19 May 2015 - 16 Jun 2015
I highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to get a taste of western europe, the essence of travel, and the cultures of 10+ different countries.
Me Time Optionals
As i experienced the me-time optionals, I found which ones i did and didn't like. I preferred the high-energy outdoor optionals; (white water rafting, paragliding, bike tours) more than the dinners and the guided tours. This is totally dependant what your coach group is like though.
As I'd paid for all the optionals, i can say that if you don't sign up to them, you actually get more "me" time, because everyone is encouraged to buy them and therefore you go to dinner with the same 35+ people you were on a bus with, instead of going to a local italian pizza restaurant(or any other restaurant) and soaking up the culture. Just my view.
I'm not really interested in history so the guided tours were a bit of a waste on me. Though I can say that the guided tour we got in Venice was the best one. (Since there is no real definitive map of that city) Also dependant on the tour guide you get.
The food I bought using my own money was great. Pizza and pasta in Florence, Nutella Crepes in Paris, Tzatziki and Moussaka in Greece. It gave me a great sense of experiencing culture and the different flavour profiles between countries, sometimes only 100s of kilometres apart.
Jess was our trip manager, Tim was our trip driver.
Jess was super knowledgeable about the history and culture of every country we went to. Again, while I'm not that interested in history she did explain things in a more interesting way, and offered tips and advice if we wanted to go exploring once we got to a place. Always went the extra mile in terms of helping us out.
Although Tim's main job was to get us safely from A to B, he also helped with pointing out attractions we could go and see, and him and Jess also came out to party with us on selected nights. The professionalism from both of them was incredible.
While the coach probably could have been more comfortable, It fit the speed and energy of the tour, and has basic amenities like a toilet and charging station for phones/tablets etc. Being 6"4' i couldn't really get comfortable enough to sleep, but I tended to use the beds at the campsites at night and take photos during the travel days.
People on Tour
Our tour group was extremely diverse. We had the loud alcoholic types and the reserved types as well. I was constantly surprised at how well everyone got along, especially towards the end of the tour.
Again, if it's your first time overseas or travelling in general, I highly recommend this trip. It may be one of the longer ones but it gives you a chance to experience a "contrast" of different cultures, and there is a 3 day break in Greece in the middle.
Review written Jul 2015event 0.3
04 May 2014 - 02 Jun 2014
There are no words to describe how absolutely amazing this tour is. The people you will meet, the places you will go are what makes this trip the best ever. Thanks to our amazing tour guide Mohawk Matt and Coach Driver Vania who made this the best trip ever… compared to all the other managers and drivers we met these two were the best they went out of their way to make sure everyone had the most amazing experience.
You will start the tour with a bus full of strangers and leave with a whole new family that you will miss everyday and will end up travelling the world just to see them. Do all the optionals minus the walking tours because hungover walking through Venice in +25 weather is a waste when you could explore it yourself. If your manager says off nights don't listen.. off nights aren't real. Skip the leather demo in Florence but do the glass work in Venice... Do everything!!!! You will not regret it… In Vienna make sure to hit up the hostel bar with its 4 for 10 euro jager bombs, do the 5 story club in Prague and spend the money to go into the ice bar.. pack your neck travel pillow the only time you get a good sleep is on the coach… eat all the european food and drink all of the wine you may gain 10 pounds but it will be completely worth it in the end.
Review written Nov 2014event 0.3
10 Aug 2013 - 07 Sep 2013
Where to begin... I don't even know how to put into words what I experienced on my tour! I booked this tour solo and it was the best decision I could have ever made. Hands down the most amazing month of my life. I strongly recommend to anyone who is thinking about doing this tour solo to 100% do it and to not be scared or anxious or worried.
Type of tour: Previously concept now 'high energy', that's exactly what it is. If you want to lie around the pool relaxing and having massages this is not the tour for you (however there is time for that in Corfu!). Be prepared for a jam packed tour seeing some of the most amazing places in the world. The contrasts itinerary is in my opinion one of the best to see Europe with. These tours also offer a mix of accommodation types. You get to stay at the special contiki stopovers and campsites and have party nights but you also get to stay in hostels with awesome bars and hotels in a few places! All the accom is clean and the food was always delicious. The onsite members do an awesome job at cooking amazing meals! Party nights are the best and are always some of the biggest nights on tour.
Length: 29 days is a perfect amount if you're wanting a tour that you get to see a lot with and bond with your group members but can't afford or don't have time for a longer tour. I could have stayed on that coach way longer and not gotten sick of it though! I was however extremely sick, as was everyone else and don't think I could have physically gone on for much longer due to the amount of alcohol being consumed and 3 hours sleep average most nights (this is of course your own choice!)
Optionals: I did all of the optionals except for the Mozart Concert and Bunker tour and I don't regret a single one! They were all amazing and definitely worthwhile. I recommend doing all dinner optionals as that is where your group bonding happens.
I can't comment on the Corfu sailing option but the resort was like heaven! After so long being on the go and running on minimal sleep, we got to relax by the pool at the amazing resort and float in lilos in the beach for 3 whole days! It was a much needed mini holiday within the trip. Don't be put off by the overnight ferry. It was actually the best night of sleep for the whole tour because our TM got us cabins and they were pitch black and soundproof! On the way back, we went to the nightclub on the ferry till 6am then slept until early arvo as we weren't arriving until 5 or 6 pm (we had a change in schedule to the normal one).
Some people don't know this until the start of the tour but it is customary to tip your TM and Driver 2 euro a day each. I am a huge believer in tipping them for their fantastic work and it's a way of saying thank you for looking after you and giving you an amazing experience for the past month. Some people didn't tip because they hadn't budgeted for it but I sacrificed other things to make sure I could tip them as I feel it is really important.
I can't finish this review without saying that I believe your fellow tour members and your attitude to the trip really do make a huge difference. I was lucky enough to have the most amazing group who clicked straight away and we all got on like a house on fire. We had a unique ratio of 30 guys to 13 girls which made for a very very rowdy trip. Our dynamic was so relaxed and chilled we were all so close within a few days!
I'd like to say a huge thank you to our amazing Tour Manager- Kellie Birkett who went out of her way to organise extra things and detours for us and had a very loud, crazy group to deal with. She knew so much about everywhere we went and was always happy to find out more for us or help us with extra activities. Our driver, Joao Silva was a legend!! Only his 2nd tour and he drove us up the windy hairpin bends to the top of Mt Vesuvius because we had extra time! He was so friendly and always enjoyed hanging out or doing optionals with us.
I have made the best friends from my tour. In under a year, 8 of us have already travelled to 5 Australian cities to see each other, we talk almost everyday on the phone and although it sounds cheesy and cliche, I 100% know we will be friends forever.
I'm devastated that I'll never get to experience Contiki in the same way again but i'm already planning another 3 tours for next year. Thanks for such an unforgettable, memorable experience!
Review written Sep 2014event 0.3
02 Aug 2014 - 30 Aug 2014
This was the best month of my entire life hands down! Our tour manager James McLachlan and bus driver Joao Gouveia helped to make our trip through Europe so amazing! If you want to see the best of what Europe has to offer, in an action packed, fun filled environment then a Contiki tour is for you! I highly recommend it!
Review written Sep 2014event 0.3
04 May 2013 - 03 Jun 2013
This trip was the best decision I have ever made. Having never been to Europe before, I wanted to see and do as much as possible. Contrasts let me do that! It was a little crazy at times because it was a fast paced trip but I still loved every minute of it. On top of getting to see and do so much, our contiki group was amazing and our tour guide and bus driver were amazing. My suggestion for anyone looking in to the trip is to give yourself a fair amount of time after the tour is completed to do some more travelling. My one regret is not being able to extend my vacation and spend more time with some of the best people I've ever met.
Review written Apr 2014event 0.3
19 Jul 2013 - 16 Aug 2013
I went on this tour with my 2 best friends and it was the most amazing experience i have ever had in my life. This was my first Contiki and first time in Europe and overseas without my family. I was slightly nervous at first, as i can be a bit shy, but having my best friends with me helped. I was surprised by how quick everyone on the Contiki becomes your family! Of course you probably won’t get along with everyone, but my tour had 52 people plus our guide and driver, and i love them all! Tammy our tour manager was amazing and so much fun, she was goofy and funny and made an effort with everyone, and Ana our driver is the craziest coolest chick EVER!! It was a hard 29 days, with the long bus rides, late nights, bedbugs and rushing around, but it was worth every second. I got to see so much and know exactly where i want to go next. The food was great, especially at the campsites; it was like having a home cooked meal! The accommodation was what i expected and that was fine, but be prepared for long elevator waits and dragging your suitcase up some stairs. I have the best memories from this trip and love seeing my old Contiki family, i DEFINITELY recommend everyone do this tour, you'll love it!!
Review written Mar 2014event 0.3
09 Jul 2013 - 06 Aug 2013
This tour is not for those who are looking for a relaxing tour of Europe-
Contrasts is the BEST way to see as much of Europe as possible in the allocated time.
Bring your vitamins, your Cold & flu stuff, anything that will help you stay as close to 100% as possible, because if you blink you WILL miss something amazing!
Contrasts also has the option of Sailing or the Contiki Resort in Corfu, Greece, which is an awesome way to get some much needed Rn'R. (Or party it up if you don't wanna stop!)
Even if you're afraid of something (ie. heights, water) that is part of the optional extras- it is DEFINITELY worth doing them all - You're in Europe and this is a once in a lifetime experience !
This trip is truly worth every penny, you'll bond with your contiki family, have an amazing time, see some of the most beautiful places, monuments & sights in the world and it is unbelievably well priced for the service you receive.
Anyone contemplating doing this tour, or aren't sure - take it from me it is 100%, no.. 200% worth it, you will NOT regret doing this and you'll create memories that will last a lifetime.
Review written Aug 2013event 0.3
07 Jun 2013 - 05 Jul 2013
This was the absolute most amazing, beautiful, entertaining and fun time of my life. I wouldn't have done it any other way, we saw so much of the world in such a short time. This tour is definitely the one that covers the most amount of ground in the shortest time for the least amount of cash.
We literally saw every attraction listed plus so many more surprises, contrasts was good because it started off with the full on citys like paris and florence and then eased down to the slower places like munich. 29 days is a perfect amount of time to go, I was only just getting tired in the last 2 or 3 days and ready to go home.
Our tour manager (Maaaaat) looked after us amazingly between our hospital trips, missing persons and general misbehaviour, and our bus driver (Martin) was a great driver who was often called to show off his skills.
We also had the best group of people you could have asked for, everyone was like minded and full of fun. We became so close straight away and at the end it was like saying good bye to your brothers and sisters for the last month. I've been home for 2 weeks and we have already organised a catch up!
The not so good:
A lot of people on tour were annoyed with the amount of time spent travelling on the bus- thats how you get around, deal with it. If you want to see 12 countries in 29 days you are going to be spending a lot of time in transit.
The accommodation was usually neat and clean, bed bugs were an issue for a few people at some places. Several places were really far away from the city (30E + taxi) so it was hard to kind of do your own thing of a night and it often felt like a lot of pressure to drink (and spend your money) at the Contiki-run bars.
The food was always reasonably healthy and tasty, expect to eat a lot of cold bread, cold ham and cold cheese for breakfast. Contiki always did a good job of dinners and the only real bad meal we had was an optional in St Goar- that was terrible.
I'm not sure if it was just luck of the drawer but Contrasts always seemed to get the short end of the straw when it came to party nights at the contiki accommodation, it feels like every time we got somewhere none of the other groups wanted to go out because they had a massive night the night before with games and contests, and then when it was on again we were leaving in the morning.
The other thing that surprised a lot of people was that Contiki is a party. We drank and stayed up most nights and slept on the bus the next day- I enjoyed it most of the time but others may not have. You don't ever *have* to go out but sometimes if you don't you feel like you miss out a lot.
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3
20 Jun 2012 - 18 Jul 2012
Best thing that I have done in my life to date! So much sight seeing and it's all organised and ready to go for you. I've met life long friends and created memories that are unforgettable. Accommodation is great value, the food on the Contiki sites are just like a home cooked meal and I 100% recommend doing all the optionals- they're great value! You'll give your liver a good workout too ;) Awesome tour manager (Lucy) and the best coach driver you could have (Marcin). What are you waiting for?! Go and book this tour NOW.
Review written Apr 2013event 0.3
20 Jun 2012 - 18 Jul 2012
I had the most amazing time on this tour. There were alot of early mornings and moving quickly from place to place, however overall it gives you a nice little taste of what Europe has to offer. Great way to meet people and create amazing experiences.
I made a travel blog of my experience: giselletravels.tumblr.com
Review written Jan 2013event 0.3
04 Jun 2012 - 02 Jul 2012
The Contiki Contrasts tour was the best time of my life, I travelled in Summer from June to July and met some life long friends that I am still in touch with today and saw places and stuctures you read about in school and saw in the movies.
Our tour manager Magherita was amazing!! She was passionate, fun and full of life, she was Italian which was handy when in we were in Italy.
Our tour bus driver- Christian was french, he was a crazy, spontaneous and hilarous guy who drove through the hardest traffic conditions I have ever seen, aka. the arc de triomphe round-a-bout!!
The friends I have made on this tour have been made for life, I am still in contact with the two girls I got along with from the very begininng (Day 1).
This is once in a life time experience that is fully guided, you don't have to rely on public transport or getting from place to place, most meals are included which was very important for me and you are partying every night which was so much fun.
I have recommend Contiki to everyone that I meet and I am hopeful I will now be able to work in the travel industry as the trip was inspiring to me to realise what I want to do with the rest of my life.
Thanks to all the staff at contiki and my amazing group of 49 other contiki travellers who took this Journey with me, can't wait for my next two to South America in 3 weeks!!
Anyone who would like more information about the tour please feel to ask me any questions.
Review written Jan 2013event 0.3
06 Sep 2012 - 04 Oct 2012
had the most amazing time and met awesome friends i will have for a life time. This trip is very on the go - you are moving every second day but in the 30 days I got to experience so much of europe that I would not have been able to do by myself. All optional extras are worth it in my opinion, accommodation is good enough and all onsite contiki staff are great. heaps of fun - i would reccommend this trip to anyone!!
Review written Oct 2012event 0.3
29 Aug 2012 - 26 Sep 2012
This tour was amazing. I couldn't of asked for anything better. My tour manager and bus driver were awesome and so helpful. I got to see everything that i wanted to, plus so much more with thanks to the optional extras.
We had so much fun everywhere we went. I made some awesome friends and met some amazing people.
I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to get a taste of Europe!
The accomodation was great, quad share most of the time and you got to choose who you roomed with. Contiki sites were great! The food was delicious and they can organise to cater for nearly any diet.
Definately one of the best ways to go about it and cheapest. Contiki are awesome!
Review written Oct 2012event 0.3
05 Aug 2012 - 02 Sep 2012
I had never done a contiki before and honestly it changed my life. This tour I think blows all the others away you get all of Europe that you want to see for the sights and also get 3 nights in Greece which are the best chilled out 3 days to just relax and have a beer/cocktail. It was great having 2 days in most countries didn't feel rushed to do and see things. This tour was a great mix of sightseeing and partying all rolled into one. You meet the most amazing people and new friends. I highly recommend this tour well worth every cent. I loved every second of my tour European contrasts 2012 cheeky monkeys for life and best tour manager Kat and best bus driver Raf can't forgot those cheeky monkeys too.
Review written Sep 2012event 0.3
17 Jun 2012 - 15 Jul 2012
This tour was the most amazing and insane time of my life. Everything ran so smoothly and Contiki went the extra mile to make sure all our expectations were blown away. The places, people, parties, food and crew were all so incredible. The days are full on with travelling, sightseeing and going to and from optionals; but you get free days in nearly every city/country you go to so we all managed to see and do everything we wanted... I wouldn't of had it any other way :D. I made the best friends in the world and we partied as hard as we could for 29 days straight... I wish it never had to come to an end. Definitely a MUST DO on the bucket list :)
Review written Jul 2012event 0.3
24 Jun 2012 - 22 Jul 2012
Words cannot describe how amazing and how much fun this trip was, but I'll give it a good shot.
Our Tour Manager was Lasse and our Coach Driver was Ben or 'The Dream Team'.
From Day 1 they were both full of excitement and fun, and Lasse threw as many facts and as much information at us as he could as we headed to Paris.
After Day 1 tour just kept getting better and better. Lasse and Ben went out of their way to make it the holiday of our lives.
Myself and a guy on tour (Ash) both celebrated our 21st birthdays in Prague. To begin with, we were each given a birthday cake on the river cruise, then later in the night were showered with champagne on the Prague Pubcrawl that Lasse and Ben had organised for us.
Lasse was always full of bubbles and fun, even after a big night he'd be on his microphone ready to start the day, while everyone else just wanted to sleep.
I can do nothing but give great feedback about this tour.
If you're looking at going to Europe, I would seriously consider this tour :)
Review written Jul 2012event 0.3
05 Apr 2012 - 03 May 2012
This trip was alot of fun very full on early mornings long bus rides short visits in some of the cities we visited which was a bummer! but can always go back another time now i know where to go! Paris is just absolutely amazing every where you go in Italy was amazing and the food and coffee is just to die for especially gelato its all you will ever eat! accommodation was always good only a few spots i didnt like because it was too cold and no heaters but we survived!
Review written Jul 2012event 0.3
11 May 2012 - 08 Jun 2012
European Contrasts was the best tour as we spent 2 nights at all our stop overs apart from a few which meant we got to spend heaps off time in the City's and explore all around the town that we were in. Danny was awesome and made sure we had heaps of information and history about the places that we were going to. Can not wait to do another Contiki. Meet a great bunch of friends on the trip which I look forward to keeping in touch with,
Review written Jun 2012event 0.3
23 Jul 2010 - 20 Aug 2010
I did the 29 day tour of the European Contrasts and it was easily the BEST thing i have ever done! I went July 23rd - August 20th 2010. Everything about this tour was amazing!
The weather was hot throughout the whole tour, peaking in the high 30's through Italy and Greece! Corfu and George's Boat were highlights!!
I would recommend this tour to anyone! I would even do it again!!
Review written Jan 2012event 0.3
21 Aug 2011 - 18 Sep 2011
I had always wanted to do a contiki tour simply because everyone you speak to that had done one said it was simply amazing. I travelled solo not knowing anyone and wasn't sure exactly what to expect. European contrasts 29 day concept tour was the one I had chosen and wouldn't have changed a thing. From the first minute our group got chatting I knew that it was going to be amazing. Everyone had the right attitude and was there for the right reasons. Our tour manager and driver where two of the better blokes you will ever come across. The knowledge they possessed and finding the right balance of fun and culture ensured everyone on tour had the opportunity to get out of it what they wanted. All in all it was the best thing I have ever done. 13 countries with 39 likeminded people ranging in age from 18-29. Make sure you budget a little more money, do every optional, even if it means getting out of your comfort zone, and hit contiki with an open mind, you will not be dissaponted. From the tour I found an amazing girlfriend, people I would class as best mates and lifelong friends. It has really changed the way I look at things. Thank you contiki, my tour manager, tour driver and all 39 on tour for the best month Ive ever had.
Review written Oct 2011event 0.3