardless of its magnetic prowess, Es Vedra creates a magical atmosphere, and many people practice yoga with it in view, partly because of its suspected natural powers of healing and inspiration, while others gather to see the sun rise from, and fall, behind it.
Straddling the border of Bolivia and Peru in South America, Lake Titicaca is a sacred body of water that holds spiritual significance. According to Incan mythology, it was from Lake Titicaca that the creator god Viracocha rose up to create the sun, moon, stars and first human beings, and in 2000 an international archaeological expedition discovered an ancient temple submerged in its waters, adding to the mystery.
Visitors can explore the lake on a group tour to the Uros Islands or go off the beaten track for an immersive cultural experience and head to the island of Anapia, whose small native population runs a community-based tourism programme with tours which include a one-night homestay with traditional homemade meals and activities such as fishing and farming.
If you would like to book a relaxing retreat to one of these spiritual destinations, contact your Travel Counsellor.