ETHICAL/ Pilgrimage Travel in the 21st Century

Pilgrims conquering the world? Perhaps not yet, but still there are millions of tourists who travel each year for spiritual reasons. Discover the art of pilgrimage, visit Lourdes in France, south American temples or even Armenian monasteries. 


Sacred Encounters: The Art of Pilgrimage

Laura Maudlin

The Sufi mystic Mevlana Rumi wrote seven centuries ago, "Don't be satisfied with the stories that come before you; unfold your own myth." His poetic brother here in the West, Walt Whitman, put it this way: "Not I—not anyone else, can travel that road for you. You must travel it yourself." Together, these musings aspire to the idea echoed in the work of seekers everywhere, that travelers cannot find deep meaning in their journey until they encounter what is truly sacred. What is sacred i...

Favorite French Pilgrimage Destinations: Lourdes and La Salette

Larry Brain

The word “pilgrim” immediately conjures up images of travel, but it goes far beyond that. Since the word first appeared in the western vocabulary of 14th century Europe, it has been associated with a sense of purpose, a commitment not just to wander through life but to focus, a wake-up call that may lead to positive change. Most of all, it has meant sacrifice, not just of time and money to reach the pilgrimage destination, but hardship to the human body and mental wellbeing. Reaching the destina...

Faith Tourism in Armenia: Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

James Morris

Christianity played a crucial role in the development of Armenian art and architecture. The “classic” style developed in the 5th-7th centuries, but its further evolution came to an abrupt halt with the Arab occupation that began at the end of the 7th century. Armenia became independent again at the end of the 9th century and Armenian art was revived when the kingdom was consolidated and national identity re-established. In this period two Byzantine monasteries were built – the monasteries of ...

Develop Your Own Pilgrimage Tourism

Dan Rang

Pilgrimage tourism may be one of the earliest and most important forms of tourism. Faith based tourism exists throughout the world, from India to Mexico, from Israel to Saudi Arabia. From Biblical times pilgrimages have not only been calls to spirituality but also major economic drivers that impact not only the soul but also the pocketbook. The Bible speaks of ascending to Jerusalem at least three times a year for each of the Biblical harvest festivals. Likewise the Islamic world is famous for t...

Via Francigena – Walking Europe’s Oldest Pilgrimage Trail

Alec Hills

For centuries, people from all “walks of life” regardless of their religious or spiritual leanings, have been making pilgrimages to sacred places. For nearly as long, Christian pilgrims, rich, poor, and sometimes famous from throughout Europe have used a network of paths to journey to Rome, called the Via Francigena. The Via Francigena is Europe’s oldest cultural trade route dating back more than 2,000 years. In Italy it is an elusive network of trails of ancient Roman roads...

Travel to Mother Earth’s Sacred Places

Richard Moor

From ancient stone circles and jungle-tangled pyramids to gothic cathedrals and mountain-top shrines, sacred places attract us with a mysterious power. Since the beginning of time, people have been visiting sacred sites for healing, inspiration and guidance. Mainstream western scientists may scoff at suggestions that water from holy wells can cure illnesses or that ancient megaliths can deliver messages from the spirit world, but the concept of powerful places has been known to many cultures for...