Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
This was our first contiki tour and first time traveling and we were not sure what to expect as we were traveling as a couple. We had an amazing tour manager Margie whom made us feel more than welcome, she went above and beyond to ensure everyone in our group had the best time. Great activities with lots of insight and information about the histories of everywhere we went. Learnt a lot and formed some amazing friendships from travelers all around the world at the same time. Will definitely be traveling with contiki again. 10/10
This was my first ever trip by myself and it completely exceeded every expectation I had! Our contiki manager margie was the best! She was so concerned about all of us and made sure that we had the best experience we possibly could! I have definitely made some amazing friends and memories and I cannot wait to do another one hopefully in the near future!!
First off I would like to say that my opinions are my own and I'm sure many people would disagree with some of my views. However to those that are interested, here is my completely honest review of this tour.
1. Your coach is most likely not going to have phone charging facilities or wifi as advertised. This isn't that important but I feel like contiki shouldn't have falsely advertised this or at least mentioned the wifi is both slow and not free. I know no one comes to Europe to be on their phones but it was very misleading.
2. Almost every place you go you will be taken to a shop under the guise of learning about some of the items that come from their country, but really they obviously have some deal with the shop and want you to buy stuff. It's a bit unfair when we could have spent our time doing other things but are instead forced to go to shops where you just feel manipulated.
3. Expect not to have any time to yourself, I know most people who do this tour do it because it's fast but you will literally arrive at a place and 15 minutes have to be somewhere, it can be extremely stressful.
4. My trip manager and driver did an excellent job but at the end of the tour I couldn't believe they told everyone how much to tip them! I know contiki probably tells them how much to ask for but I thought it was ridiculously cheeky, and many others agreed.
The actual tour was super fun though, I can see how if you had a good group it would have been amazing fun. Unfortunately a lot of my group were cliquey/not very friendly but that has nothing to do with contiki, I can only say that this tour, and perhaps most contiki tours are likely to attract a lot of Australian bogans.
The special stopovers and on site team were great, and the hotel in Paris was really nice too. The included meals are standard, not amazing but they fill you up which is what you need. The me time optionals are all great too.
I would recommend this tour for someone short on time but just expect to get the hard sell in the shops and also if you don't want to do some of the me time optionsls they will pressure you a bit.
This is such an amazing trip! Everything you do is awesome from the sight seeing to the optionals--and do all the optionals! I cannot recommend this enough, it's the perfect amount of time and the perfect amount of places.
A few suggestions would be that you will need nicer clothing for some of the optionals in France and you will DEFINITELY need bug spray in Venice. Also, bring a neck pillow for the bus, I didn't have one and my jacket was not comfy. Also take a large beach towel for you towel because they can double up as blankets on the bus or if you do not want to get your sleeping bag out in the accommodations.
Again, I cannot recommend this enough and if you are even slightly considering it, just do it because you won't have any regrets and you will meet so many cool people and share incredible experiences. Also do not be afraid to go alone, I did and I am so glad for it.
The food is also great everywhere but be prepared to try some newer items that may be specify to the region.
This trip went so quick, but loved every minute of it!
It was a great way to experience every countries culture, history, food, their nature and beautiful monuments.
The trip also allowed plenty metime options to ride an elephant, hug a tiger, go water tubing in caves and much more!
The highlight was seeing Ankor Wat Temple in Cambodia and definitely just how beautiful and kind the people in Laos are.
I went in January and it was very hot, bring LOTS LOTS of undies as you will go through 2 a day from all the sweating! There was 2 places in Thailand up high in the mountains where it was raining and very cold and our group was not prepared for such a dramatic change in weather so bring 2 spare warm jumpers or jackets and warm pants.
Asia is absolutely beautiful an amazing. Hot, but it's so worth it to go. Asian Adventure is a great taste and intro to 3 great cities and I can not wait to go back for more. The trip is a highlights trip - only twice do you spend more then 1 night in the same city. Laos is a huge surprise, it's now one of my favourite countries. The only downfall was free time was limited - you would get 1-2 hours at most in between contiki's planned activities which was never enough time to venture too far away from the hotel to go see/do something that Contiki doesn't take you to. There are a lot of temples, an temple wear in Asia is dreadful but each is different, and fascinating so go to them all! Do as much as you can as the 2 weeks go by super fast and you want to get as much in as possible. You can always rest and sleep on the plane back home.
I had such a fantastic experience on the Egypt & the Nile tour. Our tour leader Sheriff honestly made this trip fantastic, he went above and beyond to ensure that we had the trip of a lifetime; from organising extra activities such as day trips to Alexandria as well as organising diving experiences for some of our group in Hurghada. He truly made the effort to showcase the beautiful sites Egypt has to offer. I definitely recommend doing as many of the optionals as you can. Egypt has so much incredible history I honestly was blown away each day of the tour. My personal highlights were Abu Simbel as well as the Valley of the Kings.
Accommodation wise I will admit the Victoria hotel definitely wasn't a highlight but was manageable, the overnight train isn't anything fancy but was decent for what it was considering where in Egypt but the Nile cruise accommodation was fantastic as well as Hotel in Hurghada. I really wish we had an extra night in Hurghada or even ended the trip there. I always felt safe wherever we went and security was always very present to reassure me of my safety. I only really felt uncomfortable in Cairo but not unsafe. I really was lucky with my tour group I couldn't of asked for a better bunch of people to share this experience with.
Some Random advice for this trip:
+ US dollar is accepted most places.
+ If you need Egyptian pounds before you tour starts there is an atm right near the hotel, just a few doors down.
+ You can exchange money at the Victoria Hotel.
+ Always aim for smaller notes and also try to have exact money or as close to the amount as possible in a few of the markets I spent a bit of time having to argue to get my change back.
+ Before and after the tour if your there extra time, remember that Egypt runs on tips. So remember to tip the people that carry your bags or do extra things to help you out.
+ A few of my tour members weren't aware but if you let Contiki know of your arrival times you can catch a free transfer bus to and from the airport.
+ Always have tissues or toilet paper chances are the toilets won't have it even in the museums.
+ Stock up on water if it's cheap generally around 5 Egyptian pounds for 1.5L you'll go through it faster than you think.
+ Clothing wise, Cairo was really the only place where we were told to be mindful to cover up. After that it's up to you however you will draw more attention the less covered you are. I found loose clothing to be best. Things like harem pants and tanks tops with a lightweight loose bolero or maxi dresses.
Hope this helps, like I said Egypt is an incredible place with such an interesting history. It's definitely worth the visit.
Everything about the Ireland trip was absolutely amazing. I felt I got the most out of every city we went to and I learned so much about Ireland's history and people. Accommodations were great and my favorite food was the Irish stew. I did all the optionals and they were awesome especially the Aran Islands and the Guinness Storehouse. Everyone on the trip was amazing, our coach was great, and shout out to Lee for being an amazing tour guide!!! This will definitely not be my last Contiki!!
Biggest waist of money. Contiki is terrible, their staff is terrible, 90% of this trip was terrible. I recommend a different travel group, or planning your own trip.
For what you pay, the accommodations are not worth it, and we did not see many things that were in the itinerary. If you like frat parties, this would be good for you. Basically this is a party trip...I could do that in my own country. Our tour manager only cared about the night life, and was hung over pretty much every morning.
Contiki indicates "no regrets"...this was one of the biggest regrets of my life! If I could rate it a 0 I would.
The European highlights tour was amazing. It is a perfect way to see all the major attractions you always dream about. The road crew make the massive cities like Paris and Rome instantly familiar and are super happy to help and point places out. Our tour manager Magdi was particularly amazing, having lived all over Europe, she truly had local knowledge and experience. The accomodation wasn't luxury hotels, but your days are so massive and awesome that why would you want to spend time in a hotel room? I signed up for every métime optional and I definitely recommend it, it helped me make the most of everywhere we went and all the tours were really informitive. Best of all the energy of the crew I travelled with was awesome! You become a large family who all look out for each other. Never been so sad during goodbyes for people I've only known for two weeks before! The best moment was the night in Paris. Everyone stayed out late to climb the Eiffel tower. The group barely knew each other but we were all looking out for each other and excited. It's the most beautiful view from the top at night. Glad I shared it with a bunch of awesome people.
I was one of two people that did this entire trip. When booking I think it is important to know that this whole trip is a combination of lots of little trips. People that came into it halfway didn't know that they were coming into it half way!
Never the less this trip was absolutely incredible. Contiki stays in the best spots and gives you an epic balance between free time, local and included experiences. Breakfast is also included every morning which is a huge help. My guide Ish was awesome, always recommended great activities and local food.
I was never once concerned for my safety, I loved all three countries and I can't wait to go back and explore more of them all!
First and foremost, plan on doing ALL of the optional ME Time activities. Contiki does a wonderful job of picking out experiences that are authentic to each area visited that also help support the local economy. There wasn't a single activity that I regret doing and I'm beyond thrilled I participated in everything. It's a great way to bond with the rest of the travelers on the trip too.
Be prepared for this tour, it's a fast-paced trip. Be sure to take advantage of every second you spend in each city. Your tour guide will have tips and hints as to what to visit whether you're interested in shopping, food, architecture or museums. Our tour guide Nick was spot-on with every suggestion he made. The best recommendation was to go to the Suso Gelato place in Venice. HOLY MOLY BEST GELATO EVER CONSUMED!!
Be sure to bring a bag that you can pack for one-night stays in some of the hotels. The place in Rhine Valley didn't have an elevator, so it was helpful to be able to pack a small bag to lug up the stairs.
When you have free time in the cities, try to go off the beaten path to find more authentic food places. The prices tend to be more reasonable as well and you never know who you might run into. A friend and I met the sweetest children's fashion designer when we hopped off the beaten path in Paris. It was wonderful to hear her story and how she got to where she is in life.
Bring a nice outfit or two. Everyone in our grouped dressed up to go to Le Moulin Rouge on our last night of the tour. It was weird seeing people outside of the normal jeans and jackets that night haha.
I loved meeting all of the people in our tour group. We've stayed in touch since the trip (6 months ago at this point) and we're trying to plan a trip that we can all go on again! That truly is one of the greatest take aways from the Contiki trip, the invaluable and lasting friendships that were formed with people from all over the world. All and all, one helluva trip and can't wait for the next Contiki adventure!
I was traveling alone and pretty nervous (I had never done anything like that before) but it turned out better than I ever could've expected! I truly made friends for life during those 2 short weeks and was able to see and do so much!!! If you are still debating, stop! and book it now! any trip it doesn't matter!
This trip was the best holiday i've had, and first Contiki experience. It was a very intense 2 weeks sightseeing some amazing places by day partying by night.
We got to see historical places which were significant to the Moors, the Romans, the Gauls, Celts, Visygoths, the British, austrian, french and more! Spain's history was incredible!
We tried of the Tapas, where you order drinks and get free food with them, food that gets better the more drinks you buy or you can buy your own more premium tapas which never got old!
The nightclubs were amazing and didn't even start til 1:30am, leading to many fun drunken nights and absolutely zero sleep. None of us cared about the lack of sleep, it was just too exciting to sleep for, there were always different options for those who wanted to drink and party, those wanting to relax, and those wanting a bit of both.
In the midst of the trip we got to leave the county on foot and see the British territory of Gibraltar which is bizarrely Brithish but full of spainiards.
The group was great, the hotels were great, the tour guide was great. My only suggestion would be to pay the extra money for twin share as I did triple share and found it too hard to get everyone showered and shaved in time during mornings and nights out. On the upside, my room mates were great and it was a good way to make friends quickly.
I have made friends for life and and found a new enthusiasm for travel. Highly recommended for those keen to experience Spain and Gibraltar.
In taking this tour for three weeks has giving opportunities to see amazing places in Europe and place I never though seeing or traveling to. Accommodation were great and traveling bus road was great. The group of people were awesome. I love every bite of tour. The best adventure I never took traveling alone.
Being a first time solo traveler I had no idea what to expect packing my bags and travelling across the world & I am happy to say it exceeded all my expectations. It is so hard to put into words the experiences I had through out the 9 days we were hopping around those little islands but I can say that I have made friends for life and memories I will always look back on & smile. If you are tossing up if you should go on this trip, ask yourself if you like to laugh until you cry, party all night, explore all day & become a part of a family you'll never forget, do it! All the guides through Asia are amazing too so you are guaranteed a good time! Until next time Contiki!! Thanks for a wild one!
This was my very first Contiki, but I guarantee that it won't be my last. The famous Sherif was everything the reviews say and took such good care of us. Of course, the people made it so worthwhile! The sites are absolutely amazing and there really isn't anything like them. My only complaint with the trip is the cost. You really will want to do almost all of the excursions, so add about $300 to the trip cost to get a feel for the real price. If there is one excursion that I'd say you absolutely can't miss, it's the Red Sea. AMAZING!
This was my first trip overseas, and probably the best way to experience everything I did. Thailand is such a beautiful place, especially on this trip. I got to see a lot more and do more then I would of with an alcoholic mates from home. Instead, I got to do it all with a bunch of "apparent" alcoholics from all over the world. It was mostly the people I got to share this trip with that made it all for me. The tour guide, Shannon, was absolutely fantastic! With her mood continuously being happy, it reflected on us and made the trip that much better! With the trip itself, no one was ever alone and always in groups either drinking or relaxing. For me, being Australian, that is perfect!! All the accommodation was just right for the area which was nice. Especially Koh Tao, with the jungle like rooms. They were just perfect to the last detail. There was so many GREAT moments on the trip, none of them being appropriate, but one I can say, I was in the spot light on a main show and made to dress up..
But over all, this was the absolute best way I could see Thailand! Well to start it anyway. Thank you Shannon and the Contiki crew, this coming from "Skippy" from AUS.
Although there will be place in my heart for my First Contiki. (European Highlights May '08) This hands down was the best Contiki trip I ever experienced. The food was amazing, the views were amazing and the crew was amazing. Our tour group was 70+ people and yet we managed to have a good time. We saw Lil Jon, jumped off pirate ships to a secluded beach and partied all day and night. I've done several Contiki trips but one was all around the best one. I'm not sure if my next one can even compete.
This was my first time to Europe and the first time traveling by myself. I could not have had a better first time experience with Contiki!!!! I had a great time with everyone and we had a great tour manager, Tim and an awesome bus driver, Max.
Every day was fun and the nights where so much fun! Almost every night we went out, Liverpool, Carlisle, Edinburgh(x2), Oban and Glasgow!!!
When you go to Loch Ness you have to jump in just to say you have done it!!! It was freezing cold but lots of fun!
I would recommend arriving in London a day or two before the tour starts if you wan to do some sight seeing. I didn't do that and didn't get time to see London except for the bus tour.
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