Mediterranean Trail plus 3 day Greek Island Cruise » Review by alsrmt
This tour was fantastic and our tour manager Laura was great!! The hotels were decent, basically you can't expect much in Europe (twin beds pushed together, tiny rooms sometimes you have air and sometimes you don't lol) but they were all clean and in great locations close to transit or city centers. On our free day we spent a day on a wine tour in Tuscany with darkrome tours it was fantastic and I recommended Contiki add it as an optional because it was one of our best days, as for the guided tours we had a really good guide Peitro in Rome but to be honest you may want to do what another couple did and download an app with all the history on an ipod or tablet or walk around with a guide book (Rick steves Europe is great) only because when you are on the tour you can feel as though your pushed through I felt this way in Pompeii and at the Akropolis and if your like me you may want to explore it on your own time spending longer in some areas, the great thing about Contiki is you can do as little or as much with the tour as you want so if you go on your own its no big deal other then you have to get back to the hotel on your own just let your tour guide know if you do leave so she/he isn't looking for you. I do suggest to buy a 3 day metro pass in Rome that way you can get lost and just hop on the subway to get back to the main areas. When you arrive from the airport there is a taxi tariff of $40 euro flat rate (no matter how many people are in the cab) its a good 45min drive into town and if you want a stress free arrival into your hotel I recommend this!!
The dinners are great and a fun way to socialize with your group but if your a couple sometimes we found it cheaper and more intimate to just go on our own to a little bistro (it was our honeymoon) but as a single traveller I highly recommend the contiki dinners but one optional dinner that was by far the best is the traditional greek meal in the taverna in Corfu everyone should go to that one and the optional in Rome was fun too!! The food is good not amazing as with any place that feeds lots of people at once plenty of pasta.
In Athens if your staying at the Arion hotel get some people together and all get takeaway food and have a buffett meal its cheaper and you can just buy wine/beer super cheap at a store theres a beautiful rooftop with the Acropolis lit up behind you overlooking Athens the hotel was very good at providing everything you needed as long as you cleaned up and you can even have music via an Ipad. Try the Calimari if you don't get grossed out by visuals (its an entire grilled squid lol) it was amazing get the cheese sauce in the middle yum!!
As for other optionals that you must do, the boat around Capri was amazing but I wouldn't bother paying to see the blue grotto theres plenty of nice grottos to see for free and I found this to be a tourist trap ripoff but some people loved it so you decide. Georges Boat is a blast and a contiki staple, Ephesus and village Akritini if you love history.
For anyone worried that Contiki is the equivalent of Jersey Shore you have no worries, yes there is a party atmosphere but I have been on 4 tours now and theres someone for everyone (just like camp lol) I have travelled as a couple and as a single traveller and have always met the most amazing people that I have staying in touch with for years and feel blessed to have met. Every night theres the option to head out to a local bar courtesy of your tour manager but nobody has to go and you can drink as much or as little as you feel comfortable the best part about being on vacation is nobody judges anyone and everyone just wants the best experience, for myself I always went out but usually was in bed by midnight so my day was never ruined with too much of a hangover lol.
All in All everyone should go on a Contiki tour its an experience of a lifetime!!
Review written Jun 2012event 0.3