World's Most Beautiful Sacred Places

These places have been inspiring more than just vacation ideas for centuries. Long revered for their gorgeous scenery and spiritual significance, here are 11 beautiful sacred spots—from the Holy Land to the American Southwest—that welcome visitors of all faiths.

By The Editors of Budget Travel, Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015, 8:00 AM

Source Article: World's Most Beautiful Sacred Places

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, West Bank, is built over the cave, or grotto, in which Jesus is believed by many to have been born during the reign of Caesar Augustus.

(Maria Wachala/Dreamstime)

The first basilica of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was built in the 4th century by the Roman Emperor Constantine and has been a sacred place for Christians and Muslims for centuries, surviving a wide variety of political and religious conflicts.


The U.S. State Department has a travel advisory posted cautioning Americans about visiting the West Bank, but locals say that despite ongoing tensions in the region, visitors are always welcome at the Church of the Nativity and that Christmas celebrations are appropriately peaceful.


Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai in Egypt is where Moses is said to have received the 10 Commandments.

(Gelia /

Mount Sinai

A Greek Orthdox chapel is one of many religious structures that stand on Mount Sinai.

(Paul Prescott /

Uluru Kata Tjuta

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia is a sacred site to the Anangu people of the Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal tribe.

(Twickey /

Uluru Kata Tjuta

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is the site of an ancient Aboriginal creation story and is said to be inhabited by ancestor spirits.

(Neale Cousland /

Cenote Sagrado

Cenote Sagrado in Mexico was the site of ancient Mayan ceremonies and occasional human sacrifice.

( / SuperStock)

Cenote Sagrado

Cenote Sagrado was created from a natural limestone cave.

(Robert Fried / Alamy)

Mahabodhi Tree, Bodha Gaya

The ascetic Prince Siddhartha took rest under a native bodhi tree like the Mahabodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, India, and awoke with the enlightenment that is a central tenet of the Buddhist tradition.

(John Warburton Lee / SuperStock)

Mahabodhi Tree

A temple stands near the site of the Mahabodhi Tree.

(Photononstop / SuperStock)

Mount Kailash

Mount Kailas in Tibet is a sacred place to Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains alike.

(Glebsokolov /

Mount Kailash

Tantric Buddhists say Mount Kailas is home to Buddha Demchog, who represents supreme bliss.

(Dappax /

Glastonbury Tor

The ruins of St. Michael's Tower at the top of Glastonbury Tor in England.

(Radomír Režný /

Glastonbury Tor

Ancient Celts believed that Glastonbury Tor was the home of the King of the Underworld.

(Woolfenden /

Crater Lake

The Klamath tribe of Oregon maintains that Crater Lake was the site of a battle between the Chief of the Above World and the Chief of the Below World.

(Matthewjade /

Crater Lake

Historians believe that the Klamath people of Oregon may have witnessed the implosion that formed Crater Lake nearly 8,000 years ago.

(Andrey Tarantin /

Mount Parnassos

Mount Parnassus is the setting of many ancient Greek myths and legends, including the Oracle of Delphi.

(age fotostock / SuperStock)

Mount Parnassos

An ancient Greek amphitheatre stands at the Sanctuary of Apollo on Mount Parnassus.

(age fotostock / SuperStock)

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlán in Guatemala is ringed by Mayan villages and its shores are strewn with archeological sites and ruins, some said to be the mythological "underwater city" of Chiutinamit.

(Valery Shanin /

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlán is Central America's deepest lake, at 1,114 feet.

(F1 ONLINE / SuperStock)

Arizona Vortexes

Vortexes—powerful centers of kenetic energy that can have an energizing effect on visitors—have long drawn people to Sedona, Arizona.

(Daniel Raustadt /

Arizona Vortexes

Sedona's vortexes are easily accessible to visitors via hikes and walks.

(Bill Gozansky / age fotostock / SuperStock)

Loading Comments...