milky way over cathedral rock arizona

Sedona’s energy vortices, including Cathedral Rock, are legendary. (Photo: Getty Images)

Road Trips

Transformative Experiences Await on 5 Spiritual Road Trips Around the World

Energy vortices. Power spots. Ley lines. No matter what you choose to call them, these sites believed to be intense swirling energy centers have had a gravitational pull on people since the dawn of time. A visit to any one of them is said to result in metaphysical healing, spiritual awakenings and connection to the divine.

From the birthplace of Peru’s astronomically advanced Incas to the mysterious pagan monuments that dot the serene English countryside, transformative experiences abound on these five spiritual road trips around the world.

As always, be sure to check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your getaway.

Carefree to Sedona, Arizona

Situated just 35 miles north of Phoenix is the serene town of Carefree, home to the country’s largest sundial. Pointing toward the North Star, the 35-foot-tall Carefree Sundial sits within the Carefree Desert Gardens, a four-acre public botanical garden featuring an array of more than 50 desert plants. And with street names like Lazy Lane, Ho Hum Drive and Nonchalant Avenue, the town is sure to show you just what it means for a place to live up to its name.

Continue north to Sedona, a thriving hub of spirituality and New Age wellness. Promote your mind-body healing with a meditative hike to any one of the area’s four main vortex sites — Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon or Airport Mesa — more commonly known as “the Big Four.”

Nourish your body with hearty plates of homemade tamales at family-owned Tamaliza Cafe before heading to Montezuma Well to discover the spirit of the land. Sacred to many of the area’s Indigenous tribes, this remote limestone sinkhole has been sustaining its inhabitants with fresh, underground spring water for centuries.

Glastonbury to Stonehenge, U.K.

a rainbow over stonehenge
One of the most metaphysical attractions you’ll cross is Stonehenge. (Photo: Getty Images)

From frequent mentions in Celtic mythology to ties to great historical figures, including King Arthur and Joseph of Arimathea, the quaint southwestern English countryside is steeped in myths of yore.

Balance your energies at the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey — it’s one of three locations in town where invisible energy pathways known as “ley lines” are said to meet. Located one mile away is the White Spring, an ancient natural spring known for its healing calcite-rich waters and shrines to local pagan gods and goddesses.

Head an hour east, past rolling fields and the quintessential English countryside, into Wiltshire, a county rich in prehistoric monuments and mysterious crop circles. Stop by the Wyndham for a taste of traditional British pub fare and a refreshing pint of locally brewed ale.

Once satiated, drive on to one of the area’s most recognized metaphysical attractions: Stonehenge. A gathering place during the summer and winter solstices, this collection of 5,000-year-old megaliths is also said to be built atop a convergence of several ley lines.

Further indulge in the primordial spiritual realm with a trip north to Avebury, home to the world’s largest megalithic circle. Spread across 30 acres of bucolic land, some of the Neolithic stones here, like the Devil’s Chair, are thought to exhibit mystical powers.

Meiji Jingu to Mount Fuji, Japan

mount fuji rising above clouds
Mt. Fuji’s energy is undeniable. (Photo: Getty Images)

From verdant evergreen forests and natural hot springs to tranquil city shrines, the lush Japanese archipelago offers travelers seeking to rejuvenate their bodies, minds and souls a plethora of power spots to choose from.

Begin at Meiji Jingu, one of the oldest Shinto sites in the heart of central Tokyo. Enshrining the spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, the most potent power spot here is said to be at Kiyomasa’s Well, located within the tranquil inner gardens.

Just an hour drive west of Tokyo brings you to Mount Takao, a holy mountain that’s home to several power spots, including those at Yuko-in, the mountainside temple. After supping on a reinvigorating bowl of soba at the ever-enduring Juicchome-Chaya restaurant — which dates back to 1899 — practice the art of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) as you make your way down the summit.

Driving southwest for 73 more miles leads you to snowcapped Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s three sacred mountains. Revered by pilgrims as a stairway to heaven, this active volcano is host to numerous power spots, the most powerful being the mountain itself.

Pyramids of Giza to the Temples of Karnak, Egypt

temples along the nile river in egypt
Explore the mysterious temples along the Nile. (Photo: Getty Images)

Spiritual transformation awaits at the Pyramids of Giza, one of Egypt’s most notable sacred sites. Spend the day engulfed in hieroglyphic inscriptions as you explore the subterranean burial chambers that once housed the sarcophagi of dynastic kings and queens.

Often thought of as the area’s talisman, the Great Sphinx faces east as it stands guard, serving as an ideal sunrise meditation location for early risers. Head to Felfela in downtown Cairo to satiate your appetite with a traditional Egyptian breakfast spread of ta’ameya (fava bean falafel), ful medames (fava bean stew), eggs, and of course, a refreshing glass of golden koshary tea.

Following the Nile south takes you to Upper Egypt, where an air of mystery enshrouds Karnak, the country’s most extensive temple complex. Situated in the southern city of Luxor, these awe-inspiring ruins on the river’s east bank offer an in-depth look into age-old Egyptian beliefs and religious practices.

Cusco to Lake Titicaca, Peru

Feel the spirit of the cosmos surround you in Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. With its inner city said to be built in the shape of a puma — to symbolize the Earth’s innate strength and fiery power — this town is believed to be filled with energetic pathways, mythological hieroglyphs and sacred architectural marvels.

Make a pit stop at Raqchi as you head on your scenic 260-mile drive south to Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. Honoring Viracocha, the supreme Inca god of creation, some of the ancient ruins located here have been found to predate even the Incas.

For centuries, the sacred energy exuded by Lake Titicaca has attracted pilgrims to its fabled shores. Considered the birthplace of the Incas, this high-altitude freshwater lake is home to several mythical islands, including Amantaní, whose twin peaks house temples dedicated to the earthly deities, Pachatata and Pachamama.