Looking for a vacation that offers a spiritual break or the opportunity for introspection? Embarking on a pilgrimage where you walk historic paths and visit sacred sites may be the perfect vacation alternative. Here are a few historically significant options, whether you’re looking to go near or far.
Taking the time to explore other cultures on foot can put you in the frame of mind to savor nuanced details. Here are a few pilgrimage options:
- Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s southerly islands, is home to an ancient pilgrimage trail honoring Buddhist monk Kukai. The approximately 750-mile course, which can take as many as 60 days to complete, features 88 intricate temples.
- The Camino de Santiago, also known as the “Way of St. James,” leads to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, where legend says the apostle is buried. The trail contains several branches, though the last 62 miles of the Camino Frances is the most popular.
- Take in the English countryside on a roughly 53-mile walk (including detours) along the Great Stones Way, which includes a stop at the prehistoric Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.
You don’t have to look outside the U.S. to find a pilgrimage path. There are several across the country, including the following:
- Navigate part of the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, which begins in Nauvoo, Illinois, and leads to Salt Lake City, Utah. More than 70,000 Mormons traveled this 1,300-mile, five-state path in the mid-1800s to escape religious persecution.
- If you’d like to make a journey by car, venture through the Texas Hill Country and stop by the area’s historic painted churches. These Czech- and German-inspired beauties built in the mid- to late 1800s feature intricate artisanal handiwork and bold colors.
Craving the kind of getaway that helps you hit the reset button in a deep, meaningful way? Find a pilgrimage that resonates with you.