Spiritual retreats are one of the fastest growing types of tourism on the planet. From pilgrimage sites in Europe and the Middle East to yoga retreats at luxurious beach resorts, the offerings are expanding greatly. Now you can be healed by an Amazonian shaman or study yoga with a world renowned guru while not leaving the comfort of a posh resort. The classics such as Indian ashrams and biblical sites are still tops on the list, but new age retreats are slowly catching up.
- Rishikesh, India
Rishikesh is where the Beatles went to meet with the Maharishi in the 60’s and the lure is still there and attracting thousands who come to do yoga, meditate, and become part of the Ashram culture and Himalayan 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.
- Lourdes, France
Five million pilgrims come to Lourdes every year to the site where apparitions of the Virgin Mary appeared numerous times in 1858. Unusual occurrences are said to take place all the time during mass and while drinking water from the Lourdes Spring.
- Maya Spa Wellness Center, Mexico
Temezcal sweat lodges and yoga retreats are lead by Indian shamans and world class instructors at this posh Caribbean resort.
- COMO Shambhala Retreat, Turks and Caicos
Located at beautiful Parrot Cay, this posh yoga and health retreat is all you need to completely get away from the daily grind. There’s an emphasis on a pristine environment, luxury, healing, and skin treatments.
- Arenal, Costa Rica
The awesome energy of the Arenal volcano has spurred numerous health and spiritual immediately around it. If you’re not at the posh thermal resort of Tabacón you can try a yoga or meditation retreat elsewhere in the lush tropical region.
- 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.
- Varanasi, India
The Ganges River in Varanasi is considered the holiest place in the Hindu world and many have their body burned along the river banks. Ashrams and yoga schools are common throughout the northern Indian city.
- Sacred Valley, Peru
This was the Inca heartland and a major tourism center that has increasingly opened its eyes toward spiritual retreats in the form of yoga sessions and workshops from world renowned leaders and ayahuasca retreats from the best shaman in the Amazon.
- Stonehenge, England
This circular collection of stones eight miles north of Salisbury date back to as far as 5,000 years and attract thousands of druid wannabes and ancient societies who have traditions dating back hundreds of years if not more.