Where to propose in Iceland? How to do the perfect wedding proposal in Iceland? Find the best locations for marriage proposals in Iceland here.
Iceland is known for its incredible natural beauty and has become a popular destination for couples. Iceland is a very romantic destination and has become more and more celebrated as a wedding destination, a honeymoon destination as well as a marriage proposal destination.
We get a lot of inquiries asking us to help to plan a marriage proposal or a wedding, or simply inquiries about the best places to propose in Iceland. How can you do the perfect proposal in Iceland? Hopefully, you'll find some help in this article that sums up some of the best marriage proposal locations in Iceland.
Obviously, people have different ideas when it comes to romance and what they find romantic. Perhaps you want to pop the big question on the anniversary of your relationship, or on your partners birthday. Maybe you want to do it in front of a lot of people, family and friends, or perhaps you want to do it all alone. Maybe you want someone to take pictures of the moment that it happens, maybe you want it to be a private moment for just the two of you.
If privacy is what you're looking for, in the surrounding beautiful nature, then it's not a bad idea to rent an Icelandic summer cabin for just the two of you (although called 'summer cabins' they are accessible all year round). These cottages owned by locals can be found all over Iceland, many of which are in spectacular settings, some of which offer rustic charm and others that offer a luxurious get-away.
All of them guarantee some alone time, so even if you decide to propose out in nature, then nothing beats returning to a cosy cabin where you can relax in front of a fireplace or in a hot tub with a bottle of champagne. You just have to bring the champagne yourself, as the cabins are not serviced. Browse for a suitable Icelandic cottage here.
Perhaps you want to ask the big question during the Christmas holidays or on New Year's Eve - a very popular time to propose in Iceland, or maybe you have your eyes set on either a sunny summer day or a crisp and glittery winter wonderland. Whenever you choose to do it, Iceland surely has the best locations waiting for you to make it a moment to remember.
Picture by Arturo Gmora, with permission.
Guide to Iceland was contacted by a man called Arturo in December 2016, and he asked us for tips on where to propose to his girlfriend in January 2017. After giving him a few options he decided to go on a tour of the south coast of Iceland and proposed in various places, as they wanted multiple backgrounds for pictures. Above you can see one of those images, from the black beach by Vík. Just be careful to do it far away from the dangerous surf!
He also popped down on his knee in front of Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and behind it, as well as at the Diamond Beach and inside an ice cave - it can be tough to just choose one location when in Iceland!
Another couple, Supreet Shah and Anita Govind, also shared their engagement picture with us from a glacier, this shot is from a glacier hike on Sólheimajökull taken on the 4th of February 2017.
As you can see the surroundings are like an ice cave, although this is from a glacier hike and not an ice cave tour. You'll often find spectacular surroundings when exploring Iceland's glaciers, all throughout the year.
Although you can obviously propose by the following locations all year round, there is something simply extra magical about doing it during the long and warm(ish) summer days, perhaps during the twilight hours of the Icelandic Midnight Sun.
First up, there are all the waterfalls. Iceland has countless waterfalls of all shapes and sizes, and what's a more picturesque proposal than one right in front of a massive and gorgeous waterfall, or your own personal secret waterfall?
Surprise proposal by one of Iceland's hidden waterfalls. Picture by Caitlin at CJK visuals.
The hardest thing you'll have to do is to pick which waterfall to drop down on one knee in front of!
Skógafoss seems to be the most popular one. You can walk right up to it and feel its power as you can see in the video here above. You can also walk to the top of it.
Seljalandsfoss is also a great place - and you can choose your place all around it as it has a path going behind it and around in a circle. If you come during wintertime this path gets very slippery and icy!
Gljúfrabúi is a little more hidden, inside a cave. To get there you have to walk through a little river.
Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi are all on the south coast of Iceland.
Goðafoss in north Iceland, the Waterfall of the Gods, is quite fitting for a wedding proposal.
Dynjandi is one of my personal favourites and in the remote but enchanting Westfjords. Standing next to it you can't help being filled with awe.
Hraunfossar waterfalls are especially stunning during autumn as the surroundings take on every colour imaginable.
If you head to Þingvellir National Park you can choose to propose by Öxarárfoss waterfall before taking a walk to the iconic church that stands nearby. You can also choose to do this at the start or end of a Golden Circle sightseeing tour.
Another fantastic option is Háifoss, Iceland's tallest waterfall, that requires a 2 hour hike to reach in the Icelandic highlands (meaning you'll likely be the only ones there or amongst few visitors). If you're a fan of outdoor hiking, this is an unforgettable location.
Waterfall proposals are also exquisite during spring, autumn and winter. Just be aware, there's a very high chance you will get quite wet (or very wet) so summer has the nicest weather to deal with the cold water - and if you want your sweetheart to actually hear what you have to say, then you'll have to talk loud enough to cover the impressive sound of the falling water.
If you've invested in an impressive diamond ring, you might want to present it in a stunning setting of countless glistening icebergs, each one resembling a diamond themselves. You'll find this stunning Diamond Beach right next to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in southeast Iceland, one of Iceland's crown jewels.
The glacier lagoon itself is not a bad backdrop for a romantic proposal either. It's up to you whether you find the lagoon or the Diamond Beach a better fit!
Picture by Maru Films.
After admiring the glacier lagoon, the black sandy beach and all of the diamonds, those made out of ice as well as perhaps some real ones you can head to the nearby town of Höfn for a langoustine dinner.
The glacier lagoon is a long drive from Reykjavík (5-6 hours), so make sure you spend at least 2 days in going there and back so you don't feel like you are in a rush.
One way to guarantee that you'll be completely on your own (besides the pilot) is to hop on a helicopter tour and whisk off to a mountaintop with spectacular views or to the remote Icelandic highlands. You can ask to be the only ones in the helicopter for total privacy.
By going on a helicopter ride, you'll open up the options of locations, you can pretty much choose anywhere to pop the question, such as the middle of the Icelandic highlands, on top of a volcano or glacier or in a geothermal area - but still be back in Reykjavík less than an hour later!
If you're planning on having a church wedding, then what better way to symbolise the upcoming wedding than by proposing next to, or inside, one of Iceland's picturesque churches?
You can find small and picturesque churches all over Iceland. The one pictured above is at Snæfellsnes peninsula, very close to the Snæfellsjökull glacier, but also next to a fancy hotel, Búðir, where you could book a surprise accommodation for the night following the proposal.
Another cute little church is the one in Flatey island, where you can also book great accommodation. There is also nothing to do in Flatey island besides strolling around lovingly and finding little grassy nests to listen to the birds and cuddle up next to each other.
A third great option is the picturesque church in Vík on the south coast of Iceland, close to the black sandy beach of Reynisfjara and the stunning views from Dyrhólaey. Another town with fantastic accommodation.
There are countless waterfalls, mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, valleys, farms, cliffs, islands and glaciers in Iceland and not all of them are on every traveller's 'must-do' list. If you are driving around Iceland by yourself or hiking on your own, there's a great chance that you'll stumble upon the perfect spot where you're completely alone in the weather that you were waiting for.
Whether that's a beach or a mountaintop, during sunset, sunrise, a mysterious fog or in a snowstorm, it's all up to you. For the adventurous people out there, take your time to explore Iceland and keep the ring in your pocket until the perfect moment presents itself.
Make the most of wintertime and propose to your significant other in some truly spectacular surroundings. Here are some romantic suggestions of the best ways to make the most of the Icelandic winter in a way that will knock her or him off their socks.
Many people imagine Iceland to be a winter wonderland, full of ice and snow. And in wintertime you can actually find natural ice palaces in Iceland - inside the ice caves of Iceland's largest glaciers.
To access these ice caves you'll need to join an ice cave tour, as entry into the caves can be very dangerous and you'll need to go with a guide that knows about all the dangers. Perhaps you'd like to advise your guide that you're going to pop the question so that they can take pictures or videos of you when you do. Maybe even bring a bottle of champagne as well to enjoy in the crystal blue caves.
This is quite possibly the coolest place you can find to do a proposal (pun intended). The ice caves are a natural phenomenon and are only accessible between mid-October and March, although some operators only conduct tours from November. Make sure you check out the details of your tour before booking. Weather conditions can make the caves inaccessible, so it's wise to make a backup plan.
If you find yourself in Iceland during summertime however and still want to make it a 'cool' proposal, you may still pop the question inside a glacier, although a man-made one.
Picture taken of the bride inside Langjökull glacier's first wedding ceremony. Picture by Kristín María
This picture is taken during the first wedding ceremony inside Langjökull glacier, where there are man-made ice caves and even a chapel as well. The surroundings make for a pretty spectacular photo opportunity!
Picture from caving tour to Lofthellir, that fills up with ice sculptures during winter.
In case the weather isn't co-operating, it being winter time in Iceland after all, then you always know what you'll get when you go inside a lava cave.
There will be no wind, there will be silence, it will be cold but not outrageously so (normally the temperature of Iceland's lava caves stays between 0-5°C all year round). Iceland's lava caves come in all sizes and shapes, some you'll need to bend down a bit when going through them or crawl even (such as in Lofthellir cave), others have ceilings that are dozens of metres high, almost like a church dome. Víðgelmir cave, for example, has an easy walking path, gorgeous high ceilings and in wintertime it fills up with natural ice sculptures. It's also not far from Hraunfossar waterfalls, so it's a good backup plan in case the weather isn't suitable at the falls.
In many cave tours, the travellers are asked to turn their headlights off for a couple of minutes to experience the total darkness inside the cave, so it gives you the perfect time to pick your spot, get down on one knee, and when the lights are turned back on it's the ultimate surprise. Contact your cave guides beforehand to give them the heads up so they can be ready with a camera or perhaps even some champagne.
Marriage proposal underneath the Icelandic northern lights, picture by Daniel LaPel
The Northern Lights are on the top of many people's bucket lists. These spectacular lights make the perfect backdrop for a romantic winter proposal.
However, if your dream is to propose underneath the stunning Northern Lights, you'll need to be pretty flexible with your proposal date, and make sure you come to Iceland for a significant amount of time (at least a week, preferably two) to increase your chances of seeing the lights. You might also want to have a backup plan.
Reason being, the Northern Lights can not be guaranteed. You'll need clear skies and active aurora in order to see them - and perhaps you'll be unlucky and receive only cloudy nights, or even a snowstorm instead!
Fortunately, you'll have plenty of other locations in case the northern lights fail to show up.
Proposal by the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Picture by Arctic Weddings Iceland.
Iceland has a number of hot springs to choose from. The Blue Lagoon is the most famous one, but Mývatn Nature Baths and the Secret Lagoon are also hot options.
These are accessible all year round, but are extremely romantic during winter and the best place to admire the northern lights from as you don't get cold while you wait.
If you choose to propose in one of these hot springs, that have an entrance fee and bar staff, you can also book massages, or pre-arrange with the staff to bring you a couple of glasses of champagne, or perhaps even chocolate-coated strawberries just after you've popped the question (assuming you'll get a positive answer!)
There are also other hot springs that don't demand an entry fee - they are more rustic and out of the way, meaning that they'll have fewer visitors but also no shower or changing facilities.
If you'd rather propose within a city where it doesn't take you long to find a fantastic restaurant or the privacy of your own hotel room, then here are a number of suggested locations within Reykjavík and Akureyri.
Marriage proposal in Reykjavík's winter wonderland city centre. Picture by jrbowe.
Hallgrímskirkja church is an iconic building that towers over the city centre of Reykjavík. Right in front of it is the picturesque street Skólavörðustígur, full of designer shops and goldsmiths - you might even want to buy the engagement ring while you're there.
At nighttime, it's easy to find total silence in the midst of Reykjavík, even on weekends. The above picture is taken late at a Friday night in November 2015 when a Scottish couple got engaged underneath the Christmas decorations on that street, with the soft snow falling all around them. The moment happened to be caught by a local, instagrammer jrbowe, as she was walking home after a few happy hour beers. The proposal was initially supposed to happen underneath the northern lights, but due to cloudy skies and heavy snowfall, there were no northern lights appearing that week. It looks like a pretty good backup plan however!
There's a lighthouse on the edge of Reykjavík's west part of town called Grótta. By this lighthouse, you have a view over the Faxaflói bay towards Esjan and even towards Snæfellsnes peninsula. On a clear day or night, you can see the silhouette of Snæfellsjökull glacier in the distance.
There's even a hot footbath tucked in between the rocks next to the surf of the ocean, perfect to dip your toes in while you watch the midnight sun in summertime or the northern lights in wintertime.
Both Reykjavík and Akureyri have beautiful botanical gardens that make for the ideal romantic getaway within the city centre, both during summertime and wintertime. During summertime, there are water fountains and colourful plants from around the world blossoming all around you, perhaps even with some twinkling lights when the dusk sets in.
During wintertime, the plants are often covered by thick layers of snow turning the surroundings into a true winter wonderland and the cosy cafés offer shelter from the cold with their hot drinks and festive Christmas decorations.
Photo from Perlan's website
There are a couple of places where you can get a view over Reykjavík. One is on the top of Hallgrímskirkja church tower. This is the highest view you can have over Reykjavík, but it gets cold at the top (there are no closed windows) and you can only enter between 9 am and 5 pm. If you're planning on an evening proposal you'd be better off visiting Perlan, or The Pearl. You'll get the best views during sunset and twilight (check the sunset times for when you are in the country).
The Pearl is essentially a few water containers that have a glass dome built over them, with a good viewing platform. It sits on top of a small, forested hill close to the centre of Reykjavík and has great 360° views of the city.
If you're looking for a fancy dinner and a view, then Grillið, or The Grill, at Saga Hotel is a classic restaurant situated on the 8th floor with unobstructed views towards west, south and east of Reykjavík.
Besides the stunning panoramas of Reykjavík, the sea and nearby mountains (and perhaps the Northern Lights if you go during winter), then the delicious menu and great wine selection will make this a night to remember. Grillið opened in 1962 and is quite possibly the restaurant that's held in the highest esteem in Iceland, sort of like Iceland's answer to the Savoy Grill, but surprisingly much more reasonably priced.
The newest large building in Reykjavík's city centre is the very modern Harpa Concert Hall. This is an ideal location for a sophisticated and classy proposal. Dress up and listen to the symphonic orchestra, an opera or perhaps a rock or pop concert by an international star beforehand (check Harpa's website for the program), and enjoy a fancy dinner at Kolabrautin on the top floor with a view over the centre of town and the old harbour.
Have you proposed to someone in Iceland, or been proposed to? Tell us where it took place!