Travel changes you. It makes us leave our comfort zones and face new experiences, new challenges and new cultures. But what if we really look for that change? What if that personal growth is the aim, not a collateral effect? Choose these non conventional retreats for that spiritual peace and personal transformation.
The town of Meteora, about a 5-hour drive north of Athens in Thessaly, Greece, is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site – six Greek Orthodox monasteries built on enormous rock pinnacles that rise up to 1,300 feet from the valley floor. Six of the monasteries still operate today. Several of the monasteries are accessible to tourists on a road connecting the rock towers. Byzantine frescoes and architecture are a sight to see, and the views are breathtaking into the valley.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
During centuries, St, Jame’s Path has been an spiritual journey for those who, religious or not, looked for growth and personal change. This journey ends in Santiago de Compostela, which historic centre has been designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Stay at Hospedería San Martin Pianaro, a monastery that has been home to the pilgrims since the sixteenth century.
Conca dei Marini, Italy
The renovation of Monastero Santa Rosa, a seventeenthth-century monastery, has resulted in a unique Amalfi boutique hotel steeped in history and set in gloriously scented tiered gardens. Perched dramatically on the edge of a sheer cliff above the Bay of Salerno in the fishing village of Conca dei Marini, this resort could be the perfect retreat for those who look for the perfect balance between solitude and luxury.
Benediktushaus is an old monastery wonderfully located in the center of Vienna. According to the tradition of the Rule of St. Benedict, the Scottish Abbey also runs a guesthouse. This bed-and-breakfast is embedded in the historical buildings complex of the Benedictine monastery. It was established in 1980 and extensively renovated over the last years. No TVs or radios and only five guestrooms guarantee that much neede peace.
Shojoshin-in Monastery, Japan
This large traditional Buddhist Temple is one of the oldest temples on Mount Koya (Koyasan). During a stay at Shojoshin-in monastery, the guest gets to see how monks in a monastery actually live, making it a once in a lifetime, unique experience. Breakfast ready at 5.30 am, vegan food served in your own private room, late-night strolls to the mausoleum and meditation time at the temple provide a very authentic, serene experience.
Image via Etsy
Post inspired by AFAR Magazine