Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
This tour was amazing! The friendships you develop on the way are so memorable, and you do keep in touch with them afterwards. As a solo traveller I walked in not knowing anyone, and I came home knowing that I have 50 new incredible friends from all over the world. The sights are spectacular, the ME Time Options are something worth doing.. especially paragliding and white water rafting. Our trip leader and bus driver, Ed and Chico were awesome. So helpful and always answering all of your questions. If you are wanting to do this trip.. DO IT. You will not regret it. A little advice... watch out for the uneven cobblestone in Amsterdam... bad things do happen (like breaking an ankle and waking up in a cast Day TWO of the tour) Thank you Contiki Fam for making this trip a life changing experience!!!
This epic adventure was the best 2 months of my life. They say that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer... Over the 56 days on this trip I happily learnt that this extends way beyond the unforgettable cities, different cultures and amazing experiences. But to the irreplaceable memories that were created along the way with lifelong friendships. This trip was so many bucket list ticks and dreams come true. The optionals provided were definitely once in a life time opportunities and allowed further exploration over places like The Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls. Our Contiki trip manager Charity was incredible - her knowledge, trip structure and passion made this experience what it was. Herself and our bus driver Jeff went above and beyond everyday to make sure we enjoyed every moment of this road trip. Contiki is lucky to have such a passionate and kind hearted trip manager and I was lucky enough to cross paths with her. After 2 months, 41 states, 2 Canadian provinces and 10000 memories I couldn't have asked for anyone better to tour us around this beautiful country. Traveling has changed my state of mind and I can't wait to see what the rest of the world has to offer.
Just returned from this trip. Had a great time. Very different to bus tours but in a good way. After docking next to other tour boats (top deck, croatia sail, travel talk) we definitely had the best boat. It was an A class ship and recently refurbished (2015) so the cabins and main areas were all newer looking with ensuites. Some of the other boats had shared bathroom facilities. All of our cabins were above deck on this ship which was great as it was hot at night so we were able to leave our doors open and get fresh air (there are curtains for privacy though). It is a little strange in the bathroom as the shower is over the toilet so showering is an interesting experience but the floor dries up pretty quickly afterwards so it’s not too bad. If you are sharing with someone you don’t know prepare to become close to them pretty quick! You don’t spend much time in the cabin though. Our boat was Panaroma. We also had wifi on the boat.
Most days were spent relaxing. We’d get up for breakfast sail to a spot and jump off and swim. Get back on for lunch then sail to our port for the night. Spend the afternoon exploring then dinner either off or on the ship (some nights) and then get ready for the night out. Happy hour on the boat then head out on the town for some dancing. We had a great TM in Roz (my 4th contiki and she was up there with my 1st TM). The crew were also amazing and I have to say it’s the best food I’ve had on contiki ever. Freshly made food by the chef onboard. Meals were always great.
I’d love to do this trip again, 1 week wasn’t long enough! Highly recommend if you love a relaxing trip with lots of sunshine, beautiful stops, great food and some partying.
Exploring and relaxing by day, partying by night! A spur of the moment decision to visit a friend in Mexico and then do this contiki is one of the best decisions I've made. As long as you stay alert (as you would anywhere in the world when you travel) safety is not an issue. On the whole, Mexican people are incredibly friendly and hospitable!
One of the things I enjoyed the most about spending time in Mexico was having to use my fledgling second language, and my Spanish certainly improved after using it every day for 2 weeks. Even if you only know a few words, the locals will appreciate that you're immersing yourself in their culture and will be all too happy to converse with you.
My highlights were:
- Guanajuato - The narrow, colourful streets and cool architecture is postcard stuff!
- Puerto Vallarta - Relax by the beach, relax by the pool, party by night. Make sure you do the optional cruise out to the Marietas Islands where you can snorkel, paddleboard and kayak in pristine waters. On board is a musical performance, all you can eat and all you can drink!
- Mexico City - A really interesting city with lots of history. Make sure you check out the Zocalo (Central Square) , El Angel de la Independencia (The Angel of Independence), El Castillo de Chapultepec (The Chapultepec Castle) and El Museo Nacional de Antropologia (The National Museum of Anthropology). Take care crossing the roads here!
- Teotihuacan - An incredible historical site where you can still climb to the top of the pyramids and get an awesome view of the surroundings.
- Chichen Itza - Probably my favourite thing on the entire trip. A stunning site of Mayan ruins.
- Cancun, of course! - Coco Bongo in particular. Unlike anything I've ever experienced before. It's like a mix of a nightclub, Moulin Rouge and Cirque du Soleil all rolled into one, with a crowd of thousands with balloons and confetti everywhere. You must also visit the beautiful Playa Delfines (Dolphin Beach) and get a photo with the colourful 'Cancun' sign.
Ish was my TM and did a fantastic job! Easy going, helpful and approachable, his travellers were always his first priority.
A safe, fun and incredible cultural experience. If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up here, on instagram or on facebook. I'll be happy to answer any questions you've got about anything! If you want to check out some photos of my trip and get an idea of what you're in for, I have many up on my instagram (@jonty_cabral).
I've done quite a bit of travelling over the last few years, and the Canadian Rockies is undoubtedly the most beautiful place I've ever been. Pictures cannot do it justice, you have to go and see it for yourself!
Highlights for me:
- White water rafting in Jasper - Never been rafting before and it was incredible fun. After you power your way through the rapids, you float peacefully downstream to the finish line with the best backdrop you could ever ask for. I even went for a swim down the glacial river next to the raft, where the water had just come off the mountains not even 24 hours earlier which was quite the experience!
- Helicopter flight in Banff - The best views in all the Rockies, views you can't see on foot. You get right up close to the mountains, which was incredible.
- Maligne Lake Cruise - The cruise out to Spirit Island is a must. Picture perfect scenery out on the water the whole way.
- Peak 2 Peak Gondola up to Blackcomb Mountain - SNOW!!!
- Capilano Suspension Bridge - A long, swaying bridge high above the forest was too cool not to check out.
- Vancouver Dinner Cruise - A spectacular sunset cruise on the harbour where everyone gets dressed up on the final night. Full of great food, drinking and dancing, you won't want to miss it.
- Athabasca Glacier - SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!
- And Lake Louise, of course!
A few tips:
- Stay awake on the bus or you'll miss all the bear sightings!
- Vancouver is an awesome city, make sure you spend some extra time there either before or after the tour.
Alex is the trip manager and is an absolute legend! You're in good hands with him running the show.
Lastly, if you have any questions, feel free to hit me up here, on instagram or on facebook. I'll be happy to answer any questions you've got about anything! If you want to check out some photos of my trip, I have many up on my instagram (@jonty_cabral).
If you are wanting to do a short Europe trip, i would recommend this one because you get to see most of the sights in Western Europe and you can add on a cruise option too! My favourite places included Paris, Hofgarten and the greek islands. One of the most unexpectedly fun parts of the trip was the 10 hour ferry trip from Bari, Italy to Igoumenitsa, Greece. We pretty much played cards (and some drinking games) which was great for bonding! If i could do it all again, i would, and there isn't much i would change.
Italy is stunning and this tour is a fantastic way to see a snapshot of the regions. Mixing ancient wonders and lazy beach-side days, this tour was a good mix of fast and relaxed days. Our tour guide Maite was fantastic, she was passionate about her country, always willing to go 110% for us and you could tell she loved sharing her Italy with us. If it wasn't for her, I would not have had as good of a time.
Some of the inclusions were not great (i.e the walking tour in Florence) and the wine tasting in Tuscany. The optional extra's were good, the paid dinners were fantastic!
Really recommend this tour for those who want to explore one country that has a unique and welcoming culture. Hopefully you will get Maite and have a fantastic time.
This trip was not what I was hoping for. Croatia is very pretty however very smelly due to them dumping their own sewage in the ports. Unfortunately the boat I was on had bed bugs and it room had a big best which meant we got so many bites. The staff on the boat were really friendly and tried to help in every way they could.
The boat was a bit older than most of the others so they could have done an update on it.
It was a very laid back tour with our tour manager not caring what we did all day. We could do as much as we liked or as little as we wanted.
Overall, I wish contiki had have handled the bed bug situation much better. They were not very willing to help and if it wasn't for the boat staff, I would have definitely left early.
Nice pace to see all the main attractions. Met a great group of people and got to see the main attractions in Europe. Accomodation could have been a bit better for he amount you pay but it wasn't too bad. The food was ok, possibly could have been a bit of a better range. The pace was really good allowin us to have Atleast 2 nights in each place, sometimes having 3. The best part of it would definitely be the end in Corfu! Georges boat is definitely the best optional and I would highly recommend it to everyone!!
This was such an amazing trip! The cruise was so lovely and the drinks package was even better. Worked out about $120 AUD for unlimited drinks for the whole duration of the cruise. The food was great and the activities were fun! Santorini was really nice and The accomodation was in a pretty good location allowing us to walk everywhere. Our tour guide Steve was really great and took us everywhere and was very willing to help. Met some amazing people on this tour and absolutely loved it!! This is more of a slow paced tour which was nice but I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see the Greek islands! I would even do it again!!!
I had a great trip and met some truly wonderful people, our trip manager Karina was fantastic, she did such a great job of motivating the group and keeping us all entertained, she was very knowledgeable on all the places that we visited. Our driver Artur did a great job as well, taking us to all these great places and loading and unloading our bags from the bus, he even came out with us in Prague on his night off!
This trip is an excellent way to see Europe if you don't have enough time to do one of the longer trips, however if I there is one regret it is that I didn't do a longer trip!
The highlights for me were Berlin and Vienna, both of these places have some wonderful architecture and history to learn about. I took an extra day in Vienna as you don't quite get to see enough with the included itinerary with Contiki, however Karina was kind enough to let us tag along for the day once our trip had ended. The accommodation was fine, however the hotel we stayed at in Amsterdam wasn't the best - tiny rooms and the showers didn't work properly in our room, it was OK if you didn't mind getting your skin scalded! But the trip wasn't about the accommodation, as Karina told us you don't go home and tell your friends about the great hotel you stayed at you tell them about all the fun experiences you had! :)
The included breakfasts and dinners were OK, basic but sufficient enough. We had a good selection of ME time optionals, if I would recommend just one it would be the dinner at Volendam - it was superb! I would have probably done without the river cruise in Prague, it was OK but we didn't learn too much about the city which I'd hoped for, the bike ride was a better opportunity for that.
If you are considering this trip some things to bear in mind would be there are a couple of long travel days, the longest being 8hrs from Amsterdam to Berlin - so remember that if you decide to have a heavy night in the Dam, which many of our group did! ;)
Another thing would be that I didn't know that we had free time on the trip, which is much my own fault for not realising. Have an idea of what things you would like to see in each place you visit so you can squeeze as much out of the trip as you can. Another thing to be aware of is that this tour is a "module" to the longer European Trail. It doesn't really make any difference, but it does make you jealous when you have to go home and the rest of the group are staying on to see some more great places!
Contiki doesnt cease to amaze me! Trip was awesome, mainly because of the sights and the tour guide who was an expert in egyptian history. Words cannot describe it. Just wish that we spent few more days at Hurghada enjoying the beach... Many people told be that I was crazy to go to Egypt, but, seriously, there is nothing to be afraid of. It is really sad to see such amazing sights without tourists... So just pack your bags and go, it is an unforgettable experience!
I dreamed about this trip for years before I finally did it and it was worth every penny. From the incredible memories that I made to the life long friendships that I formed, Contiki managed to make this an experience of a lifetime.
Not only will you get to cross off so many bucket list items: climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower, gambling at the Monte Carlo Casino, walking through the Colosseum, throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain, getting to sail around Corfu with George's Boat, riding a camel with the Great Pyramids in the background, wandering through the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, enjoying the night life in Budapest, and climbing to the top of Jungfrau Mountain in the Swiss Alps, but the amazing places and things you will see and do that you never expected make every moment worthwhile. Don't ever spend a night in or a free day at the hotel - go out and do whatever it is that your tour manager suggests, he or she will not let you down! And always do the optionals - the dinners are fabulous, the local guides are fun, and many of these things made our group the family that we are now.
They are not joking when they say this trip is high energy, you learn to catch up on Zz's on the coach and living out a suitcase becomes a natural thing. But going home completely broke and tired because you had that pizza in Florence, had to buy that cheese in Edam, or really needed those new shoes in Greece makes it worth the credit card bill when you get home. All of your friends and family will be so jealous of your worldly travels and you'll have some of the best photos for your walls.
Don't let the media or news turn your nose up to some of the more exotic Eastern countries either, they were some of my favourite locations and Contiki always made me feel safe no matter what was going on in the world. The hotels aren't always awesome, but you learn to care less because you spend so little time there except to sleep, the accommodations don't matter. And the location of most of the accommodations make up for it anyways - 5 minute walk from the Blue Mosque or a 10 minute metro ride into downtown really helps you make the most of your trip.
My tour manager and coach driver were an absolute blast - they were an incredible team and I can only hope they get to work together more in the future!
This was my first contiki and was recommended to me by a coworker. I also have friends that have done contiki in Europe and they all gave the company rave reviews.
As an American, I want to go to all 50 states and this was such a great way to tick off as many states as I could in a short period of time. The price I paid for the trip was nothing in comparison to how much fun I had. The only wish that I have is that I could have stayed even longer. And it didn't hurt that the crew, James and Chris, was amazing. They definitely went above and beyond anything I would have expected from them.
While some hotels and locations were more exciting than others, there is not a single day that I would have changed. The entire experience is one that you have to see for yourself to truly understand. However, my personal favorites would have to be Toronto and Chicago. Each of these cities were full of so many great activities that the days we had there were just not enough to do them all!
This was my second Contiki and it was just a much fun as my first. The optionals were all good fun and there was plenty of free time to go out and explore. Highly recommend the bobsled in Norway - it was such an adrenaline rush and not something you would do everyday.
Met a really great group of people and our trip manager and driver were always there to make sure we had an enjoyable time.
I was a solo traveller and most people in this group were too but by the end of the week I had made friends from all around the world. Finished the week with #noregrets
This trip was one of the best experiences of my life!
Everything that happened on this tour exceeded my expectations! Contiki was amazing and took very good care of all of us on this tour.
The accomodation: this tour includes accomodation in the Special Stopovers and Cabins' section of Contiki and although these places were not 5 star hotels, they were comfortable and exactly what you needed for your stay. Remember you will hardly be in the rooms. I did not experience any bed bugs and Contiki really took care of me and my belongings at the stopovers.
The food: The Contiki provided food was surprisingly good! At the Contiki Special Stopover's you got a nice full breakfast and dinner's were really fantastic and relevant to whichever country you were in. Hotel and hostels provided a continental breakfast which was satisfying.
The bus: Comfortable seats and always fun when the music was being played loudly. Great way to catch up on some sleep.
MeTime Options: Such a fantastic way of seeing parts of Europe in a really unique and special way. Highly recommend Paragliding in Austria, Gondola in Venice, Space Disco in Florence, Jungfrau Mountain Visit in the Swiss Alps and the Canal Cruise in Amsterdam.
Contiki cough: Yep, it's a real thing. What I and about 95% of the bus had was pretty much bronchitis. Once one person gets it, the whole group gets it. It never prevented me from doing any of the activities but I recommend to bring bronchitis-specific antibiotics, electrolytes, cold and flu tablets, and just general pain killers.
Also bring tablets for gastro - we had that going around too.
I cannot thank my amazing Tour Manager Mackenzie and Tour Driver Artur enough. Both were so professional and dedicated to their jobs. They both made me feel so safe and provided me with hours of entertainment. Mackenzie really knew her facts about the countries and Artur has some serious skill driving and parking that massive bus.
If you're looking at seeing Europe in a fast paced and fun way - this is the tour for you!
New York is an absolute crazy awesome place and I wish I could have spent more time there for sure! But luckily on the New York Uncovered tour you get to see a whole bunch of awesome things with lots of included activities, heaps of optionals and plenty of free time.
I had just finished the Grand Southern tour so this was perfect timing to start some NY exploring. We were taken on a city tour and were shown around some cool spots and were taken up the Empire State Building at night which was amazing to see the city from up high glowing down below in the dark - especially Times Square! We also went out to see the Statue of Liberty and learn how she was built which was really interesting.
I did most of the optionals and they were all great. The helicopter ride is pricey but it was an amazing way to see the city and the surrounding areas. The food cart tour is really cool as you get to experience lots of other cultures cuisines (so not just typical hotdogs and pretzels) and going up the One World Trade Centre Tour had the best views of the city by far. It also was amazing to see the city come back and rebuild itself with this amazing building and beautiful memorial down below. The TV and Movie tour was also good and our guide was great, but if you're not really into that stuff then your Contiki guide will point out enough on the city tour to get you by.
There is heaps of free time to explore as well. I was lucky enough to be able to see my favourite band Blink-182 play on our free night which was so amazing. So look out for gigs or sports events around the time you go as it definitely adds to the fun. I also spent the day roaming around parts of the city either walking or using the subway (which was quite daunting at first but gets much easier as you go - and Google Maps will tell you where to walk and which train to get on so you'll be fine!) I had lunch at an Italian market area called Eataly in Chelsea which would have been one of the best meals I had in my time in America. I also checked out the HBO and NBC stores (unfortunately I was there when the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon wasnt filming but that would have been cool to see). Another place that lots of people recommended when we were there was the Highline. It's an historic freight railway line up above and in between the buildings that has been converted into a walkway and park. I thought I wouldnt have time to go but the amount of people that told me about it meant it must of been cool so I'm really glad I took the time to take a look around and walk on part of the area.
And also - definitely DEFINITELY see a Broadway show. I know it's obvious but I almost didn't think I'd have time, but just drop something and make it work because I'm so glad I did! I saw Aladdin and it was spectacular and brought tears to my eyes (bias cause fave Disney movie) but heard lots of other people have great times at other Broadway shows. There are booths and apps and websites that will let you know what's running and will also give you discounts etc.
Our guide Dan was also super great, he's from the area and would tell us heaps of stories and info/history about the city and would join us on quite a lot of the included or optional activities too.
I would definitely loved to have spent more time there as there is so much to see in New York City, but on the NY Uncovered tour you see heaps so it's definitely a good way to start or end a trip after doing something like the Grand Southern.
The national parks, especially Yellowstone, was by far the best parts of this trip. the cities in Canada didn't really excite me much, just another city. Charity the trip manager was awesome, both her knowledge and humour. Jeff the bus driver was very cool. The accommodation was really good everywhere we stayed. Food was nice. Overall a nice experience.
Doing this month long trip was one of the best experiences of my life. I have always been a big fan of the American culture so to be able to immerse myself in so many different sub-cultures within that was an absolute highlight. It was my first solo trip so I was quite nervous but the majority of girls on this tour were solo so if you're doing it on your own don't stress because there surely will be others in the same boat as you.
I loved this tour as it gave you an awesome look at quite a lot of the States. Our Tour Manager was Jack Larsen and he had the most incredible knowledge about all the places we visited and was always giving us great recommendations for places to eat or things to do and he was always right. Our bus driver Marquis was a laugh as well and they both make sure you're having a great time and look out for you.
All of the included activities were great so make sure you utilise those and don't miss out! I did quite a lot of the optionals and enjoyed them all but my favourites were:
- Grand Canyon Helicopter ride: absolutely amazing, I keep going on about it being my favourite thing as there is no other view like it (definitely do the longer ride).
- Cirque show in Las Vegas: we went to the Beatles LOVE show and it was absolutely amazing. Definitely a different experience from seeing one at home.
- Rafting in Durango: if your trip is in the summer then definitely do this. It was super hot when we were out but the water was cooling and you get a chance to get in for a dip!
- Hot Air Ballooning in Albuquerque: This was an amazing way to see the city, I was pretty nervous about it but really glad I did it.
- New Orleans Swamp Tour: I intended doing this with the Contiki group but it clashed with a friend leaving the tour so we went as a small group and did a small boat which was so cool! Or guides were great and we saw lots of alligators and our guide was kissing them on the head and playing around with them! It was crazy but such a ridiculous and cool thing to see. Our Contiki group then went off to do it that afternoon (they would have been in bigger boats that may not have seen as many gators so be aware) and in the end it rained so they didn't actually get to go out at all. So just be mindful of weather or the season if there will be gators! So maybe look into booking it on your own in smaller groups.
Universal in Orlando: pretty straight forward on how awesome this is. A few others went to Disney themselves but if you want full on rollercoasters then this is the place. We smashed out almost all the rides in the two parks from open til close - we were exhausted but it was well worth it. The time we were there was also monsoon season so it did pour down a few times which was a pain.
Miami Speed Boat - this was really cool, it was like a party speed boat as they guides were rocking out while taking us around seeing all the amazing houses and views of the beaches.
Newseum in Washington - this again was by far one of the coolest things on the trip. I'm quite into newsey things so I absolutely loved it, but even if you weren't so much it had some really cool exhibits about the different ways media have reported historical events etc so I'd highly recommend.
You also don't get the opportunity to explore your start and end points with Contiki. I had been in California for three weeks before my trip so was able to explore places like Anaheim for Disneyland and shopping as well as Santa Monica. I went to downtown LA for one day during this time and it's really not that exciting. I did go to the Hollywood Walk of Fame the day before the trip started which was cool but LA was really not all that exciting. I do wish I had gone to Warner Brother's studios but other than that it's not all that great. On the other hand, DEFINITELY spend more time in New York for sure. I did the four day New York Uncovered tour straight after the Grand Southern, and even though I was so shattered and all my new Contiki friends were leaving, being able to get around their with Contiki was a huge plus as there were heaps of included activities for the area and great optionals.
All in all this trip was the craziest, coolest thing I've ever done. I met some amazing people who I now call close friends, the accommodation was all great and the food was good too. You'll have late nights and early mornings, but you'll be doing and seeing things that will blow you away so why the hell not do it??
This was my first holiday to Europe and my first Contiki tour. This was the best 13 days of my life! Nothing compares to the beautiful crystal clear waters in Greece! The highlight of the trip was definitely Mykonos! We stayed on Paradise Beach one of the most well known beaches in Mykonos. the party life on the beach picks up at about 4pm and and does not stop until 6am. We could hear the music pumping from our room all day and all night long! There is no place like it! Aside from the party lifestyle there is so much to see and do in Mykonos. The Mykonos town is simply breathtaking, so beautiful! All of our accommodation was great everywhere we stayed for location, except for Santorini as we were too far away from the main town and it impacted our time spent there. I found that the included dinners on the tour were never as good as places you could find on your own. We asked locals for recommendations, you can't go wrong! I'd definitely recommend hiring a quad bike at some point in your trip when you have some free time, I hired one in Ios and spent the whole day on it exploring the island this was probably the best day on the tour! I did most of the extra activities and I highly recommend doing most of them so you can bond with the group and make the most of the tour. This tour was the perfect amount of time. At first I thought 13 days was too long to be on a contiki tour, however we spent at least 3 days in each place and it was perfect! We had at least one whole free day in each place which was fantastic to kick back and take everything in! Make sure you get yourself a Gyros or 10 in Greece nothing like it back at home oh and... beware of the Contiki Cough, it is definitely not a myth! You will not regret doing this tour it will be the best contiki tour you have ever done I promise you!