There are some places in the world that are beautiful to visit, with miles and miles of beautiful sandy beaches and endless horizons filled with clear, blue waters. There are other places that are full of texture and lushly green – like rain forests. Then there are the holy places. The places where people have long tread in worship and spirituality and these are the places of religious significance. The world is a very big place, but one of the biggest attractions in our vast, blue planet is the fact that we can step out of our current comfort zones with adequate curiosity and explore places in the world that are different to what we are used to.

You can choose to head to Jerusalem, Mecca, the Vatican and even Maya Devi – Buddha’s birthplace. Devotees and tourists in their millions travel to these areas of the globe throughout the year, with spirituality and enlightenment in mind. The thing is, these aren’t the only spiritual sites that are on offer across our planet, and there are other places in the world that are full of atmosphere, mystery and the eternal questions that we all have that fill us with faith. You don’t have to have a particular affinity with religion to appreciate that another culture in the world does something in a different way to you, which is why we all take pause and dream about exploring the far reaches of the world. Call it enlightenment tourism if you wish, but here are five destinations that are absolutely perfect for seeing the world in a light to which you have yet to experience.

Monk Washing Dishes on River


  • Stonehenge, UK

In the thick of the English countryside sits Stonehenge. These huge rocks are aligned with the stars and sit perfectly with the summer and winter equinoxes – and yet no one knows why these rocks were placed here. As no one can explain its function, we have no idea why it exists at all. This makes Stonehenge one of the most mystical places in the world to visit and when you step within the shadow of the stones, you feel the aura of peace and calm you sought out.

  • Caves of Dordogne, France.

Underneath the Dordogne River valley lies a vast network of caves. These caves have in the past, revealed the traces of the earliest spiritual awakenings of mankind. There are etchings in the rocks made tens of thousands of years ago that are known to be some of the earliest human artworks known to man. It’s a thrilling experience, to be in the footsteps of the Cro-Magnon Man who came before us.

  • Lempuyang Temple, Bali

There are many islands that make up Indonesia and while a lot of tourists realise that this is the place they want to be for a visit, others feel the atmosphere and want to make it more permanent through sites like The Lempuyang Temple sits right at the top of a mountain, and is one of the oldest temples that is held in high regard within all who visit. There are over 1700 steps up to the temple, and it’s only accessible by foot. It’s not for the faint of heart, but the view over the sky and clouds is simply heavenly.

  • Ayers Rock, Australia

This is a piece of natural majesty that needs no decoration. The Anangu people of Uluru believe that the rock is a lasting totem of the great spiritual force that forged the world. It’s a monument that conveys a deep and lasting sense of unity among men, and it’s a place of sheer calm.

  • Koyasan, Japan

It’s a sacred site to Japanese Buddhism that has stood since the 9th century. The region is dedicated to spiritual contemplation and ancient cedar forests share the space with historic pagodas. The sense of Japanese reverence that is here emphasises the timeless qualities of nature and simplicity.

Silhouette Photography of Person Spreading Arms


These spiritual hubs are all destinations that are visited by the millions every year but they still remain largely untouched by the modern changes of today. Having a monument to spirituality and calm is a way for people to feel connected, and the fact that there are so many just goes to show how much people want to believe in something bigger than themselves. These impressive sites should be on your bucket list, otherwise you’re missing out on the time you could be spending exploring the regions and enjoying yourself while you do it.

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