Valentine’s Day just passed by, and if you are in the mood for more and thinking about popping the question, here’s a list
Online travel advisor Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) has come up with a list of the top 10 places to propose that may help you to get the romance and the “Wow!” factor right on the day.
1. Whitsundays, Australia
Heart Reef is a naturally formed heart shape in the Whitsundays and it’s reassuringly inaccessible. The way to see it is to take a helicopter or seaplane journey and propose mid-air. We prefer Lindeman Island, most of which is national park. Ignore the Club Med resort if you like and head to the summit of Mount Oldfield, just 212 metres above sea level, from where you can spy Hamilton, Whitsunday and Haslewood islands and perhaps see whales and dolphins in the crystalline waters.
2. London, United Kingdom
A private capsule on the London Eye with truffles and champagne is one way to do it, but our suggestion is the 17th-century Monument that stands in the heart of the City of London. Climb the 311 stone steps to the top — as generations of others have before you — and see the city laid out in all its ancient-meets-cutting edge glory. The candle with its fiery orb was built to mark the Great Fire of London. There’s nowhere better to suggest love’s eternal flame or a brand new start.
3. Paris, France
No, not the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe, glorious as they are. The Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) were much loved by writers such as Baudelaire, Balzac, Hemingway and Sartre and our favourite spot for a proposal is a shady one by the Medici Fountain. Commissioned by a king’s widow in the 17th century, the focal point is the statue of Acis and Galatea, the young lovers watched over by the powerful Polyphemus.
4. Verona, Italy
“In fair Verona, where we lay our scene.” Shakespeare lovers will know that Romeo and Juliet is set in the Italian city and there’s a balcony at Juliet’s House (off the Piazza delle Erbe) that is said to date from those times — but don’t be fooled. It was added in 1936. Forget about the Casa di Giulietta and take a stroll through the Giardino Giusti instead. From the lofty tower of the Renaissance garden are gorgeous, tower-dotted and timeless views of Verona.
5. Vienna, Austria
The Schonbrunn Palace, summer home of the Habsburgs, has a happy pedigree. It was where Empress Maria Theresa once lived in wedded bliss with her husband and 16 children. It’s a noted proposing spot in the Imperial City, but another way to propose — bit more Jane Austen perhaps — is during a ball. This time of year is Ball Season in Vienna and there are more than 450 dances where you can play dress up and waltz like the Viennese of old.
6. New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
It’s easy to fall in love with the Big Easy, famed city of music, cuisine and a Phoenix-like character. Bourbon Street will call you with its siren song of bars and booze but proposing here might not be the height of romance. Pop the question on the romantic old mahogany-lined Street Car instead or in the shade of the moss-clothed oak trees of Audobon Park.
7. Agra, India
There are few more enduring testaments to true love than the Taj Mahal. Built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife it’s one of the world’s iconic monuments. Ram Bagh, the oldest Mughal garden, is three miles from the Taj Mahal. The Persian garden, laid out in a way that suggests paradise, is a less clichéd location. The pathways, waterways and cascades are fed by the Yamuna River while the shady pavilions offer an unparalleled setting for that very important question.
8. Granada, Spain
The Alhambra, the ancient palace-citadel that sits high on a hill overlooking Granada, is one of the most romantic places in Spain. Its intricate design and beautiful gardens with tinkling fountains are paradise for lovers. It’s a major tourist magnet so to mix up your Granada getaway, climb up to the Albaicin. The Arab quarter, that has heart-stopping views of the Alhambra, is a maze of cobblestone streets and small squares, balconies tumbling with bright geraniums and a magical air.
9. San Francisco, California, United States
Sure there’s the Golden Gate Bridge, the top of the Coit Tower at sunset or Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, but the Palace of the Legion of Honor, the fine arts museum, offers a little piece of Paris-inspired architecture and gorgeous views of the Bridge and the Bay. It’s a noted spot for weddings too, should you wish to make a return visit.
10. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The City of Glass, as Douglas Coupland has it, is a tantalising mix of mountains, big skies and sea. There’s only one place to propose (weather permitting) and that’s outside. Queen Elizabeth Park is 130 acres of lush greenness but draws six million visitors each year. Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver is a more rugged affair. Its rainforest gives way to the sparkling waters of the Burrard Inlet. It’s an edge-of-the-world type spot, a feeling magnified by the 1914 lighthouse. Search and compare cheap flights to Vancouver.