02 May 2016 - 05 May 2016
This was my first journey with Contiki and my first time travelling solo. That being said, I didn't have any expectations so my review may be a little biased.
I arrived in Athens a day earlier than when I was to meet my group, and had the day to relax, get adjusted and catch my breath from the journey from Canada. I had some time to walk around a very quiet Athens, as it was Greek Orthodox Easter the day I landed. I met my group the next evening, and arrived at the hotel a couple hours early.
The tour itself was very busy and jam packed, waking up early each day though arriving to our destinations around 6-8 in the evening, which made time to wind down and relax, which I thoroughly appreciated. What I enjoyed about Contiki was that everything was arranged and laid out for me, and each evening before we left we were given our schedule for the next day so we knew what to expect. Included were helpful instructions like wear good walking shoes, have your cameras ready, and dress appropriately (for a beautiful Greek Orthodox church that we got an inside peak of).
Coming to Greece I wasn't sure what to expect or what I was to learn, but our tour guide Tom was so full of information, and his personality made all of the stories he shared funny, relevant, and easy to listen to. Because I chose the first tour of the season, our group was only 14 people large, so we got to all take the time to know each other and learn from each other too. I've made some wonderful friends who I look forward to keeping in touch with on their future journeys :)
The hotels were very pretty, some of them out of the ordinary and very neat and personable, and the sights were fantastic. I *loved* all the food, and the coach was clean, comfortable and spacious. I think one of the best parts of the tour was that there were so many stops along the way between Athens, Delphi and Olympia, and it was nice to often get up and off the bus, walk around a little, and grab a snack. In addition, some of these small stops are places you wouldn't see if you made the journey on your own, and there are many hidden gems to discover. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and my experience, and I hope others will when they make the choice to come on this tour too!
(The picture I included was my favourite of the entire trip, in Galaxidi, a small coastal town with the beautiful Greek Orthodox Church)
Review written May 2016event 0.3
02 May 2016 - 05 May 2016
Spent a really fun four days travelling around Greece. Fortunately our tour only had 14 people and so it was a lot more close and personable. It may have only been a couple of days but we got a good overview of Greece and I didn't feel a need to stay any longer.
To start off with we had an optional dinner for 44 euros. This was tricky as it felt hard to say no to a group dinner just as you start the tour. However the dinner is no way worth 44 euros it should be more like 22 euros. It is really just a standard meal and the entertainment was short and hard to see.
Unfortunately we missed going into the ruins of Mycenae as they were closed but we got free lunch instead so that was appreciated. There is quite a bit of bus travelling, about 10 hours over 4 days. Fortunately this time was enlivened by doing some group games, historical facts and music.
The ruins and museums at Olympia and Delphi were nice. Although when it says ruins it means there is virtually nothing left. At each site we had a local tour guide but I didn't find them all that helpful, often rushing through the museum and telling us things we already knew.
The quality of the hotel rooms were fairly poor with hard beds and rubbish showers however very little time was spent in the room anyway. The reception and bar areas were much nicer.
There were also several stop overs at small towns along the way which were quite interesting and off the main tourist routes. The view from the bus was always beautiful.
At Delphi we went to a night club which was surprisingly fun. Hashtag SelfieinDelphi!
Returning to Athens we got to see the Parthenon although sadly it is under construction and very little of it remains. I think the temple of hephaestus would have been nice to include being the best preserved greek temple and just down the hill. We then got in the bus and drove past some other important buildings, not really sure why? We briefly saw the pancreatic stadium for all of 2 minutes.
Note: The tour finishes at 6pm so dinner is not included on that day which i think is pretty dodgy. No one caught a flight out that night so everyone was forced to pay for an extra night.
So total additional expenses
-Taxi to and from airport 80 euros
-First night dinner 44 euros
-Lunch for three days 30 euros
-Entry to night club 10 euros
-Last night dinner 25 euros
-Drinks at bars in hotel (0 euros for me as i didn't have any)
-Souvenirs 70 euros (4 statues, 2 fridge magnets, 1 pot)
-Additional night in Athens 75 pounds
What really made this trip awesome was the company of fellow travelers and our awesome trip managers Tom and Izzy.
Review written May 2016event 0.3
31 Aug 2015 - 03 Sep 2015
This trip was such a incredible experience! You get to see and experience so much within a very small timeframe. 4 days (well technically 3) I got to go and visit some incredible historical sights that have been on my bucket list for years.
Athens was amazing one of favourite places from my entire trip (5 weeks) the Acropolis and the Parthenon are spectacular and incredible and the views from the Acropolis are breathtaking you get a 360 view of Athens. I highly recommend if you have time in Athens before or after this tour to visit the Acropolis museum a lot of the artefacts are in the museum and there is a really interesting movie about the Acropolis.
The Contiki extra dinner for 43 euro in my opinion was not worth it. The entertainment was great i loved the greek dancers and the singer was amazing but the food was at best average and defiantly not worth what we paid, however the greek dancing and joining in is defiantly something you should try.
Olympia was defiantly my favourite part of this tour and it was the part I was most excited about. The Olympia museum was incredible i loved seeing all the statues and artefacts. The Original Olympic Stadium was incredible to see. Even though most of it is just rubble and ruins you still get a image and idea of how it would have looked thousands of years ago. The Stadium itself is just a dirt track but it was fun to race on with the group and take some photos.
Delphi was okay I wasn't really interested in the beehive tomb we went to as it literally a empty tomb. The hotel was stayed at was incredible the views from our room were stunning. This was the first time the group all went out together at the only club in town. As this was the last night we all went hard and had a lot of fun.
Every hotel we stayed at was amazing very clean and comfortable and all had pools which was a bonus.
But what made this tour amazing was the people I meet. Even though we had only spent 4 days together we all became very close and i have defiantly made some lifelong friends.
Also shoutout to Contiki Tom or as i called him Tomas! Best Contiki tour manager i have ever had super funny and know a lot about greek history and mythology. He was always up for a chat and a laugh.
If you don't have much time in Greece but want to do and see a lot this is defiantly this trip for you.
Review written Oct 2015event 0.3
26 May 2014 - 29 May 2014
This was my first Contiki and my friend and I had a great time on this trip! A good, short way to see the more historic parts of Greece.
Athens was interesting to see the Acropolis and Agamemnon’s Palace (when you're driving to Olympia). Our tour guide made it really interesting!
Olympia was neat to see and very historic. Our tour guide surprised us with a trip to the beach and we all had a great time there!
Delphi was absolutely beautiful. The hotel has amazing views and a nice pool. Great dinner here. We all went our for our last night together and had a blast!
Our tour guide Paola was THE BEST! So sweet and went out of her way to be awesome! Our Driver Bobby was great too!
Our group was hilarious and amazing. Was so sad to leave them. After only 4 days, felt like I made lasting friendships. We plan to hopefully do another tour together!
Would definitely recommend this tour for anyone who wants to see more historic Greece. Great one to add onto your Island tours so you see both sides. Wouldn't suggest it just by its self though, unless you are really into history. The islands are just prettier and you have more fun in general.
Disclaimer: I had never heard of Contiki/Topdeck until I started doing research for this trip. We decided to try out both so did this with Contiki and then the Island Hopper with Topdeck. With my experience with Topdeck and the group/guide I had...CONTIKI ALL THE WAY!!! Topdeck was an older crowd (we had 5 older, married couples on a 23 person tour). My friend and I were so upset to leave our Contiki group, especially since almost all of them were going on to do different tour versions of the islands with Contiki.
We even ditched our Topdeck group on 3 or 4 occasions to go meet up with some former Contiki friends when our tours would overlap.
So if this was your first time and you're having trouble deciding between Contiki or Topdeck, definitely do Contiki!!
Review written Aug 2014event 0.3
04 Aug 2013 - 08 Aug 2013
This was a great way to see Greece by land. If you're into seeing the old culture and seeing the little towns of Greece, this is the way to do it. Keep in mind you stop in small towns, so there isn't much of a night life. But the tour was great and I loved going to the old Olympic stadiums from Ancient Greece!
Review written Aug 2013event 0.3
16 May 2011 - 19 May 2011
The tour was the most amazing experience, it was fun and educational and cultural. The tour really opened by eyes to Greece and all it had to offer. While it was a short tour is did jam pack the essentials of seeing Greece. However the only real gripe i am have about the tour was being asked to tip the tour guide and driver, I am not all comfortable with being asked this and did not appreciate it at all.
Review written Sep 2011event 0.3