Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
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.
#Contiki #ContkiTim #ContikiMaxH
Okay, let me start off by saying I was equally excited and nervous for this trip...
Nervous because I was traveling solo and never traveled Contiki before. I wasn't sure what to expect or how I would like the people I was going to spend 19 days with. I was excited for the obvious reasons...SEEING EUROPE!!
I also did the London Explorer package prior to the Inspiration tour so the few days leading up to the trip I had visited the Contiki basement a few times. Every member of the staff was super helpful and felt like they were old friends. The day before we left we did a meeting at the basement where we got to meet the people who were also on the trip.
When I arrived I immediately met 2 people that I connected with right away. As soon as we started chatting, all my concerns were at ease. I knew it was going to be a good trip! After the meeting a group of 10 of us went to a pub for a few pints and to get more acquainted. For anyone doing a trip, I would suggest using this time to meet your trip mates because it was a great way to break the ice quickly.
Now for the trip...This honestly could not have been better. Everything went perfectly and at no point was I concerned over timing, accommodations, drive time, lines into the attractions etc etc..Our driver(Jason M) and trip Manager(Nick P) were on top of everything!!
For the amount of time we had in each city, they made sure we maximized it to the fullest!! And they always did it with a friendly face. I never once got a bad vibe from them and they both seemed genuinely happy with their jobs and to help us out with anything we needed. I unfortunately got sick, but Nick stepped up to the plate and helped me locate a doctor when I needed it. This was extremely valuable to me because I had no idea what to do or where to go.
I can't say enough good things about these 2. But they definitely exceeded my expectations and set the bar high for any other driver and tour manager.
The trip was an absolute blast and I made lifelong friends that I'll keep in contact with. We're actually already talking about another trip for next summer.
Thanks Nick, Jason, my Contiki family and Contiki for an awesome trip!
This was my first Contiki, and I honestly had the best time ever. I made so many amazing friends, saw beautiful sights and maybe drank a little too much ;) Our tour guide Az was awesome, super cool guy and very knowledgeable about each city we visited. It is very fast paced, but the Me time Optionals are a great way of getting acquainted with the city in a short period of time and having fun doing it. I totally recommend this tour, it is something I'll always remember doing!! #noregrets
The three islands provide everything you'd want: fun all-night raves, quiet restaurants with caldera views, hiking and sailing adventures with your group, and unique experiences. The more laid-back atmosphere of the trip lets you explore the islands on your own and even have the time to take trips to other islands in your free time.
I originally agreed to go on the trip because I want to see pretty much everywhere I can and some friends were going. Vacation time is rare in the states so I was a little skeptical to take 2 weeks just in Peru...boy was I dead wrong.
I went to see Machu Picchu but by the time it came around, I was like "Oh yeah, this is why I came!" Every single day on the tour was awesome...each day getting better and better. I had no idea Peru had so much to offer and was so beautiful. The country absolutely blew me away. From zip lining in the snow, paragliding, biking in the Andes Mountains and nearly getting hypothermia, white water rafting, climbing a 100 ft tree, kayaking in the Amazon, and of course hiking Machu Picchu...Peru exceeded all of my expectations. I had the best group with some seriously awesome, hilarious people and was in no way ready to leave.
Last but not least: FLOR!!!! She was the most amazing tour director. She made our trip effortless, was so knowledgeable, and made sure we had a blast no matter what we were doing! I could go on and on about how great she was.
All in all, I without a doubt recommend this tour. I had the time of my life. You have extremely early mornings and most of the time (if you want) extremely late nights, but Peru is worth it. GO TO PERU Y'ALL!
Here is a YouTube video I made about the summary of our trip! It's a little long, but worth it :) https://youtu.be/s_bSNsQ6KJ4
Never have I had so much fun as I did on my New Zealand Contiki. The view, the people, the night life, the adventure and most of all, the culture! What an amazing country. New Zealand is a place I will return to many many times in the future because there is just too much beauty to stay away. I made so many friends on this trip aswell as numerous unforgettable memories. The accommodation was amazing and often breathtaking. The tour guide (Josh) and driver (Mark) were so helpful, friendly and fun. I ticked off a number of bucket list items, bungee jumping (134m Nevis Jump, Queenstown) and white and black water rafting to name a few.
Most of all, however the deep culture of New Zealand really put me at awe. The Maori are a wonderful and interesting people and I loved learning about them.
I wish I could relive the experience over and over again... but I guess I'll just have to go again...
1000/1000 DO recommend New Zealand Contiki - The Big Tiki!
It was a amazing experience and the tour was well planed the driver Frank and tour guide Braden were great. It will take time to process all the input. The group was perfect and now we are all friends. I would do the same trip again.. whats more to say?
An amazing 10days!
Luckily had an amazing bunch of 50 people and a very good tour guide!!
#1 - From the UK you need to bring your own Sleeping Bag or buy one, I believe £20 but don't hold me to that.
#2 - You need Francs for Switzerland. You only need enough for your one free day in the town near the campsite, unless your really organised and organise a trip to the other towns near by that do have tourist stuff. I just sat in a café with new friends I had made and ate the best brownies! Theres a corner shop and a souvenior shop. So 40 francs? But if your not that organised don't worry as they do take Euro but you get Francs back.... Shifty I know.
#3 - In Austria you have a party night. Bring glow in the dark tuff.
#4 - In Switzerland you have 2 party nights. At 8Euros a drink make sure you have saved some money as this is right near the end of your holiday.
#5 - THERE IS NO FREE WIFI ON THE COACH! You must pay. But you don't need to your gonna have so much to look out the window and people to talk to why would u need wifi. Only a few hotels/Hostels/Campsites have wifi too. Again mosty not free. But u don't need it. Youll survive.
#6 - You will do the paragliding. It is not scary. 38 members of our coach did it. 38 out of 50!! and the ones that didn't do it regretted it. Paragliding in Australia where you are given up to 30 pictures that the instructor takes with his selfie stick for 20 Euros!! Yey!! Do not be afraid.
#7 - #NoRegrets. Live by it!
I just returned home from my Thai Island Hopper East trip with Contiki and I don't know how I am going to settle back into real life after such an adventure! There is no stone left unturned in this 9 day thrill ride through some of the most scenic islands on the planet earth. The Tour Manager Shannon set the tone immediately for the group with her upbeat and energetic attitude. Traveling with her was like being with that one friend everyone has that will never say no to a good time. The fellow travelers and myself though diverse in culture bonded instantaneously and never left each other's sides making for too many life lasting memories to count. The excursions and accommodations were well worth every penny and never left a dull moment. An absolute must do trip!
It was a blast! I met people from like 7 other countries that were on the trip. I made lifelong friends! If you want fun packed days and high energy.. This is your trip for sure! If you don't like staying in cabins,bringing a towel, and sleeping bags then this isn't for you. But why not get out of your comfort zone? I went Solo and had an amazing time. Seeing each country and what it had to offer was awesome. Enjoy the food in each country! So good!from escargo to Italian pizza, German beer and pretzels I had an awesome time trying new food out. Also if you like wine European's love their wine. If you love beer its in Germany!;) I did all the optionals because why not? Gondola ride was insane but so glad I did it. Sometimes we had to be on the bus, but catch up on some naps on bus days! Movies and music Tony made us very comfortable. We had a great group it was hard to get to know 52 people but i made some of the amazing friends. We almost got stuck on the Effiel Tower lol we missed the bus and got a taxi but it got us to try out our French that Tony helped us with for each country. What a blast! I'll do it again! #contiki
As this was my first time leaving my home country of the United States of America, I was a bit apprehensive to join a touring group I hadn't really heard of before. Concerns aside, I booked a trip for Great Britain and Ireland and I am SO glad I did!
There is no doubt in my mind why the UK and the Emerald Isle have long held the reputation for lands of fantasy, as the scenery everywhere is gorgeous, but what makes the whole experience that much better is the comradery that develops between you and your fellow passengers. Being contained in a coach filled to the brim with other people certainly forces you to make a few friends along the way. At just 21, I now have friends that span to three corners of the globe thanks to this Contiki trip and I couldn't be more grateful.
Now for what the trip itself contains, there are TONS of ups and just a few downs.
1. You will get sick. Don't try and be macho about it- pack some vitamin C, drink tons of water, and eat full meals. Even if you do everything right, you may still fall ill, but at least you can say you tried. Trust me- you'll enjoy it ten fold if you're well.
2. Most of the fun stuff is extra money. Normally it's not a WHOLE lot extra (all of the UK excursions cost me £70 and the Ireland ones €115), but it's still more than I had anticipated spending on top of what I had already paid. Still- I'd shell out the cash, because they are pretty worth it.
3. Be prepared to sit for a LONG time. Bring your neck pillow that people make fun of because you will certainly be the envy of the bus. If you get cold super easily, you might want to bring a blanket. The bus driver and tour manager try and keep the peace, but sometimes it's hard to please everyone so just be prepared.
4. You will eat through your shoes. Yes, there are nights where everyone goes out to have a good time and dress nicely, but if you're trying to wear pretty shoes while you're hiking/biking around the Ayran Islands, you're gonna have a bad time. Bring your dorky sneakers- your feet will thank you.
1. As I've mentioned, I'm a huge fan of the friendships that form on the trip. I happen to be a loud and friendly person so it was easy for me to find people, but if you happen to be a little shyer, find one of us loud people to hang out with! Unless you really are on the trip to be by yourself, it's really hard to go through it without picking up SOMEONE that has similar interests!
2. I can't necessarily speak for all Contiki trips at this point, but my bus driver (coach driver- whatever, Max) and tour manager were fabulous. Max H. (coach driver) was super familiar with the territory and did his best to get us places on time, if not a little earlier than planned. Sometimes I was concerned with his depth perception, but he pulled through every time with narry a scratch on the bus! Tim was fantastic as well- always making sure we all felt comfortable and included as well and encouraging us to enjoy our time to the fullest extent. He's always got a fantastic attitude on and certainly made the tour that much better.
3. You get to see some brilliant sights. If you happen to do Great Britain and Ireland, you will be exposed to some of the most glorious (in my humble opinion) landscaping in the world. Be prepared for some rain, mind you, but even still, the scenery is to die for.
4. You get to meet some wonderful people. It's a fantastic thing, being able to meet people who are nothing like you. You get to see how people think. Do they drive on the left side? Does that make them do more with their left hands? Do people actually hate peanut butter as much as the Internet would lead you to believe? Why in God's name would you spread Marmite on toast and call it breakfast? There greatest thing about traveling is that these people are not like you and you get the opportunity to expose yourself to their customs and thoughts and beliefs and find out what you really want to be.
5. Direction. I've traveled with Contiki and I've traveled by myself and I must admit, Contiki did a lot more research into fun things to do than I did. It's super rigorous, so eat your Wheaties, but you don't have to wonder, "Wow! What am I gonna do today?" Contiki has got it planned!
I suppose I could go on about my personal opinions, but I think that suffices as a decent review. Thanks again for a fantastic adventure and remember to live your life with #NoRegrets!