Spiritual travelers undertake their journeys for many reasons:
- To follow in the footsteps of a particular religious figure
- To undertake a pilgrimage in the time-honored traditions of their faith
- To discover a new sense of inner peace
- To explore spirituality of other cultures, past or present
Spiritual travel mixes well with other types of travel. Combining the fine arts with your spiritual travel itinerary can be particularly rewarding. Archaeological discovery also goes well with spiritual travel.
Let's take a look at some examples of the many types of spiritual vacations.
Photo © Amanda Rynes
Go Ahead Tours recently introduced several new spiritual travel itineraries, including this 12-day trip to Egypt and Jordan. Visiting the pyramids, Mount Sinai and Petra is an experience you'll never forget. Go Ahead Tours also offers trips to Armenia and Israel.
Photo © Craig Toron
Many places on Earth are reputed to possess spiritual or magical powers. Sedona, Arizona, is one of these spots. Sedona's vortexes have attracted pilgrims for centuries. Elizabeth Rose, About.com's Guide to Southwest Travel, has compiled a list of tour operators offering Sedona vortex tours and lectures.
Photo © Nan Peasé
Road Scholar, long known for its in-depth "learning adventures" for mature travelers, offers several religous and cultural awareness trips. You can visit Amish and Mennonite communities in Indiana, spend a day - or more - learning what Islam really teaches or explore the history of the Holy Land. Scholarships are available.
Photo © Passionplay Oberammergau 2000
Tauck World Discovery is just one of many tour operators offering trips to Oberammergau, Germany, for the world-famous Passion Play. This play, which is only performed one year in every ten, was first performed in 1634 after the residents of Oberammergau were spared the devastating events of the bubonic plague, or Black Death. The Passion Play is performed in years ending with a zero, unless special circumstances prevail.
Photo © Adi Judas
Globus Journeys offers spiritual travel itineraries based on three broad themes: Lands of the Bible, Lands of Protestant / Evangelical Christianity and Lands of Catholicism. You can walk in the footsteps of Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, explore Poland, Pope John Paul II's homeland, or trace the roots of the Reformation in Germany and Geneva.
Photo © Martin Louis
As yoga's popularity continues to increase, travelers are planning vacations around this traditional Hindu practice. Sharell Cook, About.com's Guide to India Travel, has put together a list of India's top yoga centers
, including information about the yoga and meditation classes they offer.
Photo © Muhannad Fala'ah / Getty Images
Performing Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is obligatory for every adult Muslim who meets the requirements
. In order to make this pilgrimage, you must work with a travel agent who is licensed by the Saudi government and is based in your home country.