The Algarve is packed with beautiful beaches in all shapes and sizes, but none of them compare to Benagil Beach, a secret slice of sand tucked within a cave. Its entrance is lapped by the turquoise sea waters all around it and sunshine streams in through its own natural skylight. The truly secluded location means you’ll need to set out on a boat trip to get there. You can sign up for one at Praia de Benagil, which is just 15 minutes’ drive from the town of Carvoeiro. Just don’t forget that ring.
Sunsets guarantee romance and the island of Ibiza is famous for them. To make sure you have unobstructed vistas as the sun dips below the horizon, why not charter a private boat to take the two of you out to sea? You’ll feel like proper VIPs as you whizz past the sandy cliffs and swanky marinas on your very own private deck. You can have Champagne on ice ready for when you’ve popped the question, and then head back to shore to continue the celebrations in San Antonio’s bars.
Make your other half feel on top of the world with a proposal in Lanzarote’s mountainous Timanfaya National Park. Whether you hire a car or book onto an excursion, you’ll feel like you’re entering another planet, surrounded by dramatic, lunar-like scenery. Hang around until the evening and you’ll be treated to a gorgeous sunset and starry skies. You can even go for a romantic dinner at the mountain-top El Diablo Restaurant, where the food is cooked on a grill using volcanic heat.
With a grandiose castle palace by snow-dusted mountains, the city of Granada looks straight out of a fairy story. In reality, it’s within easy day-tripping distance of Spain’s Costa del Sol, just an hour’s drive from Motril. Spend some time here and you can wander hand-in-hand around the Alhambra Palace. Among this monument’s gardens, fountain-filled courtyards and elaborate, domed chambers, there are plenty of picture-perfect backdrops for getting down on one knee.
If you’re a couple that likes adventure, Crete’s Samaria Gorge is a great place to kick-start your engagement. As one of the longest gorges in Europe, it attracts hikers from all over the world and really packs a punch in the natural beauty stakes. As you work your way along the 16-kilometre route, you’ll be surrounded by craggy cliff-faces, sky-scraping trees, fuchsia-flecked foliage, and gently trickling streams. Make sure you take sturdy walking shoes, a good map – there’s no 3G around here – and a Champagne picnic for lunch. Obvs.
Five minutes’ drive from the Majorcan town of Deia, Son Marroig is a beautiful estate and former home of an Austrian Archduke. Within the grounds, you’ll find a vintage museum, gardens filled with flowers and grapevines, and a restaurant that opens out onto a cutesy column-lined terrace. The property perches high on a mountainside so, everywhere you look, the views along the coast are stunning. By far the best vistas are from the elegant white-marble pavilion, which sits on a promontory surrounded by 360-degree ocean panoramas. Thomson Weddings are available at this venue, so you can promise to have and to hold in the same place you got engaged.
Cliff top dinners, jaw-dropping sunsets and higgledy-piggledy cobbled streets – Santorini is made for couples’ holidays and will no doubt set the mood for your proposal. Everyone knows this, though, so to find a spot for just the two of you, have a word with a trusty local. That’s how we found the heart-shaped hole that’s naturally carved into the side of a cliff, just footsteps from the Agios Nikolaos chapel in the Megalochori area. The heart frames the distant volcano and will put a unique spin on your first photos as betrotheds.
In Tenerife, whisk your future wife or husband high above the clouds to Spain’s highest peak, the mighty Mount Teide. All rusty red peaks and giant craters, the landscape here looks otherworldly, so it’s definitely a memorable setting. There’s even snow on the ground during the colder months of the year. It’s at such a high altitude that the temperature is much colder than along the coast, so don’t forget to pack some extra layers for when the sun goes down and the stars come out – the perfect time for that crucial question.
With the nickname ‘Little Venice’, it’s easy to understand why Puerto Mogan is Gran Canaria’s most romantic town. Here, Italian-style footbridges criss-cross an aqua-blue canal and bright-pink bougainvillea cling to whitewashed houses. It’s the ideal place for a daytrip as a twosome, during which you can explore the cobbled streets, sunbathe on the nearby aptly-named ‘Lovers’ Beach’, and dine on tapas at a waterfront restaurant. As for that all important question, you could ask as you cuddle up on the sand to watch the sunset or get down on one knee under the pretty pavilion in the town’s main square.
Although just half an hour’s drive from the coast, the Costa Blanca’s Guadalest Valley feels world’s away from booming Benidorm and would have you believe you’re in New Zealand, not Spain. Here, a tiny village nestles on a mountain-top, above an electric-blue reservoir surrounded by striking scenery. You could pop the question in the castle that towers above this enormous crater or in the middle of the lagoon during a ride on the boat across it.
Now that you’ve sorted the engagement, it’s time to start thinking about the big day. We offer Thomson weddings all over the world, including on Spain, Florida and the Caribbean’s sunbaked shores. Alternatively, opt for a winter wedding and you can snuggle up together in the likes of Iceland or Lapland. Click here to find out more.
Author: Sarah Robinson
Late breakfasts, pillow menus and sundowner cocktails are all part of the experience at the just-for-grown-ups TUI SENSIMAR Elounda Village Resort & Spa in Crete.
In the western Algarve, adults-only Iberostar Selection Lagos Algarve is a romantic hideaway surrounded by sea views. The spa specialises in made-for-two massages.
TUI SENSIMAR Los Gigantes is close to prime whale-watching territory, and comes with ocean views from almost every spot.
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