10 alternative places to propose

10 alternative places to propose

The most important question of your life needs an inspired setting; Graihagh Jackson reflects on ten unique places to propose

1. Uluru, Australia

Begin your engagement on a high with a hot air balloon venture overlooking Ayers Rock. The balloon ride travels over spectacular desert and bush of the Patji region. With the morning rays revealing the brilliant red desert on which the mysterious rock sits, there isn't a more romantic spot. The 30-minute ride at dawn will provide a phenomenal backdrop to get down on one knee and ask for your partner's hand in marriage.

When to go: Between March and October and is subject to daily weather conditions.

On the Spot: Click here to find out more.

2. Iguassu Falls, Brazil

South America's grandest waterfall is set amid a national park of jungle and jaguars. The best way to witness the true force of Iguassu is from the comfort of a helicopter. The Devil's Throat is the most spectacular of the 275 waterfalls, creating a spectrum of colours among the watery mist.

A proposal while floating on top of a rainbow would not go a miss. The added bonus of taking your partner in a helicopter means you'll leave the falls bone dry, unlike the drenched spectators below.

When to go: Iguassu Falls is open year round but better weather months are September and October.

On the Spot: Although it is possible to book in advance, it's better to book while in Foz do Iguaçu due to varying weather conditions. Most hotels offer the tour from the front desk and include a transfer to the helipad.

3. KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

This World Heritage Site is home to 40km of pristine and undeveloped coastline abreast to Maputaland Marine Reserve. It is a dramatic place to get down on one knee and ask that all-important question. Lovers can have private dinners on the beach, with the surf lapping at their ankles. Scuba-divers could float amid the turtles ready with an underwater chalkboard inscribed with the magical question. At Umkhumbi Lodge, newly-engaged couples can bask in the luxury of safari villas among the unspoilt wilderness. Private game drives are also available to track white rhinos, leopards, giraffes and cheetahs.

When to go: Although safari in South Africa is good all year round, African summer months (October to March) are better. Skies are cloudless and due to the close proximity to the coast, the sea breeze provides relief from the 30°C temperatures.

On the spot: Umkhumbi Lodge can be booked online via their website.

4. At.mosphere, Dubai

Dine in the world's highest restaurant that rockets to an astonishing 442m on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa. Relax with the panoramic views of Dubai's skyline as Michelin-star chef Dwayne Cheer concocts freshly caught fish dishes, venison fillets, as well as beetroot and truffle caviar. After dinner, absorb the city's glow over a glass of wine and toast your engagement in the heavens.

When to go: Dubai is hot year round with low rainfall. Cooler temperatures of 22-30°C are found in winter months (December to March).

On the spot: Tables at At.mosphere must be booked in advance. Email reservations@atmosphereburjkhalifa.com

5. Finland's Northern Lights

The aurora borealis, named after the Roman goddess of Dawn is home to nature's most wondrous theatre. Among the snow and tree-studded landscape that is Lapland, the skies cast dazzling colours on Kakslauttanen's glass igloos. This wintry hideaway is a perfect excuse to snuggle up under the stars and pop the question. Among the glass domes are authentic ice igloos as well as cosy cabin options. Start your engagement with a spot of husky mushing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing or even reindeer sledding.

When to go: Winter is the best season to see the aurora. Visitors of 2012-2014 have the huge advantage of a solar maximum, which makes the northern lights more frequent, more distinguished and more extensive.

On the spot: Accommodation can be booked with Hotel Kakslauttane.

6. Le Monal, France

The little-known treasure of the French Alps is Le Monal, a small farming hamlet surrounded by larch forests and mountain glaciers. Hidden away some 1,850m above sea level, the listed site is only accessible by foot. The gentle hike takes half an hour each way and meanders through a well-trodden forest track before reaching luscious alpine meadows, strewn with flowering greenery and glacial streams.

Views of Mt Pourri can be gazed upon while having a romantic picnic. Don't neglect to try Le Monal's famous goats cheese, persillé. With only three chalets, a church and mountain streams, Le Monal is great spot for a secluded moment.

When to go: Le Monal is unoccupied during winter, so visits are restricted to summer months.

On the spot: The hike starts from Echaillon, a car park 3km from Sainte Foy Tarentaise Ski Resort. Click here to find out more about the hamlet.

7. Sungai Lebam, Malaysia

The wetlands preservation area on the Malaysian Peninsula is home to thousands of blinking beacons. Fireflies swarm these mangrove swamps, living off the berembang tree nectar and creating a lambent spectacle after dark. Private boat tours are available in the town of Kota Tinggi and take you through the maze that is the mangroves to the fireflies' favourite hiding place. With nothing but the moonlight and glinting reflections of the incandescent bugs, it makes a beautiful spot for a proposal.

Remember: Don't use flash photography while in the presence of the fireflies because it can kill them.

When to go: The best time to see the fireflies is an hour after sunset. Avoid the full moon, as fireflies won't often emerge from the grasses.

One the spot: A range of boat tours are available in the town of Kota Tinggi, approximately 90km from the state capital, Johor Bahru. The most convenient way to travel is by car or alternatively, there is a twice-daily ferry service operating between Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Singapore to Sebana Cove, Kota Tinggi.

8. The Royal Scotsman, Scotland

The Orient Express train is known as one of the most lavish ways to travel in Europe. Mahogany clads the train interior and tartan furnishings speckle the decks. The train itself, coupled with the Scottish lochs and mountainous wilderness makes this journey a pretty spectacular one and an enchanting way to pop the question. Passengers can disembark and explore the legendary castles and look for the Loch Ness monster.

When to go: Trips are available from mid-April to mid-October.

On the spot: Tours up to seven days long can be booked on the Royal Scotsman website.

9. Mt Toubkal, Morocco

There is no feeling quite like standing on top of the world. At 4,168m, Mt Toubkal has the highest viewpoint in north Africa. Unfurling before the mountain peak are the battlements of the Anti-Atlas peaks and the Saharan desert; it is no wonder that Berbers baptised it 'the view-point'. Although more adventurous, the euphoric feeling of reaching the summit combined with the début of a ring on your fourth finger would be next to none.

When to go: This entirely depends on your preference - November to April is winter season with snow above 3,000m. Crampons are therefore required. During the summer months, it's more crowed and the views are less striking but it's generally an easier climb. No crampons are needed - only a good pair of hiking boots are compulsory.

On the spot: The summer climb is a three day round trek from Marrakech. Fortnightly tours are available with Exodus throughout the year.

10. Matanuska Glacier, Alaska

Glaciers are beautiful things; frozen in time, their undulating surfaces are tinged with forget-me-not blues as they carve their way through rugged mountainscapes. Matanuska is an incredible 27 miles long and is home to some spectacular features like ice falls, moulins, crevasses and ice caves.

Alaska Glacier Tours & Ice Climbing offer a trek across the glacier fully equipped with crampons, helmet and ice picks. It is a great introduction to ice climbing and an even better way to start matrimony.

When to go: May through to September.

On the spot: It takes around two hours to drive from Anchorage to Glacier Park along the Glenn Highway. Alaska Glacier Tours & Ice Climbing has been running for more than ten years and are experienced tour operators. Trips regularly get booked up so it is recommended that you book in advance via their website.

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