Reviews

Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.

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  • Krista Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

So what does one expect to find in the Outback? Let me tell you. ALOT of red dirt that contrast so well with the blue sky above. You'll do a lot of walking on this tour so I recommended a good pair of runners (tennis shoes) or hiking boots. It does get extremely hot out there (I went in Sept) so take a lot of sunscreen. September is Spring in Australia so it doesn't reach it's highest temp yet. I think the hottest day we had was about 36 degrees so bring sunscreen.
Bring along a travel pillow, this is handy to have for when you're sleeping under the stars and also for those long bus drives from one place to another.
I shared a room with 3 other girls for most of trip so I recommended buying a cheap power power from Kmart (I'm sure you can pick them up for about $3)
I would bring a lot more clothes you can wear during the day (not nice ones, they'll get smelly and ruined) because I felt like I was going through 2 tops a day.
If you plan to Visit the outback in Winter (June-Aug) make sure you bring something warm with you because it can get quiet cold at nights.

So many hightlights on this trip I can't just pick one!
Uluru was awesome! I did the helicopter flight over Uluru and the Olgas (did the 30min flight) as we felt that was enough time see all. Scenic flight over Kakadu was beautiful. it really does show you how small you actually are when you're up looking down at it.
The hot air balloon ride was beautiful - it was cold that morning but be sure to wear something warm and comfortable so it's easy to get into the basket :)
If you have some old clothes bring them as I went to a glow party and that paint stuff doesn't come out. we went to an op shop and bought some items there.
the Kings Canyon Rim Walk was beautiful! make sure you pack at least 1.5ltrs of water (Depending on the time of year you go) it takes about 2-3 hours to walk but it's worth it.
the walk around Uluru was long but good. it's about 10.6km around and we're given 3hrs to complete. we did it in 2hs and 40mins including stopping for photos.
keeping in mind that you can't take photos in certain areas (there are signs to tell you) bring thongs (flip flops) to use in the showers :)

Also you can't drink water in Kakadu so make sure you have bottled water with you and on that note I would buy 2 bottles and just keep filling them up when you can. cheaper than buying water all the time.

Bring at least 1 or 2 good outfits :) sunset champagne was an awesome end for the trip :) The thermal pools are really pretty. little suggestion, wear your swimmers there because the bathrooms are not close to the pools. Edith Falls was nice, but the water was cold and Litchfield national park was great! just be careful if you climb the rocks to jump off!

Accommodation wasn't that good in some places. Uluru is very small (2 lots of bunk beds) and that's it. you have to walk to the bath room.
Food is expensive and so is the alcohol. you're given plenty of chances to buy alcohol so buy a little bit more for other nights too.

I hope this helps! I can honestly say it was such a great trip and I'm glad I have seen more of my own back yard. if you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them :)

  • Beth Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 8 Countries

Be aware that by booking this trip you will be starting a tour half way through another, meaning; most of the people you will be travelling with started their trip in London on The Easy Rider tour a few weeks earlier. I had a great time on The Easy Roller tour but when I got home every time someone asks me "Hey! how was your trip to Europe?" I would say "Great! but....". This is because by the time I arrived there everyone had already bonded, had stories that I wasn't a part of and had inside jokes/sayings/songs that I didn't know, so I had to learn them in order to keep up. Don't get me wrong, everyone was awesome, the mix of people was perfect, the tour manager was amazing and the experiences were great. I would use Contiki again but I don't recommend this tour as you my regret being "the newbee" in the group. I joined on the same day as 9 people who were in three friend groups, that left me..out of the entire tour I was the only one who knew no one...great. None of us 10 arrivals knew we would be joining a tour half way as it is either written no where or very well hidden on the website. I tried to go with it and just soak up the experience BUT when I look back I get a kind of disappointed feeling. I am a 20 yr old student, I used almost all of my savings from when I was 15, working through High School and Uni part time. New Zealand money doesn't get you very far. I loved my trip but for the amount of money I spent I regret the fact that I get the disappointed feeling to go with those memories. I would most definitely do things differently next time.

My Contiki was: Great, Dissapointed, Crazy

  • Brendan Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

I had an amazing time on this trip! The tour was extremely well organized, had a lot of deals, had great accommodations (they were actually hotels, not hostels), and had awesome activities - both included and optional. The activities ranged from jet boating, to skydiving, to bunjy jumping, to white water rafting. I also had a really great tour manager and bus driver and met the best people on the tour! New Zealand is also one of the most beautiful countries I've ever been to so it made the tour that much better. One of the best parts of the trip was when we stayed in Queenstown on the South Island for 4 days. Not only was it the most beautiful part of the country we stayed in but it is also where a majority of the adrenaline activites like skydiving and bunjy jumping were offered. I also got to learn a lot about New Zealand during the tour. I would definitely recommend this trip!

European Magic

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ #tooeasy
  • Conrad Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 8 Countries

Great trip, if you haven't got too much time and want to see a lot. This trip is perfect, very fast moving but so worth it. Huge bonus for our trip was that it overlapped with Oktoberfest which was unbelievable! Paris by night spectacular. Evan was a fantastic TM, his tips for every city were spot on! Just do it!!!!

  • Claudia Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

New Zealand is absolutely gorgeous, but this tour was just too short to love. With 2 days travel time, the tour was really only 3 days, it wasn't enough time. And 2 of those days were raining, which cancelled a lot of the optional activities, so that didn't help either. Unlike the Europe Contiki tour that I went on, Jaffas n Jandals is just one section of a longer tour, almost like a hop-on-hop-off bus situation. Some people already knew each other from being on the tour earlier, everyone left the tour at various times, there wasn't much time or opportunity to get to know people. I would not recommend this particular tour, definitely go for a longer one.

My Contiki was: raining, short, unfulfilled

  • Matt Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries

For a kick off there's heaps to do in both cities. There's something for everyone in the activities and if you're like myself and enjoy a bit of free time you'll fall on your feet here as well.

The accomodation was ideal both Hotels were in good locations especially the one in Prague you were a ten minute stroll from the main meeting point.

The people I met up with were great fun and easy to get along with. It was my first Contiki and left a great impression.

The best moments had to be the first night in each place, simple as that.

If I could change one thing it would be to extend the time in Dresden. It's a beautiful city and I would love to have seen more of it.

My Contiki was: Fun, Exciting, Chilled

  • Matt Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries

For a kick off there's heaps to do in both cities. There's something for everyone in the activities and if you're like myself and enjoy a bit of free time you'll fall on your feet here as well.

The accomodation was ideal both Hotels were in good locations especially the one in Prague you were a ten minute stroll from the main meeting point.

The people I met up with were great fun and easy to get along with. It was my first Contiki and left a great impression.

The best moments had to be the first night in each place, simple as that.

If I could change one thing it would be to extend the time in Dresden. It's a beautiful city and I would love to have seen more of it.

My Contiki was: Fun, Exciting, Chilled

  • zoejanaye Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 4 Countries

Forget everything you know about Contiki coach tours, the cruises are completely different! This is an ideal way to travel if you are wanting to do a cruise of the greek islands, as cruises are generally marketed towards older people. Contiki really helped as we had our own group of people. The size of your group will depend when you go, I went towards the end of the season, so there were only 24 of us, but it meant we were small enough that we could all hang out together and actually get to know everyone.

All the optional extras are operated by the cruise line, not Contiki, so you will notice the prices aren't as discounted as what normal optionals are. Your tour manager always goes with the majority of the group and what tour they do, so you may end up with your tour manager, or you may not. Our tour manager did a great job of keeping us all together on the days we didn't book any excursions and had free time in the port, and most of the time, we were on our own bus for the excursions, occasionally with a few elder people who were thrown in with us as well.

I only opted to do 4 of the tours out of the ones that were offered. The first one was the Ottoman Empire & Byzantine Legacy Tour which is a full day tour in Istanbul. You visit the basilica of Hagia Sophi, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, the Bazaar and the Spice Market. Unfortunately there were quite a few cruise ships in Istanbul the day we were there, and so the queues were quite long and we ran out of time to do the Spice Market. The Bazaar is great if you're looking for genuine fakes, learn how to bargain! Never accept the price they want. Also be careful, as some of the people can be quite sleazy. Turkey use the Lira, but you can also bargain in Euros, just make sure before you begin bargaining, you let them know which one. Overall the tour was great and we saw alot in one day, but we had no free time in Istanbul. If I had the time over, I'd probably do the tour again, or spend the day at the Bazaar, but it does get overcrowded, so if you're not a fan of crowds, Istanbul probably isn't for you! Lunch was also included, but nothing really special to rave about.

The next excursion I did was Ancient Ephesus through the ages, which was a great half day tour. We spent the first part of the tour exploring Ephesus which we went through with our guide, make sure you wear good shoes as the ground is super slippery. We were also given some free time throughout the tour to take photos and explore. The next part of the excursion included a carpet demonstration on the way back to the cruise ship. The demonstration itself was very interesting, but as soon as the demonstration is over, you get attacked by the salesmen. The carpets are not cheap and started from about $300 USD, but you can also purchase them in Euros, so again make sure you let them know before hand which currency you'll be bargaining in. We got free time in the afternoon/evening to spend in Kusadasi which was great and we went to the Bazaar which is similar to the one in Istanbul, just without the crowd, and grabbed some Kebabs before heading back to the ship and watching us sailing away.

The next stop was Santorini where I did the Cruise to Santorini’s islands and Visit the volcano. I would not recommend this one unless you are a super keen fit person and want to cross climbing a Volcano off your bucket list. I'm not an overly fit person, and I managed to climb it okay, I just thought it was a waste of time. It is only a half day tour, and we got to spend the afternoon in Oia, but given the chance over, I would have spent the day in Oia. Oia is beautiful, it's where you will be able to see the iconic white wash buildings and the churches with the blue domes. I could have sat there and enjoyed the view all day. There is also a bookstore in Oia which is one of the top 100 you must visit before you die, and it's definately worth a look even if you're not into books! There's a saying in Santorini.. there's more wine than water, more stairs than streets, more donkeys than taxis and more churches than days of the year!

The next day we were headed Crete and ported in Agios Nikolaos and did the The Crystal-Clear Waters of Elounda and Spinalonga excursion. Spinalonga is cool and used to be a leper colony. We had the worst tour guide here, and I've no idea what she was saying the whole time. But it's a pretty little island! We then had free time that afternoon in Crete where we got fish massages, something you have to do if you've never done it before! We then found a bar along the beach and sat there and drank cocktails until it was time to head back to the ship.

Crete was the last port where we got to spend a full day, and the next day we were headed to Rhodes in the morning, and Symi for the afternoon. Rhodes is a beautiful medieval town so very unique. Our tour manager took us on a walking tour and showed us a few places like where they still have the moats (there's no water now) but it is something different to where we'd been. We also did a little bit of shopping before heading back to the ship. We then set sail for Symi, where we ported at about 5pm, just in time to have dinner as the sun went down over the harbour. There isn't a lot to do in Symi, except buy some sponges (these are great!) and climb up a hill (using stairs) to get a view. This night on the cruise, our tour manager arranged for a private party in one of the bars, and we had our own toga party.

The next day we ported in Chios in the morning, before arriving into Mykonos about 5pm. Mykonos was probably my favourite and I wish we got to spend more time here. We arrived just in time to get some quick photos before the sun was setting over the iconic windmills. We grabbed some Gyros for dinner (these are a must try in Greece!) They're a bit like a kebab, with potato chips/fries & a special sauce! We then headed to a bar, and partied in a club before having to be back on the ship at midnight.

There is also a captains cocktail on one of the nights, which is a great opportunity to get dressed up and get some free champagne!

The cruise also offer drink packages starting at 10 euros for the basic one, or 20 euros to do the unlimited (including alcohol) and we definately got our money's worth. The only problem is, your roommate on Contiki has to do it as well. So if you get put in a twin room with someone who doesn't drink, you could have some issues there. It's always worth asking the tour manager if she can have a word to the bar manager to see if they can do an exception, but in our case you couldn't.

The next morning our cruise came to an end, and we arrived back into Athens. Not many people stuck around the next day, and I was headed to Italy.

All in all, it's a great cruise. It was definately great not having to live out of a suitcase for a week!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask :)

Ireland

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Ireland October 9-18 2014
  • Karen Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries

ThIs trip was amazing! Traveling to Ireland was the first trip I've taken outside Canada. I'd been dreaming of going for years and when we had the chance my friend and I jumped at the opportunity... and Contiki doesn't disappoint!
My tour manager was Evan. I can't begin to say enough good things about him- he was hilarious (especially his Hollaback girl karaoke), knowledgable, entertaining, always has a smile on his face, and knows how to get us going. Our coach was masterfully navigated by Sammy who can drive a bus as if it was a compact car.
A Contiki tour is full of non-stop places to see- many included and a few additional add ons. We saw Dublin, Trinity College, Temple Bar, Belfast, Giants Causeway, Derry, Galway, Aran Islands, Blarney Castle, Jameson distillery, Guinness brewery, Cliffs of Moher, Cork, Kilkenny, traditional bands, cows, sheep...lots of pubs and it was ALL fantastic!
Last but not least- the people! I met so many new friends that are part of some of the best experiences of my life. I won't forget the Auzzies (and there obsession with how ridiculous Newfoundlands culture is), the Americans, and fellow Canadians (even though I'm a Newfie before I'm a canadian) who I shared this amazing adventure with! They all helped make the trip what it was!
I will definitely be taking another Contiki tour in the future!

My Contiki was: Amazing, Interesting, Ireland

  • Trina Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 0 Countries

My friend and I booked this tour during the week after Christmas and we had a blast. Our guide Giuseppe was knowledgeable and funny. We were able to experience Italy in a short amount of time. We went to the Colosseum, the Vatican, Tuscany, Pisa, San Gimignano, Verona and Venice. We spent New Years Eve in Florence! There are a lot of optional activities thrown in and it's best to pick what you want to do. Just don't be late when meeting the group! The bus was new and kept clean. Our fellow travelers were great and we made life long friends.

My Contiki was: Fun, Unforgettable, Educational

  • Max Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 10 Countries

This contiki tour was an absolute blast. The Austrian mountains, Switzerland, Italy and Greece are a must-visit for any traveler, and this trip helped me hit a lot of different places with a bunch of cool people and in style and comfort.

My Contiki was: Awesome, Sunny, Life changing

Simply Italy

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Simply Amazing

I can not really add much to the already 5 star trip and reviews below. Simply Italy, simply do it! :-)

  • lynsey12 Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

This was honestly the best thing i decided to do in my life! although travelling half way across the world was quite nerve wracking at first i cannot tell you how much it was completely worth it!

In this trip we saw everything there was possibly to see in southern america, i was at first looking forward to miami the most but was completely taken aback by how different places were! durango was AMAZING, moe's.. don't expect to be on good behaviour.. and texas was by far the peak of my trip due to a crazy band we met in a bar and had a rooftop drinking/..../ jam session all night, bus at 7 however KILLS YOU. but you find a way to get on with it.

the bus, no wifi, but it honestly doesn't matter, the people you meet become your best friends. i still face time the people i met constantly and am already arranging to go to australia and see them.

this trip offers everything but from my opinion it is a lot more fun if you enjoy partying, we had crazy day drinking sessions in the grand canyon and basically drank most nights. but there is something for everyone!!!

monte and ray ray were the BEST driver and tour manager we could of asked for. i cant tell you how sad i was to say goodbye to everyone when standing in the centre of new york!!!

if you don't do this trip then you will miss out on an experience that i cannot even summarise in words. just do it!

NO REGRETS.

My Contiki was: lifechanging, insane, PARTAY

For my first time visiting Europe, this trip exceeded my expectations. It was a good introduction to both London and Paris and sites that the cities have to offer. The tour staff were very helpful and friendly. You will see things like the Tower of London, Stonehenge, The Roman Baths, the Eiffle Tower, the Louvre, and much more. There was also a good amount of "me time" to explore the cities with your new found friends, but the option to see the things you really want to see if you so choose. Transport was good and the accommodations were great and in good locations. It's hard to pick a favourite memory from this trip but it was meeting up with great people and enjoying London and Paris overall. This trip is perfect if you are a solo traveler and are looking to see the main attractions.

My Contiki was: Fantastic, Awesome, Lot's to see

  • Sheridan Level 5 Traveler
  • 5 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

I've done a bit of travelling in my time but this tour has got to be the best one so far. Norway is so beautiful, I could look at my pictures all day. Russia: WOW. It's so different from any other country. The local guides there were friendly, funny and astonishingly knowledgeable. The three cities that we visited in Russia, to me, seemed very different from one another. The tour manager was amazing; Danny organised heaps of extra outings for the group and always made sure the special diet people were taken care of during meals. He was also heaps of fun along with the rest of the travellers on the tour. My favourite parts of the tour would probably be the Bobsledding in Lillehammer, the Boat Cruise to Helsinki and visiting Novgorod (because it's a beautiful little town on the river). I'll never forget what an amazing time I had on this tour and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to experience something new and different.

My Contiki was: Eye-opening, Unique, Fun

Grand Canadian

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Fantastic!
  • Simone Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Beautiful fun filled cities. Incredible Rocky Mountains with so many adventurous activities. Highly recommend this trip.

  • Taylor Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

A great way to experience Oktoberfest as a solo traveller. This trip allows you to meet a ton of people and experience the Oktoberfest traditions along with other activities like going to see Dachau, a castle, and a bike city tour. It's like making your own trip because you get to decide what you do everyday with no itinerary. The tour managers and drivers are always giving you tips about the culture, where to go, and what else you can do in the beautiful city of Munich.

My Contiki was: culture, friendships, tradition

  • Taylor Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

This tour was truly the trip of a lifetime. I couldn't have asked for better people, tour managers or drivers to be apart of my experience. Their knowledge of every spot only heightened my experience, and they went above and beyond to make it a special experience for all of us. I highly recommend this as a solo traveller as there were lot's of other solo traveller's as well as small 2-3 person groups. Go on EVERY Me Time Optional, it only enhances your experience in each city and gets you closer with your group. Lot's of food and drinks, sites, and memories. This trip gives you a taste of each city's culture, food, and sites, hitting all the most important. Most definitely an experience that I will never regret and that I highly recommend to anyone.

My Contiki was: adventure, enriching , culture

The only thing I would change is the organization of entry to the top of the tower which I believe was out of Lucy's control. The coach was clean and comfie and the hotels and Paris and Amsterdarn were nice but the hotel in London had wifi issues and was outdated.

Paris had the best food and London had the worst. Definitely take a canal tour and check out Anne Frank's house as well as the Van G Museum.

Our driver, Christian, offered us wonderful suggestions for sight seeing in Paris on a "ME" day. The pace was fast but we maximized the most of our time. My now fiance proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower and it will always be a magical trip.

My Contiki was: Fast paced, Encompassing, Fun

European Discovery

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Speedy

Really good trip! Had a very very very good time! Steve our tour guide knew so much about the area and showed us all the must see things! Would suggest it to everyone!

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