Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
This was my first Contiki and first group tour ever. I've been on many vacations all over the world, but I decided to try this tour because I enjoyed the "no planning" aspect of this package and letting someone else arrange everything from beginning to end.
Our tour manager was Giuseppe and what can I say, he made this tour very special for me and everyone else in the group. He went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the whole group had a great time outside of "Contiki" time and as a result, our whole group of 50 people really had a chance to bond and get to know one another. As a result, everyone was very social and inclusive and we all had an incredible time.
I enjoyed the optional events as it gave me a chance to experience the local culture without having to research and figure out "what to do" in each city. Some of the hotels weren't that great, but towards the last half of the trip, the hotels were good. I feel like Contiki starts your trip off at the worst hotel and then gradually increases the quality so you can end on a high note.
I would recommend Contiki to everyone and would love the opportunity to do it all over again!
I went on Contiki with a friend of mine from work to see what all the fuss was about. We both lived in a regional town and were keen to have a holiday.
Let me tell you, it was literally everything I thought it would be times a hundred. Contiki was unreal. Everyday felt like a dream! The accommodation was good and even though some countries (particularly Prague and Venice) were extremely hot in the rooms, we overlooked it and didn't hang out there much anyway.
I found our tour manager knew a huge amount about the countries which made it much more interesting on the bus. She also was helpful with restaurants to go to and the best shopping areas. Ask the manager as many questions as you can! The food was good and I couldn't complain about any meals. The European Whirlwind trip was the best way to see Europe and gave you a taste of the culture there. Some countries I would have liked to see for more than 3 days but you can always go back yourself and explore later on. Although I got really sick with the Contiki cough and then bronchitis later on, I made the most of it. Everybody got sick and you just battle through it because you are in Europe of course! The best part about Contiki for me was meeting a bunch of random people who ended up sharing the same interests and humour as me. I would push people to get out there and introduce yourself to as many people as you can early on, especially if you are travelling solo. Don't stay in cliques and go and float between groups of people, that way you can say you made 50 friends! I would highly recommend going on this particular tour which is 18 days. Also, sign up to ALL the Me Time activities, they are brilliant and not that expensive. Say YES to everything and don't come back with regrets. Go for it!! :)
Traveled with my husband and in laws. I've done the Hotels only trips before with Contiki so I wasn't totally sure what to expect with the contiki stop overs and cabins. I can say that everything was adequate for the price. The cabins were fine for sleeping in and getting ready even if some of the showers were questionable. Some of the camp grounds were pretty rustic but all had a fun bar area with cheap drinks. All of the optional parties at the camp grounds and stop overs are so fun, just go with it and get into the spirit. There was no air conditioning at the cabins or stop over Chateau so the only thing I would recommend is to go during the months that are not as hot as August because it was super warm. Other than that everything was fine. The hotels and hostels were adequate as well and my guide always made sure to put me with my chosen bunk mates. Make sure you pack bed bug spray and regular bug spray for you body just to be safe. This can be an issue with any accomodation in Europe...especially budget ones. We sprayed all our mattresses and our cabins and didn't really have an issue. Do your research and be prepared! Sometimes things change so be flexible as well...this isn't a tour for rigid people who can't go with the flow. They do adhere to the weight limit for your bags so be aware of that. If you are looking for a relaxing trip this isn't the one for you. This trip is designed to give you a taste of each place so you won't be able to explore until your heart's content. You have to adhere to times of when to leave and such. We saw SO much in a short amount of time but be aware this comes with late nights and early mornings. You WILL have some long days on the coach but you'll likely spend them sleeping so I didn't have a problem with it. You will definitely have a lack of sleep on this trip but it is all worth it. All of the optionals were worth it in my opinion, especially the group dinners. If you want to skip one I'd say you can not do the bike ride or water bikes in Amsterdam but it was okay. Breakfasts are okay (typical European breakfasts) and I thought most the dinners were good. Our Tour Guide and Driver, Marine and Luce were absolutely awesome and really made the trip enjoyable for us all. Knowledgeable and fun, we couldn't have done it without them. I miss them actually! Overall, this was a great trip for what we saw for the price and we met a lot of new friends. I wish I was back on this trip now. If you can handle the fast pace and want to see alot, DO IT. Travel now while you can and make it happen.
The optionals were amazing! The view from zip lining was breathtaking and absolutely incredible! All the lakes we visited and saw were beautiful and stunning. The Pyramid lake and lake Patricia were surprises for us, and in all honestly, no picture could do those lakes justice. Jaw dropping! The Rockies too! Definitely plan on returning in the winter to hit those slopes, but those mountains, gorgeous! All the accommodations we good and comfortable. The crew, tour manager Alex and bus driver Steve, were wonderful! Super fun and full of passion for their jobs. I would recommend this trip to everyone and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat! Definitely exceeded my expectations!!
I had an amazing time on my first Contiki tour. Craig (my tour manager) and Marcus (bus driver) were on top of everything every single day. From Day One, I felt comfortable and excited to see what each day would hold. From the history of Boston to Amish farm visits to wild jet boat rides, this trip has it all. And even though it was sad to leave everyone at the end, I know that friendships were made to last for a reason (with that reason being that you can't go through such epic adventures without amazing people by your side).
I could go on and on forever about how awesome this tour was, but I don't want to ramble. In case you're on the fence about this: I read countless online reviews of different tour companies, since it is a big investment, and I read mixed reviews about Contiki. I will tell you, my trip was incredible. My tour guide was on top of her game and knew a LOT about European history and what to do in certain situations, etiquette, etc. (I'm from the USA). The people I met were amazing, I'll never forget them. Here's another thing I'll clear up: I was 26 when I went on the tour, I was worried i'd be surrounded by a bunch of immature 18 year olds. There were people spanning the entire Contiki age range from 18 right up to 35. If you're not a huge partier, don't worry. You can literally make this trip into whatever you want...if you want to club every night, you can. If you want to relax after a day of touring, you can do that too. We had pretty serious partiers, and we also had serious Christians if that tells you anything about the "party" level. You can do whatever you want, there's something for everyone. If you're a snob, and want only the fanciest food and hotels, maybe you should look at a different company. I was happy with the food and accommodations, but we had a few people on our tour who scoffed at some things. Not my style though...who spends that much time in the hotel anyway? To sum up: I haven't been paid by Contiki or anything, and I'd say GO FOR IT! This trip/company is awesome. I'm currently on here planning my next trip.
I went on the road to Athens plus Greek island hopping as my first overseas adventure. I was extremely excited and scared as I had no idea what I was in for.
It was the most amazing experience so far!
I not only got to experience all the cultures and party hot spots, but I have made friends for life, and 2 years later I am still in close contact with many of my tour friends.
I did almost every extra and the only ones I wouldn't recommend doing is walking tours in the middle of summer. Although it is a great way to explore and get to know the area, you are also very limited and it does get a bit boring at times.
I would always recommend going on the pub crawls as they get you into some amazing locations and it's the best way to get to know your tour. And you are also allowed o venture off on your own but it's a great start to the night.
Also the Contiki cough is a true thing, so be prepared to get sick at some point.
But it's so totally worth it!!
What a huge 45 days with a great tour team and people. I've written a blog about my experience so if you're crawling the internet like i did before my travels, this pretty much covers off what you get up to on the Ultimate European. Feel free to ask me any questions... Enjoy!
This was my first contiki and it was awesome! I went alone but made friends on my tour quickly, everyone was very friendly. The tour had the perfect mix of history /cultural experiences, shopping and nightlife. Ish was our tour guide and he was really helpful and made sure everyone had a great time. The biggest highlights for me were climbing Teotihuacan's pyramids, swimming in the Ik kil cenote, visiting chichen itza, shopping and walking around in Merida and the catamaran/snorkelling optional I did in Cancun? I'd definitely recommend this tour or the Mexican grande tour which this one links up with. The people who were doing grande all said it was awesome.
I can honestly say this was one of the best experiences of my life. the trip manager Jake was amazing. very knowledgable and friendly and because of him i will book contiki again :) the time spent in each city was spectacular. you get a feel for what each city has to offer. the group dynamic was super fun. I now have 38 new friends that i will remember for a life time. some of the best parts was getting to know everyone and who they are on the inside.
i'd say the only small part that can be improved upon is the transition from london to paris. it would be better to take the eurostar train for 3hrs instead of traveling the whole day to Paris, but still an amazing time regardless.
I planned this trip with my boyfriend and I was really nervous on what to expect from Contiki, but it ended up being the most amazing two weeks of my life! We got to see so much in the time we had. If it weren't for our tour manager, I definitely could not have gotten around the cities with ease and would have missed out on a lot. Areti and O.J. made this trip stress-free and amazing. Best tour manager and driver by far. It may seem crazy to go on a trip with up to 50 other people, but these people become your family and help you create memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. The hotels were comfortable and even though they are not extravagant, you're only sleeping there and spending most of your time out in the cities! I recommend doing every single ME Time Optional because it was the best decision I ever made on this trip. You're already on the trip so make the most out of it! Seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum in person is a moment I'll never forget. People ask me what my favorite place was and I cannot give a solid answer. This whole trip was absolutely amazing..it's so amazing that you're so bummed to be back home! If you're thinking about doing this trip..stop thinking and book it now! Now I understand Contiki's #noregrets..because you will not regret it!
This trip was simply incredible! I traveled solo and had the best time. I
t was very full on though, they really do mean high energy, honestly not a lot of time to chill out and do your own thing, but in saying that we saw so much in such a short period of time!! So worth it!
Our tour guide Marine and driver Chico were bloody brilliant too, they were both such good fun and always ready to have a laugh.
But something you should be prepared for is bed bugs, you will get them, its like the contiki cough. Just be prepared, take a cream over with you and try not to let your luggage touch the beds and put your sleeping bag in a plastic bag after using it. Be prepared when you get home to wash absolutely everything with hot water and then tumble dry, meaning your clothes will shrink sadly :(
But this trip was incredible! Paragliding and white water rafting are a must do!!
Everything was so beautiful but Rome was definitely my favourite.
This trip was what really set my travelling passion on fire!!
This was off the back of travelling around Palm springs, LA, Mexico and Hawaii.
I went with 2 best mates and met some of the coolest people in the world.
Jon was our coach and Rado was the driver. These two I bloody love!! They gave us all they could and were always there to answer any questions and partied like we expected them to!!
This was one of the best trips of my life time!!
Any questions, hit me up on FB. Would love to hear from other passionate travellers!
I booked this trip last minute as a 'friend' had dropped out on me and I needed a trip that I could go on, on my own. I can honestly say that it was the best decision that I have ever made because I had an absolutely amazing time!
There were 15 of us altogether split over 2 boats, and I managed to have a double bed to myself all week as my roommate was more comfortable sleeping on deck due to the heat. The boats were really nice, and actually quite comfortable. I've certainly slept in a lot worse.
A typical day would be waking up at around 7 or 8am (because the sun is just too bright and hot that it's impossible to sleep in), set sail around 9.30am for about an hour or two then we stop for a swim and breakfast, set sail again for another few hours then stop for more swimming and lunch, set sail again and it'd be another couple of hours to port where we'd dock, go for a walk around, have dinner and then hang out.
The skippers were brilliant and the breakfasts on board are amazing; literally the best jam I've ever tasted. I'd strongly recommend that you have the skipper cook lunch and then everyone just contributes towards it. The most we spent is 3 euro each and we had some amazing authentic Greek meals. I was little worried that I would handicap the meals because I'm lactose intolerant but this just wasn't the case. If you let the skippers know, they're more than accomodating. Whenever we'd stop for a swim, our skipper would tell a little about where we were and the history behind it which was great. Also, when we docked in port, the skippers would recommend stuff for us to do. We went bike riding, climbed 999 steps to a fort, went shopping, and best all watched the most amazing sunsets every night because the skippers would tell us the best vanatge points. One particular day we couldn't pull into the port on the itinerary due to the wind so we went to a nearby port and the skippers paid for a water taxi for us so that we could still see everything on the other island. They didn't have to do it but they did, which just shows how nice they are.
I really could go on all day about how great this trip was. It was my first time away from home on my own and my first Contiki. It was that good that within a week, I had booked myself another one. You'd be really missing out if you gave this one a miss!
Just a couple of sidenotes:
1) I'd give yourself a couple of days either before or after the trip so that you can get out and about in Athens because the tour doesn't encompass any of that; 2 days should be more than enough.
2) Your skipper is essentially your tour manager. You'll meet someone at the hotel who will take you to the port but they don't come with you on the trip. You're essentially left to your own devices and there's no 'organised activities' which is good because it means that you all bond as a group.
I really can't express how wonderful this trip was. Great people, beautiful locations, and so much fun! A particular shout out to our tour manager Nick and coach driver Marco, who made the experience extra special. They put so much work into making sure we were safe and had the most fun possible, I can't thank them enough. The food in Spain in particular is wonder, the history fascinating, the locals friends, and the events a load of fun and great exposure to the cultures. Of course the best part of contiki is making new friends and we had a sensational group. Can't recommend it enough!
#contiki #contikinick #contikimarco #justgowithit #toohotgoddamn #enriquethedonkey #marcoforpresident
Overall good tour! Not run how I imagined it to be concidering I used to be a travel agent. Fellow Contiki people on my tour said the Europe ones are run more efficiently but that might just be the tour manager?
As long as your into a lot of drinking and early mornings this is the type of tour for you. It's also a good way of getting around for first time travellers. I did feel like I was on the bus the entire trip, and when I wasn't on the bus I felt like I should be haha. On the bright side I did meet some amazing people and had a ton of unforgettable experiences!
For my second Contiki Trip, it didn't dissapoint! Visiting Italy has been a dream of mine since I was a kid and I finally got to experience it. While we covered a lot of ground in just a week, I will someday return to explore more of the area. If it is your first time to Italy, this is a good introduction and covers the main highlights. You will see the Colloseum, Vatican City, Venice, Florence, Pisa, and more. Bring some extra money in case you want to shop too! Again, as with my previous contiki, there was a good amount of free time and organized time. The optionals were fun and I particularly enjoyed the cooking class! Our tour guide and bus driver were awesome and and very knowledgeable! The staff were very friendly and provided the best recommendations for the free time. Because of the free time you have, I would recommend doing some research beforehand to know what sights and museums are in the area and if possible try to get a reservation/skip the line pass (something I didn't do). Another recommendation to make is to bring a few changes of clothes - especially during the summer as it gets hot. As well, bring a water bottle to avoid dehydration.
Accommodations and transportation were comfortable and overall, it was an enjoyable trip.
What can I say, this tour was my first contiki tour. it was the best 2 weeks of my life. ALL the hotel's were nice and the weather was amazing, my tour guide Steph was amazing she had a great amount of knowledge,she took us to some amazing place's and was very entertaining. The highlight of my trip was definitely the helicopter ride over the grand canyon, it's alot of money but
It's a must do for anyone who visit's Vegas. I was very unlucky as most of the people in my tour were very immature girls who were very mean to me and tried to ruin my trip, but apart from that my tour was amazing. My favourite place was New York, their was so much to do there anyone doing this tour I would strongly suggest doing the central park bike tour and the food tour. I can't recommend the best of USA tour highly enough and am going back next year to do the grand southern contiki tour if you have any questions just send me a message and I'll be more than happy to answer them
By far one of the best experiences of my life!! I certainly tested myself by throwing myself out of my comfort zone and travelling on my own. So much so I am now booked onto one of the Australian tour for October.. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. It was so well organised and every little detail was thought about. Every place we visited had something completely different to offer and the accommodation was great too! I won't spoil it all for you by telling you the things you will get up to but honestly if you are in two minds about this trip, I recommend you just do it!!!! In the words of Contiki #no regrets!
This trip is full on but such an awesome experience! You see so much and do things you would have never imagined in the 20 days. The sight seeing, the partying, the new friends you make, it is all worth it. I had one of the best times ever travelling around Europe for my first time with 49 amazing people!! You really do become one big family, and make friendships that will last a life time.
The accommodation and food well exceeded my expectations. Staying in little cabins at the contiki villages, makes it so much fun, as you're not all spread around a hotel on different floors. They aren't always that fancy, but it's part of the experience. All these sites have bars onsite, which is nice and easy for partying. The contiki team throw costume parties for you onsite, and they are awesome. You get feed pretty well on this trip, with 3 course meals most nights, and sometimes free wine with your meal, who can say no to that?
The optionals are a must do! Most people do them all, and it's a great way to bond with your new friends. In the end it's all about the people you share these memories with. Our tour manager (Courtney) said at the beginning of the tour "you saved to travel, you are not travelling to save" - so spend up and do everything you can and literally have no regrets!!
The bus rides aren't as bad as people make them out to be. You spend most of the morning catching up on sleep and you don't really get sick of the bus, it's actually quite fun, good time to have some down time and chat with all your new friends.
Recommendations would be to take some church clothes for places like Vatican City, you need to be covered up to walk around there. Also some nice outfits for Monte Carlo and a few of the other nights out. It can be a pain trying to find outfits on your free days in places like Paris when all you want to do is see the Eiffel tower etc.
You create the best memories ever with amazing people and Contiki treats you very well - such an awesome team of people! Missing all my contiki family so much!
Would do it all over again!!