26 Jul 2011 - 26 Aug 2011
When booking a tour around Europe, I was unsure whether to go camping or hotels/hostels. I decided with camping as my sister had done this tour the year before and loved it. Best decision I've ever made. As you had to help around the campsite, and you couldn't just hide in your hotel room, you get to know your group so much better, and faster. And really, you're only in your tent to sleep, so it doesn't make that much of a difference camping! :-)
We got to see a bit of everything in our tour! There was a couple of places I would've liked to see more of (ie. Munich, Vienna), but I know now where I would go back to. I probably use the word amazing too much when describing this tour, but it really was that. Our team was fantastic. The tour manager, driver and super talented cook probably made the experience even better. They were so helpful, and made sure we were happy and fed. I still maintain the carbonara our chef made is pretty much the best in the world.
My favourite places would probably have been Italy and Switzerland. We had the best night at the I heart Roma party and the Swisco disco. It wasn't just the parties though, the cultural aspect of everything was great too. The optional extras were worth it, and I would recommend them to anyone.
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3
14 May 2013 - 14 Jun 2013
Before this contiki I was a different person. This tour has opened my mind in sooo many ways for the better. Contiki is not a drunken group orgy. I understand that it can be like that, but my tour was not at all like that (and I'm glad in a way). We did have our fair share of partying, but we were also a very well balanced group (sightseeing wise and partying wise). I've met some of the greatest people of my life on this tour and the Contiki crew was literally the best I could ask for. Our driver, Stephen Hansford, went out of his way to drop me off at my hostel the last day and he could handle every fucked up route that came his way, our cook, Kim Smith, made sure we got the best and freshest produce around the area. She did a wonderful job. Our team manager, Chloe Mulcahy, was the sweetest girl and best tour manager I could ever asked for. She knew so much about everything (even things she didn't necessarily had to know) and I've learnt so much from her teachings. The sights were obviously amazing, but for me, it's the people that made the tour. You can't believe how attached you get to the people. It was one of the saddest days of my life to say goodbye, no jokes. Apparently our group was very "family" orientated compared to the other groups, but any tour that's longer than say 3 weeks will have that effect on the people.
The campsites were great. I would have loved to stay at some of the sites forever and ever. On a camping tour, you have to set up your own tents and help cleaning, but that didn't bother me at all. That took about 40 minutes to do and we would normally have the rest of the time to sight-see after a drive on the coach. The campsites are about 20-40 minutes away from the central parts of the cities, but the coach drives you in from like 08:00 to sometimes 22:00 at night. If you want to stay out later, you can catch a cab back for about 40-50 euros. If I wanted to stay out, I just got 4 other people to also stay out and we would just split the cab (about 10 euros or less, each). We also got more than enough free time to do our own things. A normal day would be as follows:
-Wake up around 07:00.
-Have breakfast (always something different and we could always gor for seconds).
-Get on the coach and drive to destination.
-Once we're in the city, we would normally do a driving tour. Our tour manager would explain things as we drive by.
-Get dropped off and get a walking tour with the tour manager.
-Get about 3-6 hours of free time to do our own thing.
-Head back to campsite.
-Get dinner if we didn't come back too late (prepared dinners were always great and we could also go for seconds)
-Either get fucked at the on-site bar or go to bed.
The optionals were all good. I found that you can get more food for the prices for SOME of the optional meals (like the Tuscan one), but the restaurants are all very traditional and I wouldn't have been able to find them by myself. I really loved all of the optionals and I regret not doing some of them (like the watersports in Corfu or the mountain climb in Switzerland). I totally recommend Contiki for anyone who wants to:
-meet new amazing people
-see the sights of the world
-look for an overview of places for future travels
-experience interesting and fun adventures. Seriously, some random shit happened on tour that I still laugh about.
-have sex with races from around the world (depends on group though).
Thank you so much Contiki for giving me the time of my life. The only reason I might not do another Contiki is because I don't think I could've asked for a better first one.
Review written Jun 2013event 0.3