If you like tales of enchanted eels, thwarted love, saintly devotion and vengeance, the history of St Dwynwen on Llanddwyn Island (Ynys Llanddwyn) in north Wales might interest you. To learn more about St Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, or if you want to visit this tiny island near Newborough Beach for yourself, read […]
Sacred Places to Visit
Welcome to my Sacred Places to Visit category page. Here you'll find plenty of articles on trips to sacred spots around the globe.
Sacred Places to Visit
The world is filled with sacred places to visit. There are pilgrimages to holy shrines, labyrinths to walk, megalithic stones to wonder at, ancient temples to see and sacred mountains to climb. While spiritual tourism often has a religious component, the 'sacred travel' niche can also relate to history, nature, architectural wonders and personal growth.
Spiritual travel can be New Age-y and weird. Making a trip to a sacred place can be uplifting, enlightening, uncomfortable, eye opening and mystical. You can laugh at it, be changed by it and be fascinated - all at once.
And that's why adding a sacred destination to your travels is so worthwhile.
Basilica Montserrat, Spain
What is a sacred place?
Sacred places are places with a kind of special energy. Think of ancient pagan sites such as Stonehenge or Avebury, places where ley lines (energy lines) intersect such as Glastonbury Tor. Sacred places can be power spots in unexpected places, such as a corner of Wawel Krakow, said to be the 7th chakra of the world.
They can be famous pilgrimage spots such as Mecca, Jerusalem and the Santiago de Compostela.
Spiritual places around the world
There are thousands of sacred places on earth and spiritual places to visit. In fact, you've probably been adding them to your travels without even knowing it. Have you been to, say, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris? Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France? The Blue Mosque in Istanbul? Sacred places to visit can include holy shrines, temples and natural spots, such as willow groves, lakes and mountains. Hot springs, in a particular, were often considered sacred sites by the Romans, Druids, and Etruscans.
A sacred place, in essence, is a place where belief, energy and 'place' interact. Some call it a Place of Power.
Blue Mosque in Istanbul
Places of Power
How are Places of Power created? Whether they're created by magnetic energy, by the way the sun falls on them during winter solstice, by their natural beauty, uniqueness of their surroundings or simply from the combined energy of thousands of people who believe, no one is completely sure. Yet mystical places, spiritual destinations and 'power spots' are a fascinating part of our world.
Monastery with a view
What is Spiritual travel?
Spiritual travel simply means adding a sacred site or sites to your travels. It can be as simple as visiting a holy well in Ireland during a hike or as complex as devoting an entire journey to say, Christian sights in Israel. It can involve getting cleansed by a witch in Mexico City, sampling a healing with a Shaman in Peru or practicing English with novice monks in Luang Prabang to learn more about their Buddhism. Sacred travel can be as casual or as immersive as you want.
Ultimately, seeking out sacred places to visit can make a journey richer and more layered, just remember that it should always be done with respect.
Is the existence of sacred and mystical places hype or reality? Glastonbury is a wacky New Age town that was once one of the most powerful religious centres in England. Even today the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey and the Tor resonate with different types of energy.
One of the most interesting attractions in Ho Chi Minh City is the Jade Emperor Pagoda. This otherworldly temple is well worth visiting if you’re in Saigon, Vietnam, but if you want to ‘live it’ rather than just see it, read on. My first stop in Ho Chi Minh City, the Jade Emperor Pagoda I don’t want to visit […]
Thinking of visiting the Mount of Beatitudes in Israel? If you’re interested in history, Christian sights and a trip to the Holy Land, this spot is for you – but what will you take away? The sun was deceptively cheerful, shining down on the cypress trees and gardens on the Mount of Beatitudes, giving no hint of the humiliation […]
Another sacred spot, another failure. Ah, well. I look out over the wind-rounded ridges of Montserrat Mountain, Spain, wondering if I’ll ever live up to people’s expectations. Truthfully, I’d rather dodge them altogether. The wind blows my hair as I look past the Cross of St Michael and down over the valley floor of Catalonia. Just breathe […]
I try not to haunt (pardon the pun) cemeteries too often as I don’t want to give our friend, Death, any encouragement, but as I approach the Modernist Cemetery in Lloret de Mar, a coastal resort town in Costa Brava, death seems as far away as you can get. Sunshine sparkles off cupids, elongated crosses stretch […]
Looking out the plane window on our flight to the Riviera Maya, watching the lights of Toronto shrink into specks as we rose into a still-dark sky, I was thinking of beaches, palms and papayas. I was thinking of a nap by the pool. I was thinking the seats on Air Transat are really quite comfortable, that the […]
Is Ireland magical or not? Of course it is! Why does no one believe me? When I travelled south of Killarney to the wee town of Kenmare in search of the mystical stone circle of Kenmare – an unsung hero in the world of pagan sites – I had to fight a host of disbelievers, […]
The town of Watrous, Saskatchewan, in Canada came into being in 1906 so what’s it doing with 500-year old stained glass windows? The Christ Enthroned Window, along with St. Peter and St. Paul, were once on the lam, that’s what they were! But don’t worry, they have achieved permanent residency status in Canada, so […]
After a trip to Normandy in France last June, Remembrance Day has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Even though it was a trip celebrating Impressionist art, it was impossible not to be affected by the devastation of war. Here’s a whirlwind snapshot about remembering the war in Normandy. Remembering the war in […]