European Escapade

Tour Length
26 days
From
US$3655
Overview Reviews

  • Adam
  • Adam
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Incredible! But just so you know..

26 Jun 2014 - 20 Jul 2014

I should start this review off by saying it was the best month of my life, and if you've never been to Europe before and want to check out as many things as you can, then this is the perfect way!

It was truly an incredible experience to travel to a place where civilization as we know it started, with the huge amounts of history and stunning sights all part of the journey.. However this isn't just a review saying how amazing it was, because there were definitely some negatives that I found with the Contiki/European experience.
I'm gonna go through some of low lights and annoying parts of the tour, not because I like to focus on the negatives but because everyone will tell you how amazing it is so it's only fair if you really know what you're in for right? I just want to give a bit more of an honest recap of things.

First of all, be prepared to pay for everything, from using WiFi, washing your clothes and even going to the toilet (not on contiki sights, only in public areas). Europe as a whole is very very expensive!!

WiFi was painfully hard to connect to and use at times, with only about half the places you stay at offering it completely free, the rest requiring you to either buy a drink or pay a small amount. It was usually really slow and only stretched within common areas too, meaning no internet in your rooms. Barcelona was the only accommodation where it did reach the rooms and was completely free, easily the best place you'll stay all tour (because it's modern as well, not just the WiFi!). Now obviously you're not paying all this money to come to Europe and sit on your phone, but there's always times when you want to relax and talk to your friends and family on Facebook but can't get a half decent connection.
A lot of the servo's you stop at on the way will have WiFi too but its not normally free and sometimes impossible to use. There was WiFi available on the coach, but it's so expensive it just isn't worth it.
Speaking of the coach, make sure you get on it early enough on drive days(travelling from one city to the next) so that you secure yourself a window seat. They're so much easier to get to sleep on, which can be hard at the best of times when you're clinging to life from a terrible hangover, but just trust me and get a window seat!

Laundry facilities are available at most places you'll stay, but of course it comes at a price. They would vary from 3-5 Euros for a wash and the same for a dryer. This annoyed me, you would think paying all the money that you do they would at least let you wash your clothes for free, but nope. Your best bet is to split a machine with someone else to halve the cost. Again we're not talking a lot of money, but is it annoying? You bet.

The rooms themselves were... small. Most places you stay will be 4 to a room, with only just enough space to put your suitcase down if you're lucky. The worst part about these rooms though is undoubtedly the heat. Now of course if you're going in summer it's going to be hot outside, but nowhere near as hot as some of the rooms will get. The Europeans don't seem to have discovered A/C as of yet, so don't go expecting any of that in the accommodations. You won't even get a pedestal/ceiling fan to at least help the mugginess of the rooms. If it's been a hot day outside, be prepared to sleep in a sauna that night. Maybe that's why everyone was drunk all the time, just so they didn't have to endure trying to sleep sober in those conditions. Not all places are like this, but a fair few will be.

P.S. Don't wet the mattress in any way, even with water, because you will have to pay 100Euro in the morning... (long story, just look after your mattress!)

Showers and toilets are sometimes communal and sometimes in your room (so much better). Again, everywhere you stay is different.

The food you get served by Contiki for dinner is a little bit hit and miss, but did get better towards the end of trip strangely enough. Some meals were really nice with plenty of leftovers while some weren't great and left you still hungry.. luck of the draw really. Breakfast is continental and fairly standard in most places, with muesli and yoghurt always available which made me happy. They do cooked breakfasts occasionally as well which were pretty decent.

Be prepared to get sick! I know everyone says this, but that's because its 100% true and guaranteed. You're basically paying 4 grand to push your immune system to its limits in strange and foreign conditions. I was a bit silly in that I didn't take/bring any medication for coughs and whatnot with so I pretty much just took it on, which wasn't too bad until i got a stomach bug in Amsterdam.. oh well! Just be prepared and pack whatever you know you're susceptible too.

Now, onto the ME Time 'Optional' Extras. I use quotation marks over the word optional because they tell you that they're optional, but they will try their absolute hardest to peer pressure you into doing each and every single one. This was just about the most annoying part of the whole trip from a Contiki stand point for me. A few days in, your tour manager will go through each and every single optional available whilst your sitting on the coach hungover, explaining what each one is and why you should do it. Now that probably doesn't sound so bad at first, but what I didn't realise is that they will then pass out a form and you have to decide then and there what optionals you wish to do for the rest of the tour. It is a massive sales pitch by the tour manager and it's a hell a lot of money to be paying upfront for things you don't even know if you'll want to do in 3 weeks time (about 700Euro+ to do them all).

I was under the impression we get to decide a day or two before if we wanted to pay for these extras, because really who knows what you'll feel like doing before you get to a city?? But no such luck..

Thankfully however most of the ME Time Optionals are totally worth it. The best being the railway up Jungfrau Mtn in Switzerland. This one is expensive but SO SO worth it, specially if you haven't experienced mountains and snow before, you HAVE to do that one. I had no idea we were gonna get to be in contact with snow but luckily there's snow all year round in the Swiss Alps!

All the activity ones are definitely worth it, including the bike rides. They're really easy and even the girls enjoyed it, which says something I think!
The only optionals I would say to avoid would be the group dinners. This being because when you go to these dinners everyone gets the same thing and there is no choice in what you want, so all the food is mass produced and just not that great. You would be much better off going off with a small group to a random restaurant and getting meals actually cooked for you. These dinners are a chance to mingle with the group of course, so really it comes down to whether you would rather socialize with your contiki family or experience some of Europe's amazing cuisine.

Contiki will also take you to random stores(you get no choice) that they have an affiliation with in pretty much every city and the store will try to sell you more things. A lot of these stores are actually pretty decent like a really nice Perfume factory in France and beer stein producer in Germany, but some are shit, like a leather shop. So yeah, just so you know.

Finally, bring a lot of money!!!

I got told London was expensive but I had no idea the rest of Europe was just as bad! Food and drink are the worst killers. Naturally you're not carrying a lot of food on you so every time you get hungry it means more money. Try and always buy a few snacks at a time, fruit is a good idea because its often hard to come by, and always have a water bottle with you to prevent having to shell out money every time you're hungry/thirsty.

Even the drinks in nightclubs are expensive, something I thought would be cheap. Some clubs do 'free pour' which normally means you get a reasonable amount of alcohol but these drinks usually cost up to 8Euro and can very quickly add up. A lot of the people on our tour needed their parents to send them more money because they simply didn't have enough, something that I only just avoided myself!

Alright, I think that's all the negatives out the way!

Please don't read this thinking that you shouldn't go, if you're 'umming' and 'arring' about this tour, don't! You definitely need this in your life! It was truly the best experience of my life and I'm so glad I did it.

For all the rest of the amazing reasons to go on this trip, and to get a better idea on other things, just read all the other reviews!

Good luck and safe travels!!

Review written Jul 2014

My Contiki was: Incredible, Eye-Opening, Expensive

event 0.3
  • Adam
  • Adam
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Incredible! But just so you know..

26 Jun 2014 - 20 Jul 2014

I should start this review off by saying it was the best month of my life, and if you've never been to Europe before and want to check out as many things as you can, then this is the perfect way!

It was truly an incredible experience to travel to a place where civilization as we know it started, with the huge amounts of history and stunning sights all part of the journey.. However this isn't just a review saying how amazing it was, because there were definitely some negatives that I found with the Contiki/European experience.
I'm gonna go through some of low lights and annoying parts of the tour, not because I like to focus on the negatives but because everyone will tell you how amazing it is so it's only fair if you really know what you're in for right? I just want to give a bit more of an honest recap of things.

First of all, be prepared to pay for everything, from using WiFi, washing your clothes and even going to the toilet (not on contiki sights, only in public areas). Europe as a whole is very very expensive!!

WiFi was painfully hard to connect to and use at times, with only about half the places you stay at offering it completely free, the rest requiring you to either buy a drink or pay a small amount. It was usually really slow and only stretched within common areas too, meaning no internet in your rooms. Barcelona was the only accommodation where it did reach the rooms and was completely free, easily the best place you'll stay all tour (because it's modern as well, not just the WiFi!). Now obviously you're not paying all this money to come to Europe and sit on your phone, but there's always times when you want to relax and talk to your friends and family on Facebook but can't get a half decent connection.
A lot of the servo's you stop at on the way will have WiFi too but its not normally free and sometimes impossible to use. There was WiFi available on the coach, but it's so expensive it just isn't worth it.
Speaking of the coach, make sure you get on it early enough on drive days(travelling from one city to the next) so that you secure yourself a window seat. They're so much easier to get to sleep on, which can be hard at the best of times when you're clinging to life from a terrible hangover, but just trust me and get a window seat!

Laundry facilities are available at most places you'll stay, but of course it comes at a price. They would vary from 3-5 Euros for a wash and the same for a dryer. This annoyed me, you would think paying all the money that you do they would at least let you wash your clothes for free, but nope. Your best bet is to split a machine with someone else to halve the cost. Again we're not talking a lot of money, but is it annoying? You bet.

The rooms themselves were... small. Most places you stay will be 4 to a room, with only just enough space to put your suitcase down if you're lucky. The worst part about these rooms though is undoubtedly the heat. Now of course if you're going in summer it's going to be hot outside, but nowhere near as hot as some of the rooms will get. The Europeans don't seem to have discovered A/C as of yet, so don't go expecting any of that in the accommodations. You won't even get a pedestal/ceiling fan to at least help the mugginess of the rooms. If it's been a hot day outside, be prepared to sleep in a sauna that night. Maybe that's why everyone was drunk all the time, just so they didn't have to endure trying to sleep sober in those conditions. Not all places are like this, but a fair few will be.

P.S. Don't wet the mattress in any way, even with water, because you will have to pay 100Euro in the morning... (long story, just look after your mattress!)

Showers and toilets are sometimes communal and sometimes in your room (so much better). Again, everywhere you stay is different.

The food you get served by Contiki for dinner is a little bit hit and miss, but did get better towards the end of trip strangely enough. Some meals were really nice with plenty of leftovers while some weren't great and left you still hungry.. luck of the draw really. Breakfast is continental and fairly standard in most places, with muesli and yoghurt always available which made me happy. They do cooked breakfasts occasionally as well which were pretty decent.

Be prepared to get sick! I know everyone says this, but that's because its 100% true and guaranteed. You're basically paying 4 grand to push your immune system to its limits in strange and foreign conditions. I was a bit silly in that I didn't take/bring any medication for coughs and whatnot with so I pretty much just took it on, which wasn't too bad until i got a stomach bug in Amsterdam.. oh well! Just be prepared and pack whatever you know you're susceptible too.

Now, onto the ME Time 'Optional' Extras. I use quotation marks over the word optional because they tell you that they're optional, but they will try their absolute hardest to peer pressure you into doing each and every single one. This was just about the most annoying part of the whole trip from a Contiki stand point for me. A few days in, your tour manager will go through each and every single optional available whilst your sitting on the coach hungover, explaining what each one is and why you should do it. Now that probably doesn't sound so bad at first, but what I didn't realise is that they will then pass out a form and you have to decide then and there what optionals you wish to do for the rest of the tour. It is a massive sales pitch by the tour manager and it's a hell a lot of money to be paying upfront for things you don't even know if you'll want to do in 3 weeks time (about 700Euro+ to do them all).

I was under the impression we get to decide a day or two before if we wanted to pay for these extras, because really who knows what you'll feel like doing before you get to a city?? But no such luck..

Thankfully however most of the ME Time Optionals are totally worth it. The best being the railway up Jungfrau Mtn in Switzerland. This one is expensive but SO SO worth it, specially if you haven't experienced mountains and snow before, you HAVE to do that one. I had no idea we were gonna get to be in contact with snow but luckily there's snow all year round in the Swiss Alps!

All the activity ones are definitely worth it, including the bike rides. They're really easy and even the girls enjoyed it, which says something I think!
The only optionals I would say to avoid would be the group dinners. This being because when you go to these dinners everyone gets the same thing and there is no choice in what you want, so all the food is mass produced and just not that great. You would be much better off going off with a small group to a random restaurant and getting meals actually cooked for you. These dinners are a chance to mingle with the group of course, so really it comes down to whether you would rather socialize with your contiki family or experience some of Europe's amazing cuisine.

Contiki will also take you to random stores(you get no choice) that they have an affiliation with in pretty much every city and the store will try to sell you more things. A lot of these stores are actually pretty decent like a really nice Perfume factory in France and beer stein producer in Germany, but some are shit, like a leather shop. So yeah, just so you know.

Finally, bring a lot of money!!!

I got told London was expensive but I had no idea the rest of Europe was just as bad! Food and drink are the worst killers. Naturally you're not carrying a lot of food on you so every time you get hungry it means more money. Try and always buy a few snacks at a time, fruit is a good idea because its often hard to come by, and always have a water bottle with you to prevent having to shell out money every time you're hungry/thirsty.

Even the drinks in nightclubs are expensive, something I thought would be cheap. Some clubs do 'free pour' which normally means you get a reasonable amount of alcohol but these drinks usually cost up to 8Euro and can very quickly add up. A lot of the people on our tour needed their parents to send them more money because they simply didn't have enough, something that I only just avoided myself!

Alright, I think that's all the negatives out the way!

Please don't read this thinking that you shouldn't go, if you're 'umming' and 'arring' about this tour, don't! You definitely need this in your life! It was truly the best experience of my life and I'm so glad I did it.

For all the rest of the amazing reasons to go on this trip, and to get a better idea on other things, just read all the other reviews!

Good luck and safe travels!!

Review written Jul 2014

My Contiki was: Incredible, Eye-Opening, Expensive

event 0.3
  • Nick
  • Nick
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Top Trip with Top People

13 May 2014 - 06 Jun 2014

This trip was nothing short of amazing I literally can't put it into words and met some great friends along the way. The reason you are reading this is because you wanna know stuff and i'll tell you the things you want to know!

Wifi - There is is wifi everywhere not even kidding. We all turned into wifi warriors trying to find a connection so don;t worry about trying to get a roaming sim. The Contiki buses do have wifi but it's crazy overpriced and you pay per 100MB. Nobody used it. All the sites you stay at have it, some you'll have to pay, others you'll have to walk to a certain sweet spot and others it's shitty slow.

Optionals - Most of the optionals are great. I only didone of the dinners (the last one) as you can find food ALOT cheaper elsewhere especially the French dinner. So get lost Paris and find something cheaper with your new buddies!

Bus time - You'll be spending alot of time on the bus, especially to and from Barcelona. It is not a bad thing! Either you can catch up on some well needed sleep, or look at the sights or listen to your tour manager talk about Napoleon!

The sites - All the places you stay are alright. You aren't in hotels but hey, it's not dirt. Keep an eye out in the Italian sites as during the warmer months there are bugs (Bug spray for Venice is ESSENTIAL. You will be eaten alive) so make sure you keep windows a bit closed! Most places have 4 or so to a room and the rooming list gets passed around so buddy up!

Contiki Cough - You will get it. No amount of preparation will stop it. Get some pseudo from the pharmacies, they are everywhere, and hope that it goes as soon as it comes on!

Criminals - Ok so in places like Barca, Paris and all of Italy there are some pretty shifty dudes. You don't need a secret undershirt bumbag or whatever (if you want though, go ahead) just keep your bags closed and back pockets empty. Ignore all the street sellers and petition signers and never EVER go home alone from a night out.

Pack Lightly - I cannot stress this enough. There are H&Ms everywhere so if you need more clothes, cheap and easy. I dumped many shirts and shorts while travelling. You don't need heaps of clothes!

ID - Continental Europe is pretty lax when it comes to ID in clubs and stuff so you wont need your passport except when you go to Monaco so don't worry. UK is a bit more strict but a drivers licence will do.

Sleeping bags - You can buy them at the Contiki basement in London but me and my friend got one from Argos on the cheap. You'll need them for most contiki sites as they just provide a bed and a pillow.

Towels - Bring a quick dry towel. Small, light and drys quickly especially when you have early starts. You can just dry them over the seats on the bus. I had a regular towel but they are not fun to transport or have wet in your bag all day :/

Alcohol - Since alcohol is flowing daily in Europe and it is Contiki alot of people will be drinking. Since I am not a big drinker I was a bit worried but everyone is cool. No pressure. Drink what you what when you want. Don't worry if you can't drink beer in Munich, have a pretzel instead :)

That's more or less the main points. You will have an absolute blast doing this tour. This was my first trip overseas and now I have friends for life! Seriously, just do this tour.

#noregrets

Review written Jul 2014

My Contiki was: Amazing, Informative, Life Changing

event 0.3
  • Nick
  • Nick
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Top Trip with Top People

13 May 2014 - 06 Jun 2014

This trip was nothing short of amazing I literally can't put it into words and met some great friends along the way. The reason you are reading this is because you wanna know stuff and i'll tell you the things you want to know!

Wifi - There is is wifi everywhere not even kidding. We all turned into wifi warriors trying to find a connection so don;t worry about trying to get a roaming sim. The Contiki buses do have wifi but it's crazy overpriced and you pay per 100MB. Nobody used it. All the sites you stay at have it, some you'll have to pay, others you'll have to walk to a certain sweet spot and others it's shitty slow.

Optionals - Most of the optionals are great. I only didone of the dinners (the last one) as you can find food ALOT cheaper elsewhere especially the French dinner. So get lost Paris and find something cheaper with your new buddies!

Bus time - You'll be spending alot of time on the bus, especially to and from Barcelona. It is not a bad thing! Either you can catch up on some well needed sleep, or look at the sights or listen to your tour manager talk about Napoleon!

The sites - All the places you stay are alright. You aren't in hotels but hey, it's not dirt. Keep an eye out in the Italian sites as during the warmer months there are bugs (Bug spray for Venice is ESSENTIAL. You will be eaten alive) so make sure you keep windows a bit closed! Most places have 4 or so to a room and the rooming list gets passed around so buddy up!

Contiki Cough - You will get it. No amount of preparation will stop it. Get some pseudo from the pharmacies, they are everywhere, and hope that it goes as soon as it comes on!

Criminals - Ok so in places like Barca, Paris and all of Italy there are some pretty shifty dudes. You don't need a secret undershirt bumbag or whatever (if you want though, go ahead) just keep your bags closed and back pockets empty. Ignore all the street sellers and petition signers and never EVER go home alone from a night out.

Pack Lightly - I cannot stress this enough. There are H&Ms everywhere so if you need more clothes, cheap and easy. I dumped many shirts and shorts while travelling. You don't need heaps of clothes!

ID - Continental Europe is pretty lax when it comes to ID in clubs and stuff so you wont need your passport except when you go to Monaco so don't worry. UK is a bit more strict but a drivers licence will do.

Sleeping bags - You can buy them at the Contiki basement in London but me and my friend got one from Argos on the cheap. You'll need them for most contiki sites as they just provide a bed and a pillow.

Towels - Bring a quick dry towel. Small, light and drys quickly especially when you have early starts. You can just dry them over the seats on the bus. I had a regular towel but they are not fun to transport or have wet in your bag all day :/

Alcohol - Since alcohol is flowing daily in Europe and it is Contiki alot of people will be drinking. Since I am not a big drinker I was a bit worried but everyone is cool. No pressure. Drink what you what when you want. Don't worry if you can't drink beer in Munich, have a pretzel instead :)

That's more or less the main points. You will have an absolute blast doing this tour. This was my first trip overseas and now I have friends for life! Seriously, just do this tour.

#noregrets

Review written Jul 2014

My Contiki was: Amazing, Informative, Life Changing

event 0.3
  • Chloe
  • Chloe
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Escapade Be Cray

31 May 2014 - 24 Jun 2014

Review written Jun 2014

event 0.3
  • Chloe
  • Chloe
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Escapade Be Cray

31 May 2014 - 24 Jun 2014

Review written Jun 2014

event 0.3
  • KendylG
  • KendylG
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

If you do a tour, make it this one! You won't regret it.

06 May 2014 - 31 May 2014

What a month it was. European Escapade gives you a taste of everything Europe has to offer. If you're looking to get as much out of Western Europe as you can in a reasonable amount of time, this is the tour for you. My tour guide and driver team was amazing. Anything you needed to know or needed assistance with Clare was there and Rado our driver? Oh Rado... What a GEM! I miss them both so much. Contiki is amazing, they plan everything for you and the on-site teams were also insanely cool. Those were my favorite stops along the way... Contiki themed hostels/lodges/chateaus always had a cool atmosphere, wicked bar and usually a club of some sort. All you basically need to do is wake up on time and Contiki team does the rest for you I had a blast. I literally could not give you one single complaint or regret. It was the time of my life, just be prepared because they have theme parties at a few of the contiki stops, tight & bright, shock your mother, i heart roma.. Those are the best times so pack some funky items just in case!! ALSO bring vitamins and cold meds from home the contiki cough WILL get you! One last thing... The suggested budget is a little off if you're a big partier like myself because I don't they don't factor in drinking.. Factor in some wiggle room for the budget if you plan on drinking your face off which will probably happen because it's contiki! There's something for everyone on this tour and there were some people in my group who preferred to hang alone but honestly if you're looking for a party atmosphere this is it. I have never laughed and smiled so hard for so long in mt life 26 days of pure, uninterrupted HAPPINESS!!!

Review written Jun 2014

My Contiki was: LifeChanging, Blackout, HAPPINESS

event 0.3
  • KendylG
  • KendylG
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

If you do a tour, make it this one! You won't regret it.

06 May 2014 - 31 May 2014

What a month it was. European Escapade gives you a taste of everything Europe has to offer. If you're looking to get as much out of Western Europe as you can in a reasonable amount of time, this is the tour for you. My tour guide and driver team was amazing. Anything you needed to know or needed assistance with Clare was there and Rado our driver? Oh Rado... What a GEM! I miss them both so much. Contiki is amazing, they plan everything for you and the on-site teams were also insanely cool. Those were my favorite stops along the way... Contiki themed hostels/lodges/chateaus always had a cool atmosphere, wicked bar and usually a club of some sort. All you basically need to do is wake up on time and Contiki team does the rest for you I had a blast. I literally could not give you one single complaint or regret. It was the time of my life, just be prepared because they have theme parties at a few of the contiki stops, tight & bright, shock your mother, i heart roma.. Those are the best times so pack some funky items just in case!! ALSO bring vitamins and cold meds from home the contiki cough WILL get you! One last thing... The suggested budget is a little off if you're a big partier like myself because I don't they don't factor in drinking.. Factor in some wiggle room for the budget if you plan on drinking your face off which will probably happen because it's contiki! There's something for everyone on this tour and there were some people in my group who preferred to hang alone but honestly if you're looking for a party atmosphere this is it. I have never laughed and smiled so hard for so long in mt life 26 days of pure, uninterrupted HAPPINESS!!!

Review written Jun 2014

My Contiki was: LifeChanging, Blackout, HAPPINESS

event 0.3
  • LUKE
  • LUKE
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

European Escapade

01 May 2014 - 25 May 2014

just come back from tour had a blast with a great road crew and Group of People to go around Europe with and would gladly do another Contiki again well worth the Experience and time to kick back and do what you wanted to do and the place and onsite teams were awesome as well I would recommend anyone who want to go over seas in Europe to do a Contiki

Review written Jun 2014

My Contiki was: Exciting, Fun Filled, Action packed

event 0.3
  • LUKE
  • LUKE
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

European Escapade

01 May 2014 - 25 May 2014

just come back from tour had a blast with a great road crew and Group of People to go around Europe with and would gladly do another Contiki again well worth the Experience and time to kick back and do what you wanted to do and the place and onsite teams were awesome as well I would recommend anyone who want to go over seas in Europe to do a Contiki

Review written Jun 2014

My Contiki was: Exciting, Fun Filled, Action packed

event 0.3
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Best Taste of Europe in 26 days

11 Jun 2013 - 07 Jul 2013

I did this tour last summer with some of my girlfriends and we had the best time. It is pretty fast paced, but if you are looking to get a taste of Europe in one month, then this trip is for you! When you go back in the future, you can spend more time in the places that you really love. I recommend this trip for first-time Europe travelers like me :)

Check out my blog www.ellafortuna.com to see each place we went to and how much fun we had! :)

Review written May 2014

My Contiki was: Life-changing, Fun, Memorable

event 0.3
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Best Taste of Europe in 26 days

11 Jun 2013 - 07 Jul 2013

I did this tour last summer with some of my girlfriends and we had the best time. It is pretty fast paced, but if you are looking to get a taste of Europe in one month, then this trip is for you! When you go back in the future, you can spend more time in the places that you really love. I recommend this trip for first-time Europe travelers like me :)

Check out my blog www.ellafortuna.com to see each place we went to and how much fun we had! :)

Review written May 2014

My Contiki was: Life-changing, Fun, Memorable

event 0.3
  • nursetabs
  • nursetabs
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 13 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An amazing adventure

27 Jun 2013 - 21 Jul 2013

This was a fabulous trip and I had an amazing time over the 25 days. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who would like to get a good feel of what Europe is like, it was just the right amount of time, anything shorter and I don't think it would of been as enjoyable. Do as many of the extras as you can, they really make the trip.

Review written Feb 2014

event 0.3
  • nursetabs
  • nursetabs
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 13 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An amazing adventure

27 Jun 2013 - 21 Jul 2013

This was a fabulous trip and I had an amazing time over the 25 days. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who would like to get a good feel of what Europe is like, it was just the right amount of time, anything shorter and I don't think it would of been as enjoyable. Do as many of the extras as you can, they really make the trip.

Review written Feb 2014

event 0.3
  • Anna
  • Anna
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Amazing experience with wonderful people

31 Jul 2013 - 24 Aug 2013

I found the Contiki experience an amazing one - a really good taste of Europe (my favourite places were Paris, Barcelona and Venice). You get so close to your tour group and tour manager, and that really makes a huge difference. The nightlife and parties were incredible too, especially as Contiki had a lot of connections in bars, clubs and activities. At 18, my friend and I were the youngest on tour with the average age being about 22/23 (oldest was around 26).

Just a few things. Contiki will try to milk you for your money, especially with optionals, so if you're travelling with a tight budget you might struggle - I spent a lot more than I intended (about 2000 AUD, and I didn't do all the optionals). Some of the optionals were really disappointing too and seemed to be a bit of a rip off.

Optionals to avoid:

- Flamenco show, Barcelona - boring and amateurish, especially for 30 euros! Would much rather have wandered Barcelona.

- Tuscan meal, Florence - really average food in a not-particularly-special restaurant. Would have been much better off finding food elsewhere.

- Electronic Space Disco - it was fun because everyone on tour went, but the actual club was disappointing.

- Vatican Tour AND Imperial Tour - these were both overpriced and the guides were horribly boring and uneducated.

- Bobbahn, Austrian Tyrol - I didn't actually do this, but I heard negative reviews from everyone who did, saying it was uncomfortable and at times painful, and not worth the money.

- JungFrau mountain, Swiss Alps - I didn't do this either, but from what I heard, the journey up the mountain was the main feature of the day (2 hours long) and the experience was quite overpriced and not particularly special.

Optionals that were amazing:

- Cabaret, Paris - very expensive but worth it for the real Parisian experience with your new group, one of my favourite nights in the tour.

- Parisian dinner - absolutely boiling when we went (no air con in the restaurant) but the food was delicious!!

- Venice walking tour - this guide was lovely and very knowledgable.

- Viennese dinner - a very eccentric experience but completely hilarious.

- Munich bike tour - the guides are hilarious and the tour was really fun.

- Whitewater Rafting in Austrian Tyrol - not very hardcore for professional rafters out there, but fun and a good experience.

- Tandem paragliding - expensive but INCREDIBLE, worth it.

- Wine tasting, St Goar - another really bizarre experience, hilarious.

Highlights of the whole tour were some of the nights out we had as groups, like in Paris, Barcelona, Florence and Amsterdam. Also the free days we had in each city to explore and go our own way - our tour guide organised maps and metro maps for us each time, which made it way easier. We also got to see really special parts of each city which you wouldn't necessarily find otherwise.

I thought the accommodation was fine for most of the trip - the hostels were comfortable enough and clean, which was fine, and the contiki properties served surprisingly good food. The issue I had was that in Italy we stayed exclusively in Contiki campsites in cabins, none of which had air conditioning (in 35+ degree weather) and all of which were quite far from the cities. Venice was ridiculous - to the point where we physically couldn't travel into the city at night because the transport cut off.

Another slight downer is that Contiki will try to sell you things at every available point, usually disguising it as a 'demonstration' or an 'opportunity', when really they're just informercials preaching to you about their products. Bit of a pain, try to avoid when possible.

You'll be on the coach for about 40% of the trip. The coach was pretty comfortable and we'd all sleep or socialise, but some days involved long drives so bring comfortable pillows and things to do!

Also, take as many vitamins and immune boosters as possible. You will get sick. The Contiki Cough is famous.

Overall an amazing experience, really happy I did it and happy to recommend the trip to others.

Review written Aug 2013

My Contiki was: young, sociable, fun

event 0.3
  • Anna
  • Anna
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Amazing experience with wonderful people

31 Jul 2013 - 24 Aug 2013

I found the Contiki experience an amazing one - a really good taste of Europe (my favourite places were Paris, Barcelona and Venice). You get so close to your tour group and tour manager, and that really makes a huge difference. The nightlife and parties were incredible too, especially as Contiki had a lot of connections in bars, clubs and activities. At 18, my friend and I were the youngest on tour with the average age being about 22/23 (oldest was around 26).

Just a few things. Contiki will try to milk you for your money, especially with optionals, so if you're travelling with a tight budget you might struggle - I spent a lot more than I intended (about 2000 AUD, and I didn't do all the optionals). Some of the optionals were really disappointing too and seemed to be a bit of a rip off.

Optionals to avoid:

- Flamenco show, Barcelona - boring and amateurish, especially for 30 euros! Would much rather have wandered Barcelona.

- Tuscan meal, Florence - really average food in a not-particularly-special restaurant. Would have been much better off finding food elsewhere.

- Electronic Space Disco - it was fun because everyone on tour went, but the actual club was disappointing.

- Vatican Tour AND Imperial Tour - these were both overpriced and the guides were horribly boring and uneducated.

- Bobbahn, Austrian Tyrol - I didn't actually do this, but I heard negative reviews from everyone who did, saying it was uncomfortable and at times painful, and not worth the money.

- JungFrau mountain, Swiss Alps - I didn't do this either, but from what I heard, the journey up the mountain was the main feature of the day (2 hours long) and the experience was quite overpriced and not particularly special.

Optionals that were amazing:

- Cabaret, Paris - very expensive but worth it for the real Parisian experience with your new group, one of my favourite nights in the tour.

- Parisian dinner - absolutely boiling when we went (no air con in the restaurant) but the food was delicious!!

- Venice walking tour - this guide was lovely and very knowledgable.

- Viennese dinner - a very eccentric experience but completely hilarious.

- Munich bike tour - the guides are hilarious and the tour was really fun.

- Whitewater Rafting in Austrian Tyrol - not very hardcore for professional rafters out there, but fun and a good experience.

- Tandem paragliding - expensive but INCREDIBLE, worth it.

- Wine tasting, St Goar - another really bizarre experience, hilarious.

Highlights of the whole tour were some of the nights out we had as groups, like in Paris, Barcelona, Florence and Amsterdam. Also the free days we had in each city to explore and go our own way - our tour guide organised maps and metro maps for us each time, which made it way easier. We also got to see really special parts of each city which you wouldn't necessarily find otherwise.

I thought the accommodation was fine for most of the trip - the hostels were comfortable enough and clean, which was fine, and the contiki properties served surprisingly good food. The issue I had was that in Italy we stayed exclusively in Contiki campsites in cabins, none of which had air conditioning (in 35+ degree weather) and all of which were quite far from the cities. Venice was ridiculous - to the point where we physically couldn't travel into the city at night because the transport cut off.

Another slight downer is that Contiki will try to sell you things at every available point, usually disguising it as a 'demonstration' or an 'opportunity', when really they're just informercials preaching to you about their products. Bit of a pain, try to avoid when possible.

You'll be on the coach for about 40% of the trip. The coach was pretty comfortable and we'd all sleep or socialise, but some days involved long drives so bring comfortable pillows and things to do!

Also, take as many vitamins and immune boosters as possible. You will get sick. The Contiki Cough is famous.

Overall an amazing experience, really happy I did it and happy to recommend the trip to others.

Review written Aug 2013

My Contiki was: young, sociable, fun

event 0.3
  • Jayme
  • Jayme
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Best Getaway Ever

06 Apr 2010 - 30 Apr 2010

I had an amazing time on this tour. Our tour manager Karlene was the best! It was perfect for someone my age (18 at the time). I made great friends. People may think being on a coach for hours is terrible, its really not. That is where we all got to really know each other and bond. I have since been on another tour where there was all flights and no coach, the group connection was not anywhere near as strong.
The places we stayed in were fantastic, the special stay in France, the Chateau... AMAZING!
Highly recommend anyone to go on this tour, perfect amount of time to be away, and a great insight into each country. I know where I would like to go back to again with my partner!

Review written Aug 2013

My Contiki was: Incredible, Eye Opener, Fun

event 0.3
  • Jayme
  • Jayme
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Best Getaway Ever

06 Apr 2010 - 30 Apr 2010

I had an amazing time on this tour. Our tour manager Karlene was the best! It was perfect for someone my age (18 at the time). I made great friends. People may think being on a coach for hours is terrible, its really not. That is where we all got to really know each other and bond. I have since been on another tour where there was all flights and no coach, the group connection was not anywhere near as strong.
The places we stayed in were fantastic, the special stay in France, the Chateau... AMAZING!
Highly recommend anyone to go on this tour, perfect amount of time to be away, and a great insight into each country. I know where I would like to go back to again with my partner!

Review written Aug 2013

My Contiki was: Incredible, Eye Opener, Fun

event 0.3
  • Matthew
  • Matthew
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

#no regrets

14 May 2013 - 07 Jun 2013

Just an awesome time with an awesome bunch of people.

Become a multi-national family!

Review written Jun 2013

My Contiki was: Picturesque , Exciting, Cultural

event 0.3
  • Matthew
  • Matthew
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 11 Countries
European Escapade
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

#no regrets

14 May 2013 - 07 Jun 2013

Just an awesome time with an awesome bunch of people.

Become a multi-national family!

Review written Jun 2013

My Contiki was: Picturesque , Exciting, Cultural

event 0.3
  Back to Overview

What's Included

All of this & more, included as standard on your trip.

Accommodation

  • 25 nights accommodation: 2 nights in Contiki’s French Château, 2 nights in Contiki’s Austrian Gasthof, 2 nights in Contiki’s Swiss Chalet, 8 nights in Contiki Village cabins, 6 nights in hotel upgrade, 5 nights in hostels
  • Modern, air-conditioned coach with electrical outlets for charging
  • Ferry crossings

Team

  • An experienced & professional Trip Manager & Driver team
  • Contiki’s exclusive on-site teams at Contiki Villages & Special Stopovers

Food

  • 41 meals included in Food Fund:
  • 24 breakfasts
  • 1 picnic lunch (PL)
  • 16 dinners

Inclusions

  • 15 World Heritage Sites visited
  • See the White Cliffs of Dover
  • Exclusive 'Paris by Night' sightseeing tour with Champagne & escargot
See More

Me Time

  • Parisian Dinner
  • Nouvelle Eve cabaret show
See More

On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is US$140
  • You only need a US$200 deposit to book and pay in full 45 days before you travel.
  • Pay in installments, with Contiki Easy Pay
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