Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
I was very hesitant at first on booking this trip, never gone with contiki or any tour group. Let me tell you it was the best decision! I am a world traveler and been to many places. Normally with friends on our own schedule. This trip I planned alone and was so happy that there were many others like me on the bus. Our group all got along, had many late nights and just a great time. Tour guide and bus driver (Hayley and Nick) were great! I didn't have to think on what I was doing next, everything was scheduled and anything you want to do on the contiki list, the tour manager books it for you. It was stress free and fun! Accommodations were decent compared to what I had in my head. Really no complaints there. Only one room was tiny for 4 people, but other than that they were great. You make great friends, always have something to do, and go everywhere. Besides New Zealand is beautiful, its a must place to visit!
This was my first contiki trip, and ill say i was really nervous, that it would be a disaster, people wouldnt be friendly, everything wrong, but when i got there all those got dismantled and i had the time of my life, everyone was real fun, and the trip itself was dope! my only regret was only doing 8 days, when everyone else on my tour group was doing 19 so i didnt get to experience everything they did, after i left, so if you can go for as long as you can because youll become family with everyone on your trip, and our tour manager Isobel was awesome and definitely knew her stuff, dont expect a perfect trip because youll always be let down, just roll with the punches and you'll have the time of your life, Dont go expecting to see everything cultural on this trip because you might not see everything, i went for a little bit of culture but mostly for the adventurous stuff we got to do, definitely going back again!
Having never been to Greece or its many islands before, i thought this trip would be an awesome way to see and experience the best of its different islands.
I went in September and the hot weather was just what i was hoping for after a poor summer in the UK.
I'm abit of a geek when it comes too Greek mythology and history so Athens as a starting point was perfect and it was great to see temples like the Parthenon.
Santorini was beautiful and you should ride the local Donkeys if you havnt before, its an experience.
Mykonos was great for partying and i recommend doing the trip to Delos. Ios again was great for partying and although its not recommended by the tour manager, rent a quad for the day and check out Ios. Just be safe and not an idiot!
You get a few free days to relax and do your own thing on the tour which appealed to me, beaches with clear waters and plenty to amuse yourself was spot on!
This trip has been the best idea i've ever had and the best choice I've ever taken. I have met wonderful people on the way and made friends for life! The atmosphere is special and unique, I was travelling alone and did't went into details about the destinations prior to my departure. The tour leader gave us hints of the best places to see in town and was ready to answer any question we had in mind. The time you get for your self and the time spent with the group is balanced perfectly, it gives you the chance to meet other fellow travellers and share experience and also gives you all the time on earth for you to room around. I have wonderful memories, pictures and friends I've taken back home with me. Although it was a total of 9 days I had the time to see whatever I could imagine, I have walked almost all over London and the same was in Paris but being wider the transportation was useful. The best part of this journey is that every time i think of it I just can't stop smiling :) Contiki has created such a great way to travel!
This trip was so amazing. I booked it on a whim to get to see a bit of Ireland and was not disappointed.
I was travelling solo and was worried about being on my own. Contiki is amazing as they take care of all of the details for you and help you meet some amazing people! I've never shared a room before but my roommate was so great :)
I participated in all of the Me Time activities and loved exploring all of the cities. For 8 days this is an amazing way to see the majority of the country, stay in nice places, eat good food, have fun with some awesome people, and to have a life changing experience.
I whole heartedly recommend it to anyone who is considering it! You'll want to go back again and again!
Had a good time on the Vietnam Highlights trip.
3 stars because:
- Do the tour in the warm weather months
- The incessant honking is annoying (culture!)
- Too many flights (the roads aren't great)
- and Do the tour in the warm weather months
Ha Long Bay vid:
I've wanted to go to Egypt for a long time, because it has the last ancient wonder of the world, because it's very different from everywhere else, and because it is packed with history.
You can watch an in depth 3 part travel vlog I made here, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL54jadu9qqk49i67zO0foqOmcOMxgb7MF, which will show you how amazing this place really is. We were taken from one jaw dropping place to the next. The tour guide Sherif is a master storyteller, and even after reading the reviews and having high expectations of him, I was still amazed at how good he is.
Like many people have said this is a historical tour, it's not about getting wasted, it's about enjoying the sites and experiences. This was actually an attraction for me being a non-drinker.
I did/got all the extras but skipped the Sound and Light show, Group Photo (Just take one with your phone), and the High Damn. I suggest budgeting to do everything and some more because there are extras not mentioned like adding a day in Alexandria (Approx $159), or a hot air balloon ride (was a bit too expensive for me). Most of our group did most of the extras so it felt like we were just continuing with the tour. If you're on a tight budget make sure you see Abu Simble (See video 2), and if you want to experience riding through an Egyptian town do the Temple of Horus (Start of video 3). There is also an opportunity to buy jewelry on the ship. (If you know you want to buy, go there first thing when on the boat and they'll give you a discount for being first).
Despite being careful about what I ate and drank, I was one of the unlucky people who got a stomach bug on the trip - I think I got it from my roommate :P. It definitely takes away from the magic. So stock up on toilet paper, small change for toilets and I would ask Sheriff for some advice to get medicine in Egypt because it's the only thing that actually helped.
We stayed a few extra days in Cairo at "Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa." This was definitely worth it because it gave us a few days to chill, explore Cairo using the culture tips we learnt on the trip and Sherif gave us some tips on places to see.
I felt safe on this trip, although there was a noticeable army presence around, and the hotel with issues mentioned in earlier reviews has now been changed.
This trip was not what I expected, it was better. Book your trip to Egypt now while the crowds are small, and you can enjoy these majestic places in peace.
I first must say that I have enjoyed Contiki tours and this was my second one. I really liked Spain and Portugal, maybe a more inclusive tour of Portugal would be nice. It was going back in time and Lisboa was just beautiful. Amazing city I would just go back to Lisboa and travel around. Morocco was an interesting country with a lot of culture and history. I enjoyed knowing the people and the sites. However, I was very very disappointed in the purchases I made for I bought some 2 leather bags and stunk really bad after I brought them back (so just a heads up DO NOT BUY ANY LEATHER, it rots). Also, you have to haggle a lot, even taxi rides, so it was pretty stressful to go around the city on your free time. And if you don't haggle you feel you are being ripped off, which some people do. I also bought a carpet which my friend and I felt we were coerced to doing that even though we did not plan to get one. I get the feeling that the local Morocco guide (he will travel with you throughout Morocco, so about 5 days) gets a cut for how many people buy carpets. (He was advising me how great they are, once in a lifetime thing, etc, etc, and fell for it, so I felt disappointed) So if you are coerced to go towards the back to check out the carpets, better just wait for everyone else in the main gallery. So I would not go back to Morocco, would have liked to stay more time in Spain and Portugal.
I have to start by saying that this tour did not disappoint! The 37 days were jam packed with new friends, sights, parties and fun. I now have a whole bunch of new friends that I will hopefully stay in touch with for a long time. The tour was very well organised and took the planning out of most things, allowing us lots of free time as well. Some highlights of the tour for me were:
- paragliding in Austria, simply amazing
- exploring Dubrovnik, a wonderful old city
- partying with our Contiki group and other groups too
- Greece! i loved both Athens and Mykonos
- Ljubljana, a city with such a cool vibe.
I was happy with most of the accommodation and food options, and some were surprisingly extra awesome too! If you think this tour may be too long for you, that's what I thought too but you won't regret it! Whilst it can be tiring, there are always opportunities to catch up on sleep on the bus, and you can party as little or as much as you want to.
If you would like to read more about the tour, check out my blog at www.beccaasjourney.wordpress.com where I've written all about it!
Another unforgettable trip!Highly recommended.Contiki rocks!!!
Best holiday I've been on, no contenders! I was an absolute beginner but there were loads of us having lessons and I didn't feel at all left behind.
The location is fantastic - even the very best skiiers won't cover every run on offer in the Brixental region. The contiki hostel is a 20 minute walk from the lifts or there are regular coach shuttles in the morning and evening. Add €60 to the advertised price to get evening meals - they are well worth it and a nice place to catch up with friends who you didn't ski with that day. The 2 nights where this isn't provided are "local meal out" nights and there are plenty of choices in hopfgarten, or if you go nightskiing you can eat at the venue.
Equipment hire is easy and cheap and lessons are easy to prebook or extend if required. As a beginner, the lessons are quite slow by nature but with a bit of commitment you can get some extra practice in the mornings and afternoons.
For apres-ski the contiki bar and common room are perfect or there's a bar open late in town if you want to broaden your horizons. Everyone is there for a fun, sociable ski trip and whether you want to relax or party in the evenings, you'll find people with similar ambition.
Only downside - unless you're on a shoestring budget, get the "meet us there" option. Don't underestimate how painful 20 hours on a coach with ski-battered legs can be!
This trip was absolutely incredible. I like to have fun but I'm not a party-all-night and then wake-up-early girl. This trip kept me constantly entertained while still being super chill! There were awesome laid back parties in places nearby the hotel. Went to a cool glow party in Whistler too! Most people headed back to the hotel around midnight but some people stayed out much later. It was really easy to find people that were in my same mindset.
Morning starts weren't that early and the drives were fairly short. We played games, slept, and got to know each other during that times. Like everyone else mentioned....you'll definitely want some motion sickness medicine on the drive leaving Whistler. That is one windy road. You can buy a pack for a few bucks at the store in Whistler. The drives were broken up every 2 hours or so as well. One stop was at an ice cream store in the middle of no where where the cows on the farm provide the milk for the ice cream they make. That was life-changing ice cream haha.
The hotels were actually way better than I expected. The hotel in whistler is dead center in the middle of town. The hotel in Jasper is seriously hilarious and really unique--also right in the middle of town with an awesome window view. One of my favorite bars was in that hotel. Hello, free unlimited pool!
DO ALL THE ME-TIME OPTIONALS. I was terrified to zipline in Whistler and it was probably the most fun that I've ever had. So glad that I did it! ABSOLUTELY DO THE DINNER CRUISE. Basically everyone does it and its sooooo fun. By that time, you know everyone and it's a great end to the trip--not to mention beautiful to be looking at the Vancouver city line from the water. There is a hike you do in Athabasca (Included) and it was one of the highlights of my trip. Glacier walk (also included) was pretty cool. Someone in our group proposed to his girlfriend up there so that made it even more special :)
My trip manager Mia was SO RAD! I was surprised at how fun she was--she'd come out to the bars with us. But still stayed super professional and always took care of us- even when we were sick (Contiki cough!).
Basically, you cannot take a bad picture in Canada. Everywhere you turn it's an award winning photograph. I went in September so the fall colors were amazing. Mia said the trees don't usually change that early, but they were having a colder winter, so it was really special to see. I went on this trip by myself and just about everyone did the same. It's now my preferred way of travelling. I met SO many people-most were Australian lol.
My only complaint is that I didn't do the longer versions (some people were continuing on from the grand canadian or the big west. :)
In conclusion....TAKE THIS TRIP.
This trip is by far the best way to see this beautiful part of the world! Not only is the itinerary jam packed in the best way possible, you get to experience it with like-minded people who you become close with very quickly. I was generally impressed with the accommodation, most hotels had a nice pool for us to relax in after a big day!
Our tour manager, Margie was absolutely amazing from start to finish. She truly cared about giving us everything we wanted from our holiday and more. Margie was also extremely helpful when some of us got sick along the way.
The optionals were all very worth doing! And there was tons of stuff to do alongside these. Highly recommend going Zip Lining in Chiang Mai!
The transport ran very smoothly, but I do recommend you bring some motion sickness tablets with you. Many members of our tour experienced motion sickness on this tour, even though it had never happened to them in the past. I also recommend a good travel pillow for a nice bus snooze.
If you are unsure about doing this tour, just do it! You will not regret it. Whether you are the party type or not- there is something for everyone and never any pressure to do anything you aren't interested in! The tour is fantastic, the people are amazing, the destinations are breathtaking, what more could you ask for?
A year later and I still reminisce of this tour. From the UK to Amsterdam each day is filled with memories and adventures you will remember for a lifetime.
It was far better than my expectations as you had a lot more free time to explore the things you wanted to see.
I would highly recommend doing all the ME TIME activities - I ticked a lot off my bucket list and also it was a great way to get to know fellow travelers.
The Netherlands, Venice, Paris and the Vatican were the main highlights for the trip for me. From the delicious food to experiencing the night life, it was a great way to explore Europe and get a taste for the places I want to go back to.
If you are thinking about doing this trip.... DO IT. Its definitely worth every cent and the tour manager, bus driver and contiki team are there to support you every step of the way.
For more detailed info on the tour check out my travel diary:
I have always wanted to go to Hogmanay as it is meant to be the best New Year celebration and it didn't disappoint. I met some lovely, fun people to share the celebrations with and had a great time with a mixture of culture and partying. the accommodation was basic but clean and really close to the celebrations.
I watched the torchlight procession and the fireworks on Chalton Hill on the first night and it was really traditional but lovely with all the lights. I had been to Edinburgh before so I decided to do the optional trip to Stirling Castle and the William Wallace monument which was interesting as I like history but there are a lot of stairs at the monument.
The New Year's Eve street party was great and we went to the cheesy pop music stage so lots of old classics. You can bring your own alcohol (if in cans or plastic bottles) so that saves a fortune. I would recommend wrapping up with lots of layers though as it is freezing. On New Year's day, we went to the Looney Dook where loads of people jump in the freezing cold water for charity. I was cold enough just watching. The optional activity was a 3 course meal which was delicious and well worth the money. We also had traditional bag pipe music so a different experience.
I would recommend Edinburgh and Hogmanay it is a beautiful city. This trip is short but enjoyable. There is a fairly long coach journey from London to Edinburgh and back but even that is ok as our tour leader showed films and TV shows and it is an opportunity to chill out or sleep if you want.
Have to say I found this tour a bit of a disappointment after doing the Grand Southern in the USA which was the best time of my life. Our tour manager and group were both not the best which put a dampener on the whole trip. Also, being at the end of the summer season meant we didn't get the best reception from the contiki staff at some of the stops. Instead of looking after us they were partying and celebrating the end of the season. The campground in Rome had a massive bed bug infestation which was a bit of an issue! Otherwise this trip is a good way to see the main highlights of Western Europe at a worldwind pace. Highlights for me were Amsterdam and Oktoberfest (which we were lucky enough to attend).
Had a great time on this tour, made a-lot of new friends around the world, experienced a whole new culture thanks to a great guide Kenneth. Already planning to go back this year.
The first thing that I would say about this trip is that you're paying for the accommodation and the knowledgeable guide.
In all honesty, the best thing about this trip was the fact my guide was awesome, knowledgeable and put in a heap of effort.
Looking back on it, all the sights we saw as a group - Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Ground Zero, Empire State Building - could all be done with minimal effort for a combined monetary value of a lot less than the money for the tour.
However, as our guide offered fantastic extras to us - walking across the Brooklyn Bridge together, getting pizza in Brooklyn, getting tickets for the basketball at Madison Square Garden - it was worth it.
The things I would change would be the fact it costs so much for just basic accommodation and some cheap included extras (as you took the train everywhere).
I would also add in unique optionals and give people choices. For example, explore the Central Park Zoo or Museum of Natural History, Empire State or Top of the Rock during the day.
While you definitely won't get to see and do everything LA has to offer, this 3 day snapshot tour will give you time to have a taste of this wonderful city and leave you wanting more.
I arrived midday of the 1st day and decided to walk around Downtown LA (starting from Contiki accommodation at the Miyako Hotel). While only a short stroll from the hotel, I spent a good 6+hours exploring, eating and drinking my way around Downtown.
The 2nd was spent at Universal Studios (the concierge and front desk staff can help you organised a shuttle to the theme park, however, I booked mine through a third party which covered all transportation) and down Hollywood Boulevard, while the 3rd was the day I left for the Grand Southern Contiki.
This Contiki doesn't have a trip manager or any bells and whistles - it's basically accommodation and friendly staff that you're paying for. You can make the most (or the least) out of it by embracing your Wanderlust and venturing out. :)
I definitely recommend this tour especially for a country like Egypt where you may not know the language and need to be mindful of safety. This is not a party tour, it really is about the history and culture. There were some fun times, but overall you don't really get much time on your own or to be out at night.
The best part of the trip was probably our tour guide Sherif. He was amazing and the love he has for egyptian history and sharing that passion was truly great to experience. He was both our tour manger and tour guide. If you arrive a day before or stay a day after, Sherif is around and can take you on a day trip to Alexandria. I wasn't sure about how to arrange this so I didnt do it but if you just show up he'll be there. Safest bet is probably staying a day after the tour so you can arrange with him while on the trip.
All of the sites had so much history. If you want to visit Abu Simbel, the reason for the high cost is because you need to take a plane to the site since it was elevated above the Nile. It was massive and great, but if you are on a budget you can find value in other temples/sites.
Everything was an experience especially the camel riding, overnight train, sailing the Nile, going to the markets, hearing the history behind the temples/tombs. When we went to the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, Sherif says our group lucked out because 2 of the best tombs that were closed for many years opened up. They were really cool to enter. In Luxor you will have an option to hot air balloon before dawn. DO IT. It was amazing. You have to get up at 4am, and there is a lot on the itinerary for that day, but it is so worth it. I think the downside for me was that I didn't feel like I had authentic Egyptian food or time to just roam the streets particularly in Luxor which seemed like a nice, safe place to at least eat dinner on our own. I believe Contiki is mindful of our safety which is why we mostly ate on the cruise ship (for stomach issues) and didn't roam the streets alone at night. The night at Luxor temple felt rushed and that was a bit disappointing. I did all the tours/optionals with the exception of the unfinished Obelisk and the sound and light show - didn't seem exciting. The day at sea in Hurghada was awesome. Though a few weeks after our trip there were some terrorist happenings at the same hotel which was quite scary to hear. Overall, I felt safe in Egypt, though I would say I went at a time when situations were escalating due to the plane crash and such. Still felt very safe especially once you leave Cairo. One upside of going now is that most sites are EMPTY. Sherif told us that before the Revolution it was difficult to even enter some of these temples. The weather in November was mild - high 70sF. I appreciated that when we had to go into the pyramids, tombs or temples. The hotel in Cairo was changed for my tour, so we didn't experience any bugs and such.
Overall great trip, great people, great memories.