Some of the world’s most incredible places of worship and spiritual study are also some of the most difficult to access. Most of the time, this was intentional in the design of the complex.
Whether perched on a cliff, hidden in high mountains, or built into the side of rock formations, these monasteries, temples and abbeys were designed to isolate and test the dedication of the monks and nuns who inhabit them, bringing them closer to God in a place of peace.
Though some of these ancient monasteries are no longer in use, all of them make for fascinating travel destinations, especially for those interested in religion, architecture, history and geology. If that sounds like you, read on for 15 of the world’s most isolated monasteries:
1. The incredible Greek Orthodox monasteries of Meteora, Greece
2. The ninth-century Sevanavank Monastery on Lake Sevan in Armenia
3. The fifth-century Hanging Temple in Datong, China
4. The Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa in Amorgos, Greece
5. The 1st-century BC Monastery at Petra in Jordan
6. The Taktsang Palphug Monastery (aka “Tiger’s Nest) in Paro, Bhutan
7. The 16th-century Blagaj Tekke in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
8. The 1st-century Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the base of Mount Sinai in Egypt
9. Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona in Spiazzi, Italy
10. Kye Monastery in the Spiti Valley of India
11. The fourth-century Greek Orthodox Sumela Monastery in Maçka, Turkey
12. The sixth-century St. George’s Monastery in Wadi Qelt, Israel
13. Santa Maria of Montserrat Abbey in Catalonia, Spain
14. Basarbovo Monastery in Basarbovo, Bulgaria
15. Ypapanti Monastery in Kalambaka, Greece
How’s that for some monastic inspiration? To see more of the world’s most isolated monasteries, check out the full list here, and don’t forget to share your own isolated discoveries on Trover!