19 Jun 2016 - 21 Jul 2016
I just finished the European Explorer and I'm not sure I could do another contiki! We had the best group of people, TM and bus driver imaginable! Alex our TM was intelligent in every place we toured and gave us incredible background to everything. Marco our bus driver would always stop and chat and joke around and our group was fantastic!! Going through post contiki depression! We got to do some awesome optionals throughout the whole trip. We had 45 people on our tour and 3 weren't Aussies so don't be surprised if you get a group of Aussies! All but one hotel were great, sometimes they were a little out of the city but it is to be expected! Best experience ever and would recommend contiki to anyone wanting to get a taste of travel in a short amount of time. Thanks contiki, I'll be back soon!!
Review written Aug 2016event 0.3
06 Sep 2015 - 08 Oct 2015
This trip was seriously the most amazing time of my life. We saw and experienced the most unforgettable sites and cultures. I made some wonderful lifelong friends. The only downside was the Contiki Cough. It is not a myth and it spreads like wildfire on those buses. Make sure you research doctors before you go so you can get assistance when required. Depending on the size of your group (ours was to the max - 40+ people) so the tour manager could only devote her time to so many people at a time, which is understandable so it helps to be able to organise doctors/medical assistance for yourself if you can as they may not have the time to help you (learn from me and don't leave it to the last minute of your trip when you feel horrible beyond belief!). Bronchitis was not going to get me down though, this European trip opened my eyes to so many things. I tried all types of different foods that I would never usually try (um, snails smothered in garlic are actually delicious, who knew?!). This tour truly is a taste tester of so many different places. 33 days flew by without me even realising! I wouldn't recommend the Greek Island cruising personally as it was so rushed and it felt like we ran from one end of the islands to the other without really soaking it in. Staying in Mykonos would have been the better choice but honestly I could not have organised the things that Contiki did for us. Out tour manager and bus driver were stellar, I don't know how they put up with us but they did and I'm very thankful for it! More than 6 months later and I'm still dreaming about the Eiffel Tower, risotto in Florence, sailing through Dubrovnik and enjoying the sights of "King's Landing". The optionals are worthwhile if you're unorganised and don't know what you're interested in doing in Europe (AKA me). If you're really into research and know what you'd like to do in the places you visit, skip the optionals and do your own thing as they can be quite expensive. 33 days is a great amount of time to really get to know and love the people you are traveling with. I will cherish the memories we've made together taking endless selfies in the most picturesque places, playing countless hours of 'heads-up' on the bus, big nights out or just a movie night in someone's hotel room to wind down. Definitely a worthwhile trip. I would definitely recommend Contiki :)
Review written Apr 2016event 0.3
21 Jun 2015 - 23 Jul 2015
So at first trying to decided on what tour to do, But 33 days wasn't long enough, i could of stayed there for another 33 more days, but im so happy to choose this one as you got to see a lot and do a lot, wouldn't change it in a heart beat!!!
Lifelong travel buddies that i can go and see after the tour and you make so many memories with them. You spend all day and night with these people and it doesn't take long to become a family!!!!! the worst part about becoming family is that you will defiantly cry when you leave them!!!!! There's so much that happens so try and write it down in a book when your on the bus and take as many photos of where you are and who you are with! of course your Contiki family!!! seeing the photos now i wish i was with them!!!
Accommodation: Well its great, your things are safe and your only there for a few hours as you out in the town during the day and nightclubs at night :D, comfy beds!!!
ME Times and MY Times - They are great and I recommend doing all the Me Times!!! They are worth the money and worth the time :).
- Frogs Legs and Snails in Paris, (Amazing)
- Try to go out every night in a different Country
- When you go to Capri Get a private boat around the island and also experience Blue Grotto, Amazing!
- In Amsterdam Well we all know whats there, Try it, you don't know when you will be back :D (if you know what i mean :) )
- Try every traditional Food and drinks in each Country,
- Also get the drink package on the boat around Greek Island's!!! Worth the money, Woooo :D
- Try do everything, Get up early and GO!
Tips: so Laundry, a lot of places didn't have Laundry places. when you did take that chance and pay for someone to do it! but what i did i took laundry powder and string, the string i tied it from one side of the room to the other as i could hang my washing up to dry during the day and be dry at night :).
- Add up the Me time options of how much its going to be, so you will have that money to give to your guided tour person :) so your not panicking that your not going to have the money,
I could keep writing for ages but this a little bit to write! As i said i wouldn't change anything, Loved every Moment of it, I wish i could do it again!
Had amazing time with Steve and Nuno, they were our guided tour and bus driver, So glad i had the experience with them, They made the tour Fantastic, thank you :)
Review written Jan 2016event 0.3
29 Aug 2015 - 01 Oct 2015
I wish more people would've written recent reviews for me to see so I'm doing it for you: DO THIS TRIP. I'd never been to Europe at all and this was more than incredible. We saw soooooo much in so little time. You may think the me-time's are pricey but do them all. I did and it made my experience something I could never get if I had traveled on my own. I never was much of a partier but I experienced almost every night of partying and then got up early to explore the cities the next day and it was so worth it. Don't worry, there's some nap time on the drives that everyone takes advantage of ;).
Accommodations were mostly pretty great and decent for the price you pay. A couple odd ones but to be expected! Food is best experienced through me-times and going off with some new friends and finding cool little restaurants.
Speaking of friends, you'll make them. Lifelong travel buddies that will have so many memories with you. You spend all day and night with these people and it doesn't take long to become a family and you may cry when you leave them but my best advice is to take TONS of photos (with them and in general. There's so much that happens and you'll forget it all and then you'll see a picture and it'll come back.) oh yeah and if you're wondering about ages and stuff, it varies. We had 18-35 for real. And it depends on the group but there were couples, siblings, friends, and people who went on their own and everyone was friends so don't worry about that at all!
This specific trip is a lot of tours of the main touristy points of Europe. It may get kind of boring during those and it's a lot of touristy areas but you learn a lot and go everywhere that's popular. You end up seeing a lot more than you thought you could. And there's always time to explore on your own too.
PS the cruise? Yeah. Best part of the whole thing. Get the drinks package. Do it.
If you happen to get tour manager Evana, she's the best in the business and consider yourself extra lucky. If you get driver Mitch, you'll wonder how a "bus driver" could ever be so cool.
I 100% recommend this trip. Do it do it do it. You'll get the contiki cough and you'll be more tired than you ever thought possible but I promise it's worth it.
Review written Nov 2015event 0.3
07 Sep 2014 - 09 Oct 2014
This tour is absolutely fantastic if you want to squeeze in everything in a short amount of time! You get to experience a decent amount of the culture with every country you visit, see all the main sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe as well as little backstage passes like the Murano glass blowing demonstration in Venice. Each and every day is jam packed full of amazing things to experience.
This tour has A LOT of travelling, but Europe is a veeery big place. I went in September and got to experience Oktoberfest in Munich and it was one of the highlights of my trip. I made life-long friends on this journey, got to know everyone really well and our tour manager was absolutely exceptional with his knowledge of the countries we visited, tips and tricks on where to visit on our free days, and made the whole experience worth every single penny.
Be prepared for a jam-packed experience with little sleep, a whole lot of walking and experiencing new cultures.
It's what you go to Europe for!
Incredible first Contiki tour for me, I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to see most of Europe in a short amount of time.
Review written Jan 2015event 0.3
18 May 2014 - 19 Jun 2014
This tour was amazing! A "tasting plate of Europe" indeed. Spectacular views from the Eiffel Tower, chugging out of buckets in Dubrovnik, hesitantly tasting frogs legs and snails, enduring the heat wave in Austria, drinking all you can drink on the Greek Island tour.... and um, interesting sights in Amsterdam. You definitely get it all on this trip. Our tour manager Steve Ellison made a great tour a spectacular tour. That man is a walking encyclopedia. No matter what you are touring Europe for, food, partying, shopping, visiting the sights.. whatever, he will make sure you get to "squeeze the juice" out of your experience. Get very excited if you are lucky enough to bag him as your tour manager. The tour was very fast paced so swollen feet (as I unfortunately experienced) is a real possibility, but you get to see and experience so much it's almost impossible to keep track! Will do this tour again in a heart beat. Well worth every cent!
Review written Aug 2014event 0.3
18 May 2014 - 19 Jun 2014
Words can't describe how incredible this trip was. It defeated my expectations, and was hands down the best thing I've ever done.
Our tour manager, Steve, was so professional and organized, it really made our trip so much more special. We really couldn't have asked for a better guy to take us around Europe, he was amazing.
We saw some of the most beautiful and well known places on earth, and if I could do it all over again I would in a heartbeat!
From sitting below the Eiffel Tower in awe, to chugging Sangria buckets in Barcelona, then seeing Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix, getting lost in Venice, donkey riding in Santorini, going to 5 level clubs in Croatia, having no hangover after a night at the Beer Hall in Austria wearing German outfits, climbing the Swiss Alps, and even seeing all Amsterdam has to offer; our trip literally accommodated to every single person.
We were able to see so many different types of cultures (in the historical/artistic sense, as well as experiencing the night-life).
The age groups on our trip ranged from 20-34 and it was honestly really awesome to get to know so many people from such different walks of life.
We were in hotels every night which was great! The only thing I would say is that if you're used to a huge breakfast, be prepared for the European way of breakfast (a croissant, a coffee, and some cheeses and meats). But that was fine because then you get to gorge on the amazing foods on your walk abouts in each city.
The cruise was so amazing, it was a nice change of pace to just relax for a few days as our trip so far had been really full on and so much to see!
The people I was blessed enough to meet on this trip will remain friends for life and will always hold such a special place in my heart. I shared some of the best days of my life with them and it was a very hard goodbye at the end of our tour.
One main suggestion- DO ALL OF THE ME TIME OPTIONALS! Every single one was so amazing. From Moulin Rouge in Paris, to yacht jumping in Dubrovnik, every single me time was one I would do over 100 times again. If you're thinking about the money side of it, don't! Think in the sense that you'll never be able to experience this with these people again, you're already in Europe, so why not!
Just do them all and you'll thank yourself at the end.
If you're worried that 33 days is too long, I can assure you it's not long enough! By the end you'll be wishing you had another 33 days! You become a family with your group, you fall in love with every city, you even love the bus rides to each destination. Thinking back now I really miss those bus days, we all had so much fun!
So I'll stop rambling now, but I hope this review helps even one person in their decision on choosing this contiki, because I guarantee you it is honestly the best thing in the world. A trip of a lifetime that I'm truly grateful I got to experience :)
P.s. eat as much gelato as you can in Rome, it is incredible! I also recommend staying back an extra week in Europe after your tour. I did and my friend and I went back to the places we loved the most.
Review written Jul 2014event 0.3
16 Jun 2013 - 18 Jul 2013
This tour is definitely worth the money! You get to stay in hotels for the whole tour, some were amazing some not so (e.g. the jail hotel in Lucerne) but you will be out exploring Europe for most of the day anyways so the hotels are just for sleeping. They all have good bathrooms and warm showers so you can look forward to that too at the end of your adventures.
In terms of optionals i know wish i had done them all but because i wanted to save money i skipped a couple but found i could have paid for all of them because i ended up going home with quite a bit of extra money. I don't recommend the Venice walking tour because you can find amazing little parts of the city on your own without the guide and i didn't like the swiss fondue lunch that much but the entertainment was pretty funny and all of the people on your tour make it feel worth it!
Included food was great for the most part, get used to eating chicken for dinner on these nights! But you can always grab a bite to eat while you are out in the cities!
The coach we had was super new so it was so nice and comfy to sleep on for those long driving days, and our Tour Manager Lee and our driver Patrice were the BOMB! They made the trip so much fun and i will always love them for that!
In most of the cities you have to catch the metro to get around but its not too bad just get used to reading maps and asking for directions if you need help. You also get mostly 1 full day in the cities and if you get there early enough you may have 1 and a half days to go around, which is plenty if its your first trip because you then can decide where you want to go back later on in life.
I loved the cruise even though it was pretty short and the time spent on the islands was not long enough for me! The food and crew on the cruise were amazing and they feed you delicious food at the buffet. i also suggest getting the 80 Euro (that's the price it was when i went) unlimited drinks package because you get alcohol, water, juice, smoothies etc included in that for the duration of the cruise so you don't have to worry about overspending on the drinks while you party!
I would do this tour again in a heartbeat with no changes even if there were a few bumps along the road, nonetheless it is an awesome tour that you will enjoy and have fond memories of because the people you tour with are amazing as well and they will be there forever!
If you want specific details about the tour check out my travel blog, it has daily recounts of what i did on this tour in June/July 2013 (summer):
Happy travelling! x
Review written Apr 2014event 0.3
15 Jul 2011 - 18 Aug 2011
Saw the most amazing places, & met the most amazing people... Thank you contiki for inspiring me to see the world and travel more. This was truly the time of my life and I would do another tour in a heart beat.
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3
13 May 2011 - 16 Jun 2011
Best Tour!!!! Had such an amazing time, met a lot of great people, loved my tour manager!!! Loved everything about this tour and all the amazing places we got to see and experience!!!!
Review written Feb 2013event 0.3
04 Sep 2011 - 06 Oct 2011
This trip was amazing, incredible, spectacular and so much more. I went on the one in September 2011 for my gap year. I was travelling alone, but I knew that I would meet some friends on the tour... and that I did. I met some really wonderful people who I know that I will be friends with forever (in fact, we are all meeting up in Sydney in 2 weeks for the weekend and I'm doing another Contiki soon with a girl I met on this one!). I became really close with 5 other girls on the tour and we started a band - not really, but that's what we called ourselves instead of a gang or team or group or whatever. It's kind of an inside joke... but that's the whole point!!!
Our tour manager Filippo and our driver Katya were so good at everything. They were so helpful. Filippo has 'Filippo's Tips' for every place we went, which was a double sided page with hints and tips of all the good places to go while we were there. As he explained it, the tour is like a cheese platter - you are just getting a taste for each place, so you can see which ones you really want to go back to. Which is the perfect way to describe it.
The hotels we stayed at were nice. Some of them were a little out of the way (the one in Amsterdam for example, and Paris a bit too) so if you went into town for the day you had to say there. There was no coming back to get things you forgot, or to have a nap, or whatever you wanted to do - unless you were willing to pay the taxi fare. Which probably wasn't much in the grand scheme of things, but still, the brochure made it sound like the hotels were right in the thick of things. Although, to be fair, a lot of the hotels were in pretty good locations - London, Nice, Rome the main ones I can think of. It was probably a 50/50 split.
I did all the optional extras. They were all really good. Some of them were good, and I enjoyed them, but I probably could have survived without doing it. The Opera in Austria for example. One thing I would recommend you try is parasailing in Nice. It isn't an optional extra with Contiki, but if you go down to the beach you can book it there. I did it with 2 other girls and it was so much fun! They take you up and then dunk you in the water!!!!!!
The weather was perfect the whole time I was there. I think it rained once (and when I say it rained, it was more like a drizzle) on the last day in Amsterdam. Other than that it was blue skies and sunshine everyday.
The bus that we got was a tester bus that Mercedes was trying out with Contiki. It was really spacious and comfortable. The only down sides were that it didn't have power plugs, so we couldn't change things during the long drives, and there was a toilet too (sounds like it may be a positive... but it wasn't). The rule was 'NO POO IN THE LOO!'. One chick didn't understand this rule though - a couple of times!!! - so when that happened the whole bus reeked until it could be cleaned out at the next service stop!
The food was alright. I am a pretty fussy eater though so I'm not the best person when it comes to explaining how the food was (I know! I need to quit it!). A running joke of the food came about pretty soon though. We seemed to get chicken and potatoes every night - What's for dinner? Chicken and potatoes for a change! By the end of the tour I was definitely craving a decent steak that's for sure.
On Contiki, I have learned, that a theme song for the tour is chosen and is the first song played every time you get on the bus. Last Summer by the Lostprophets was the theme song.
Overall, the tour was amazing. I would highly recommend it!!!! If you get the chance, this is a really excellent tour and should consider going on it. I have so many incredible memories. We had so many laughs. We all made so many wonderful new friends. It was my first time in Europe and I can't wait to get back!
I will leave you with Filippo's favourite quote that he told us on the first day:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
- Mark Twain
Review written Jun 2012event 0.3
04 Sep 2011 - 06 Oct 2011
This would have to have been the most amazing experience I have ever had. So well run, so many sights to see and I feel like we fit more into a day then I thought possible. But what's more is I made some really amazing friends that I know I am always going to keep in contact with. So worth the money, so much included and the memories you make just make it all the more unforgettable.
Would recommend it to anyone and everyone!
Review written May 2012event 0.3
14 Aug 2011 - 15 Sep 2011
My partner and I had a great time with this well organised trip. It was 33 days of action with great long term friends we made on the trip including the tour manager and driver! Highlights everday (except Albania - that place is so backwards it makes everywhere else look better). We left Aug 14 - it was almost 40 degrees everyday - it was hot humid and didn't rain once. Not many places to do washing - be prepared for that. Not much time in Florence, but enough to get a feel for the place. Everywhere was busy! Time was saved lining up for the Eiffel Tour - we went straight up - anyone not on the tour had to wait over 3 hours on the same day. Dave out TM was great at entertaining us all the time and if you dont want to do something or be involved in something like drinking all night then no-one will make you. There is a lot of time spent on the coach but its necessary to get from A-B - you can sleep, watch a "documentary" (movie or tv show), listen to coach music or your own ipod, charge your cameras on the coach or talk to your new mates! Highly recommended! Also the island hopping option is better than the mykinos option (you get plenty of time there on the cruise and get to go to turkey! plus the volcano in santorini is a great experience). food is good everywhere - we did most optional meals (some are too big - be prepared to eat a lot and walk it off).Accomodation was standard - comfortable, some places were far from town like paris but the coach will take you in or the public transport is easy and cheap to use. Buy lots and send it home from Amsterdam (its the cheapest and best option for your souveniers). Nice was lovely and so was croatia - wish i was back there now.....
(Completed by Samantha Regan)
Review written Oct 2011event 0.3