WTG has compiled a selection of pilgrimages and religious destinations for those who want escape the modern materialism of Easter and learn more about the world's religious traditions, customs and practices.

Jerusalem, Israel

Considered one of the world's holiest cities, Jerusalem is sacred to all three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. For Jews the city is Ir Hakodesh, the site of Solomon's Temple and Israel's self-declared eternal capital. Christians come to Jerusalem to, quite literally, follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ as he went to his crucifixion. Jerusalem (Al-Quds in Arabic) is also where Muslims believe the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven in the early days of the new faith of Islam, and it is revered as the third most holy site in Islam.

Upon entering the old, walled city, the sense of history becomes palpable. Small alleyways and bazaars full of traders jostling for your attention surround the three holy sites, which are all within a few hundred metres of each other: the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Jerusalem is a must-see destination whatever your beliefs and visitors are inevitably awestruck by the city's historic and religious significance.

Best time to visit
Jerusalem has hot summers and nippy winters so the best time to travel is from March to September - particularly during Easter when Christian pilgrims throng the alleyways of the old city.

Things to know
Travellers should check government advice before going and be prepared for delays at checkpoints dotted around Arab East Jerusalem. Visitors should also be aware that non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the religious Al-Haram compound where the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque are situated.

Kumbh Mela, India

Relatively unknown to people outside the Hindu faith, the Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage which takes places four times in every twelve-year cycle in different locations in India. According to Hindu belief, the festival can wash away the sins of devotees and free him or her from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

The event involves colourful scenes of bathing in the sacred Ganges river, and participating in religious discussions, devotional singing, mass feeding of holy men and women and the poor, and debating doctrines in religious assemblies.

The next Kumbh Mela takes place in March and April 2010, in Haridwar in the foothills of the Himalayas. Along with the pilgrimage itself, travellers should check out Haridwar's other attractions: the Chandi Devi Temple, the Har Ki Pairi Ghat, the colonial-era Masoori hill station and a number of trekking trails.

Best time to visit
India experiences a vast array of climates. See our guide to India's climate for more information.

Things to know
In January 2007, the Kumbh Mela lasted around six weeks and reportedly attracted more than 70 million Hindu pilgrims to Allahabad, northern India.

Lumbini, Nepal

Situated in the Himalayan foothills, Lumbini is revered as the birthplace of Buddha. The Buddhist faith calls on devotees to visit this small, sleepy town in the southwestern Terai plains of Nepal when possible.

Lumbini has several historic temples, the most important being Maya Devi, as well as the remains of Kapilvastu palace, and the Puskarini, or holy pond, where Buddha's mother is said to have taken the ritual dip prior to his birth and where Buddha had his own first bath.

Tourists are able to visit numerous gardens, both old and new, featuring remnants of many of the ancient monasteries. The focal point is a sanctum featuring a stone slab marking the spot locals believe to be the exact birthplace of Buddha. Highly recommended is the weekly communal bazaar, where villagers converge to buy grains, spices, pottery, jewellery, saris and various other items.

Best time to visit
Lumbini is visited year-round by pilgrims, but spring and autumn get the best weather.

Things to know
Travellers should be prepared for a scenic but exhausting 300km (186 miles) road trip from Kathmandu to Lumbini. You are advised to take precautions against travel and altitude sickness.

Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Christians have been walking along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela - translated as ‘The Way of St James' - for over a thousand years. The ancient route leads from St Jean Pied de Port in southern France to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain. The route has long been revered as one of the most important Christian pilgrimages.

Pilgrims traditionally travel alone and on foot, carrying only the bare necessities. Pilgrims and tourists can join the route at various points, but don't miss the highlight, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where Christian pilgrims believe the relics of Jesus' apostle, Saint James the Elder, lie.

Best time to visit
While pilgrims follow the route all year round, the best times to visit are spring and summer.

Things to know
The main route, commonly known as the Camino Frances, traditionally starts in St Jean Pied de Port, on the French side of the Pyrenees in southern France, and snakes through landscapes for 800km (500 miles).

Aboriginal Blue Mountains walkabout, Australia

Aside from Uluru, widely known as Ayers Rock, little is known about Aboriginal culture and traditions outside of Australia. There are hundreds of aboriginal sites open to tourists across the country, including one surprisingly close to Sydney. Only a couple of hours' drive from the capital of New South Wales is Blue Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Here you can trek through stunning landscapes, crawl through lost caves and learn about traditional Aboriginal life. Visitors will see ancient art and ceremonial sites and hear the Dreamtime stories of the local Darug nation. Travellers also have the chance to paint their bodies with traditional ochre, taste bush tucker, see native animals, visit sandstone caves, and bathe in a crystal-clear billabong beneath a waterfall.

Best time to visit
Australia's summer is from November through to March, but visitors should be aware there are rainy spells through this period.

Things to know
When in Sydney you can take an Aboriginal cultural cruise. The Aboriginal-owned-and-operated ‘Deerubin' boat offers tours with a guide outlining the history of the area, recounting stories and Aboriginal place names, and pointing out rock carvings and old Aboriginal settlements.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.