Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
I booked this trip on a complete whim and was so nervous about going out alone but there was no need. From the first moment I met my tour mates, I had the time of my life and didn't experience a single moment of regret or doubt.
18 days is probably the perfect length for the tour and it'll fly by like you won't believe - I was nowhere near ready to leave all the amazing friends I'd made and tears were flowing on the last day.
High energy is definitely a good way to describe the tour and I'm totally not a party animal back home so I was scared that I wouldn't fit in here. If you're the same, don't worry. You're with such fantastic people that you want to spend each and every night partying with them. Be prepared for early morning while hungover to be tough for the first few days but by halfway through, we all just caught up on sleep on the coach. #noregrets
I was concerned that long days on the coach would be boring and take away from seeing the cities but for me, the journeys flew by. Everyone would doze off until the first service station stop, then chat or watch a movie for the rest of the time. Take a neck pillow!! Also, you'll get sick - almost everyone on my tour did. Take cough medicine and cold and flu stuff but a few shots did the trick as a quick fix for a night out too ;)
Everywhere we stayed was decent enough - some obviously nicer than others - but you spend so little time in the hostels that it doesn't matter. Breakfasts were a bit lackluster but did the job, and included dinners were nice except for the hostel in Berlin. There's a great pizza place nearby though! Staying at the campsites and Contiki run places was fun too and the party nights they held were some of my favourite nights of the trip - especially in Austria.
My favourite optional extras were the Amsterdam river cruise and dinner, Berlin walking tour, white water rafting and the gondola ride in Venice. The walking tours in Italy weren't great in my opinion but it's probably the easiest way to see the Vatican City and Colosseum.
Tony and Darius, our tour manager and driver, were absolutely incredible and I can't count the number of times I nearly cried laughing on the trip. Both went out of their way to make sure everybody was happy and the talks Tony gave about each country were really interesting. We made several stops along the way that weren't in our itinerary - an amazing scenic spot in Switzerland for photos and Dachau concentration camp were my favourites - and their commitment to doing this for us made the trip just that little bit more special.
It was honestly the best three weeks of my life and I'd encourage anybody to do it - I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat if I could!
"Go big or go home"
We saw the east and west of Canada including Boston (which was one of a highlights) our tour manager organised us to see a red sox game which was one of my favourite experiences! Highlights in Canada was Quebec, Montreal (especially the nightlife) and Banff, Jasper and Whistler were all so beautiful! The me time options were amazing! Overall would recommend Contiki to anyone! Would also recommend contiki phil, he organised so much for us that exceeded expectations and he made sure everyone on the tour bus got to know each other and it really felt like family at the end! The worst part was saying our goodbyes :(
If anyone is worried about the length of the trip, 18 days goes by in a flash. The bonds you make with people on the trip is incredible in such a short amount of time. Everyone got along and interacted with everyone. Tears were definitely shed when the last day came around, but you make friends for life.
It also helped that our tour manager Tony, and our driver Darius were outstanding. Both hilarious, kind, and knew so much about each place we visited. They tried so hard to make this trip worthwhile.
Every place we visited had something special about it, whether it was the view, the history or the night life, you will find something amazing.
I must admit some of the me time options or walking tours did seem to drag on at times, but the majority of the optionals were loads of fun. Definitely try and do most of the me-times, worth the money.
The places we stayed in were really great for the most part, the usual hotel Contiki stays at in Paris seemed very sketchy but our amazing tour manager and driver managed to get us transferred so we had no issues. Just a tip, don't expected the breakfasts to be anything special. Some places had really nice ones, but the first half of the trip were mostly some toast and a bit of fruit or yoghurt. The dinners in general were really good, with the exception of the hostel in Berlin.
This tour is high energy, and everyone is ready to party, so be prepared for every night to be a Saturday night and every morning to be a Monday. The amount of alcohol consumed on this trip is incredible. But even if you stay in for a few nights, you'll have great company and still have a fantastic time. For our trip, majority of us got very little sleep at night but we caught up on sleep on the coach so you'll be fine.
Contiki has honestly changed my life for the better, opened my eyes to the world and allowed me to make amazing friends. No one was ready to come home but take advantage of your time in Europe and stay extra days in Paris or continue your travels.
#noregrets #contikitony #gobigorgohome #getin
My favorite islands were Rhodes, Santorini, & Mykonos .. I didn't think Ephesus was all that great, it was also really hot outside when we were in turkey. I loved that on a cruise ship you keep the same room and only need to pack/unpack once. The casino and parties on the cruise ship (toga party, karaoke) were alot of fun !!! Crete and Patmos didn't have much but the other islands made up for it. The 2 excursions i would recommend are RHODES via donkey and also SANTORINI, you don't really need to pay for the other ones. We had a really great group of people in my contiki so that made everything pretty awesome as well. If you are staying at the president hotel the first night you should go to Gazi afterwards if you are looking for a place to party.
This was one of the best experiences I've ever had! I had so much fun on this trip and made life long friends that I ended up living with in England. I can't rave about this tour enough. It was 100% a party trip and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to drink and have a good time.
This trip was amazing! It was a real cultural experience! As well as meeting some amazing people, I also learnt so much about Vietnam. The food was delicious, the accommodation was great and I loved that most of the travelling were flights and not bus! That made it so easy and less tiring then other tours I have done in the past.
So glad I went on my trip, it was the best holiday I have had! Awesome group of people made for awesome times, we couldn't have done it all with out our fabulous tour manager Courtney! aka 'Coxy'. I could not recommend a Contiki more than anything, you wont regret it! They squeeze so much into the time you have it's just amazing.
I enjoyed this trip immensely. Our tour guide and was amazing and she was very knowledgable, fun, and organized (Jordana you rock!!). The people where a good mix of 20's, 25's and 30's year olds so you had people to hang out with. I would say the average age would be about 25. This was my first contiki trip and would definitely recommend this trip. You see a lot of things in the least amount of time. I think that if I would do this trip on my own I would not have been able to see as much as we did on this tour. Also, if I had to choose (because of time) I would do all three places (england, scotland, ireland) but if you don't have much time would do scotland and ireland.
I was a little nervous when I decided to travel internationally for the first time all by myself but when I found Contiki I was a little better with the idea. I arrived in London early to do some sightseeing and met up with some people from the trip who I had talked to previously on the meetup site and Facebook. I am so glad I decided to go alone! The people I met and the experiences we shared were unlike anything I ever thought would happen! We had by far the best tour manager, Faye, and the most badass coach driver, Max H! These two were great and worked really well together and made everyday fun and worth the occasional early morning! I've already picked out my next trip and some of the people from this trip are going! Lifelong friends I'd say! The hotels were decent(you aren't in them long), the breakfasts are hotel breakfasts but get you through the morning, the coach is comfortable, and do the optional me times! We did all of them and they were great!
had an awesome time. Made 30 friends, and was looked after very well by the beautiful Margie. Definitely having a few beers with the boys when I travel again.
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.