The following post is written in conjunction with Holiday Lettings:
Enigmatic places have inspired travellers for centuries. Holiday Lettings rounds up some sacred spots to which we’re mysteriously, cosmically drawn…
This remote volcanic island is the world’s most celebrated but least visited archaeological site. It’s history blended with myth, thousands of miles from anywhere and scattered with nearly 900 giant stone heads. Who carved the figures? How did they move them around the island? What became of this civilisation?
Speculate on a visit to Rano Raraku, the quarry for the statues’ stone – the semi-carved figures there will take you back to early Polynesian times. Climb Lake Rano Kau’s crater wall to the ceremonial village of Orongo, with its 360-degree views of the South Pacific’s most impressive landscapes.
Buddha of Leshan, China
This is the tallest Buddha statue in the world. Built into a hillside in the 8th century, it’s 233 feet tall by 92 feet wide. It looks down on the confluence of three rivers and was carved to calm the turbulent waters that plagued passing boats.
Buddha’s smallest toenail is big enough for you to sit on – do try! From the top of one of his ears, you can see travellers walking down to his feet. Join them and cross the Haoshang Bridge or sail past on a ferry to catch an amazing view of this magnificent place.
The ancient Greeks considered this site to be the centre of their world. It was where earth met heaven, where man was closest to the Immortals. Venerated from 1500 BC, the sacred precinct housed the notorious Oracle: it was here that Apollo counselled his followers via an intoxicated priestess.
Immerse yourself in this awe-inspiring place. Cleanse yourself at Kastalia spring and stroll down the Holy Route to the Temple of Apollo. Clamber to the top of the Stadium and envisage its athletic events. Tour the theatre and imagine the music of its concerts.
This is the oldest – and only surviving – Wonder of the Ancient World. It was the earth’s tallest structure for over 3,800 years: at 455 feet tall, it’s made up of 2.3 million stone blocks and weighs 5.9 million tonnes. It remains a masterpiece of engineering so massive that it’s visible from space.
It’s easy to step back in time to the days of ancient Egypt – go inside one of the pyramids or ride on a camel. Drive across the Giza plateau and admire the three pyramids rising from the sands, with the Cairo skyline in the background.
Why move more than 80 two-tonne megaliths over 156 miles and form a stone circle? Is it a sign of energy lines, an astronomical calendar or a place of healing? How were Neolithic people, with their basic technologies and tools, able to construct it?
The enigma of Stonehenge’s eerie megaliths has tantalised travellers for centuries. It’s been excavated, X-rayed and analysed, yet its meaning remains shrouded in mystery. Join the Druids, Merlin – or aliens – there and theorise for yourself.
Out of the five mystical sites around the world listed here I have been to two- Leshan (random right????) and Stonehenge. Both were impressive and worth the extra effort to visit these crazy, interesting spots. Easter Island has intrigued me for as long as I can remember, the same with the Pyramids of Egypt. My bucket list of mystical places is half complete! Hopefully Andrea on Vacation can show you more of these spots in person sooner than later!