Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
I had an incredible time on this Contiki, it was my first proper Contiki experience that I did by myself, and my first time in America. I met some friends for life and saw so many amazing things and experiences. Highlights are definitely Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Lake Tahoe and San Francisco. Definitely live every day and night to the fullest on Contiki because it is so sad at the end saying goodbye to everyone and you don't want to have any regrets. If you are planning on heading straight home once its finished book your flight a few days later because you might want to go back to your favourite spot with your new friends. I wish the time was longer in Vegas and San Fran as they were so much fun, would definitely go back!
If you are a solo traveller and don't want to organise everything yourself - this trip is perfect for you! All your buses up to the mountain are included, your ski passes, breakfast every morning and your accommodation which makes this a whole lot easier.
If you are thinking of doing this tour, it is well worth it!! We saw so much, did a walking tour of the city, saw a live Irish band and Irish Dancing, amazing Irish food and partied the night away on St Paddy's day and much, much more. Met some awesome people!! It is a very quick snippet of Dublin, so I did stay longer. But overall I would definitely recommend this tour!!
I absolutely enjoyed the European tour was fast but you got a taste of each country in the amount of time you had, saw all the big attractions without huge crowds. Accommodation was brilliant, food was varied and culturally diverse. We had an awesome bunch of people on tour was like one big family, sad to finish the tour. But big thumbs up to Johnny our driver and Matt out tour guide, couldn't have asked for better people to take us around Europe.
Thanks Heaps for a tour of a lifetime!!
I would have to say the big chill tour was the most amazing thing I have ever done! The people I got experience it with were fantastic. Our coach driver Ricardo our tour manager Trent and our on road cook Boyd were the absolute best team a 40 something group could ask for.
I would recommend this tour to anyone! I have to admit I was unlucky in getting very sick with bronchitis through half of it but I did not let it get me down. I still had the most amazing time!
If you are hesitating. DONT!!! It's awesome. Turkey was awesome. Didn't. Like Albania or places like it but still a great experience. Wouldn't change it for the world.
Have fun guys if u decide to go.
My boyfriend and I literally had the best time of our lives. This tour was great, we got to see so much and experience an amazing European winter! Heads up the included meals aren't the best but they're decent for what you pay for. We did almost all of the optionals so make sure you budget for the extras. Our tour guide Jamie was amazing she was so dedicated and helpful. Our bus driver was awesome too, he was the best driver. Our hotels were decent and mostly central to everything. We met such great people too. It really packed so much into the time we had and we were able to get the most out of our holiday. Would recommend this tour to anyone!
This trip was everything I had hoped for and more. It was my first time leaving the states and I was traveling alone so needless to say, I was a little nervous. From the time we met up with our Contiki group, the good times started rolling. Ebony, our Tour Manager, was AWESOME! She was so helpful and very clear about what to expect in regards to how things were going to work with times, hotels, travel, etc. Marco, our driver, was equally awesome! I don't know how he did it but he managed to make it through the craziest driving conditions without so much as a knick on the coach. He even took a detour not included on our tour so we could visit the Disney castle in Germany on our way to Venice! They both made it extremely easy to enjoy my vacation without worrying about the little things. Ebony knew a lot about the cities we were visiting and would recommend things to see and places to eat. She was so fun yet professional and I don't think anyone could have done a better job!
I did all the Optionals except for the Eye Spy in Berlin. I was told it was a good time though! I probably wouldn't do the Fondue lunch again in Switzerland but it was always fun having meals with most of my tour mates. Mt Pilatus is a must and so is the walking tour of Berlin. Our local travel guides were very cool.
I could not have lucked out with a better group of people to travel Europe with. The people in my group were from the US, Mexico, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
We also lucked out weather wise. I was expecting it to be a little chillier but most days, a light jacket would suffice (except at the top of Mt Pilatus!). I had to buy t-shirts and tanks in Prague because I mainly packed long sleeve shirts. So glad I went in March/April because I didn't feel like there were too many tourists. Italy would have been jam packed if it was summer time!
Hands down it was one of the best vacations I've ever taken. Not only was it amazing to see the beautiful sites and get immersed in the history of Europe, it was great to meet people from all over that will become lifelong friends. It was worth every penny and every minute away from home. It definitely was an experience I'll never forget and will think about often.
An absolutely fantastic tour, full of spectacular landscapes and legendary travel-mates. Go by yourself, each of us in the group of 20 were by ourselves, and had the best fun hanging out, having heaps of laughs... Everyone was so positive and fun and so was the tour manager and driver! The sites you'll see are like no other. It's a relatively active Contiki tour and there are a few hot and tiring hikes. But you feel on top of the world afterwards! And you can opt out of those walks if you don't have the fitness levels. Get excited about the bushtucker tour, sleeping under the stars and the reptile park!
Do it. Go. Get off your couch and book now!!! No regrets!!!
Had a few misgivings with this tour:
The hotel in Paris is in a "ghetto" (the words of our tour manager, not mine). There were nightly gatherings of hundreds of what he referred to as "gypsies" outside the hotel every night.
We were made to pay for what was supposed to be our included meal (duck, escargot, etc), and then given dry chicken as our "included dinner" instead.
New Year's Eve in Paris is very dangerous. Contiki will not provide transportation on that night (not surprising because it's impossible for traffic to move with literally thousands of drunk people clogging the streets like a mob). There are no fireworks at Eiffel Tower, just the sparkle lights that happen every night, on the hour. Don't expect to be able to get back to the hotel before 4 AM.
Two drunk men harassed our entire floor in my hotel until early morning hours by screaming and trying to open all the doors. There was no phone in the room with which to call the front desk; very scary.
This was one of the best things I have ever done, met the most craziest group of people and travelled some of the most beautiful places in the world. ONE WORD: PARADISE BEACH. one of the best days of my life! mykonos and iOS nightlife is crazy, especially the first night in mykonos the bar crawl will leave you with a sore head the next day! tour guides were brilliant, knew so much, very informative and VERY crazy! santorini was beautiful, unfortunately i was unwell but i have been unwell in worse places to say the least!
This tour was more that was I was expecting, if you want to travel, eat amazing food, meet crazy people while partying in the most beautiful places in the world this is the tour for you!!
This trip was the best decision I have ever made. Having never been to Europe before, I wanted to see and do as much as possible. Contrasts let me do that! It was a little crazy at times because it was a fast paced trip but I still loved every minute of it. On top of getting to see and do so much, our contiki group was amazing and our tour guide and bus driver were amazing. My suggestion for anyone looking in to the trip is to give yourself a fair amount of time after the tour is completed to do some more travelling. My one regret is not being able to extend my vacation and spend more time with some of the best people I've ever met.
Love, love, loved this tour!! Being a first time contiki traveller I wasn't sure what to expect, but our crew were fantastic and our group was like a big happy family!! All the optionals were well worth doing! Our tour manager even sourced out extra activities for us to do (e.g. football game), going above and beyond her contiki duties. The accommodation and food were great, especially in Barcelona! However, we spent minimal time in our accommodation and maximum time seeing the sights and checking out the local night life. A downfall was that the tour was so jam packed, you didn't always get to see everything you'd like to. But all the more reason to come back to Europe! 10/10 experience!
Throughout the entire trip 2 of us were bullied, purely because of immature bitchiness. because we were excluded and made to feel as though we were not welcome, we chose not to show up for alot of the me time optionals that we had paid for. our tour guide refused to refund us and did nothing to support us through this situation. we also found that many of the me time optionals are grossly over priced and always under delivered. buy tickets on your own from the locals. i have a photo of the mozart prices offered .. front row in a theatre with a 3 course meal for 56 euro, we paid contiki $63 euro for a cheap and nasty meal then went to a hall that had a white sheet over the stage and some fold out chairs lined up. soooooo dodgy. to make it worse we were told to dress up in a room full of tourists wearing sneakers and visers. this tour was a joke ! and an absolute waste of money ! hotels are all so far out of town and the food provided is HORRIBLE ! you can do the same trip for half the price on your own and have a much better time ! tour guide isnt even qualified to guide and on walking tours we had to pretend it was our guides birthday, to avoid a fine we were told to break out in "happy birthday" if somebody was behind us. NEVER AGAIN. # YOU WILL REGRET ! they are lucky i do not take it further. you dont get to experience the countries. your on a bus all the time or at a hotel in the middle of nowhere or at an overpriced activity. I WANT MY MONEY BACK !
I previously did Contiki in Europe in 2012 and enjoyed it. So I decided for my 21st birthday I would embark on a Vietnam contiki trip. Best decision I have ever made! Tour manager Danny was brilliant really knew his stuff and he was so much fun. He was really organised and the trip went smoothly. We had a lot of spare time and fun activities. Asia contiki is so much more relaxed. I was lucky enough to spend my 21st birthday in Halong Bay, with surprise birthday cake on the boat! I couldn't have asked for a better trip. Great people, food, culture, places, things to see :)
Nha Trang, Hoi An and Halong Bay are definite highlights. Be prepared to eat lots of food :)
Make sure you check out the Green Chilli restaurant in Hoi An- great food and the chef is hilarious :)
I am a 24 year old female who loves to take trips on group tours, such like contiki. I love the people on the trips, I love the itineraries, and I love the experience of them. I recently went on a trip in February to do the Argentina and Brazilian Experience. I was really disappointed with the guide. The trip itself was good, but the guide was not great. This was the first time I had experienced this with Contiki. She was biased towards liking the men on the trip more then the woman. I once asked her a question and she told me I should've been listening and I asked one of the guys to ask her the same question and she responded right away while flirting with him. She didn't know any information that every question we asked her she didn't know the answer-and that's ok because I don't expect tour guides to know everything, but she didn't even go out of her way to find out the answer. Most of the time we were doing our own research and asking other people for information. She didn't seem interested in even being on the trip. One of the girls on the trip felt like she was going to faint because we hadn't stopped for food and the tour guide made a huge deal about having to stop for food and that it was really inconvenient. The girl who was ready to faint said "that's ok I'm just going to faint then don't worry about me" and the guide was like "ok lets keep going then." Thank goodness for great people on the trip otherwise it would've been a really unpleasant experience. I know there are quite a few people who are still writing their complaints about her. I am already looking at new Contiki trips, but I don't think I got my moneys worth by having her as a guide. We did have some trip delays. It was a 10 day trip and we spent one day in the airport and spent 2 extra nights in Argentina which set back everything else on the tour and minimized our time everywhere therein after. It is understandable and I don't hold her accountable, but having a bad guide on top made the situation rough.
When i got home i wrote contiki a complaint and it took them about 1 month to respond. They defended to tour guide and only offered 5% off my next tour. Very in sincere and does not help the waisted money and energy that i spent going on that tour. Next time i recommend EF COLLEGE BREAK TOUR COMPANY!!!!!
Where do I even begin.
The thing I like best about Contiki is that, when you go to a new country, you THINK you know what to expect. And then you get there, and you are exposed to places you never thought you'd see! I loved traveling by bus because you really got to see the beautiful landscapes of Spain. It takes you away from any stereotypes you have set up in your head (i.e. google images of Madrid, bull fighting, paella) and throws you out of your comfort zone. On our way to Bilbao, there were some landscapes that reminded me of Ireland. On our way through Granada, I felt like I was in Morocco! This country is so diverse and rich with culture.
Our tour manager, Jason, was PHENOMENAL. Seriously. There wasn't a single question that stumped him. I will never forget walking through the gothic quarters on a warm evening in Barcelona while he told us about the history of the city, including myths & legends. I learned SO much from him. He was also very good at showing us where to find all the touristy places that he knew we'd want to see at least once, and then encouraging us to go where the locals go. He knew which bars to go to for a more posh kind of vibe. He knew which bars to go to for dirt cheap liquor, good music, and crazy people.
As for accommodation, our hotels were always clean and in great locations - which is reaaally important when you're cabbing home later on! I wouldn't change a thing.
Ibiza... I honestly can't tell you much about because I don't remember much and that's the way to go, my friend. Partying will NEVER be the same for you.
Aside from all the attractions and nights out, I would also like to add that you get a lot of free time to explore the city yourself. You're informed of what time the bus is leaving and where the bus is leaving from. Usually, we'd have hours to just relax and do whatever
Overall, I'd say this tour is the perfect balance of culture, INSANE partying, and adventure. I've made life long friendships and this will definitely not be my last Contiki tour!
I chose to do this tour because I had been to many other places around the world. I was one of the three Aussies on this tour (which wasn't a surprise) - I was the only one who did the complete 24 day tour and it was with much regret that the other two Aussies didn't.
What an incredible adventure. I was asked by many why I was traveling around my own country, in which I replied, you tell me on our final day why I did this tour. The trip was full of WOW! moment, great sights and adventures. Life long friendships and memories were made in red dirt, rainy days, in rivers and in backpacker hotels and pubs.
This tour was so Australian, and everyone loved every moment of it.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) had always been on my bucket list and now it is ticked off. The 6am wake up couldn't phase me, or the continuous, unexpected rain. We got to see something that happens very rarely.
The East Coast of Australia is incredible. I have already worked out if I wanted to trade my life in Melbourne, where I would go. The activities that are there for your choosing are incredible -- I went white water rafting on the Tully River and I would recommend it to each adn every person in the world, even if you cant swim.
This tour will always hold a special place in my heart. It was so exciting, it made me appreciate my country so much more, and really made me realise how lucky I am to be Australia.
This was my first contiki trip. I loved all the sites and the guided tours were excellent. However this tour is not for the faint hearted, it is a world wind tour and you spend a lot of time on the bus/coach. I would not recommend the optional dinners as they were mediocre, I cancelling the final dinner which I'm so glad I did as many people complained about it.
Overall this is a good, fast way of seeing many beautiful sites and meeting some great people.
Best trip ever! I've met lots of new people and was an awesome experience! Worth the money and pace!!! I highly recommend this trip :)
From start to finish, Costa Rica Unplugged and my first Contiki experience were awesome! I went solo, and got really lucky with my fantastic and friendly group. Overall the tour was well-organized and action-packed.
Highlights: boat ride in/out of Tortuguero and the whole Tortuguero experience. Ziplining in Monteverde. Hanging out at the beautiful beach in Manuel Antonio. Hot springs in La Fortuna. Night out in Monteverde. Waterfall stop near La Fortuna.
The accommodation were great - better than expected, including the tent suites. I had envisioned spiders creeping down the walls, and instead the tents were bug-proof (as long as you are diligent about keeping the screens zipped) and cozy. The hot water worked at all of our hotels. Probably the only shocking thing I encountered was a huge bat flapping around my bathroom at the La Fortuna hotel at 3am.... must've gotten in with the cleaners. Many of the rooms had mini-fridges and air-conditioning (but not all).
Our tour guide, Allan, and driver, Felix, were friendly, knowledgeable and reliable. Allan was hilarious - and has a great knowledge of the plants & animals of Costa Rica.
For the most part, I enjoyed the ME Time Optionals and found them to be worth the money. In particular, the canyoneering and zip-lining were great! The sea-kayaking was fun, and the catamaran booze cruise can't be missed (although the drinks are watered down). The whitewater rafting was disappointing, perhaps just because I've rafted way better rivers before.... the water level was quite low and we spent way too much time getting stuck on rocks in lame Class 2 rapids. But it's included, so enjoy the float down the river! The ATVs were fun, but too many rules - they don't let you break out of line or go very fast.
Throughout the trip I was impressed at how much was included - meals, activities, etc. The food was delicious. Sure it's beans & rice a lot, but the food is nicely prepared and there are plenty of fresh fruits and veggies.
The travel days are not overly arduous. They make frequent stops for food/bathroom breaks, and I think the longest haul on the bus was about 4 hours from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio...and honestly by then we enjoyed the nap time.
This trip is good value for money and it's certainly never boring. You see so much of this beautiful country in just 12 days, and you really get a sense of what Costa Rica is all about, how people live and the culture. Loved every moment! :)