You probably know some destinations that are a feast for the eyes. But what about the soul?
There are some places in the world that can not only look great in Instagram photos but also provide a sense of spiritual enlightenment.
From temples and shrines to peaceful pilgrimages that encourage self-discovery, here are the most spiritual places in the world.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
This city is where St. James the Apostle is believed to be resting. But it’s more about the way people get there that adds to the spiritual significance.
Camino de Santiago (known as the “Way of Saint James” in English) is a pilgrimage route that thousands take to the city each year.
The most popular route that many people follow (on foot) can take up to 35 days to complete. Along the way there are many eye-opening sights and cultural experiences, encouraging pilgrims to slow down and take it all in.
The end of the journey will bring you to Santiago de Compostela. Those who complete the journey apparently receive a certificate, and there were more than 270,000 handed out in 2016 alone.
This destination has been called the “the spiritual heart of India,” which dates back to 2,000 BCE. In Hinduism, it is believed that dying in this sacred city will end the cycle of death and rebirth.
The Ganges River passes through this city, and the river is considered to be sacred. It’s also known as the “mother river” and in Hindu culture, it’s actually a living being.
The city is also known for its ghats and temples, including the Vishwanath temple that dates back to 1776. You can’t take recording devices into the temple – which is all the more reason to experience it from a spiritual perspective.
If you want a cultural and spiritual experience when you’re visiting Japan, hit up this ancient city. It is filled with Buddhist temples (more than 1,000) and shrines, as well as Christian churches.
The Fushimi Inari Shrine is surely a place where your soul will sing and will afford you a beautiful view over the landscape. It features thousands of torii gates, with trails that lead to the forests of the sacred Mount Inari.
If you’re interested in a pilgrimage, you can hike along the Kumano Kodō lined with beautiful shrines and mountainous landscape.
S’Gang Gwaay, British Columbia
You don’t have to go to ancient cities like Japan and India to get a spiritual experience. This area in BC, Canada is an abandoned First Nations village, but there are a number of impressive totem poles that are slowly being re-absorbed by natural surroundings.
You can only get there by boat, and a very limited number of tourists are allowed there at a time. You can also get tours to learn about the history of the land.
Visit The Most Spiritual Places In The World
When planning your next trip, don’t just choose one for photo ops. Choose one that provides a truly enlightening experience that your spirit will remember.
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