Collected by AFAR Explorer
Kalabaka 422 00, Greece
Meteora means "suspended in air" in Greek. The town of Meteora, about a 5-hour drive north of Athens in Thessaly, Greece, is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site: six Greek Orthodox monasteries built on enormous rock pinnacles that rise up to...
Praza da Inmaculada, 3, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
This was the end of The Way for us. We booked a couple nights at old digs in the Hospedería San Martín Pinario, an converted monastery in the heart of Santiago's atmospheric old city. It was an excellent base for exploring the city, and a...
Nebovidská 459/1, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana, Czechia
Vaulted ceilings and arched hallways retain the medieval character of the 14th-century monastery that originally stood here in the Mala Strana district. The hotel also houses Essensia restaurant. Doubles from $350, Nebovidska 459/1, Mala Strana,...
39171 Tassajara Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
In 1967, Tassajara (already a storied hot springs resort) became the first Zen monastery outside Japan. Run by the San Francisco Zen Center, the monastery is open to the public from May through September and closed the rest of the year for...
Freyung 6A, 1010 Wien, Austria
Located in the Inner Stadt, our room was in an old monastery that overlooked a cobblestone courtyard where an old man set up a basket stall every morning. The monastery is located near an apotheke (pharmacy) and a pretty fountain. The area is...
566 Kōyasan, Kōya-chō, Ito-gun, Wakayama-ken 648-0211, Japan
By staying overnight at a Buddhist monastery in Koyasan (Mount Koya), I fulfilled a long held dream. It was quite a unique experience, and a peek behind the curtain to see how monks in a monastery actually live. It was quite something to see them,...
Largo do Terreiro, s/n, 4720-633 Santa Maria do Bouro, Portugal
Pousada De Santa Maria Do Bouro, once a 12th century monastery, has been restored and is now a luxury hotel and restaurant in northern Portugal's city of Braga, in the Minho region. I was surrounded by ancient stones, vaulted ceilings, vibrant...
Alto da Pedisqueira, 5400-435 Chaves, Portugal
In the 15th century, the little Church of Our Lady of the Rosary stood on the hill overlooking the medieval town of Chaves in Portugal. Later, there was also the ancient chapel of St. Francis in the fortress. (Both are there today in beautiful...
The Hotel St. Francis lays claim to being Santa Fe’s oldest hotel. Rebuilt in its current location in 1924, after a fire left its predecessor completely ravaged (save the brick chimney), the property formerly known as the De Vargas Hotel...
Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
Well not exactly, but pretty darn close. Paradors are government-run hotels in Spain, many located within historic buildings like monasteries and castles. The Granada Parador is the old monastery of the Alhambra Palace and is located within the...
8447, 2499 Melru Ln, Escondido, CA 92026, USA
Deer Park Monastery is tucked away in the hills of Escondido and is based on the Buddhist traditions of the famous Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a sister monastery to Plum Village in France, where Thich Nhat Hanh resides....
Rio Terà Foscarini, 909/A, 30123 Dorsoduro, Venezia VE, Italy
While traveling through Italy, my art history professor booked us students into religious colleges and convents. Wether it was to save money or because she thought osmosis would occur and our knowledge of Venetian Religious Art would be enhanced,...
703, Rua da Boavista, 4050-110 Porto, Portugal
I thought Lisbon was the most beautiful city in Portugal, till I got to Porto. If you are looking for a weekend destination in Europe, Porto is a great option. It had all the right ingredients for a perfect long weekend or a short vacation in...
Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
Angkor Archeological Park, Angkor Thom, Krong Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia
Giant stone faces greet visitors as they enter the Bayon complex. This ancient Khmer center houses over 200 of these serene faces, with theories they were modeled after the bodhisattva (enlightened being) or the Bhuddist king, Jayavarman VII, who...
Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Better known as the Tomb Raider Temple since its starring role in the Hollywood movie of the same name, Ta Prohm has at least as much star quality as Angelina Jolie. Cloaked in dappled shadow and locked in the embrace of the vast root systems that...
Pub Street Area , Mondol 1 Village, 284 2 Thnou St, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
While cute souvenir shops and even haute couture boutiques exemplify the changing face of the retail scene in Siem Reap, the city’s famous Old Market remains a heady hub of traditional trade and commerce. Located right in the heart of town,...
1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Opened in 1932 in the historic Royal Khmer compound, this landmark hotel was the first luxury lodging in the area, catering to those well-heeled adventurers intent on visiting the storied ruins of the temples at Angkor. Everyone from Charlie...
Street 11, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Set in an atmospheric colonial building with mismatched furniture, whirring ceiling fans, and rotating art on the walls, retro-chic Cafe Central is one of my favorite spots to kick back with a coffee or drink and watch the world go by. The...
812, Kampong Phluk, Cambodia
Kompong Phluk is a floating village located in the middle of Cambodia's largest lake, Tonle Sap. The term “floating” is a bit misleading: the houses are actually built on very tall stilts around 8 meters high. During the rainy season,...
River Road West, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
The excellent Cambodian chefs from River Garden hotel, who offer the Cooks in Tuk Tuks cooking class, also run a fun street food tour that gives you a great insight into Cambodia's culinary culture. Partly on foot and partly on tuk tuk, the tour...
south of the intersection with, Ring Road, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
I was delighted to come across the Phare Circus the last time I was lucky enough to visit Siem Reap. I've never tired of exploring the atmospheric temple complexes the region is famous for, but it’s always nice to have the option of variety. The...
Wat Damnak Market Street, POBox 93108, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
To many gastronomes, the subtle flavors and spicing of Khmer cuisine makes it one of Southeast Asia’s great food secrets. That’s certainly the view of French chef Joannes Riviera, who has taken inspiration from Cambodia’s unsung...
Paigah Tombs, Owaisi Nagar, Hasnabad, Santosh Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana 500059
One of Hyderabad's lesser-known gems: the Paigah Tombs are intricate, ornate, and often deserted. Members of the noble Paigah class are buried here, and a visit is peaceful and haunting — and beautiful. A photographer's dream.
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