Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
Hands down amazing trip.
I'll start with the crew: they are so kind and very helpful, really knowledgeable about the area and even happy to swim/dance/stay up talking with us all. On our tour we had three, which I think is probably standard (Captain, first mate, chef). The Captain even shared some basic star gazing and easy navigation tips with us (because you never know). They were fantastic!
The Food: Excellent, The chef was constantly outdoing himself. Lots of different dishes, always had a salad available and hot food options at every meal, lots of eggplant :D. The Bar was always open but don't expect a huge variety. There was Beer, Vodka, Gin and Raki. The small amount of Rum that was available was gone by the third day. But there were tons of soft drink/juice options for us to choose from.
The boat: I won't lie... you're sharing a small room with someone you've never met (unless traveling in a pair) and it gets pretty hot. Sleeping on deck is a great option, bring warm pjs because it can get pretty cold at night (We went in May so I'm not sure how it is at night in July!) If you're sleeping on deck take your blankets/towels in for the because I notices things would get really damp in the evening so you may end up with wet blankets!
They give you a thin blanket, wool blanket and a towel but it's good to bring your own towel because they don't like theirs to be used for swimming (plus you don't want to constantly be using a wet towel).
Swimming: You're allowed floaties, and they have flippers/snorkels/masks on deck for your use, and it's really awesome exploring the water so definitely check it out!
Outings: You stop at a few sea side towns that are pretty cute. They were a bit dead the time of year we went but I'm sure they're a little more bustling in the summer time. When it comes to the paid outings I had my heart set on going to the mud baths but we needed 10/16 people on the boat to agree to go, so it didn't happen. Don't get set on going on one of the outings just in case it doesn't happen, that way you won't end up disappointed! We did go to the Turkish Baths which was ABSOLUTELY SOMETHING YOU SHOULD NOT MISS! If you don't get to do it with Contiki just go do it, it was a really great experience.
Boat life: I brought earplugs to sleep in, this is really helpful because you never know who will be up and different people have different schedules. The earplugs did not manage to block out the call to prayer on the first and last mornings while docked in Bodrum, but it was interesting to hear... for the first 30 seconds. I severely over packed for this trip, like I said earlier the rooms are small. I found it cramped and I only had a carry on, and my roommate had a backpack (lost luggage). Luckily my carry on fit under the bed, but I didn't need half of what I brought. We spent most of the day in bathing suits and put on lounge clothes in the evening. If you're cool with it just bring a small amount of lounge wear and rewear it. No judgement, we all did it. You'll need two outfits for going to the bar if you're into the nightlife but other than than bathing suits with a bathing suit cover were fine for all the seaside stops (unless they weren't and I was secretly just being indecent ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
We had an amazing group, I feel incredibly lucky to have met all the people that were on our tour and I absolutely recommend this trip!! I would go back tomorrow if I didn't have a job or need money.. sad adult life. I hope this was helpful!
Enjoy your Contiki experience!!!
This trip ran for the first time this year so our group was the first to experience it. I would recommend it. It is a short one as you are only there for a long weekend but good fun. We fitted so much into our time there. In terms of optionals we did a canal cruise on the first night where we got unlimited beer or wine and saw Amsterdam just as the sun was setting. We did pedal boating on the canals which was so fun - they are so hard to control and there were a couple of near misses where we nearly hit bigger boats and there was a four course meal in Volendam which was delicious. My tour mates were really friendly and I enjoyed meeting them. King's Day itself was one massive street party everyone was wearing orange and there were stalls selling alcohol and food everywhere. There were also DJs and a Funfair. As a helpful hint it is very handy to have lots of coins in Amsterdam as nearly all toilets even in some clubs and restaurants charge for the toilet. I found the price to be 50 cents on the weekend but on King's day the price was about 1 Euro or even 2 Euros in some places.
I was a first time traveller who was quite nervous about this new contiki experience, I booked my ticket and made my way to Athens where the tor started and I'm SOOO HAPPY I did!! Our tour manager Ed was so friendly and knowledgable, I instantly bonded with many people on my tour, everything was organized and any questions we had were answered confidently. I would recommend this island hop to anyone, I just got back on May 12th and believe this is the perfect time to visit the islands, all clubs and tourist attractions are open yet and it's not toooooo hot yet or busy.. We defiantly had no problem getting our shopping or tan on. Tip- do most shopping in Mykonos and Santorini as Ios has barely any-just the most amazing beach I have ever seen. The weather and be he's Contiki hooked us up with were breathtaking! Not too fast paced yet plenty of options available to keep you busy the whole tour, defiantly go on the pirate ship adventure to the private beach for lunch and ride the donkey in Santorini! AND the mud bath...I have so many new memories and friends LOVED THIS adventure and will be planning my next soon!!
Absolutely fantastic trip. I work a very involved job and didn't have time to adequately plan an Eastern Europe trip. Contiki already had all of the hotels, tours, sight-seeing and travel pre-packaged and it was really valuable to have a tour guide to bounce ideas off. I didn't think I'd do any of the ME Time activities and we ended up doing them all. I didn't think I'd end up hanging out with any of the other travelers outside of the friend group I planned the trip with and now, a month later, still talk to a handful of people from the trip on a regular basis. Would highly recommend Contiki for any international, non-beach/skiing trip where you want to hit up a lot of spots and don't speak the local language.
I have to say that this tour exceeded my expectations! We saw so many things and did so much, but we still had loads of free time to wander around and spend more time at places we had seen or to try out places our tour guide recommended.
Our tour guide Maite was so great!! She went above and beyond what she had to! She recommended sites, restaurants, and things to do. Our driver "sexy Fabio" was very qualified to drive in Italy's small and crazy streets with our huge coach!
The food was great! Gelato even better:) It is mostly pasta and pizza but so many different kinds, so I never got sick of it:)
Everyone on my tour got along really well, we had a mix of couples and singles but the vibe was great:)! Couldn't have asked for a better group:)
I love the history in every city we went to, not sure if I had a favorite place as I loved it all, I would say that since Venice was on my bucket list that was really great, the gondola ride was amazing also, our gondolier was Stephano, and he was so great also, made the ride enjoyable:)
I found the hotels clean and had air condition, I didn't bring anything to need wifi so can't really say how that was:) But don't go expecting Italy to be the same as here, the showers might be abit smaller, and the rooms maybe dated, but I went to experience different not the same as home, take everything in as an experience:)
I have nothing to complain about, it was simply amazing!! I would totally recommend this trip!!
This was my second Contiki in Western Europe, I chose to do another one because I had the time of my life the first time and didn't even have to think twice about doing it again. I chose the Winter Wanderer because it was the opposite to my first trip - winter rather than summer, hotels over hostels, travelling with a friend rather than solo and nearly twice as long. I was slightly apprehensive about the fact that this trip may not live up to the high expectations which had been set following my first incredible Contiki. But I had no need to be worried, this trip far exceeded anything I could have imagined.
Admittedly this was partly due to luck, we had the most incredible group of people and we all got along so well and still keep in touch daily. Our tour manager and driver were also a major factor that made this trip so amazing, I can't even express how much I appreciate everything they did for us, way beyond their call of duty. Like getting everyone together and organising free metro tickets on our first night to go into the city and see the Eiffel Tower light show at 11pm. Earlier that day our bus had broken down and we were stuck at a garage a few hours outside Paris for most of the afternoon, which meant we arrived in Paris very late and our driver didn't have any driving time left to take us on the Paris by Night tour.
Both our bad luck and the over and above effort of the Contiki team continued throughout the tour. Our time in Italy was effected by severe flooding and a short 5 hour drive turned into an entire day on the bus stuck in classic Italian traffic and twisting and turning through mountain ranges. This being said I wouldn't change one thing about the entire trip. Even though I'd been to about half the cities before I barely doubled up on experiences and sights.
Some of the highlights were jumping the queue to the top of the Eiffel Tower, visiting the Musee D'Orsay on our free day in Paris, staying in perfect Lucerne in the Swiss Alps, partying the night away at a sangria bar in Barcelona, eating far two many courses in Italy, visiting the Christmas markets in Vienna and Berlin, trying ice-skating at these markets in Berlin, the entire time spent in Prague and the Rjiksmuseum in Amsterdam. Although not technically on the Contiki itinerary, visiting Hyde Park Winter Wonderland was a perfect way to end the trip with a big group getting together and heading there once we returned to London at the end.
If you're thinking of booking this tour, just do it. If you don't have the time of your life then you only have yourself to blame. I loved every second! And remember, it's not just about the places you see but the journey along the way and the relationships you make whilst travelling.
I am typically a solo traveler...I like my space and to move at my own speed, but this trip totally changed my mind. The people on the trip, our awesome tour manager and driver and the amazing landscapes and sites of England and Scotland blew my mind. This will not be my last Contiki tour.
As someone who is a backpacker to the core, I was hesitant about how this would go... it ended up being one of the most eye-opening and life-changing travel experiences (and after backpacking more than 23 countries, that says a lot). I truly made friends for life. From the encouragement of my new friends to jump off every ledge/bridge/platform I could, to having a slew of people willing to join for a rainy day hike, to nights at bars or 26 of us in a hotel room laughing and drinking wine, this trip was my favorite travel experience to date. Oh, and did I mention that New Zealand is breathtakingly gorgeous?
The ME Time optionals are AWESOME and worth it. The Skyline dinner was worth it, because the tram ride up to the top is $30 alone (the dinner includes a return trip back up and the food is TO DIE FOR- BUFFET STYLE). All bungy jumping is a giant YES! The Canyon Swing might be more exhilarating than bungy jumping and each jump after your first is only $35. I took the flight to milford sound because I feel my limited time in a country was more valuable- absolutely worth every penny.
At Franz Josef, do the Tartare Tunnel Hike (be sure to bring a flashlight). Really cool to see the glow worms and feel like you're entering a horror movie like the descent (less scary, I promise).
I would do this trip again in a heartbeat.
Great Staff and people I had a blast even ended up taking an extra certification on the boat. The hostel is a party hostel so be ready but nights are quite on the boat. The food you are served by pro-dive is awesome
This trip was my first time travelling overseas by myself and I honestly had never been so terrified/nervous/excited in my entire life! As quite an introverted person I was worried about going by myself and having to make friends, but going by myself ended up being one of the best decisions I have ever made! I met so many amazing people on this trip, and it was easily the best two weeks of my life! Our tour guide Danny was amazing!! He had such extensive and helpful knowledge on everywhere we went - make sure to to go to his restaurant recommendations in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, they were off the beaten track and so delicious! Make sure to bring at least one jumper and pair of pants and some wet weather clothes, we had really unusual weather in Laos and we were all permanently drenched and cold for the majority of Prakbeng and Luang Prabang! Enjoy Vang Vieng, it was easily my favourite place on the entire trip. Go to Kangaroo Sunset and talk to all the staff there, they all have incredible stories to share, and make sure to write your name on the wall! Definitely do all the optional extras as well, like tubing and kayaking in Vang Vieng as they made the trip so much better! Also, on your return flight home, don't book it too early in the morning. Everyone gets absolutely crazy on the last night and I made the mistake of booking a 9am flight from Siam Reap and then having an 8 hour stopover in Bangkok airport hungover as hell without a wink of sleep. But most of all just enjoy it! It was one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to go on this trip and to see so many amazing places and meet so many amazing people. My only regret is not continuing onto Vietnam with everyone!
Best thing i have ever done! This trip was incredible you spent 12 days falling in love with so much history and culture of Italy. You really got to take time and experience cities and towns and not feel to rushed.
I meet so many amazing people on this trip and made some great new friend and the Enzo's (Tour Manager and Driver) were amazing really went above and beyond to make our trip that much more special.
Defiantly do all of the Extras as they are all worth it the only one i didn't like to much was the final dinner the food wasn't the nicest also the Gondola ride in Venice was to crowded with 5-6 people and wasn't what i expected, defiantly book your own. But everything exceeded my expectations. All hotels were really nice except for Sorrento but can't expect more as its a small town not city. All hotels were in pretty good locations either close to city centre or close to public transport. Food in italy is amazing as we all already know, defiantly try this cute restaurant in Castello, Venice called Marco Polo really yummy pizza for decent price.
My favourite places and experience on the trip
- Isle of Capri and boat ride around Island
- Florence, Statue of David and Bell Tower climb
- Dinner in Verona
- Venice and Palazzo Ducale
- Sirmione and boat ride on Lake Garda
- Wine Tasting Tuscany
- Sistine Chapel Rome
All in all a incredible experience and i recommend to anyone who wants to slow down and get a in-depth history and culture experience of Italy.
Thinking about doing the big indochina tour? DO IT.
It was the best adventure that I've ever embarked on. I was the youngest on the trip (19) and trust me, it did not stop me from having the time of my life and meeting some of the best people that I still stay in contact with.
Here are my tips for you that I wish I had when going on this trip and just tips in general that I can give to you:
- Take a backpack not a suitcase. It's especially helpful on the overnight train ride as a suitcase is too big to fit under your bunks so you won't have to be stepping over a suitcase from point A to B and it's just easier in general.
- See your clothes? Split them in half. I suggest bringing only one dress or formal clothes (for the boys) as there is really only one formal night on the trip and that's on the Vietnam part of the trip when you go to the Sky Bar. The Asian Adventure part is really casual. I wore board shorts and singlets around the clubs and I wasn't the only one who did so. A big point to make is that make sure you bring temple pants. At Angkor Wat they WILL NOT let you up the top if you're just wearing a sarong. You MUST wear temple pants.
- Bring some sort of playing cards, whether it be uno or just normal playing cards. On the over night train ride and the boat ride you'll get good use of them.
- At the Laos border make sure you get your money! I cannot stress this enough. I made the stupid mistake of not getting any money at the border and when I got to Pakbeng I found out there were no ATMs.
- The boat accepts all currency, so don't worry about spending all your kip on beer Lao.
- Bring a neck pillow! You'll be thanking me on all of those bus/plane rides around everywhere.
- Be prepared to spend money in Cambodia and Vietnam. So budget carefully. I came very close to running out of money multiple times.
-Laos has a curfew and the only place that's open after that curfew is bowling. GO! It's really fun and a really cheap tuk tuk ride away from Utopia bar or whichever bar your leader takes you to.
-Bring an adaptor. If you're from Australia like I am, you will need two adaptors for this trip.
- Take a couple days break from drinking. As much as you're going to come to love drinking around 10+ beers a day starting at 7am in the morning (as they're $1.50 in most places.) You need that break as you'll start getting run down like I was by the end of the Vietnam part. It's completely up to you if you take a break but I recommend it :)
- Be prepared to get the Contiki Cough. It doesn't hit you until you least expect it.
- If you get more than 5 hours sleep each night on this trip. I applaud you. Expect sleepless nights especially if you were like my roommate Amanda (love you!) who got awoken by me most nights at 3am.
- Go to the Ping Pong show in Bangkok. You won't regret it (enough said).
- DO ALL OF THE OPTIONALS. TRUST ME. They're all so great. From memory, the cooking classes were exceptional. No complaints. For someone who has no cooking history and can only cook pasta, I cooked some good food on that trip. The hill tribes were so much fun. IF you get to participate in their activities, do so. It's literally the coolest feeling banging wood on logs with the other musicians (just to name one of the activities). The Mud baths were so much fun, embrace your inner mud monster.
- Be prepared to get two songs stuck in your head. Every morning we listen to the Contiki song which is chosen by your leader. Ours was "Rather be - Clean Bandits and Jess Glynne" and "MMBop - Hanson".
Afraid to go by yourself? Don't be. Honestly I was in the same boat as you when I first went but when I met everyone it was like we knew each other for years. Don't be afraid to rely on your leader for advice on where to go and what to do as they'll help you every step of the way.
Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and do something. Do everything you can. I guarantee if you do everything that is given to you on this trip, you will have the best trip of your life.
I will always remember this trip and everyone on it. You won't regret choosing this trip.
Any questions that you may have? Feel free to message me and I'll help you out :)
Egypt&Nile is a trip like taking a time machine back to 5000 years ago with the magnificent ancient Egyptian monuments right in front of your eyes while listening to Sheriff tell you all the grand and glorious stories. (It is definitely not a party trip, but you do get to party on the Egyptian dress up night and the Red Sea farewell night.) I did all the optionals except the high dam and the light show, Abu Simbel is definitely worth of waking up 3am and 3 hours bus ride to see. Also, you are gonna see a lot of temples so it is a good idea to take pictures and make some simple notes to remember later which is which, some people are over temples at the end of the trip but remember you will probably never see them again and you did sign up because of the amazing Egyptian historical sights/monuments/temples.
Our tour guide, Sheriff is very knowledgeable, personal, fun and humble. He is the key that your Egypt trip will be guaranteed once a life time experience. You can ask him about anything, the ancient sights, Egypt culture/politics, extra history lessons/stories (while everyone was asleep on the bus, a few girls and me were up and listen to him telling the hidden stories of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony.) At the end of the trip I tried to ask him the appropriate amount of tips to give and he wouldn't tell me and said that anything is ok because he understood that us young people are traveling on budgets. I found out he now works 75% less due to the decline in the Egypt tourisms n yet he is still so considerate, genuine and humble. So if you are taking this trip, please be kind to save some good tips at the end of the tour for him :)
Now about the accommodations, I was happy with everything even though the Victoria hotel and the overnight train were not the best, but hey we are in Egypt to experience the real Egypt, not the Western luxury everyday life.Yes, you will probably encounter pushy sales or get rippled off on a few souvenirs on the first day, but you can learn, I did, and I haggled for the rest of my shopping trips and got the lowest prices for everything. If by the end of the trip, you understand Egypt a little more and can appreciate the good and the bad, and able to empathized with its current undesirable economical/political circumstances, and it's culture and people, then you did it right. This is the reason why we travel. You see, you learn, you understand, and you empathize. This is how you become a more open minded person with a bigger heart.
Tips: get the Egypt visa on arrival for $25, break your money into smaller Egyptian bills for easier tipping ( I exchanged approx $200 into 10s & 20s only, most places take US dollars so you can also prepare some $1,$5,$10 for back up, Google Egypt tipping for guidances too), the selfie stick my best friend gave me for the trip was so so handy, bring toilet paper at all times, bring wet wipes for instant shower(dusty everywhere because you are in the desert), power converter/adapter ($6 from Amazon,) external batteries for phones, small empty water bottle that can fit your day bag (all the bottle water you end up buying are big ones,) snack bars for in between meals, small sunscreen for your day bag,
Things I wish I had done:
get to know all my Contiki friends on day 1, since it was a short trip and can be tiring and I was tired to social at the end and didn't get to connect to some friends that I wish I had.
Extend 1-2days at the end of the trip and sign up with at least 2 people in order to to a one day Alexandria tour with Sheriff, I would of totally done it if I d know earlier.
Sorry for the mom like lengthy review, but I do hope you will be well prepared and have the time of your life on this trip! If you have any other questions about the trip feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
I did this trip solo, and I am so glad, a friend or partner would have definitely been hard to deal with on this trip, as you want to do what you want to, and to not have to worry about anyone was a highlight. I also skipped London and had an extra day in Amsterdam, where I met the rest of the people on the tour the next day at our hotel. Our Tour manager Sarah was absolutely awesome, she definitely made our trip, caring, fun, and full of facts. People got sick half way through the trip and Sarah was amazing, she helped out a lot and I can say everyone was appreciative of this, with the extra stops and just the notion of her going to each person to see how they felt. I do believe that had it not been for her our trip would not have been as enjoyable. Also take medication with you for general illnesses (flu, nausea, stomach bugs, sore throats, fevers...) and DO NOT forget a sleeping bag, I did and I was horrified with the cold. I loved every second of the trip, I would definitely advise that you take the me time trips, as it allows for a lot of free time to divert from the group and enjoy the things you would like to experience, and to have some time with the group is also awesome. I made some really great friends and I cant say I would have done this trip differently. Our tour driver was super cool, got us into the mood before a great party night, awesome, friendly and best of all she was a chick :) I think the places we stayed at was alright for just a short sleep and a shower, the coach is awesome and clean! Cant wait to do another trip!!! This trip was perfect for a short trip, however I extended with pre and post night stays in Amsterdam and Paris, you have to do this! Try and do it for the places that you enjoyed the most. I would also say try and go on this tour when it is not peak season, so that there are not too many tourists around, I felt like that ruined my experience in Venice. Try and do as many optional events/experiences as you can, if money is not an issue, just do it! But other than that I enjoyed ever second of the European Horizon!
I just got home from my trip, and I could not be more disappointed to be home. Our tour guide Carly, was absolutely fantastic; she knew historical information, where to go, where not to go, she joked around, and knew how to show us a good time. Our driver, Sandro, was equally as awesome!
Met 44 of the most incredible people, and met 7 people that will forever be family. The places we went were incredible, and even though most of the monuments we went to in Italy were under maintenance and covered in scaffolding , we were just as amazed. The parties were nothing but fun. We were unable to do the water rafting in Austria due to it being off season, but other than that I did almost every optional, and I don't regret one. the Paragliding in particular was my absolute favourite.
There were people that travelled solo, people in groups, and even couples. So if you're travelling alone, don't worry about it at all. Everyone becomes a family by day 3. I would do this trip over and over again.
It is a budget tour, so don't expect to stay at fancy hotels. That being said, we were always looked after and had accom needs met, no problem. Contiki on sites were always there to help.
My one suggestion is to bring medicine and lots of it. the #contikicough is real, and it is not fun. I had it for a few days and then got over it, then everyone got sick and i caught it again and its sticking around. So make sure you bring lots of cough syrup, cold and flu meds and lots of tissues.
If you're on the fence about doing this trip, just jump and book it. Best time of my life. Miss it already.
This was my first Contiki tour and my first trip to Europe. What a wonderful way to get back in to traveling! I know that I was older than many of my travel mates but that didn't bother me too much. Heading into Northern Ireland was an amazing experience! Maybe on another visit, I will spend a day and a night in Belfast...
Pros: Giant's Causeway, Derry guide tour, Aran Islands, Galway (will definitely go back whenever I visit Ireland again), Jameson Experience (not on the tour necessarily but so glad my tour guide decided to make an impromptu stop from Kilkenny to Dublin), Guinness factory...we happened to arrive in Galway on the closing weekend of the Galway races and it was the best nights of my life on that trip.
Cons: Losing money, thanks to the Euro and Pound...now I know why some many Europeans have been heading to the States to visit over the last few years. Also, some of the dinners included on the tour were kinda the same, in terms of entrees (some sort of beef and root vegetable mashed up). While the beef is good over there, by the third included dinner, I needed a change!
I made a few great friends, both on the tour and in Ireland, and everyone is friendly over there, even when they are teasing you! If you need to bring back souvenirs, just buy chocolate, even if it's a KitKat! Chocolate and Guinness has never tasted the same in the States after my trip...gives me a reason to go back!
Let me start off by telling you I didn't want to go on this trip. I had bought it as a surprise gift for my boyfriend. You see Italy was on his bucket list, not mine. However, he said no to the trip and I went anyway. Contiki is about no regrets and I wasn't going to let buying a trip for someone be one of mine.
Am I ever glad I went! Italy is such a beautiful country with so many things to see, experience and eat! Boy oh boy, do you ever eat. So many pastas, pesto, gelato, pizza, wine and more!
I had Margherita as my tour manager and Enzo as our Driver. Margherita is an amazing person with such a passion for her job and it shows. If you end up with Margherita you wont be disappointed. Enzo is such a lovely driver with some serious driving skills. Italy has got some tight bends to it and I never felt unsafe in his bus once. A big shout out to both as they both made this a unforgettable trip for me.
The places you will visit are breathtaking. This is a trip where you make it what you want it to be. Rain or Shine! We had a day of rain in Rome, and let me tell you it dumped buckets. Be prepared for the wet, but also for the beautiful sun! Italy has a beautiful personalty to it and it will give you many great memories.
I don't have much bad things to say about this. The only thing I didn't like was the Autogrill. Like mentioned by others, you make a few stops at them. You do spend some time on the coach and as a result you will have to make stops. You could complain about the stops but you will probably be to busy sleeping on the coach, laughing with your new friends, or watching Italy go by to really notice.
Contiki is about adventure, memories and no regrets. This trip had everything and more then I had expected. To be honest with you I had no idea what to expect when I booked it, but I'm glad I booked it and I can't wait for my next adventure with Contiki.
Since I've been home, I've been asked by almost everyone what my favorite part of the trip was. I've responded "The whole thing, I can't choose just one!", every time.
This trip fully exceeded my expectations. It was my first big trip and I traveled alone from the U.S. to London. My roommate was the only other American girl on the tour and we ended up being best friends. Everyone on tour was amazing and it was so interesting to see where everyone was from and where they have been.
Our tour manager, James, was the best! He did everything for us to make sure we had the time of our lives. He truly looked like a graceful swan on a lake but underneath he was paddling like crazy to make sure everything was perfect. He knew the best spots in every town and was great at telling us the history of each place we went to. I couldn't imagine doing another tour without him, he was so great! Chris, our coach driver, was also amazing. He had the best (and most random) music that would play on the bus and would always have us all laughing, dancing, or just kept us in great moods. Between the two of them and their awesome personalities, they made the trip.
All of the included activities were great. All of the optional activities are a must. Just do them. What have you got to lose? If you go home broke, but happy... it's worth it. I promise. Making memories with the great people you'll be surrounded by is far more important and worth it. The ghost walk tour in York, the high ropes course in Keswick, the Lake Windermere Cruise, Scottish evening in Edinburgh, Hadrian's Wall, and the Gretna Green group photo - they're all worth it.
The hotels were in prime location the majority of the time and were perfectly comfortable. We got breakfasts every morning and many included dinners (which were always delicious).
I honestly felt like I didn't waste one penny (or pence).Tip the tour guides that take their time to make your trip an even better experience! Each tour guide we had was great and interesting.
I cannot wait to take my next Contiki trip and I have already recommended this way of traveling to many friends. Thank you Contiki for such an amazing time!
This was my first Contiki and I honestly didn't know what to expect. I'm 30 so closer to the upper end of the Contiki age range, but this trip I felt had a good mixture of ages and personalities - some of us out for the party scene (in Prague beer is cheaper than water) and some out for the fantastic art and architecture. There was a couple of married couples, some people travelling with friends, but mostly other solo travellers.
Do every optional you possibly can. You'll regret not doing them more than the cost of them, and really the cost is very low as you do everything in a group - I was very pleasantly surprised on checking my bank balance once home! If they still use Ivan Galik for the tours in Prague, they should not be missed, he's hilarious!
Food wise, it's not great for vegetarians; there's a lot of sausage and schnitzel to eat and the alternatives I saw the veggies being given didn't look all that great. However, if you do eat meat, you're all set! Don't forget to try currywurst in Berlin (a bratwurst sausage in a tomato and Worcestershire sauce with curry powder, it's incredibly popular) and the tredlnik doughnut things in Prague. Try as many local beers as you can handle and visit the Schnapps tour in Vienna for the best Schnapps you'll ever have.
The crew we had, tour manager Alex and driver Johnny, were extremely knowledgeable and helpful and happy to have a drink with us (well, not Johnny - he was driving!) whilst still remaining very professional and with the group's best interests at heart. I did have an accident flying off my bike in Prague, no bones broken just a whopper of a bruise, but it was handled really well and everyone made sure I was ok and taken care of. Schnapps happens. Was still an amazing trip!
Really though, the best thing about the trip was the people with you. I had such a great time and did things I might never have done if truly travelling solo, and really feel like I've made some great friends out of this.
If you are reading a review, it means you are considering it. Stop just thinking about it, bite the bullet and go. I'm looking into my second Contiki already. #NoRegrets