Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
I would HIGHLY recommend the Egypt tour to anyone. I felt safe and taken care of the entire time and think it's time tourism come back to Egypt (the negative media attention is really overblown I found after visiting myself).
Contiki does it right with visits to the pyramids, camel rides, train rides, a nice cruise boat, and time spent at the beach on the Red Sea (snorkeling was amazing).
I can't say enough about how excellent the guide Sherif is and he has 15 years experiences; he's also a genuine person who just adds to the fun of the group. The people I was lucky enough to travel with also made the trip.
Would highly recommend the village tour (opt for the camel, not the donkey in my opinion).
Dendera, an addition to the tour, was one of the main highlights-it was so well preserved.
THANKS for the trip of a lifetime!!
Absolutely loved this trip. Photos definitely don't do New Zealand justice. Weather at Franz Josef is a little unpredictable and can be rainy/foggy. We weren't able to do the helicopter/hike options as a result, but many of us did the kayaking instead and spent the rest of the day relaxing.
Loved the Canyon Swing in Queenstown, absolute highlight. I highly recommend doing multiple jumps if you have the option! I did the K-Bridge Bungy Jump, which was a fun experience as well.
The accommodations in Lake Ohau are rad! Toga party and a hot tub. There's a lounge area by a fireplace as well. Too many cool places to cover 'em all!
I was worried the weather might be a little cold traveling in August (Australia's winter), but I had such a pleasant experience. And huge thumbs up for the Sailing! Highly recommended when you're in the Whitsundays.
Very moderate weather, with some rain in Sydney at the tail end. Watched some beautiful thunderstorms off the coast in Coffs Harbour, after spending the afternoon taking surf lessons at sunset. Definitely the highlight activity of my trip! Not to mention the bonfire that evening.
This trip has exceeded my expectations in the best way possible. I went alone, but came back home connecting with more great friends worldwide. I've kept in touch with some of them from this Contiki group. The highlight of the trip was in Florence. I fell in love with that city. Would highly recommend first time Contiki travelers to take the Mediterranean Highlights tour. You really get a big bang out for your buck!
If you are looking to have a good time and looking to see a lot of Europe in short amount of time, this trip is for you.
What can I say? Costa Rica is a beautiful place to experience! My trip was in late September, also known as the "rainy season", however the majority of the trip, the weather was absolutely perfect. I went zip-lining, rafting, hiking, repelling, horseback riding, and SO much more. The sunsets in Costa Rica are breathtaking, especially in Manuel Antonio. The Costa Rican people are all very hospitable and welcoming, I felt very comfortable and safe everywhere I went. My favorite part of the trip (besides the unreal sunsets and food) was going to the Elementary School and watching the local school children perform a dance for us.
Edward was our tour guide, and he was great! It seemed like everyone knew him everywhere we went, and so that made for a smooth transition into each city. Our coach driver was really nice too. I left feeling like I got a true taste of all Costa Rica had to offer, and I can't wait to go back one day.
You must do this tour, you will be so happy you did!!
It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't what I expected. We didn't get much time in each city. But thats alright, because it is a very fast paced trip. Also, we arrived at each city so late in the day, that all that was left to do was bar hopping and enjoy the nightlife. If thats what you enjoy, this is your trip. If you want more of a cultural experience then go on your own. Its not really hard to get around anywhere in Europe. It does take time to plan everything, but it might end up being cheaper than Contiki trip.
Also, it was surprising to me me that the tour manager offered to hook people up with drugs and prostitutes, if they needed. Because he strongly believed that it was part of his job to encourage people to have a good travel experience.
If you've always dreamed of waking up to the warm sunrise from another country after a night of partying; or getting lost in the back streets of a foreign city with just a translation book and a fold map and great new friends who feel just as compelled to have a time of their lives traveling abroad as you, then this is the trip for you. Be warned: this is a fast-paced trip; you'll barely spend a day or two in most of these countries so make the *most* out of every moment, do not go lightly. I had an unbelievable time, made so many amazing new friends, learned some much stuff culturally and historically during this trip. Our guide (Sara) was extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and lots of fun (Contiki if you're reading this she gets an A+ recommendation)
Message me for any tips. Or check out photos and videos from our August 2013 trip. Enjoy! #noregrets
It's hard to put into words how amazing this trip was. There was countless moments when I felt like pinching myself because I didn't believe I was there. I really recommend this tour if you want to see a great snapshot of America. I would love to list all my favourite moments but I would be typing an absoltute novel. Big shoutout to my amazing tour manager, Jack Larsen and our driver Marcel "E" - who helped make the tour so incredible!
Our Contiki trip through Vietnam was such an eye opener, and so different to any other tour I had previously been on. My boyfriend and I went on the Vietnam Experience tour from 4 Nov-15 Nov 2014, I think there were about 24 of us in total when the Vietnam Highlights group joined us on day 3 back in Saigon. Everyone clicked really well, and the homestay in the Mekong Delta really helped us bond quickly and brought our group together. Definitely worth the extra money to add those 2 days to your Vietnam trip! Our tour was a special one, as 2 girls from The Bachelor Australia were on our tour, along with writers, bloggers, and 2 big bosses from Contiki to manage them along the way. It was a unique experience having this on our tour (both good & bad points!), but made for some very memorable moments! The Contiki boss Katrina was super lovely & amazing- so glad she came along for the ride! Our tour manager James was really helpful & definitely knew his stuff, powering on even when he felt sick, & was kind enough to give those of us traveling on afterwards many tips on where to go & what to see in Laos, Cambodia, & Thailand as well!
Crossing the road in Saigon is an experience you will never forget, you will never again see so many scooters in your life! The markets throughout Vietnam were awesome for picking up a bargain (Hoi An probably had the best shopping), just keep in mind that Asian sizes are much smaller than Western sizes! Our accommodation was of good quality at each of our destinations (though a little more basic at our Mekong Delta homestay). We were treated to so much delicious food over the 12 days, we were spoilt for choice. So many yummy soups, spring rolls, savoury pancakes & fresh seafood!
Nha Trang was one of our favourite spots, we easily could have stayed here longer! Gorgeous beaches, mud baths were great, snorkeling trip was amazing & dinner at The Sailing Club was one of the best meals of my life! The passionfruit mojito was the best drink I've ever tasted & the mushroom gnocchi was to die for!
Hoi An is World Heritage Listed & I already can't wait to go back & visit it again one day. Had so much fun riding bikes around the old town, exploring the markets & lounging by the pool and visiting the hotel's spa. We all got suits or dresses made there at Yali, I'd strongly recommend having pictures of what you want with you on your phone before visiting, so you can be really clear & specific with them on what you want, to save time and confusion.
By the time we reached Hue we were getting pretty tired, but the Perfume River showed us an amazing sunset & the nightlife there is pretty fun! When we reached Hanoi we were all exhausted & couldn't wait to sleep! Was probably our least favourite destination in Vietnam, the weather was cooler here & overcast, and the city felt like many others in Asia. We also didn't do as much together as a group here. Halong Bay was stunning, although the water was a little cooler this time of year (but not so cold you couldn't swim or kayak). Was amazing to see monkeys close up in the wild on the islands and the scenery was stunning. The pirate party on the junk boat was pretty incredible too!
I'd recommend staying an extra night in Hanoi once your tour ends, as you're bound to make new friends who you'd like to spend more time with! Our group was a mix of (mostly) Aussies, Canadians, South Africans, Brits, a Kiwi and an American. The average age of the group was mid-to-late 20s, which was perfect (no 18yr olds getting crazy silly, or old nanas holding us back), and was of a slower pace & a bit more luxurious than European Contiki tours. I'd definitely recommend an Asian Contiki tour- you money goes so much further in SE Asia and for people like us who had never been to Asia before, it was a great introduction to the culture, and gave us the confidence and knowledge to then travel on in the region by ourselves. I had a blast, & so did my boyfriend (who was initially quite reluctant to do a Contiki tour, but was definitely surprised!). Save your dollars and give it a go- you'll have an amazing time guaranteed! :)
Amazing! Best trip ever and met some awesome people. Perfect length for a tour with Contiki. Our tour guide, Kristin, is so knowledgeable. I think I learnt more about the history of Europe from her than I did in high school :/ however, be prepared to pay an arm and a leg for all the extra's! (if you're on a budget).
New Zealand is such a beautiful place! The people are very friendly. The entire country looks like Middle Earth.
I have been on other tours before, but this was my first Contiki tour, and it ran differently from other tour companies. There are different trips which overlap with each other on the tour; for example, the Big Tiki and Northern Explorer were on the tour first. I arrived two days later and joined everyone else then. Some people left in Christchurch while others joined the coach. In essence, the group you start with will not necessarily be the group you end with; people will leave and join throughout your time on tour.
Being from the US, I had a lot of sticker-shock while in New Zealand. Currently, the USD is stronger, but the prices are more expensive for what you get (e.g. food is about twice as much), so I felt that a lot of the optionals didn't have enough value for the money spent. With that said, the Me Times were still a lot of fun and absolutely made the trip.
Be prepared to spend a lot on the extras, however. I spent about $1400 for Me Times for 13 days.
One optional activity I would not at all recommend is the Milford Sound cruise. It was a 4 hour drive from Queenstown one way with only 1-2 hour cruise, and the scenery on the cruise is what you see on the coach riding around the island. Milford Sound is a pretty place, but I don't think it was worth the money to spend most of the day sitting on a bus. Other than that, the optionals were fantastic!
Overall, the accommodations were pretty nice. I had paid for a quad share, but most of the time there were 3 to a room. It felt pretty cramped because the rooms were made for 2 people, so having an extra bed meant shuffling sideways around some corners, but the beds were pretty comfortable, the rooms were clean, and there was adequate space for 3 girls getting ready in the morning.
The lodges on the other hand felt like I was back at summer camp. There were bunk beds and small showers, and there was no counter space at all. However, there was a total of 4 nights spent in lodges, so it wasn't a big deal overall.
In Franz Josef, the Rainforest Retreat was a major disappointment. The top bunk was pretty low, so I hit my head a couple times when I wasn't thinking about it. There was a lot of mold growing all over the bathroom, and the shower didn't have any temperature controls, you take whatever you get. There was an awesome spa pool there, so that was a plus!
Food-wise, I really enjoyed myself. I am a vegetarian, and I always had options at different places whether it was a vegetarian patty on a burger or a non-meat sauce on pasta, New Zealand is great at accommodating vegetarians without needing to eat salads the entire time.
I was lucky enough to have Soap and Ricky as my Contiki team. Soap worked very hard to make sure everyone had a good time and made everyone feel like a friend of his. There were a couple of times when Me Times were cancelled or room assignments got messed up, and Soap made sure everything worked out well in the end. He knows a lot of people around the country, and a lot of people know him, so he has ins to special requests and accommodations.
Ricky was a great driver. Never once did I feel uneasy about him being behind the wheel. I guess he was voted best New Zealand driver of 2014, and there was a reason he got that award.
I know this is cliché, but the best part about the trip was the group of people I went with. Everyone was very inviting and friendly and had a lot of fun. In the US, cliques are very popular and very strong, but on the tour, there were people who had groups of friends but never blocked anyone out. The majority of the group went out to clubs and bars each night, but never made others feel obligated to come if they didn't want to. I love the people I traveled with and I thank them for making my holiday absolutely unforgettable.
Even though there were some disappointing times on the trip and not everything ran perfectly smooth, the trip was still amazing and I whole-heartedly recommend it if you're up for a fast-paced, adventurous tour.
Had a great tour with a great group of party goers and the trip was made all the better with Jack Larsen as our Tour Manager!
I read the reviews after we booked and I was so nervous that my husband and I had made a mistake. I couldn't have been more wrong. Our tour group was awesome! We had a full mix of ages an there were 5 couples on our trip as well. Our tour guide, Vinny, was amazing too. He was the perfect mix of fun and in charge. Our bus driver, Alessandro, did amazing, if you would see some of the streets he had navigated you'd be impressed! The tour was great. It gave you the opportunity to see a lot of things in a short amount of time. They offer, at an additional cost, a walk tour of the cities and it's great and totally worth the cost. It lets you get your bearings in a city before navigating it by yourself. The hotels weren't as bad as others were saying, it's Europe, they are going to be tiny (my husband is 6"2" and struggled in every bathroom - he was too tall for the shower head) and for the cost you pay, you can't beat it. The hotels are not located downtown of any city, but there is still areas near the hotel to explore. I would highly recommend this tour!
My husband and I had been talking about visiting Ireland since we first started dating. We were looking for a tour that truly gave us an Irish experience. We did not have to worry about driving or locating accommodations each night and were very fortunate to have a great group to enjoy the experience with. This tour includes the Cliffs of Moher, the Giants Causeway, Blarney Castle, the Rock of Cashel, the Jameson Distillery, the Guinness Factory and many other sites. All of the breakfasts and about half of the dinners are included but be warned that the meal options can be limited. The food was great overall though and vegetarian options are available. This tour is not great if you are looking for an in depth experience as you will spend a lot of time on the bus and typically only spend one night in each town. We found that you spend a lot of time hanging out with your tour group and often missed out on the one on one experience with the locals. However if you only have 1 1/2 to 2 weeks to spend in Ireland and want to see a little bit of everything with a fun group then this is the tour for you. Our tour guide, Cam, described this trip as a buffet where you get to sample and figure out what you would really like to do when you visit Ireland again. Take it as you will but be prepared to drink often and a lot! It is very common to enjoy a beer or two with lunch and dinner before heading out to the bar each night. The tour group includes 18 to 35 year olds so there is always someone to head to the pub with or someone to hangout with in the hotel lobby to watch a movie. Free wifi was available in each hotel that we stayed at so no need to worry about that. My husband and I stayed in a room together but note that if you are traveling solo you will be assigned a room with another individual of the same sex to hopefully get along with. Make sure to say yes to the optional activities. Your tour guide will pass around the list on the first day and all of the activities were a lot of fun and worth the money. Also make sure to take lots of cold medicine with you and get a flu shot before you travel. We met our group in Ireland and most people had just gotten over the flu which we picked up towards the end of the tour. Not how you want to spend your first European experience that's for sure. We had such a great time that we quickly booked our next Contiki tour after we got home to the states.
This was my first time travelling so it was very daunting at first but the tour I picked was amazing!! Our tour manager and bus driver were beyond fantastic and went out of their way to make this experience both easy and a 'once in a life time trip' (you'll hear this a lot with Contiki) but it honestly is. The included activities are amazing and some even breath-taking. The accommodation is great, and there was even wifi (which believe me, you crave). I opted to do most of the optional activities which I am glad I did, I tried some things that in my normal life I probably wouldn't have, I ate some weird food (frog legs, snails, beef cheek, just to name a few). But, most of all- I met some of the most kind and amazing people that I have ever met in my entire life. At the beginning of the trip they will tell you 'you'll have 50 new friends by the end of this trip' and you look around and think 'maybe 20 if that' but in all seriousness by the end of your trip you really will have 50 brand new and life long friends, even the people you looked at on the first day and thought 'no way in hell'. I am so glad I went with Contiki for my first trip and I am already researching and planning my second and third. Even if you aren't a party animal but someone who wants to breathe in the sights and relive the history, Contiki is still a place you can do that. I will remember my trip and the people for the rest of my life. I sincerely hope you get the chance to say that about your trip one day soon.
Took the Italian Espresso tour and it was awesome. Our tour guide and bus driver were out of this world. Vinnie the tour guide would give us a quick walking tour around each city and then set us free to explore and have a wonderful time. I'd recommend doing the optional tours as since the local guides could answer any and all questions and spoke great english. The only down side is each city has so much to offer its hard to do it all in just a couple days in each city. But the tour gave me a good idea of where I'd like to go back and explore some more.
Also when people complain about the hotels being small its not Contiki its Europe. Hotel rooms are small especially in crowded cities.
Easily the best way to see Thailand is with Richie. A local himself, shows you all the tips and tricks to getting to see what you're after, without paying hideous tourist prices. Not only your guide but great mate, Richie is the bomb! Koh samui is just stunning, the waterfall trip and the elephant rides are a must do. We also hired a scooter and drove down to the tiger zoos which were slightly expensive but were amazing to be able to touch the tiger. One of the must do things that wasn't in the trip was seeing the Buddhist temples, we hired a taxi driver for about $30 all day, who took us around to all the different temples and gave us lunch too.
Get your liver prepared for this trip, the buckets are a killer!