*Updated 16th November 2022
Why elope in Europe?
Elopements in Europe are becoming increasingly popular. This continent has something for everyone; whether you’re a wild-at-heart adventurer or a hopeless romantic Europe has got everything you could want! Here are the best places to elope in Europe in 2023!
Where are the best places to elope in Europe in 2023?
- The Causeway Coast – Northern Ireland
- Glencoe, The Highlands – Scotland
- The Cliffs of Moher – Ireland
- The Lake District – England
- The Swiss Alps – Switzerland
- Santorini – Greece
- Southern Iceland – Iceland
- The Dingle Peninsula – Ireland
- The Faroe Islands
- The Isle of Skye – Scotland
- The Dolomites – Italy
- Snowdonia National Park – Wales
The Causeway Coast – Northern Ireland
I had to start with my favorite location! The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland is hands down the best place to elope in the world! A small area made famous by featuring so heavily in the HBO series Game of Thrones. It is jam-packed with incredible locations. Over a tiny stretch of coastline in County Antrim there are at least 16 world-class locations that you could hit for your elopement in Europe. If you’re looking for fairytale scenery filled with ancient castles, rolling green hills, rugged cliff tops, and wild scenery this is the place for you. Three of the most famous spots here are The Dark Hedges, The Giants Causeway & Dunluce Castle.
Northern Ireland is one of the least expensive tourist destinations in Western Europe to visit, so an added benefit of eloping here is your trip won’t be crazy expensive. It’s obviously attached to Ireland so you can easily make a road trip around the whole island. Also, one thing many people don’t realize is that you can hop on a one-hour ferry to Scotland from here too.
Click HERE to check out a real Causeway Coast elopement.
Glencoe, The Highlands – Scotland
Eloping in Scotland is a very good idea! At the heart of the Scottish Highlands is Glencoe, an area of outstanding beauty. Its famous mountain ranges make an epic backdrop for an elopement ceremony! Scotland is stunning, rich with history, and blessed with gorgeous Lochs and mountains. It’s one of the most popular places for hikers in Europe and when you visit for yourself you’ll soon realize why. It’s one of my favorite places I’ve ever explored. There is a tranquility & peace that you feel as you stand in those valleys surrounded by beautiful mountains, it really is a special place.
One word of warning if you want to elope in Scotland, you need to be aware of when Midge season is. Midges are tiny bugs that swarm through the Highlands usually between May and September. You can find out more about the midge season here. They are not fun! I shot an elopement in Glencoe in July and at certain points the Midges were unbearable. I highly recommend eloping in Glencoe between October and April, the scenery was made for the colder climate and looks amazing in those months. It will be quite cold during those months so make sure to check out my tips for staying warm blog.
Click HERE to see a real Glencoe Elopement.
The Cliffs of Moher – Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher are a super popular location for couples who are eloping in Ireland. They are without a doubt the most famous tourist destination in Ireland. Towering 700ft over the Atlantic Ocean which crashes powerfully at their base. The scale of these cliffs is what draws so many to come to visit. It’s an epic setting for an elopement and if you know the best locations you can avoid the crowds. Could you imagine saying your vows in an epic place like this and then ending your day having a first dance in an Irish pub drinking pints of Guinness with the locals?
Click HERE to see a real Cliffs of Moher elopement.
The Lake District – England
The Lake District is a stunning area in the North-West of England. It’s filled with gorgeous mountains and beautiful lakes. A Lake District elopement has got to be an option if you want to be able to hike & explore one of the most picturesque places in England.
You can stay in quaint English villages that are hundreds of years old and explore hire a boat to explore the famous lakes. There are so many hikes to check out too that could keep you occupied for at least a week. To check out more info on the activities you could do click here.
Click HERE to check out my Guide to Eloping in the Lake District.
The Swiss Alps – Switzerland
Switzerland has to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world, it’s like stepping into “The Sound of Music”. Alpine Lakes and snow-capped mountains are literally everywhere. If you love mountains, this place needs some serious consideration.
One thing to note is that Switzerland is one of the more expensive countries to visit in Europe, but it will be worth it! A real bonus of eloping in Switzerland is that you can drive to any of the boarder countries within a couple of hours so you could easily add France, Italy, Germany or Austria to your honeymoon explorations.
Santorini – Greece
If you’re into gorgeous sunsets this might just be the place for you. Thousands gather every evening during the warmer months to see the spectacle that is a Santorini sunset. It’s one of the warmer places on this list is probably more suited to those who just want a really pretty setting and a romantic experience rather than an adventure elopement with lots of hiking. If you love eating amazing food & drinking great wine in beautiful places, this little Greek island has that in abundance.
One thing to be aware of is that a lot of weddings happen on the island. The most popular locations such as the white buildings in Imerovigli are likely to have several wedding portrait sessions going on at the same time. Really you need to hire a photographer who knows the locations you can hit that will be deserted.
Click HERE to see a real Santorini Elopement.
South Iceland – Iceland
The whole island of Iceland is amazing but there’s something special about Southern Iceland. 3 of the most famous places in that area are Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss & Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. All 3 make for stunning locations for portraits. Iceland has got to be one of the best places to elope in Europe, it has a unique and wild landscape that often feels like your stepping onto another planet.
Iceland is a pretty extreme place to visit with super harsh winters so you might be wise to time your elopement here between Spring & Summer. The days are very long is summer but that will work to your advantage because the most famous locations are super busy with tourists during the day. With the long days, you could potentially have your ceremony in the evening and head for portraits after midnight.
Getting to Iceland is relatively cheap; once you get there though it is a very expensive place to visit. You would struggle to find a burger or a pizza for less than $25; typical prices for a meal in a standard restaurant would be around $50. If you go somewhere fancy expect to spend around $150-200. One thing to remember though is that this is your wedding and you could go wild in Iceland as it still does not come close to how much a traditional wedding would have cost you.
The Dingle Peninsula – Ireland
The Dingle Peninsula on the Southwestern coast of Ireland is one of the best places to elope in Europe. From the buzzing town of Dingle which is full of music, seafood, and Guinness to the amazing scenery that surrounds it, Dingle is one of the most popular places to visit in Ireland.
You could head to the island of Skellig Michael and have your ceremony where they filmed Star Wars. You could drive up the Connor Pass into the gorgeous mountains or say your vows in an ancient castle ruin. This little peninsula in Co Kerry has enough stunning scenery to explore for a couple of days and would be great for your destination elopement.
Click HERE to check out a real Dingle Elopement
The Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands have got to be one of the best places to elope in Europe! A North Atlantic archipelago located about 200 miles north of Scotland, the climate is cold, wet, and windy and the terrain is rugged!
The landscapes really do have to be seen to be believed. If you want an adventurous elopement in a place that not many people have been to, this is the place for you. If you head here, it might be cold, wet, and windy but you will have some of the most amazing photos ever!
The Isle of Skye – Scotland
The Isle of Skye is one of the most unique places to see in the UK. It is definitely one of the best locations for destination elopements in Europe. The island is on the Western Coast of Scotland and is accessed by a bridge, so you can drive from the airport.
Some places to make sure to adventure in are Fairy Glen, The Storr, The Quiraing, Cuillin & Eilean Donan. This is one wild island and you want to make sure to pack your hiking boots and explore all that it has to offer!
The Dolomites – Italy
The Dolomite Mountains in Northern Italy are a UNESCO World Heritage site. They are some of the most beautiful mountains in the world and would make the perfect backdrop for your adventure elopement in Europe.
Some must-visit places are Lago Di Braies Lake, you will have seen this amazing alpine lake on Instagram. Tre Cime National Park, the 3 peaks are stunning & Lago Di Carezza (hopefully you get a still day because the reflections on the lake are truly incredible.
Snowdonia National Park – Wales
The Snowdonia National Park in Northern Wales is absolutely stunning and well worth considering for your destination elopement in Europe. The National Park covers over 800 square miles and has 14 peaks over 3000 ft and more than 50 lakes. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the UK and would be perfect for a hiking elopement.
The Best Places for your European Elopement
So those are the best places if you’re planning to travel to Europe to elope. Europe really does offer something for everyone and there is scope to have an adventurous elopement followed by a sunny romantic honeymoon at another place in Europe. Flights within Europe are very cheap so a lot of the couples that a shoot within Ireland or Scotland tend to head to places like Italy or Greece for a week or so after they elope.
Elopement Planning Resources
I love helping couples plan meaningful, stress-free adventure elopements. If you’re eloping I’ve made some resources for you to help you on your elopement journey. There are 3 links below to get you started.
Elopement Inspiration & Ideas
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