Source: Daily Mail Travel
I spent almost a week in Antarctica with an engagement ring in my pocket, waiting for the opportunity to propose to my fiancee, but as we spotted whales, penguins and enormous icebergs, I couldn’t find the right moment. Not until, that is, we docked at the (unfortunately named) Deception Island on our final day. We trekked to its rim, to an area known as Neptune’s Bellows, and there, finally, I popped the question. I’m not sure she had much option other to say yes by that stage – but she hasn’t changed her mind since.
What is more romantic than being with a loved one under a sky bursting with stars? A three-day journey in a 4×4 vehicle from San Pedro de Atacama in Chile to the salt plains of Uyuni in Bolivia involves climbing to more than 16,000ft above sea level. At such altitude and hundreds of miles from any significant city, the sky is illuminated brilliantly. If that doesn’t seem like the right environment, nothing will.
Kanoo Tours (kanootours.com) is one of several companies offering the trip to Uyuni – prices vary throughout the year. Iberia (iberia.com) has return flights from London to Calama in Chile, via Madrid and Santiago, from £956pp.
Cruise the Tanon Strait between the islands of Negros and Cebu in the Philippines and your chances of seeing dolphins are almost guaranteed. Not only are they abundant, but the most common species in this stretch of water is the ludicrously playful spinner dolphin. The only trouble may be finding a peaceful moment to propose between their corkscrewing leaps and flips.
If you’re worried about having to propose in front of a crowd, the over-populated Machu Picchu is probably not for you. Instead, embark on a five-day trek to the far less visited Ciudad Perdida (Forgotten City) in Colombia. At times it’s an incredibly tough slog, but it is rewarding. At one time Ciudad Perdida was home to as many as 8,000 people, but now the only things looking on will be toads, birds and the odd snake.
They say it rains ’35 days a month’ on the Japanese island of Yakushima, but don’t let that put you off. It lies on the edge of two tropical zones, giving it an unusually fertile climate. Some of its 80ft cedar trees are thought to be 2,000 years old, while on the ground, people are outnumbered by skittish deer and bold, thieving monkeys – if you have a ring with you, hold on to it tight.
Return flights to the nearby island of Kyushu are available with Lufthansa (lufthansa.com), via Frankfurt and Nagoya, from £594pp. Ferries operate between Yakushima and Kyushu.
On Germany’s North Frisian Islands, winds blasting off the North Sea create ‘champagne air’ – a heady mix that might increase the chances of getting a Yes response to the big question. Afterwards, celebrate in one of the Michelin-starred restaurants on Sylt, the largest and most developed of the islands. The North Frisians connect to Hamburg by a typically efficient train network.
Visit bahn.de for details on the rail service between Hamburg and Sylt.
Featured in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, the enormous sculpted cave known as the Treasury in Petra, Jordan, is often awash with tourists. Better, then, to trek further into the ancient stone city to the Monastery, where the views are breathtaking. Just don’t get too close to the edge of the cliff face at such a nervy moment.
EasyJet (easyjet.com) flies from Gatwick to Amman from £147pp return. Jordan Select Tours (select.jo) has dozens of holiday options.
The Turkish resort of Marmaris may be light on romance, but head a little north to Sedir Island and you could find yourself a spot shared by two of history’s greatest lovers. Legend has it that Cleopatra refused to set foot on anything outside of Egypt, so when Mark Antony wanted her to visit Sedir Island he imported tons of Egyptian sand to coat the beach. Locals insist the same stuff still covers the island today.
Sedir (or Cleopatra Island) is 55 miles from Dalaman airport. EasyJet (easyjet.com) offers return flights to Dalaman from Stansted from £121pp. Tours to the island from Marmaris cost from €27 (£22). Visit easymarmaris.com.