We've scoured the globe for 10 of the most romantic countries to propose – maximum wow factor guaranteed. You only get to do this once (hopefully), so make it count!
If you’re reading this, congratulations are in order for finding that special someone! But here comes the next big step: popping the big question. If you’re looking to dazzle your lucky lady (or man), nothing impresses quite like an exotic destination proposal.
We couldn’t possibly exclude Paris from this list, but the done-to-death Eiffel Tower is hardly the most romantic proposal spot, considering its consistent swarms of tourists. Exquisite yet low-key Parisian spots include the Jardin Du Palais Royal (a secret serene garden tucked away behind the Lourve), or the iconic Pont Alexandre bridge at sunset. Alternatively, head to the Palace of Versailles (AKA the definition of opulence) for the day, where sprawling castles and palatial gardens house isolated nooks and crannies for you to pop the question.
With its scenic beaches, lush villas, and exotic culture, it’s little wonder Bali is known as The Island of the Gods. Skip tourist hotspots like Kuta and Legian, and head straight to tranquil Uluwatu. Rom-com loving girls will appreciate a traditional sunset proposal at one of the island’s many luxe cliff-top restos and bars. But if you’ve got dough to blow, charter a helicopter over Uluwatu’s temples and towering limestone cliffs, to a waiting makeshift table (tip: rope in your buddies) of strawberries, bubbly and rose petals.
Despite Iceland’s arctic temperatures, it still remains a top romantic destination, thanks to its dreamy landscapes and numerous spots to watch the Northern Lights. For an experience of a lifetime, book an Aurora-chasing cruise from Reykjavik. The Amphibian Boat Tour to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon – with unobstructed views of the dancing lights amongst massive icebergs – is likely to enchant even the most cynical of lovers.
Tanzania, East Africa
Gents, you’re going to want to save up for this big-ticket trip. You’ve probably heard of glamping in South East Asia’s lush rainforests, but East Africa’s where you’ll find the mother of luxury tented camps, specifically Tanzania. Camps like Singita Sabora camp offer once-in-a-lifetime accommodations within plush 1920s-style tents, situated amidst safari wilderness. Your proposal options are endless – including a romantic hot air balloon ride over the vast terrains, and an outdoor dinner at Grumeti reserve.
The Greek Isles
Besides being a shutterbug’s paradise, the Greek Isles are the gateway to the ultimate Mediterranean getaway. For swoon-worthy scenery, head to Santorini, where pristine ivory houses sit atop mountains and crystal lagoons. Pretty much anywhere on this island offers spectacular views, so you’d have little difficulty finding the perfect proposal spot. But for an isolated Cycladic hol, head to Folegrandos; the isle has equally stunning beaches and clifftop hotels, but without the touristy feel of the former.
Few can claim poetry-inspiring scenery as the Italian Riviera. The proof? Romantic poet, Lord Byron, was a frequent visitor of this gorgeous coastal region. Resembling the pages of an Italian romance novel, Liguria is known for its towering rock formations, dramatic coastal scenery, elegant seaside villages and tranquil beaches. Book a stay at Cinque Terre – a district of five stunning seaside towns – and set the ultimate scene of romance at one of the town’s famous hiking trails, overlooking panoramic vistas of gravity-defying vineyards and the rugged coastline. Or if you’re one half of a lit-loving duo, seal the deal on a private boat tour of breathtaking landscapes to the Gulf of Poets, where Bryon himself famously meditated.
Vieques, Puerto Rico
A former US Navy training ground, this rural Caribbean island offers miles of secluded, pristine beaches with clear waters and a charming island life. What makes this island consistently mentioned as one of the world’s most romantic island destinations is its famed Mosquito Bay, the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. Rent a kayak for a night expedition, and exchange sweet nothings (and your personal vows) under the starry skies and above the sparkly lights from the serene waters below.
If life-affirming spirituality is what you’re after, head to the temple-strewn city of Kyoto. After quiet reflections at the city’s many worship halls, bring the ring on your ultimate romantic walk along the blooming cherry blossom trees in spring or the magnificent tapestry of autumn leaves in the fall. The scenic Philosopher’s Path, from Nanzen-ji to Ginkaku-ji, is a time-honoured spot for the soon-to-be-betrothed.
Tulum, Cancun, Mexico
Adventure seekers, bring along your hiking boots (and sunblock for this one). The city of Cancun may be a sunworshipper’s paradise with its many white sandy beaches, but they’re not the most arresting (nor romantic) sights one should see on a trip to Mexico. Buck the norm and hitch a bus ride to the resort town of Tulum, which is home to two magnificent UNESCO World Heritage sites. The sublime Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve boasts tropical rainforests, mangroves, and remarkably rich marine life. Hike through this sprawling wilderness and you’ll find yourself at the astounding Mayan Ruins – it’s bound to win over any history (or adventure seeking) buff.
Bora Bora, Fiji
Like Paris, Bora Bora is an amorous classic we can’t quite exclude thanks to its rep for being an ultra-romantic holiday destination. Settle down at Sofitel’s private island, and head off on a sunset walk through its tropical gardens to the tallest lookout point of the island for jaw-dropping 360-degree views of the gorgeous islet. You can even rope in staff to make up a table setting for your ultimate heartfelt moment. Otherwise, look further afield and take the plunge on a sunset sail abroad a Pirogue (available from Le Meredien Bora Bora) for unrivalled privacy and major brownie points.