Many of the world’s major religions began in the Middle East and spirituality is an important factor in the daily lives of everyone that lives here. Although religion has caused wars and conflicts in many instances in the region, most spiritual tourism here is far removed from these types of troubles. You’ll find everything from historic and ancient sites frequented by pilgrims to Red Sea resorts hosting yoga retreats.
- Footsteps of Jesus, Israel
Many tour operators specialize in retracing the footsteps of Jesus Christ in Israel and take tourists to the major stops on the Jesus trail such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Church of the Nativity.
- Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Inside mecca sits the holiest shrine in Islam, the Kaaba, a cupoidal building inside the al-Masjid al-Haram mosque, the Sacred Mosque, where the annual Hajj revolves around. Every muslim is expected to make a pilgrimage here sometime during their life.
- Red Sea, Egypt
The posh Red Sea resorts are one of the best places to take a yoga class or spiritual retreat in the Middle East, especially if luxury is on your mind.
- Rock-Hewn Churches, Ethiopia
The 11 monolithic cave churches hewn out of rock in the 13th Century in Lalibela are an important Christian pilgrimage site.
- Istanbul, Turkey
Formerly called Byzantium and Constantinople and once the capital of the Roman and Ottoman empires, this bustling city straddling two continents is home to an astounding number of biblical sites, Muslim mosque, and many important religious artifacts that attract pilgrims from across the globe.
- Atlantic Coast, Morocco
Yoga, detox, and luxury health retreats can be found at resorts up and down the Moroccan coastline. New age activities have been around since the 60’s when Hendrix and other free love rock starts were around.
- Jerusalem, Israel
The old walled city of Jerusalem, a holy site of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, is dominated by historic sites such as the Dome of the Rock, Wailing Wall, and church of the Holy Sepulchre.
- Muslim/Jewish/Christian Sites, Iran
The country is a hotspot for religious pilgrims and three major religions are featured heavily here. Numerous sites exist for separate tours of each.
- Dead Sea, Jordan
When you’re finished with your yoga class and your mind is open try floating in the saltiest water on earth or go through a mud therapy session to further your peace.
- Yoga and Safari, Tanzania
Who says a safari has to be all you do at the big game reserves. Numerous operators offer combination trips where you can do yoga at a nature lodge before and after looking for wildlife.