Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
My contiki experience was not quite what I expected....it was so much better! I would have never been able to experience 8 different european countries in 15 days by myself. For me, the best part was being able to experience all this with other people my age. I'm really glad contiki has the age range limitations. Because of it, our contiki family was super close and got along great! We all hung out, stayed out, maybe got a little too drunk, and definitely had too much fun. The trip is very fast paced, lots to see in 15 days. The accommodations were fine, not 5 star, but not shit holes either. You're rarely even at the hotels/hostels anyway.. The coach is really nice. You do spend a lot of time on the coach driving from destination to destination. You'll learn to appreciate the time you have on the coach because it means you can catch up on SLEEP! I didn't mind the coach days. Even if you can't sleep on the coach there are lots of other people on the coach with you to keep you entertained during the drive. Plenty of charging stations on the coach, and they offer a limited amount of free WiFi. You can opt to purchase additional WiFi if you want. I wouldn't recommend it though because every accommodation we stayed at offered free WiFi. The food was fine, but I'm not a foodie so I'm not the best person to comment about food. You will meet tons of cool people from all over the world (this is my favorite part). I learned heaps about Australia from some mates on the trip.. Probably headed to Australia next! I'm not sure how contiki does it but the itinerary is spot on! You get to see all the biggest tourist attractions, have just enough time to yourself, keep your belly happy, your social media updated, and then off you go to the next destination. The timing and how everything fell into place was perfect! Amazing how they make that happen. Lastly I want to mention our Trip Driver Darius and our Trip Manager Britt. Driving in Europe is so different from the USA. I really don't know how Darius switches from driving on the left side in the U.K. straight to driving on the right side once we got off the ferry in France. From the crazy lane-less roundabouts to the narrow streets in Italy somehow Darius got us safely through 8 different countries without so much of even putting a scratch on the Coach. Props to Darius! He definitely earned my trust! Our Trip Manager Britt was honestly what made my trip what it was. Not only was she also in the same age range, she was super knowledgeable. From culture questions, to transportation frustrations- Britt seemed to have all the answers. In addition she didn't just send us on our way at each destination. She actually hung out with our contiki crew the whole time. She attended all the dinners, came to the bar with us, she even drank with us! You could tell this wasn't a job to Britt: it was a passion. Would I recommend a contiki trip: ABSOLUTELY! I have #noregrets at all about booking this trip. Great Job, Contiki!
I had an amazing time!!!! First time to Europe and it was great. Hoping to do another Contiki within the next few months!
My trip started in Auckland, heading to the Bay of Islands and then back down, finishing in Wellington. I went with two mates initially but met some incredible people along the way. Our group was full off awesome people. We made some great memories. By far I would most recommend rafting (black and white water) and skydiving (from 15,000ft) as "me time" activities. Ogo was great too, as was luging and our nights out.
Isobel was our trip manager. She was pretty great, very personable. The transportation was ace and our driver Aaron was awesome too.
Would definitely recommend doing a Contiki. It's great not having to plan anything, just rock up and have a great time.
Had the best time on my trip. Met so many great people. Did so many optionals. My tour manager Steph and my bus driver Jimmy were fantastic! I recommend a contiki tour my friends!
This tour was absolutely perfect. Every day felt like I was dreaming. My tour manager and coach driver made this experience over the top amazing. They catered to everyone's wants and needs to make sure we were having the best holiday ever. I was able to see 17 countries, all offering unique and a great time. The optionals, at times, seemed pricey but, mostly worth it. Just throwing this out there the first bike ride is about 20 kms, they seem tokeep that information to themselves. I definitely could've skipped that one! The accommodations varied throughout the trip. A couple hostels like in Zadar and Amsterdam were not the greatest but, you spend so little room in the accommodations that was not a negative for me. Especially when you get to stay in places like the French Chateau and other great places. At the cabins in Italy, they do throw you parties which are some of the best nights! 99% of my group were big on going out so, some places like St. Goar, there wasn't really many options for that but, our TM did her best to find places or force the bar to open at the hostel. The people I met on this tour were the best I could've asked for. Being a solo traveller I was nervous, but I gained a giant contiki family. I am still in contact with most of my tour and we have planned a reunion. I recommend not only this tour but this company to anyone who will listen. You will not regret it!!
The sights on this tour was amazing. Up until we got to Stockholm, it was hostel staying with 4 people in the room, and also on the ferry to Helsinki. After that, it was hotels, and you only have to share the room with one another person. I lucked out and had awesome roommates. The only hostel that wasn't the greatest was the one in Geiranger Fjord I think, and that was because we had no hot water to shower. But otherwise, not so bad.
The sights were definitely amazing, in Copenhagen, it was recommended from others that went, don't waste your time at the Carlsberg Brewery tour, they no longer brew any beer there, it's just a self guided museum that took like 10 minutes to go through. Also, on our day to go to the Carlsberg museum, there was an Iron Man race going on, so our tour bus was trapped and unable to leave the city, so the group took a free shuttle that is offered to take people to the museum. Our tour manager said it would only take 10 minutes (one of her many lies), it didn't, it took like half an hour, and those that went, were very disappointed. But if you want to go, I would suggest doing it on your own.
The food within these countries was amazing, I definitely loved the open faced sandwiches that I had the opportunity to try. But, it is expensive in Scandinavia, I would make sandwiches from breakfast and save them for our lunch stops. You'll notice breakfast isn't really breakfast like in Scandinavia, it's a lot of deli meats and cheeses with bread. There is one stop that we had for lunch where the tour manager will take your order the day before, try to pack your own lunch if you can, the food was horrible. This was at Boyarbeen Glacier. Also, the only tour meal I honestly thought was worth it, was the Russian beef stroganoff meal, all the other tour meals that you pay for as an extra, are not worth it. If you get the chance, check out other places for meals.
Of all the other excursions, the bobsled was really fun!! The smorgasbord on the ferry was overrated, but if you're up for the unlimited booze (gross wine and beer), then have at it. The Viking bike ride was a lot of fun, the guys that run that tour were great! The river cruise in St. Petersburg was beautiful!! Your tour manager arranges for you to buy cheap liquor, but if you open the bottle and don't finish it, you won't be able to bring it back on the bus. Our tour manager failed to mention that and made people throw out their paid for liquor that they bought from her!! People even asked if they could put it in the trunk area of the bus and collect it back at the hotel since they're were boxes for them, but she said no (this was our tour manager, not sure how other's are (more on her at the end)). The ice bar in Stockholm was neat, you get a certain amount of time in there, I was wearing a dress and managed to survive, if I can do it, so can you!! The ballet was cool in Russia, I wish we had more time exploring the Kremlin in Moscow, but our local tour guide was rushing us. To be honest, it was just the food excursions that were not the greatest, but all the other ones were! Avoid going to the souvenir shop in St. Petersburg that the tour manager takes you to, it's not worth it, just go to any other one on the streets, it's all the same stuff, and you'll probably save a little money.
If you get the chance, definitely check out a hockey game in Russia, especially in Moscow, so much fun and energy!! It's not included as an excursion, but some of us in our tour wanted to experience it, so another traveller arranged it for us and it was awesome!! Our tour manager was not happy about this because she was more concerned about losing her commission because people did not want to go to this circus thing, that is one of the optionals (which got cancelled because it was closed for renovations).
This next bit is about our tour manager, her name was Magde, and she was the worst tour manager I've ever had, and I've done 8 contiki's. I found her to not be very helpful, as well as others, throughout the tour. For example, some people did not want to do certain excursions, so when it came to finding our where to meet the group after an excursion were to end, she was not helpful in letting people know how they could meet up with the group. It was as if, she was punishing them for not coming. I don't think that's fair, because a lot of people had to budget themselves for the trip and could not do every excursion. Magde was also very short and rude to people on the tour if they wanted some more information about things, we realized she wasn't a tour guide, but she should have a bit of knowledge about some stuff. For example, with past contiki trips that I have done, I've had tour mangers make up little tid bits of other sights we could do during our free time, which is something everyone appreciates. Magde couldn't really be bothered. My biggest pet peeve was when one of my friends got hurt on the tour and Magde was absolutely useless. FYI, stay away from the monkeys in Russia, my poor friend, who I met on the tour, got bit by a monkey. When I told Magde that this girl needed a doctor immediately because she needed a tetanus and rabies vaccination, it was the biggest inconvenience for her. She felt that the priority was to find the guy with the monkey and see if the monkey was clean. My friend, who works as a vet tech, and myself, a Registered Nurse, argued with her that was not the route to take, my friend needed a doctor!! She finally listened and had the local tour guide help us locate an English hospital in the city. Now, in the past, when I've had to go to the hospital, or someone else needed a doctor, I've had tour managers arranges for this to happen, or accompany whoever needed help. Not Magde, she made my friend pay a local friend of hers 30 Euros to drive her to this hospital, and then didn't even accompany her to the hospital, I went with my friend. Where was our tour guide during this you wonder??!! She was getting drunk with all the rest of our group at a local bar! Nice tour manager, right?! And to top it off, she left the group in the bar, without helping some of them out who wanted to leave with her, and left the local guide drunk as a skunk with the group. Some of the tour members had to take care of the local guide because she could not even stand on her own! After this medical fiasco, other people on the tour starting coming to me asking for help when they were not feeling well, and there was another girl who needed a hospital as well because her leg had swollen up so badly, she may have had a clot. Again, Magde acted like it was such an inconvenience that someone got hurt.
So, while I did have fun on this tour, if you can find out who the tour manager is, and if it happens to be Magde, either do your own extensive research on what to do, or switch tours if you can. She does many other tours. On a side note, our tour driver, Paolo, was amazing and helpful when Magde would not come through.
It has now been a week since my Contiki finished and I am missing everything about it so much! I met the most incredible people who I'm sure I will be friends with for life. The tour leader and bus driver are awesome and take you to some incredible places - everywhere is so different and there's so much to see! The days are jam packed of amazingly fun activities and the nights are wild and crazy! Anyone thinking about doing a contiki you are making the best decision of your life!
It was such a memorable experience.
My wife and I got the opportunity to meet 80 awesome individuals and party like there was no tomorrow. It was one of the highlights of our honeymoon. I recommend this trip to anyone looking to have an amazing experience.
The good: fantastic locations, plenty of swim stops, better than expected food, cheap drinks.
The bad: piss poor accommodation, no air conditioning which meant having to sleep with the cabin door open, no security on boats so anyone could wander into your open cabin, Lack lustre tour guide who gave generic info and was absent far to often.
All in all a very mixed bag. Go if you want to party every night and see some great places but don't expect much sleep or comfort.
This trip was amazing, far exceeded my expectations, and the people were great, meet a great group of people I can now call my Contiki family, definitely recommend doing everything this trip has to offer #noregrets
Ireland was not my first choice, but it was my boyfriend always wanted to visit and I wanted to introduce him to Contiki so we booked the trip. I thought it would be cold and old and boring and full of older people, I WAS SO WRONG! The nightlife across the country is superb! We all went to the pubs every night and made unforgettable memories. What really amazed me though were the sights. The cliffs were 1000x more amazing in person. To this day, one of my fondest memories in life was sitting on the edge of that cliff, looking over the ocean, and taking it all in. I highly recommend the Merry Ploughboy and the Aran Islands. The only reason I give the trip a 4/5 is because this was a modular trip and so I didn't get as close as I did with my last group on a trip that wasn't modular. Still made great friends though!!!
Amazing tour. Amazing trip manager however she didn't provide as much local cultural knowledge during the tour and didn't play any culturally appropriate music as we came into the countries. Our day song could have been better, same goes for the wake up song. The countries we visited were amazing and I loved Italy, France and Greece. Amsterdam was fun but messy (I got VERY drunk and can't remember the night). Gorgeous Greek Islands and we got to see Samos instead of Kusadasi, Turkey. We should have been able to watch movies on the coach however we didn't have any screens - I was on one of the rare Pink and Black Contiki coaches while in Europe #winning ! Amazing coach driver and my group wasn't the best. I only made 2 friends and the rest of them wanted money from me at the end of my tour because I threw up in a taxi and they so-called payed the cost which honestly made my last day on tour horrible as I was very hungover. The tour itself was amazing - lots of fun and so many awesome optionals. We didn't stay at the best hotel in Lucerne, I wish we stayed at a hotel in the Swiss mountains which other tours apparently do where you can hear the Swiss cow bells up close (my brother did this on his tour in 2012). Albania is a waste of time and I hated it! It was different but I guess I can say I've visited Albania. We should have spent more time in Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia. We just drove through these countries - would have been nice to spend a bit of time to explore these little known but beautiful countries while we are on long travel days. This is my 3rd Contiki tour and my longest. I would prefer to do a smaller tour in more specific countries than a long tour. I also plan to see more of Switzerland, London, France and Greece one day. I also love Edam in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Munich, Germany was so much fun especially the HUGE pork knuckle, GIANT pretzel and Dark Radler (for those who don't like to drink beer). So much fun on Bikes and Dyks Optional and Mikes Bikes Tour. They should include a white water rafting optional in Summer - perfect weather and I was disappointed that it wasn't offered. I really enjoyed the Greek Islands Cruising part of the tour and highly recommend others to just do the 4-day Greek islands tour as it focuses on some of the most amazing Greek Islands in a short time in luxury aboard Celestyal Cruises. Budget easy and cheaper than doing the 33 day tour. However amazing tour regardless of a few hick-ups in regards to my trip manager, group and a few regrets along the way that I will NEVER re-do. Regardless amazing tour and have so many memories I shall never forget. I took so many photos of me and my travel mascot Quincey - I don't think I will ever forget this dream trip of a lifetime. Thanks Contiki! My trip manager's name was Suzie in regards to my comments about improvements.
I was very disappointed in this tour from day one. The tour is split into 4 boats which are pretty much kept separate the entire time so the people you meet in the meet up probably won't even be traveling with you and you cannot buy drinks from the bar at the other boats nor can you take your drink with you or bring drinks on board. You can only have Contiki people come and hang out on your boat. None of the other companies have these rules (or they just don't enforce them) so If you want to socialise you need to do it away from the Contiki boats. Our boat had a ratio of about 20 females to 5 males which is just not a good mix while another boat had a similar ratio but with mostly males. The two 'budget' boats are the same price yet one made the other look like a luxury liner it was so dodgy. The crew (middle aged men) were inappropriate with the girls onboard, It got very uncomfortable at times and I felt I couldn't walk around the boat unless there was a friend with me. You will pay extra going through contiki as they have a tour guide on board but to be honest the tour guides really don't do much so you are paying extra for nothing and then are told you have to tip them at the end of the tour! I'm fine with tipping… when it's been earned but the tour guides are basically on holiday themselves on this trip.
The kayaking in Dubrovnik was really fun, it's probably the only ME time optional really worth your time/money.
The optional dinners aren't really worth it just grab a group and find somewhere on your own I guarantee it will be better/cheaper than the places you're taken.
On a positive note our on board chef was incredible! honestly best food I have ever had. A few girls had very particular diets/ allergies and he went above and beyond to accommodate for everyone.
It is so hard to describe how amazing this trip is. Kirsty (our tour manager) and Rich (our driver) were fantastic - they were very knowledgable and organised. There was never a dull moment and all the optional activities were very professional. It's the perfect trip to meet friendly, like minded travellers!
This is a really fabulous trip. It was my first Contiki and I loved it. You see really amazing places and the organization of the trip overall is flawless. I highly recommend this trip.
Do most, if not all, of the add-ons. Since the trip is tightly packed, it's tough to plan your own stuff and they take care of all the transportation to the add-on activities, thus saving you time and $$.
Here's just a few things I would have liked to know before hand.
1. Hotel in San Fran is pretty sketchy outside but inside is fine. This made a bit of a rough start for me as I got in late at night.
2. They drop you off at a mall in San Fran. SKIP shopping, Take the initiative to go check out some of the amazing places they take you on the bus tour before the free time otherwise you may feel like you wasted your time here. I wish I'd gone to the Haight-Ashbury area and the Golden Gate park.
3. If you're looking for a physical challenge, don't do the biking at the Grand Canyon. It is a very, very relaxing ride. If you do both the helicopter (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!) and the biking you will not have time for a decent hike so choose wisely.
4. Most of the included meals are pretty lack luster. It's understandable since they are trying to keep it affordable but if you're a foodie you might be disappointed. Excluding the crazy, huge, breakfast buffet in Las Vegas, do not sleep through this!
5. At the Grand Canyon, make sure you take a good look at the stars away from the lit areas. They are beyond incredible.
6. You will be at several pools, but there is no real beach time until you arrive in San Diego. If you can stay an extra day in LA at the end and spend it at the beach.
Venice Beach (LA)
Hiking in Yosemite
Surf Lesson in San Diego
Helicopter in Grand Canyon (I did the Imperial version. Def worth the extra $)
Clubbing in Vegas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Overall great trip! Thanks Contiki!
This was my first Contiki tour. At first, I didn't know what to expect. All I knew, is that I wanted to see Ireland, and I was willing to go with the flow of the itinerary. From the moment I walked into the hotel lobby, I knew this trip was going to be one for the books. Our bus driver was awesome, very professional and a superior driver. I still don't know how he managed to drive that giant bus through the narrow cobblestone streets. The tour manager was very knowledgable as well. He was fantastic at navigating the group the entire week, always wiling to give advice or tips on the best places to see in each city.
This tour was surprisingly fast paced, but I was in love with every activity so it did not feel too much. We went bike riding, hiked cliffs, walked around downtown... We were always on the go, sometimes hitting 2 cities in one day! My favorite highlights were bike riding Kilkenny, pub hopping in Temple Bar, the Jameson Distillery, kissing the Blarney Stone, nightlife in Galway, biking the Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher (although it was so foggy we couldn't see them haha!), and the Giant's Causeway. There were so many activities in between that were fantastic, and experiencing them with my new friends made them that much more fun!! With this tour, you have the option of hanging with the group, or truly riding solo. Before I arrived in Ireland, I had every intention of exploring on my own, "sitting on a cliff alone to read a book" kind of dream. I ended up meeting the greatest of people on this tour, and I loved spending each day with them. But, if you wanted to spend the day in Dublin by yourself instead of going to the Guinness Factory with the group, you could! I love that Contiki gives this option. I had the most amazing experience in Ireland. I would book this tour again in a heartbeat. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! 5 stars indeed.
This tour is literally the best thing you will ever do. I was in a group with 52 amazing people and its 1 year on and a huge group of us are still friends and frequently travel around Australia to see each other! This tour is the 'contiki campsites and special stop overs' which means your accommodation is mainly in contiki caravan parks. The sound of that may put you off but what not every one realises is that the contiki camp sites throw awesome parties and there is normally 2 other contiki groups staying there at the same time as you. So not only does your group get to go to an awesome contiki party you get to share it with other contiki groups. The other tours ( hostel and hotel ) don't get to go to the contiki parties and they miss out massively.
My group bonded so much on this tour and 37 days together was NOT long enough! we didn't get sick of each other and we could have kept traveling. I went on this tour by myself not knowing anyone and contiki made it so easy for me to feel confident and safe. Most people on my tour were also there by themselves. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOOSE! You seriously wont regret it #noregrets
I just came back from this tour and only have one word to describe it AMAZING!!!!
It was the best 2 weeks spent with 46 amazing young people. The tour manager Matt and bus driver Carlos were both amazing. They both went above and beyond to give us the best experience.
The accomidation was good no bed bugs. The only downside on the accomidation was the showers in the hotel in the french riveria. I did all the optional extras and i'm glad I did, they were fantastic. The free time was great exploring at your own pace.
Be prepared for late nights, early starts, long days on the bus were you can sleep anyway. The buses are comfortable and have ample charging for your phones and our bus had wifi also. Also be prepared for alot of walking so make sure you pack a pair of good shoes for walking.
So if you want to spend 2 high energy, fast paced weeks travelling around europe definately do this trip you won't regret it. #No Regrets.
The accommodations at each island were nice and unique. I thoroughly enjoyed the Koh Tao (villas) and Koh Phangan (Shirlea Backpackers resort) very much. The amount of days spent at the three different islands were plenty to engage and partake in any activities each island had to offer. I signed up for all three activities and enjoyed each one of them. The staff on the 4x4 jeep tour were amazing and hysterical. The boat tours are BYOB (or adult beverages sold on the boat), which was pretty awesome. Koh Tao was my favorite due to the wild ocean life and beach scenery. In addition, the lady boy show was fun entertainment. Every day spent is definitely what you make of it. Get ready for the carb party because pad thai, curry with rice, fried rice in a pineapple, and pad see ew is basically the thai diet. I would go back in a heart beat.
Make sure to bring bug spray !
Honestly, has the best time of my life! The humans on our trip were beyond fun and such a great mix of people! We docked at a new island every morning. Each island was more beautiful and breathtaking than the last. Roz was our team-lead, and is so fun and helpful. She truly goes above and beyond to make sure our trip is the most enjoyable for each and every person! The trip is super chill and enjoyable - as in everyone is free to do whatever they want once we dock on the islands. We have family dinner and then go out together! The nightlife is HOTTTTTT! We truly enjoyed our vacation, and I highly recommend this trip to anyone looking to have a fun 7 days with views to die for!! :-)