Christmas is officially the most romantic time of the year; according to a recent study of over 10,000 people, Christmas Eve is the ideal time to propose. With couples spending time together over the holidays and everyone getting into the Christmas spirit, it’s no wonder that the festive period has us feeling ready for romance.
If you’re planning on surprising your other half with a ring this year, why not make it even more memorable by jetting off to Europe for a few days?
We’ve teamed up with Angelic Diamonds, who create stunning bespoke engagement rings, to bring you this guide to the best places in Europe for a romantic proposal this Christmas.
Los Bunkers del Carmel, Barcelona
Barcelona is home to the Los Bunkers del Carmel – a hidden treasure with a stunning view. It is now considered as a viewing platform by many, but it was once part of the anti-aircraft battery that was used during the Spanish Civil War.
Those of you who enjoy a good Christmas market will love the various markets dotted around the city. For example, the Fira de Santa Llúcia is the market around the Gothic cathedral close to the city centre and there is the Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Familia from where you can see the unfinished Catholic church, designed by Antoni Gaudí.
You won’t be able to take transport to the top here. Instead, you can get the metro to Alfons X and walk 30 minutes from here or you could get the bus from the city centre and take you closer to the top where you will have to walk around 10 minutes. The outstanding view of the city is best at sunrise however, if you and your partner can’t face getting up that early you can head there for sunset instead. With a panoramic view of the city behind you, pop the question to your other half to make it a moment to remember.
The Lake District, UK
The Lake District is by far the most popular national park in the UK with 15 million visitors each year. With an array of scenic walks, the chance to go for gondola rides on the lakesand great literary connections, this popular destination is sure to inspire your romantic side and is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
For a moderately easy hike, Cat Bells mountain near Keswick offers breath-taking views over Derwentwater – you could pop the question with the beautiful mountains and lake as your back drop. With the recent surge in popularity of scenic country house weddings, you could also start planning a return trip – The Lake District is one of the most popular destinations to get married in the UK.
Grotta Lighthouse, Reykjavik
Reykjavik is quickly becoming one of the most popular locations for a winter getaway – it’s popular with people of all ages, and the stunning scenery makes it a great place for romance. It’s an ideal place to visit with your other half and offers the perfect balance between beautiful landscapes and quirky bars and restaurants.
For a truly unforgettable experience, you can’t go wrong with a heartfelt proposal under the Northern lights. The best time to see the lights is from October to March when the sky is clearer, so they should be visible on your Christmas trip. You don’t have to book an excursion to see the lights and can often be seen at Grotta lighthouse which is situated outside of downtown Reykjavic where light pollution is low. You can walk here but if you have hired a car, due to the cold temperatures, it could be best to drive to the spot. For a romantic proposal, pop the question outdoors with the lights dancing behind you or for a more private setting, ask the question in the warmth of your car.
Of course, there are many other festive activities for you to enjoy in Iceland. You could head to Hafnarfjörður which is around a 20-minute bus ride from downtown Reykjavik to see the Christmas village — complete with handicrafts and live music.
Mont Chèry, Val d’Isère, France
The traditional choice of holiday for couples is of course skiing, and luckily Val D’Isère has a ski season which stretches from November to May. There are jaw-dropping views aplenty as you head to the top of the slopes and are surrounded by outstanding views of the mountains. But, for a proposal you might want to head somewhere warmer where you can enjoy meal and drinks with your other half. One place to do this is at La Grande Ourse, a restaurant situated on Mont Chèry. They offer an authentic fine dining experience where you can get your own personal chauffeur to take you up the mountain in a Kassböhrer (a specialised snow trailer). Here, you can be met with views from an altitude of 1725m and enjoy a five-course meal in the restaurant — a memorable place to get on one knee.
This destination is extremely popular with holiday makers from the UK. Part of their popularity lies in their differing slopes — there’s pistes for all abilites and if your other half discovers that skiing is not for them you can head to La FolieDouce (the famous après-ski bar).
The Dome, Victoria Square, Belfast
Belfast City Hall is renowned for its impressive offering of Christmas markets. In Belfast itself, you are not far from more breath-taking views either. Take a trip to the northern coast of Ireland where you can cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge with your loved one or retrace the steps of a giant at the causeway. You can visit The Dark Hedges nearby too — a romantic passageway of intertwined trees that were planted in the 18th century and featured on popular TV show, Game of Thrones. Make sure to wrap up though as it’s likely to be chilly here in December!
For a truly magical proposal location, try taking a trip to the top of Victoria Square. Here you will find the Dome. Pop the question here for 360-degree views of Belfast as a backdrop, featuring the Prince Albert Clock and Scrabo tower.