London to Athens » Review by Megan
I went solo and had such an amazing time on this tour! This was my second time visiting Paris and I loved it even more the second time around. Trying escargot and champagne is a must, as well as the cabaret show and, of course, O'Sullivan's afterward. It's the first big night out on tour so don't miss it!
The Chateau was the perfect chance to relax a bit before moving on to the rest of this fast-paced journey. I wouldn't have wanted to spend any less time in each location, so I'd definitely recommend choosing a tour that spends 2+ nights in each city.
Barcelona was a huge highlight, I want to go back there one day! I really enjoyed the flamenco dancing optional, plus the dinner we attended that evening was delicious.
All of Italy was gorgeous and interesting but make sure you know what you're getting into regarding the accommodations - the cabins are the bare minimum when it comes to comfort. Be sure to take/buy plenty of bug spray as mosquitoes are everywhere. Nightlife was good though; the I Love Rome party was so much fun! One of my favorite nights on tour. Myself and 2 other girls did unfortunately get bed bugs at some point in Italy but that's not Contiki's fault, it can happen anywhere, so I'd never hold it against them. It's just part of budget travelling. And it didn't ruin my trip so don't stress!
My favorite location ended up being Corfu - from the gorgeous clear blue water to the awesome parties at night, we had a blast there. It's a very relaxing atmosphere which is much-needed after the go-go-go mindset from the rest of the tour. We took an overnight ferry to get to Corfu and we were exhausted so a day laying on the beach was just the right cure.
Our tour manager Matt was absolutely incredible - and it was his first time as a TM! I never would have guessed until he told us on the last day. Him and our driver Pedro made the trip even better than I could've expected.
Definitely do all the optionals! There are some which probably weren't worth the money but it's really the bonding experiences which made them special. If you had to choose one optional though, do George's Boat... it was by far the BEST day.
The on-site teams were always very knowledgeable and friendly, the provided meals were good enough to not complain about (it's free food!) and, most importantly, my tour mates were WONDERFUL. I made some friends who I will never forget. I tried to mix it up at each stop and have different roommates each time so I could get to know everybody and I recommend trying to do the same. You'll obviously find some people who you click with more than others, but you'd be surprised at some of the connections you make when you give others a chance.
Essentially, this tour alternates between one full day of sightseeing/a night of partying, and one full day on the bus/an early night. So you're never TOO burnt out for the city days. Go into it knowing two things: you'll be spending a LOT of time on the bus, and you'll never get the proper amount of sleep per night. You'll be tired and you'll want to sleep for days but it's all part of the experience. YOU'RE IN EUROPE! This may or may not be a one in a lifetime opportunity, so make the most of it. Seriously, have NO regrets... do everything you want to do and I promise you'll have an amazing time.
Review written Sep 2013event 0.3