Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
European horizon was a high energy trip, so we were constantly on the go. Got to see some amazing beautiful sights. I wish we had spent more time in Venice however, because you're there for maybe half a day. But otherwise, had an amazing trip, had an amazing group of Australians, Canadians, Americans, Mexicans and more! Everyone was friendly and fun. I went solo and made so many great friends and we still keep in touch! You get to know them inside out in the short time you spend together.
We had a very helpful and cheery tour manager and coach driver.. They really made the trip memorable. It was obvious they loved their jobs.
Accommodations were reasonable given what you are paying for them. If you're looking for a five star hotel type vacation, this is probably not the trip for you. Though I didn't encounter bed bugs, the beds were small and the rooms were really just to fall asleep in after a long day. But, if you're planning on spending most of the day outside anyway, it won't really matter!
This was a high energy trip - it's really just always on the go!
It is a good way to see specific places in a short amount of time, and also get a feel for where you want to explore further next time. For me, it was a great introduction to Europe, especially since it was my first time travelling alone it made it much easier. The Me time options on this trip were amazing! I wasn't brave enough to try paragliding but everyone who did loved it.
Be prepared to only catch up on sleep on the bus. And the contiki cough... Is real! Try to squeeze in enough vitamin C and rest between all the partying.
I was really nervous before booking and even before getting to the contiki meetup. It was my first trip far alone, but after doing it, I recommend it to anyone who is on the fence. DO IT! You'll have the time of your life.
How do you sum up 25 of the fullest, happiest, drunkest, most beautiful days of your life? Would 100% recommend staying on the entire tour, as loosing half the group in Rome just about broke my heart and the newbies found it more difficult to jel with the group. I don't think i realised how much bus travel there would be but WORTH IT. San Sebastian is bloody awesome, Florence i had the best pasta of my whole damn existence, Berlin taught me so much and Nice has water so icy blue it didn't even look real. Optional extras were a little pricy but you have to do them. Food for vegos was awesome in places like Italy, however Spain i was hungry haha. A year on and people i met on this tour from 30kms away, interstate and even over seas made it to my 21st, and we all still talk regularly. You will almost definitely make friends for life on contiki. Time to rap this up before i get teary. Shout outs to Pedro for being the best driver ever, and Cam for being beautifully kiwi. Sweet team.
For those thinking of doing the European Escapade I highly recommend it, especially if it is your first time in Europe! I just finished it recently and it was 25 unbelievable days! The length was definitely perfect because it’s not too long and it’s not too short, giving you ample time to explore Europe. So I could rave on and on about how good it is but I want to also tell you the negative things to make sure that you are prepared for EVERYTHING.
For starters, ensure that you bring a lot of medication like panadol/nurofen, cold/flu tablets, cough medicine, throat lozenges and nasal sprays. You are 100% guaranteed to get what is known as the contiki cough and that includes a constant and annoying cough that you’ll have for at least 2 weeks, congestion/runny noses and sore throats etc.
Next thing, bed bugs. I would definitely recommend getting a “silk sak”. It can be bought on eBay and is just a light sleeping sack made of silk. Sleeping in that with the blankets over the top of it is one way of preventing yourself from getting bed bug bites (if you do happen to encounter them yourself) and purchase some bed bug spray as well. This came in handy, especially in Rome, Switzerland and Austrian Tyrol where a few of us encountered some nasty bed bugs, resulting is us having to wash everything in our suit case and walk around covered in bites. I cannot stress enough how careful you should be when going to new accommodation and make sure you check the beds, even under the mattress!!
Keep a water bottle on you everywhere you go so you make sure that you’re not buying water all the time as well as a few snacks here and there because the food is very expensive, I spent more money on food than anything else.
DON’T FEEL PRESSURED TO DO EVERY ME TIME OPTIONAL. The guides will tell you that you’ll feel left out if you don’t do everything but that is definitely not the case. There will always be someone else who isn’t doing a particular thing so you can hang out with them and do your own thing. I really enjoyed all of the optional dinners but if you don’t want to do them all PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do the Tuscan dinner. It will be the best dinner of your trip with an abundance of amazing Italian food! I didn’t really enjoy the walking tour in the Vatican but it does include entry tickets through the Basilica and you do get to see some of Michelangelo’s greatest works. Paragliding and white water rafting are so much fun! BRING SHOWER SHOES!!!! You will be thanking me when you get to a place that has communal showers and you are standing in someones shower water puddles and soap. It will also prevent tinea which is a massive plus! One last thing, make sure you have a decent amount of money because things are very expensive in Europe!! You may think it’s just people over exaggerating but trust me, some things are definitely over priced so thin before you buy! Anyway, I hope this hasn’t stopped you from wanting to do it because you will have an amazing time and make amazing friends along the way, some that will definitely be there for a life time! So safe travels and have a great time!
This was my first trip with Contiki and wasn't really sure what to expect. I was quite worried about going, as I was travelling solo, but from the moment I got there I absolutely loved it and would definitely go again.
Everyone on the trip was lovely, including our awesome tour manager James and driver Chris.
Although there were some days spent mainly on the coach, it was split up nicely involving stops in various places that you wouldn't normally pick yourself, including an Amish town in Indiana. Plus, the company on the coach made the time fly by.
The variety of the optionals was great. There was something for everyone, from helicopter rides over the Niagara Falls, to trail rides and evening shows.
The number of places that you see on this trip in the month is incredible. It was great having a mix of national parks, big cities and small country towns. It just showed how different each of the states are and has made me want to see the rest of them.
The accommodation throughout the trip was great. Some places were nicer than others, but it didn't really matter as you spent more time out and about exploring with your new found friends than sitting in the rooms.
Overall I had an amazing time and met lots of lovely people (who I hope to keep in contact with) and made memories that I will never forget. I would definitely recommend it :)
Contiki is a good option if you are wanting to see a lot of places in a short amount of time. You will meet some great people and make some memories you will always remember.
On the European Discovery tour we got to hit the main things in each country. I recommend doing only a couple of the optional tours they give you as you still want time to explore for yourself. The Switzerland ride up to the Alps is great and the dinners that are optional do them! The food is amazing and well worth the price.
Our tour guide was AMAZING loved her!!!! Anna did an awesome job!!
Some Things to be aware of if you are going to book....
1. BED BUGS!!!!
In Germany we went to a hotel that had bed bugs in it. They were crawling on the walls, ceiling and all over the sheets. We were told before hand to only bring in a small bag not out luggage (perhaps because there were BED BUGS but I cannot say for sure). The next morning a bunch of people awoke with bites and bugs in their bags
In Switzerland we went to a jail hotel. It literally was a jail that was changed into a hotel. In my opinion in was more jail than hotel. Within the room there were strange red bugs that were crawling over the sheets.
Try to Google the reviews of the hotels before booking if possible.
2. People Trying to sell you goods (something to be aware of as it occurs frequently in Europe)
In Florence we went on a "leather tour" it actually just a leather store where we could buy stuff.
In Paris we went to a perfume store where the ladies went over how to make perfume then we existed via the gift shop. This would have been fine except we only had one day in Paris and this "tour" took up 2 hours of our day
"Exit via the Giftshop"
3. Hours on a Bus
If you are going to do a Contiki tour be aware that most of your day is going to be spent on the bus. On average we drove about 6-7 hours each day then arrived at the town to explore for a couple of hours. So make sure you plan what you want to do accordingly see the sights you want to see first then move on.
The tourwas certainly not what I expected. Usually solo travellers book tours because everything is organised and you have a tour guide that will ensure things run smoothly and according to plan. Unfortunately, in Contiki’s instance, the tour guide for my tour in Mexico, Belize & Guatemala was the downfall of my entire holiday. I went away for a total of 7 weeks, and this Contiki tour was my longest, and worst part of my holiday. I met a few great people along the way and visited a few great sites, but the disorganisation, the rude tour guide, the accommodation and the recommended optionals are absolutely not value for money. Spending almost $6,000AUD in Central America for 18 days, I was expecting some luxurious holiday at the best of the best, but checking into rooms with scorpions and mostly mosquito-ridden and broken air conditioning is far from unpleasant. One of our rooms separated our bathroom and bedroom by a sheer curtain, and when you're sharing with a new roommate, you don't exactly want to see them in the toilet. Our tour guide was unapproachable and disinterested for most of the trip and it was definitely disappointing. Would I recommend this tour to my friends and family? Absolutely not. In fact after my other 2 tours in Cuba & Colombia with G Adventures were so unbelievably brilliant, I’m tempted to write the first complaint letter of my life to Contiki. Save your money, do a different tour.
Our Canadian trip was absolutely amazing.
You could never imagine just how much you could possibly see in the 13 days on the tour - this trip is a must-do and a trip of a lifetime. I've seen parts of Canada before but never like I did on this tour.
We had the best group of people and a fantastic Tour Guide (Alex) and Driver (Richard), they went over and above to take/show us places and experiences that aren't necessarily included in the brochure.
I could not recommend the experience high enough.
OMG I loved. I mean loved my first Contiki trip and SE Asia. I did the Asian Adventure with Contiki in June/July 2016 and loved it from start to finish. I was a bit nervous as this was my first solo trip to Southeast Asia, and being over 30. But I needed not worry. This is the best way to travel without worry about anything. All I had to do was turn up at specific times everything was taken care of. I'd booked a transfer from the airport to the starting hotel through Contiki and this was hassle free as I did have to worry about looking for taxi upon arrival in Bangkok. I was happy to see a sign with my name on it with the Contiki logo once I exited outside. The starting hotel was amazing. Even though I had arrived at 10am there was no problem with checking in early, my room was ready and waiting. The staff at the hotel was very friendly and helpful. The next 2 weeks travelling through Asia with Contiki was the best experience I could ever hope to have, even getting soaked in a thunderstorm was an amazing experience in itself. I can't find fault with any of the hotels or transportation that was used throughout this trip. Our tour leader Jazz was amazing. She was full of helpful information and knew nearly everything and if she didn't she'd get back to you. I met someone amazing people on my trip and can't wait to do it again. My advice if you're thinking of doing this trip do it. It's worth all the money. And do all the extras that are offered. I went on this trip alone but came back with 13 new friends from all over the world.
P.S don't pack too much. You can get all or everything in Asia.
If you are ever in doubt of contiki and its awe then this trip will just blow your mind away. It completely outgrew my expectations of what a trip can do/evolve and allowed me to be completely immersed in Vietnams culture.
First off- you get to see everything that Vietnam has/is. The trip itinerary is unbelievable and really stretches your imagination. We got to see amazing sites (Mekong Delta, Halong Bay), and have experiences that I will never forget. My favourite part was probably the mud fishing (don't be put off it's the most fun you'll ever have), where you literally jump in a river full of mud and try and catch fish (i.e. dinner) with your bare hands. We also got the opportunity to have mud baths, climb to the top of an awe-inspiring mountain, take bike tours around Hoi-An, have tradiitonal vietnamese cooking classes, and spend an entire day jumping off a boat and swimming around Halong bay with freshly made (and very strong) jungle juice cocktails in our hands.
If you are lucky you will have Evan as your tour guide. He was able to build our tour group into one big happy family but the end of the two weeks.
My advice about this trip? BOOK IT NOW!
For my first Contiki, I'm very glad i did this trip as I've always wanted to travel through the northern territory. Our tour manager Mark and our driver Dave were incredible through start to end!
I recommend do EVERY optional, as there was a couple i didn't do and utterly regret it. Get the longer flights rather than the 15 minutes, as 15 minutes went past so quickly (still worth it)
Food was homey which is good while your away from home and what you want during a holiday.
Accommodation is accommodation, you'll have a bathroom and beds (I had great sleeps all through out)
There is plenty of days where you will do a lot of driving, but its a great chance for napping time *Don't expect sleep ins, as there isn't any ;)*, besides napping, window time is perfect as the scenery is just beautiful.
One of the best parts besides the places you see, is the people you meet and the friendships that are made!
I could sit here for hours typing an essay about the trip, but if anyone is considering doing it, just book it as you won't have any regrets.
Hi Everyone! Firstly; I absolutely loved every minute of this trip - for me, it was a great way to get a taste of all the things I ever wanted to do and see in Europe.
My Details - 26 year old female from Melbourne. Solo traveller with twin-share accommodation (hotels) - had the same roommate for the whole duration of the trip.
What did we see & do - probably easier to tell you what we didn't see and do, heh. This trip covered just about everything on my Europe Bucket List - we got to see all the major attractions (Eiffel Tour, Colosseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Greek Islands, etc.) as well as things I didn't even think of seeing/doing or even know existed (Catacombs in Paris, etc).
Optionals - I booked in and participated in the majority of the optionals and I would recommend this to anyone doing this trip. Some of the highlights for me were the Paragliding in Austria, Bike Ride in Munich and the Boat Cruise in Corfu on George's Boat.
Accommodation - I personally was surprised with the level of accommodation on this tour - some hotels were better than others, but this is to be expected based on the city/country you visit. I found each hotel to be clean and safe and found the staff extremely friendly and helpful. I did pack my own pillow case just in case I found any of the hotels to be subpar quality, but this wasn't necessary =).
Food - I attempted to try a bit of everything - including snails in Paris =). The food that was included in the trip was for most part, good (some places better than others), however the breakfast was quite average. Expect to fill up on cereal, muesli, fruit, etc. most mornings however some hotels did have a much bigger variety (eggs, bacon, etc.). During your free time (generally around lunch/dinner) you do have the option to explore the cities to eat at one of the local restaurants on the odd days/nights where food isn't included.
Transport - our coach and driver were fantastic. Most people used the time on the coach to catch up on some sleep, however I preferred to use this time to socialise, check out the sights out the window (especially when driving through Paris, Switzerland, Munich & Austria) as well as update my social media using the coach's WIFI (yes, it even has WIFI).
Best moments - interacting and laughing with the locals. I found everyone I met and interacted with on this trip to be very friendly and pleasant. I also found that it definitely does not hurt to try and interact with the locals in their own language - it does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I got by remarkably fine with just the basics (hello, thank you, goodbye, etc.) and also downloaded the Phrasebook Apps for when I felt like showing off =P.
I would definitely recommend this trip and Contiki in general. Our tour manager; Cam was extremely helpful and knowledgable and his wealth of knowledge in regards to all of the history that surrounded the places we visited definitely enhanced the experience and made everything that much more interesting.
TIP: There was a few people on our tour who came down with a cold/cough so the advice is to come prepared. I took probiotics every day and also stocked up on vitamins and was fortunate enough to not get sick at all.
Thank you for a fantastic trip, Contiki!
I was somewhat hesitant about using Contiki just because I am 30 years old and wanted my trip to Greece to include a ton of sights and great food along with a dose of partying. I was able to accomplish all of that and more. Contiki was a great and affordable option. I did all of the optionals except 2. They were so fun and gave you an opportunity to bond with the rest of your group. Greece Highlights: beautiful sunsets, seafood dinner in Paros, Antiparos (gorgeous), hiking a volcano, the bluest water ever, smashing plates, Greek dancing, infinity pools, and delicious food. Our Contiki Manager JASON was amazing. He is from Athens and shared so much with us about the history of each island. He was also very laid back and provided insider tips on how to score a good gyro, grabbing a taxi, and where the locals go for fun. He even helped us celebrate a birthday of one of our fellow travelers. So glad I followed my friends and my heart to a trip of a lifetime.
I'll try to keep this short but there is sooo many good things about Contiki Japan Unrivalled tour! The food at everyone location was amazing, the sites we visited was breath taking, our local tour guide Nato San was hilarious! Ahhh I want to do this again!
My tips for this trip would include:
- Try all the foods that are there! Even though you are not used to eating seafood back home, just try it once there. It was way better! I dont like raw Tuna back in Australia, there in Japan, its so much better!
- Embrace their culture. Things may be a little different back home but just do as the locals do. There were some on the trip that did not want to order food from a ticket vending machine out front because it was out of the ordinary, JUST TRY IT! Do what the locals do!! There is nothing wrong with it!
- Dont worry to much about learning the language. Yes it is polite to learn some phrases so you can communicate with the locals, but many of them can speak English. Some even want to speak English because they want to be more fluent in the language. I was in Hiroshima, and a local came and sat down with us, I said to him "Watashi no namae wa Chandy desu" (My name is Chandy) and he responded to me in English.
- Learn the dining etiquette. There is a few things to learn when eating out. Like saying " itadakimasu" before you eat, and "gochisosama" after you eat. There are plenty more so its worth looking into.
- Speak to the locals! As mentioned before in a previous tip, the locals love speaking to foreigners. They are some of the most nicest, wonderful people you will ever meet. Definitely get to know them and have a drink with them. It really makes your journey worth while!
- Be open minded. This just doesn't include Japan, but every country you visit. Go out and try new things. Even things that never interested you to begin with. For example, I was never interested in going to a maid cafe. I though they were a bit girlish, lame and an weird. However, I gave it a go, it was amazing! A cute happy overload in your face!! So just try new things! JUST DO IT!!
I know I said i'll keep things sort Japan has so many cool things to see and do! There are videos on youtube of this Contiki tour so check them out! Also it wouldn't hurt to see other travel videos about Japan before you leave. Definitely do this trip, it really defines Contiki's popular hastage #NoRegrets
If I can given any advice to anyone, book the Vietnam Experience trip. There was not a single moment that I was not in awe of this country! There are so many things to see, do and eat. Contiki caters for all the needs. The beauty and bustle is breathe taking. Best trip I have ever had. Absolutely perfection. My trip manager was Shannon - she was outstanding! You are lucky if you ever get her.
If you want to see a range of cultures in a small amount of time, the Quest to Rome will be your perfect trip. The best part about the tour is that for the most part, you make the most of how you spend your own time - in other words, you can do as little, or as much as you would like to do in each city on each dedicated day. The food in France (you HAVE to try the snails and the tartare, just to say you've done it!), and tapas in Spain were absolutely amazing, and the beaches in Italy are amazing places you wouldn't usually think to go to on a normal trip to Europe, but definitely worth the visit. Great variety of food, beaches, shopping, sleeping, amazing architecture, history, and partying (you could literally get drunk every night if you were up for it) - this tour literally covers everything.
I would recommend doing the MEtime extras - they make your trip that little bit more authentic/cultural, and add to the amazing memories you'll be making over in Europe.
As a few people on the reviews have said, the Contiki cough is a legitimate thing, prepare to get sick along the way, but it'll be worth it for the friendships you'll make, the fun that you'll have and the stunning places you'll get to see.
10/10 I would recommend doing this trip!!
Word of warning: don't go on this trip if you don't want to fall in love with a group of people and end up travelling the country or world to see them. With that out of the way I would urge anyone thinking about doing this tour to go for it! You will enjoy every day and do so many things you never thought you would. If you're worried or apprehensive about going to Egypt don't be. If anything it was probably my favourite part of the whole trip. From riding camels to going inside a pyramid to swimming in the Nile I did so much in Egypt. The people are beautiful and love the fact that some tourists are coming to their country. The whole tour was amazing and the fact that I made lifelong friends was a massive bonus. All in all I say forget about all the drama going on in the world, join this tour, see the world and fall in love with it!
This trip was awesome. I met up with a bunch of people prior to the start of the tour using the contiki app and found that a lot of the people on my tour were solo travellers like me. There was a range of ages, personalities and nationalities but we all got on really well and were able to have a laugh. Our tour guide James aka Tintin was awesome and really made the trip wonderful for everyone no matter what their travel style. He was full of knowledge about where to eat, shop and party. My favourite parts of our trip were the Mekong delta, we went mud fishing and I caught one! The Cu Chi tunnels were really informative and gave you an insight into the history of Vietnam and the war. Hoi An, biking around the ancient town, enjoying the lanterns and getting some clothes made at Yaly. Halong bay is amazing and the pirate party we had was epic! My advice is do all the inclusions, they were all interesting experiences and make sure you bring a swimsuit you don't mind getting muddy, mine got a bit stained, luckily it was an old one.
The destinations of the California Highlights tour were beautiful. The accommodations were nice especially the chalets at the Pines Resort. Those were fantastic. However, my friend and I were totally turned off by the fact that our group of about 10 people were joining a much larger group of 50 or so people halfway through their tour. We did not know that this would be happening and it was totally awkward from the start. All of the friendships had been formed already. There was no time in Las Vegas to talk to our group mates. We had a brief introductory meeting, then we were whisked off to a limo ride. The group was so large that we (all of the "California Highlights" people kind of got lost in the big mish mosh of "Western Highlights" people and "LA to the bay" people. Also, we did have to do a lot of the sight seeing independently which is not what I was expecting. Years ago, I did a Contiki tour in Italy. That experience was absolutely amazing. I made great friends on the trip and very rarely felt that I was left on my own to go sight seeing. I had high hopes for this California Contiki, but was unfortunately let down. I am sad to say that I probably will not do another Contiki.
I don't know where to begin, but whether in the beginning or the end, or even the middle…I’ve never felt more alive and have never been happier with my decision then with this trip. From top to bottom, left to right, this really is the trip of a lifetime that I had internally been needing my entire life. I grew up in a family that played it safe and didn’t venture out, I knew I needed something grand to ensure I was separating myself from who I was, to who I wanted to become. Yes, I have plenty of work still to do, but I am not the same person I was before this trip. I believe the Universe guided me to Contiki and this trip, everything I was doing led me to needing a break from reality, a detour from the maps and paths I was walking, riding and flying on. From having a list of regrets and knowing that the list was getting longer and longer with each passing year it was time to ensure that I incorporated “no regrets” into my life. All I originally wanted, was to be gone, anywhere, so I found the longest trip at the time and did that. What I found was a lot more than I had hoped. Sure, looking back I didn’t do everything I should have done on this trip, such like Parasailing in Corfu and taking the nightlife by the horns every night, but I did more than I ever thought I would do in a lifetime in just 46 days. I have met amazing travelers who have changed my ways of thinking for the better. I have tried foods I would never have eaten, seen sites I had only dreamed of seeing (unless it was living vicariously in a travel magazine or history textbook). Sure, with everything I have seen and done, I haven’t been able to retain all of it, but I know that there is a world outside my city that needs to be seen. The best advice I can give you is to “do it”. If you’re waiting for a sign or someone’s permission - this is it, life has a tendency to pass you by when you’re waiting for the right time to enjoy your life. I was hoping to have seen one country within the next one and a half years, or that is what I had planned on my “10 year map”. This trip alone allowed me to seen 22 of Europe’s most popular landscapes, cities and monuments and have grown to love camping and appreciate the outdoors and the serenity that being in places like Switzerland gives its visitors. We had the best on road crew who are filled with love and happiness which became contagious, if you’re worried about traveling alone or not having a support system - Contiki’s Trip Employees and travelers got your back - 100%. It really is wonderful to have a go to person when something is wrong, and let’s be honest you’re really never too old to benefit from a help in hand or someone’s resources. From Mike’s Bikes in Munich, coasting through the city just as you would imagine, and days on beaches and boats that allowed us to be at the center of Greek and Dubrovnik’s Islands, to feasting at authentic and cultural restaurants, I have lived. The best way I can say it, is that I want to be able to have the song “I Lived” as an anthem for my life, as should you. I want to know that
“I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived” - One Republic
This won’t be my last Contiki. This is the start of something wonderful. I don’t want to travel alone and with Contiki, I know I have people who are excited about making the most of life and their trip. These are people who also are going against the grain and finding that there is so much more that the world has to offer.
This trip has been a long time coming for my brother and I and we were admittedly a little nervous about travelling so far with a bunch of people we didn't know. Everyone on our trip were amazing and we all got along so well but what made our trip so spectacular was our trip manager Anne-Elys and trip driver Balazs! I have a serious fear of dying in a motor vehicle and Balazs was the best driver ever! I felt so safe. Both were enthusiastic no matter how long the drive or how annoying we were or how late the nights. Anne-Elyse was more than knowledgable and so passionate. The trip was exciting, informative and enjoyable. I have memories of a life time and everyone who asks I have so many amazing things to talk about with where we went and what we did and saw!! The me time optional a were worth every penny! Would hands down book another trip ESPECIALLY if it's with Anne-Elyse and Balazs!!