15 of the Most Isolated Monasteries in the World

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

Trover photo by Allan Tipon

 

2. The ninth-century Sevanavank Monastery on Lake Sevan in Armenia

Trover photo by Mattyboy876

 

3. The fifth-century Hanging Temple in Datong, China

Trover photo by Ai Long

 

4. The Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa in Amorgos, Greece

Trover photo by Travel with all senses

 

5. The 1st-century BC Monastery at Petra in Jordan

Trover photo by Prytz

 

6. The Taktsang Palphug Monastery (aka “Tiger’s Nest) in Paro, Bhutan

Trover photo by Earth Trekkers

 

7. The 16th-century Blagaj Tekke in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Trover photo by Candice Walsh

 

8. The 1st-century Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the base of Mount Sinai in Egypt

Trover photo by Betina Winsig Hansen

 

9. Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona in Spiazzi, Italy

Trover photo by Paige Spee

 

10. Kye Monastery in the Spiti Valley of India

Trover photo by Mihir Shah

 

11. The fourth-century Greek Orthodox Sumela Monastery in Maçka, Turkey

Trover photo by Klando va de viaje

 

12. The sixth-century St. George’s Monastery in Wadi Qelt, Israel

Trover photo by Adina Troper Dayan

 

13. Santa Maria of Montserrat Abbey in Catalonia, Spain

Trover photo by Tom Stahl

 

14. Basarbovo Monastery in Basarbovo, Bulgaria

 

15. Ypapanti Monastery in Kalambaka, Greece

Trover photo by Allan Tipon

 

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!