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Spiritual travel: holiday destinations to heal your soul

04 February 2016 ( 31 October 2016 )

Sometimes when you travel, you want to come away with more than souvenirs from your journey.

Wat Rong Khun, Thailand
Wat Rong Khun, Thailand

You want to experience some of the most amazing places on Earth — such as the Great Wall of China, the Golden Triangle in India, or sacred sites like the Buddhist temples of Thailand and Sri Lanka. 

These sites will inspire you with their majestic scenery, magnificent architecture or spiritual significance. 

We’ve put together some of the most beautiful places on Earth, both for their visual aesthetics and for the sense of life and completion they infuse you with when you embark on spiritual travel.

The Great Wall of China, China

Starting in Hebei province in the east, the Great Wall of China stretches a mind-blowing 22,000 kilometres all the way to Gansu province in the west. 

Make sure there is plenty of space on your camera’s memory card, put on some hardwearing hiking boots and walk along part of this mighty feat of military architecture. 

Built as part of a military strategy, the Great Wall of China is now one of the top tourist attractions in the world. Walk along the wall and make a few friends along the way as you thread your way across verdant hills. The journey will invigorate your spirit.

Discover more about culturaly rich China

The Golden Triangle, India

The Golden Triangle in India consists of New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. 

During your visit here you can witness the famed Taj Mahal, standing in all its splendour on the right bank of the Majuna River. The best time to see this architectural jewel in the crown of the Golden Triangle is at sunrise. 

The sheer beauty of the marble glistening brilliant white in the sun warms the soul, allowing you to get the most out of spiritual travel, not to mention return home with some fabulous pictures.

Read more about India, it's Golden Triangle and it's impressive heritage

The Buddhist temples of Thailand

For a real spiritual retreat, the Buddhist temples are some of the best places to visit in Thailand and they combine to form one of the most spiritual places in the world. 

The Wat Rong Khun temple is a great work of art. The whiteness of the temple represents the purity of the Buddha and fills you with serenity. Meanwhile, the Wat Tha Sung temple incorporates both the spiritual and the stylish with its many mirrors. 

This temple is sometimes referred to as ‘the Glass Temple’. Then there is the Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Khiri, which is something of a gem as it is lesser known to travellers and will really enrich your spiritual journey.

Read more about holidays to Thailand here

The ancient city of Kandy, Sri Lanka

Travellers will often flock to the capital city, Colombo, when visiting Sri Lanka, but if you’re on a meditation retreat you should head for central Sri Lanka and, more specifically, the ancient city of Kandy. 

The city is the site of the Temple of the Tooth, believed to bear the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. On your Buddhist retreat practise a spot of mediation at the temple. 

Enter in the morning, when there are fewer tourists, and you’ll leave Kandy, and Sri Lanka, with a sense of calm that you never imagined was possible.

Find out more about Sri Lanka

All of these destinations and sights are splendid. You’ll return home with a sense of wellbeing and enlightenment. 

You’ll also bond with other travellers who have placed souvenir collection at the bottom of their list and experiences at the top.

Do you want to reap more from travel than a few souvenirs? Read Margaret Manning’s article about the gifts good travel brings you


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.