14 Most Healing Places in the World

14 Most Healing Places in the World

For many of us, travel is the pursuit of natural healing. It’s about discovering places we’ve never seen, engaging with cultures different from our own, and ultimately uncovering a side of ourselves that has yet to be revealed. We return to our “real lives” with a deep sense of renewal.

Natural healing places, such as hot springs or forest retreats, aid wellness through their therapeutic environments. The mineral-rich waters of springs can soothe ailments, while forest settings reduce stress. These places promote mental clarity, physical relaxation, and overall rejuvenation. Nature’s tranquility fosters healing, offering a holistic approach to well-being.

But to have a truly transformative travel experience, not just any destination will do. You need to go somewhere that lends itself to a journey of both the body and soul. Fortunately, there are a number of healing places around the world, from therapeutic hot springs and mystical mountains to restorative monasteries and earthly wonders, where you can dig in deep for whatever kind of wellness you crave.

Want to take a spiritual journey? Here are 14 popular natural healing places around the world.

14 Most Healing Places in the World – Embark on a Spiritual Journey

1. Ganges River

Varanasi, India

When it comes to natural healing, few places are more renowned than India’s Ganges River. Hindus throughout the country make the journey to Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges, to spread the ashes of their deceased relatives, believing the river will transport their souls to heaven and help them escape the endless cycle of rebirth.

14 Most Healing Places in the World

Thomas Young / Unsplash

Visitors can witness the devout taking spiritual baths in the river each morning and watch priests perform the famous Aarti ceremony (which includes flaming lamps and chanting) in the evening. And for your own natural healing, you can release an offering of floating flowers and candles on the river.

2. Blue Lagoon

Grindavík, Iceland

Renowned for its mineral-rich geothermal seawater, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is natural healing at its finest. The steaming blue lagoon, set within a striking volcanic landscape, promises to rejuvenate your skin and relax your body. Premium entrance to the outdoor spa includes a cozy bathrobe, slippers, and two mud masks, which you apply to your skin in the water.

Bathers enjoying the healing waters of blue lagoon iceland

Jeff Sheldon / Unsplash

The exfoliation will leave you with a noticeable glow, but the internal radiance you’ll get from a visit to the Blue Lagoon will last much, much longer. Pro tip: Icelandair offers bus rides between the Blue Lagoon and Keflavík Airport, allowing travelers to get some natural healing during their layovers.

3. Camino de Santiago

Various Routes Throughout Europe

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world embark on “the Camino” — a Catholic pilgrimage via a network of trails that culminates in the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela. This is where the martyr Saint James is said to be buried. The most popular route, the Camino Frances, starts at St. Jean Pied-de-Port in France and takes hikers along 500 miles of small towns and larger cities (including Pamplona and Leon), and participants stay in pilgrim accommodations along the way.

People walking Camino de Santiago through hilly farmland

Les routes sans fin(s) / Unsplash

Regularly called “the trip of a lifetime,” people take this journey on foot for a variety of reasons, including natural healing, historical appeal, physical achievement, and spiritual enrichment. This 30-plus day journey is best taken between April and June or September and October. Travel companies like Follow the Camino can take care of the logistics so you can focus on the most important thing: walking.

4. Healing Forests

Japan & Elsewhere

Ever hear of forest bathing? The trendy wellness ritual involves taking a meditative nature walk in the woods to experience the scientifically proven natural healing benefits of the outdoors, including immune system stimulation and improved self-esteem.

A woman in kimono walking through a bamboo grove

Lan Pham / Unsplash

The practice’s birthplace — Japan — now has 62 “Forest Therapy Bases”, many of which offer guided forest bathing experiences in Japanese or English. But travelers can try this natural healing practice on their own by mindfully stepping into and walking a forest in Japan, or anywhere else in the world.

5. Medicinal Mayan Gardens

Near San Antonio, Belize

Natural healing can be found around every corner in Belize, from the kitchen gardens at many hotels to outdoor yoga classes hosted on beaches and in jungles. But one of the best places to check out this unique part of Belizean culture is by paying a visit to the Garcia Sisters, the 13th generation in a family of Mayan natural healers who offer tours of their medicinal garden.

Nico Carrera / Unsplash

You’ll learn how they ease stomach aches with brewed herbs, treat the flu with soursop leaves, and mash oregano into a paste that relieves inflammation. For even more natural healing, ask one of the sisters to perform a spiritual ritual to cleanse your soul of negative energy.

6. Table Mountain

Cape Town, South Africa

One of the most iconic sites in South Africa is Table Mountain — a massive flat-topped granite and sandstone mountain that stands more than 3,500 feet above the city. Table Mountain’s large quantity of quartz (considered a natural healing stone) makes it a magnet for spiritual travelers on retreat.

Table Mountain shot through a giant yellow picture frame

DMC-FZ150 / Pxhere

The postcard-perfect views of the entire city and the ocean from the top of the mountain humble visitors and offer a stark reminder of the sheer beauty and vastness of the earth.

7. Mount Shasta

Siskiyou County, California

Known as the place where heaven and earth meet, Mount Shasta has been attracting spiritual seekers to Northern California for decades. Believers point to Native American legends and energy vortexes along the trails as evidence that Mount Shasta is a sacred place for natural healing.

A dramatic cloud formation over mount shasta in california

Sarit Richerson / Shutterstock

To see what this special place is all about, book a sacred site tour or guided vision quest with Shasta Vortex Adventures.

8. Dead Sea

Jordan and Israel

The natural healing powers of the Dead Sea draw visitors from around the world to the Middle East for therapeutic floats in the lowest body of water on the surface of the earth. Resorts along the banks of the sea in both Jordan and Israel scoop buckets of Dead Sea mud every day so guests can slather themselves in the black, mineral-rich substance, then feel buoyant as they rinse off in the highly salty and dense water. You’ll emerge with silky smooth skin (exfoliated by the salt) and relaxed muscles (thank you, Dead Sea potassium!).

9. Ubud

Bali, Indonesia

No list of healing places around the world would be complete without a mention of Bali. Nicknamed “the Island of Gods,” the Indonesian island is home to spiritual traditions that date back centuries. While you can find temples and healers all over, Ubud is known as the go-to place for a spiritual escape, with its welcoming shamans, art classes, yoga, and healthy food.

Pura Taman Saraswati temple in Ubud, Bali

Sytilin Pavel / Shutterstock

Is peace and quiet your path to natural healing? Time your trip to Bali so that it falls over Nyepi. The Balinese Day of Silence, which happens every spring, bans all noise and distractions. It’s a fascinating cultural experience. And if you need a recommendation for a home base near Ubud, give Fivelements a try. The award-winning eco-resort can help you book traditional spiritual ceremonies with a Balinese healer.

10. Pamukkale Hot Springs

Denizli, Turkey

Take one look at the Pamukkale Hot Springs in Turkey and you’ll think you’ve stepped onto another planet. The smooth, terraced hot springs with chalky-white water look otherworldly. Legend has it that a dip in these natural healing pools can actually make you more beautiful and provide health benefits like relief from asthma and arthritis, reduced blood pressure, and a burst of energy.

Pamukkale Hot Springs in Denizli, Turkey

Jakob Fischer / Shutterstock

Are these thermal pools all they’re cracked up to be? There’s only one way to find out — make the journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Site (Pamukkale Tours offers daily visits from various places in Turkey), toss on a bathing suit, and dunk yourself in.

11. Le Monastere des Augustines

Quebec City, Canada

Need a little natural healing for your soul? Get thee to Le Monastere des Augustines, where you can eat, sleep, and restore yourself in an original cloister. Each day of your wellness retreat will start with a healthy breakfast held in complete silence, followed by a range of activities to help travelers get whatever kind of healing they’re looking for.

Le Monastere des Augustines in Quebec City, Canada

Felix Lipov / Shutterstock

Perhaps you spend your days time traveling through four centuries of history at the monastery’s museum, indulging in an aromatherapy massage, going on nature walks, practicing meditation, or doing yoga. No matter what it takes to find complete rejuvenation, you’ll find it at Le Monastere des Augustines.

12. Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Northern Territory, Australia

Despite receiving visits from some 300,000 travelers each year, Ayers Rock is anything but touristy. It’s a sacred place protected by Australia’s indigenous Anangu people. Climbing the 1,142-foot-tall rock will be banned in just a few months in order to respect its ancestral owners and protect the stone.

Uluru's Mutitjulu Rock Pool in Northern Territory, Australia

wargunner / Shutterstock

However, believers in the natural healing powers of Ayers Rock say you can feel the spiritual vibes just from standing near the important site. Longitude 131° offers a luxury desert basecamp, where you can soak up the magic from your own private pavilion in view of the site.

Photo Credit: James & Carol Lee / Unsplash

13. Sedona Vortex

Arizona, USA

Apart from being a fantastic place to hike Red Rock in Sedona is a major energy vortex that evokes spiritual healing and self-awareness in those who come. Sinagua Indians also believe Sedona serves as a portal to alternative dimensions and can tap into the frequencies of the universe.

Natural vortexes use uplifting sacred energy to enhance self-confidence, assertiveness, and personal strength. Sedona attracts people from all walks of life seeking wellness and spiritual energy in many wellness centers that offer yoga, meditation, alternative medicine, crystals, card reading, and a whole lot more.

14. Machu Picchu, Andes Mountains

Peru

Your first thought is probably Machu Picchu when you think about spiritual destinations in South America. The impressive Inca ruins of Machu Picchu on the slopes of the Andes are one of the most famous sacred sites in the world, and rightfully so.

Make sure to take some time to meditate at this high-energy place. The journey to the top of the mountain has been undertaken for hundreds of years and is very spiritual. There are several scenic routes leading up to Machu Picchu full of fun adventures like river rafting and zip lining.

FAQs

What Are the Most Sacred Places in the World?

Sepulchre in Jerusalem is the most sacred place for Christians and many other religions. Western Wall, Nazareth, Bethlehem, and other parts of the Holy Land are as important. For Muslims and Hindu pilgrims, the holy city of Mecca and the holy River Ganges are the most important spiritual places in the world.

What Makes Spiritual Destinations So Special?

Spiritual destinations are home to famous temples, natural wonders, or ancient mystical sites with powerful spiritual energy and healing properties where people go to do some spiritual healing. Spiritual places are also often great meditation retreats, spiritual retreats, and yoga retreats and have deep cultural significance.

Where Is the Yoga Capital of the World?

Rishikesh, or the world’s yoga capital, is famed for its ashrams, holy men, and abundance of gurus. The city sits on the banks of the River Ganges and welcomes yoga enthusiasts from every corner of the globe.

What Are the Spiritual Places to Visit in South America?

There are many spiritual places to visit in Central and South America, like Nazca Lines in the Peruvian desert and Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, but none top the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu in Peru. Both places attract spiritual seekers for ayahuasca and yoga retreats, treks, and pilgrimages.

What Is the World’s Largest Buddhist Temple?

The magnificent temple at Borobudur on Java island is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Srirangam temple in India is often listed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world.

Note: The Travel Awaits team regularly updates content to provide the latest, and most accurate information to our readers. The updated content in this article may not reflect the views or opinions of the original author. For many of us, travel is the pursuit of natural healing. It’s about discovering places we’ve never seen, engaging…

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