Cityscape of Varanasi with Ganges River in foreground.
The holy Ganges River runs through Varanasi.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

9 Destinations That Will Inspire a Spiritual Awakening

There is something about breaking away from normal life, about experiencing a world that is different from your own, that brings a sense of peace, tranquility and appreciation to how you feel about your own life. No matter your job title, your relationship status or your religious preferences, travel has no prejudice; it welcomes all who choose to embark on its magical journey.

In fact, travel is the best form of therapy out there. Yes, it is relatively pricey therapy, but it’s unquestionably worth it and promises to put even the biggest of conundrums into perspective. Sometimes we need to escape the bustling city and our busy lives to get in touch with ourselves, and to reflect and reconnect with our souls.

If you’ve been longing to experience spiritual fulfillment through travel, if you have a deep set desire to get in touch with yourself, look no further than these spiritual travel destinations. They will undoubtedly leave you changed for the better.


India is better known as the heart chakra of the world. It is a destination all humans should experience at least once, as there is nowhere else you will feel more alive, more present. Every sense will be heightened, forcing you to feel as if you are living, breathing, seeing, hearing and sometimes even smelling everything in your surroundings.

It’s absolutely exhilarating and the energy within every nook and cranny is infectious. India also has a plentiful number of attractions for spiritual rejuvenation, boasting a massive variety of yoga retreats and meditation centers.

In short, it is the perfect place for a spiritual getaway, challenging you to stretch your mind and open your heart. Here are some of the top destinations in India to start your spiritual pilgrimage.


Varanasi is considered the spiritual capital of India due to its abundance of spiritual history. It’s one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and has importance to Buddhists as this is where Buddha gave his first sermon.

As well, Varanasi is located on the banks of the Ganges, which is an immensely holy river according to Hinduism. The river is worshiped as a deity and it is believed that seeing the Ganges, saying its name and touching its waters will cleanse you of sins.

Ganges River with people lining the banks.Visit temples and witness people experiencing spiritual revival in the Ganges.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Haridwar is one of the oldest living cities in the world and another one of India’s holiest destination. Located at the foot of the Himalayas, it is the famous gathering spot for pilgrims to wash away their sins in what is the beginning of the River Ganges.

Visit Har-ki-Pairi Ghat and witness hundreds of worshipers gather for the ganga aarti, a river worship ceremony. The ceremony is enchanting as people send leaf baskets encasing flower petals and topped with candles downstream as the sun sets.

You’d be amiss to not visit any of the awe-striking Hindu temples while in Haridwar. Mansa Devi Temple and Chandi Devi Temple are located on hilltops and afford gorgeous views and calming vibes, making them some of the top spiritual places to visit.

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Bridge over river and colorful buildings.Rishikesh is the birthplace of yoga.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Rishikesh is the birthplace of yoga and is the perfect place to practice both meditation and various forms of yoga. It is known as a place for seeking knowledge and peace. Have your pick of the many ashrams for a yoga retreat and take a dip in the Ganges to experience its cleansing waters.

You can also experience Ayurveda therapies and massages, enabling your mind and body to find ultimate serenity.

Church overlooking city of Florence.Experience the cradle of the Renaissance in Florence.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Italy is the birthplace of the Catholic faith, and is a place known for its breathtaking views and its scenic pilgrim walks. Italy is like the espresso shot of spiritual enlightenment offering a deep, dense variety of sites, walks and resorts to attune your soul and lift your spirits.

With its rich spiritual and cultural heritage, Italy has the power to feed the mind, body and soul — and not just with pizza and pasta, but with a deep understanding and appreciation for the journey of the soul. Italy also holds more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country on Earth, and was the location of the renaissance of revolution and enlightenment.

If India is the heart chakra of the world, then Italy is the crown chakra, giving us access to a higher sense of consciousness and a connection with the limitless, the formless.


The cradle of the Renaissance and one of the greatest art cities in the world, Florence oozes with a rich appreciation and love for all things meaningful and beautiful. It is a must-see and will cause you to fall in love with the simple things life has to offer.

The Uffizi is where you need to go for a true appreciation of Renaissance art. Reflect on life from the top of the Duomo, gaining perspective on the city as well as yourself. If possible, visit on June 24 to catch the lively St. John the Baptist celebrations.

Lastly, they say music has a way of speaking to the soul, so there is no better way to find renewal than by listening to the choral music at St. Mark’s English Church.

Canal in Venice at sunset.The waters running through Venice will soothe and enchant you.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Venice will always be a place of enchantment. Its sheer loveliness is reason alone to visit, but its quaint churches and museums are its real selling point. Visit the impressive churches St. Mark’s Basilica, San Giorgio Maggiore and Basilica San Giovanni e Paolo for a taste of the Catholic tradition and to view some astonishing architecture.

Explore Doge’s Palace, Galleria dell’Accademia and Museo Civico Correr to admire cultural artifacts and stunning artwork.

Of course, your spiritual vacation wouldn’t be complete without taking a walk along the canals or a ride on a gondola. The water that flows through this beautiful city is a powerful force, bringing about tranquility and a romantic atmosphere that is easily felt.

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View of RomeThe spirit of Catholicism is still alive and pulsating throughout the city of Rome.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Rome is rich with Christianity and a flare for faith. Its pulsating energy radiates through the city and makes life feel as if it is playing out in a form of theater.

The standard tourist sites are beautiful, of course, but to experience the deep Catholic roots of the city there are a few other sites you should seek out. The Mamertine Prison is the place where the apostle Paul spent his final imprisonment. You can also visit the place Paul was martyred just outside the city walls at Tres Fontane.

The Catacombs are a must-see for both their art and eerie ambiance. Lastly, although Vatican City is technically a country in its own right, it’s contained within the city of Rome. For a close-up look at Catholicism, make this one of the stops on your soul-searching trip.

Baobab tree at sunset in Botswana.Experience a simpler time in Botswana.Photo Credit: Getty Images


There is no place quite like Africa, rich with diversity and culture and offering a primordial beauty and tranquility. It is an untapped wonderland that hosts a world of unforgettable safari destinations. This picturesque place has an abundance of lessons and realizations to impart on all who visit it.

A marriage of African authenticity and pulsating energy sets the perfect backdrop to catch a glimpse of the intimate lifestyle of the wild and those who inhabit it. Africa is the ideal place to rejuvenate and reconnect with your roots — leave the fast-paced digital world behind and embark on a journey bearing gifts no amount of money could ever buy.


Botswana is blessed with some of the greatest wildlife sites in the world and makes for an enchanting spiritual vacation destination. Visit Chobe National Park and experience the life teeming within its four ecosystems. Take a trip to Camp Kalahari and walk with Bushmen, absorbing the local culture.

It’s a place where powerful creatures roam free and the never-ending Okavango River flows, giving life all along its banks. Botswana also has the largest stretch of unbroken sand on the planet and is the perfect place to get in touch with nature and rediscover the true simplistic wonders of the world.

Boardwalk and ocean in Zanzibar.There is a serene calmness that is present in Zanzibar.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Zanzibar reflects a cultural mix of people that emerged from eras of trade with different countries. African, Arab, Indian, Persian and European influences all took root in Zanzibar throughout its many chapters of history. This eclectic mix of cultures makes for a truly unique and educational experience that is characteristic of Zanzibar tourism.

As well, the beautiful white beaches and crystal pools are a hot spot for marine life.

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Desert in NamibiaNamibia is arguably one of the most tourist-friendly destinations in Africa.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Namibia is nestled between Zambia and Angola and is arguably the most tourist-friendly destination in Africa. From its glimmering coastline to its plunging sand dunes and spinal mountain range, Namibia’s beauty is unrivaled.

If you’re wondering where to go for spiritual enlightenment, Namibia has the sites that will set you on your path of awakening. Visit the Fairy Circles, unexplained bald patches of land in the countryside that have grown and shrunk over time. View the 200-million-year-old footprints made by dinosaurs at Otjihaenamaprero Farm. Walk through the world’s only coastal desert, the Namib Sand Sea.

The country’s vast and barren landscapes will make you feel like you’ve fallen off the end of the earth into a new world entirely of its own. Its endless landscapes make for the perfect opportunity to let your soul free.

To follow along on Hayden’s adventures and get more great travel advice, visit her website Glamorous Glitter.

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