Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
If you want to travel around Europe and have it all organized for you then this is the tour for you!! If your asking your self " Do i really want to travel alone?" or "Maybe i am to old to do a Contiki tour?" Then stop right there! We had 35 ish people in our tour which was considered a small group ages between 18 and our eldest was 33. ( Room to spread out on the bus ummm Yes please!!) We had 5 couples and the rest traveling alone or with a friend. This tour shows you the best of every country and you make so many friends along the way. My favorite place we visited was SPAIN!!! The hostel we stayed at was awesome and so clean and funky!! The food and country is amazing!! Make sure you get to the Food Markets and the Sagrada Família. Switzerland was beautiful but cold so take warm clothes!! I didn't and had to buy a few things haha. Try and do all of the ME time options there honestly worth the money!!! Beware of the bed bugs in Rome that was the only down side of the accommodation and my poor partner got eaten alive!! Take vitamins and cough syrup but keep in mind THE CONTIKI COUGH IS REAL no matter how healthy you are you will get sick!! I sounded like a dieing seal the whole time but it didn't effect my time overseas!
I could talk forever about this tour If you have any questions message me and ill reply to any of your questions or concerns.
I feel like this tour is missing a honest review from someone who has done other Contiki tours in the past.
I was really disappointed and will no longer be calling this a tour but rather a trip for the rest of the review and that will be explained later.
Athens: A interesting city but unfortunately you don't have enough time there to actually do to much other than go on a quick "optional" tour. This is a trip and not a tour as Contiki is not allowed by Greek laws to give you a tour, they actually have to hire someone to do it and unlike all other Contiki tours I've taken it isn't free, this is considered an optional event. The optional tour quickly stops off at 3 locations and very little information on history and historical relevance is given, i had more information in my travel book that i luckily brought with me. The hotel in Athens is nice and the staff there are very friendly. It has an excellent location across the street from the beach and there is a roof top bar/pool. The first 2 days is where you really start to get to know people on the tour and make friendships. Do not do the optional dinner the second night, i luckily didn't and everyone who did wished they hadn't.
Mykonos: When i booked the tour the website boasted about a exclusive contiki beach hotel i would be staying at, in fact my itinerary when i received it in the mail even showed my reservation at this hotel. Upon my arrive in Athens at the first night meeting it was explained that Contiki had "over booked the tour" and we would not all be staying at that hotel as we would be divided up into 2 groups. Unfortunately I had bonded with quite a few people from the other group. You jump on a ferry which is quite large and comfortable, bring a snack as i found the food on the ferry limited, definitely do not drink the coffee, its vile. Our hotel in Mykonos was the Rhia which is according to Contiki "walking distance" from the famous beach hotel the other half of the group was staying. In reality according to google maps it is a 2 hour walk through dangerous roads. The hotel had a small pool and the rooms were little cottages. Internet was VERY VERY spotty and would come and go faster than the wind. The hotel staff were very friendly. The beach is not close so live it up in the hotel pool. Mykonos in general was a cool place to see, there is a huge party scene but with the location of the hotel it is not within safe walking distance (one of the guys on my tour decided to make the walk late night and fell into the rocks and needed stitches). Some people rented quads which Contiki suggested we didn't, i really wish i would have, then i could have actually enjoyed the island without having to pay a relative fortune to Contiki for a bus ride into the town. Taxis are non existent for the most part so if you are going to make your own trek during the day catch the bus. I had a friend who had booked this same trip 2 weeks later and so i advised her of the hotel switch, she called to check to see if she would be at the beach hotel or not and was told they would never swap hotels. This made me think it was a honest oversell… i was wrong, when she arrived in Athens she was told she was going to be staying at the Rhia. I took my photo of the windmills and did the optional tour which was somewhat informative, i feel this tour was worth the money as she explained a lot about the culture other than that I could have done without Mykonos. Oh also girls BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL here, we went to the beach day party and girls were getting assaulted everywhere. There were some very scary stories of narrow escapes. Stay with the group, don't venture off with people you just met, especially locals and you'll be fine.
Santorini: This is an amazing island! Very beautiful and very romantic. The hotel was centrally located and easy to walk to many sights and shops. We were reunited with the other half of the group which was nice. The hotel was very very roomy but small beds. Some people complained about the showers but i found them good. Large pool in the middle of the hotel. The island is quite large and a quad would have made exploring much easier but after so many people had gotten injured drinking and quadding in mykonos i decided not to, especially seeing how there was a lot within walking distance. Despite what our tour manager told us there is quite a lot of ruins and cultural things to see on this island, i recommend researching it before you go as i missed seeing some pretty important ruins on the island only to see a documentary about them on tv when i got home and no I'm not talking about Akrotiri. I did the optional tour and it was money well spent as i did learn some things and got to see a lot of the island. I unfortunately signed up for the sun downer optional… total scam, just take a cab to the other side of the island with some of your new friends and sit in the same free patio for exactly that… FREE. Like mentioned very romantic place and i would recommend this island to anyone for a honeymoon.
Ios: This is a pure party island, there is nothing to see culturally. The hotel is nice and there is a free shuttle to the beach or you can walk 30 mins down the winding road. Enjoy the sun and relax as there is nothing else to do. The optional pirate ship was supposively the 1 thing worth doing, i unfortunately missed it do to a family crisis i had to deal with over the phone. At night everyone goes into the town and does a pub crawl, i can't remember if the pub crawl was an optional thing or not, i know we always had to pay for a bus, there seemed to be extra charges almost every day for something and many of us felt like we were lining the pockets of our tour managers. The debauchery was out of control on this island and i was often ashamed of people who were on our trip. I won't go into the details as it was appalling and inappropriate to even write on this review. To give you perspective i used to be a bartender in the biggest nightclubs in western canada, love to party, frequent ibiza and have never seen anything like this. I did the optional dinner and it wasn't good value but it was nice to eat with everyone on the last day in Ios.
You then return to Athens to the same hotel, everyone on the last day is pretty partied out so its really quite. At all the hotels we stayed at there was pricing on the door for the room, we did the math and we could have booked this trip by ourselves and saved significant money. For the people on this trip whose it was their first Contiki experience they said it would be their last as the value wasn't there. I encouraged many people to try some of the our Contiki tours as they are actual tours where you not only party but grow culturally. So on that note if you are looking for value and a balance between party and sightseeing/learning then this is not the trip for you. If all you want to see is the bottom of a bottle on island with very loose rules then this is the trip for you.
This trip was amazing i definitely recommend it, and i suggest you do the extra activities that are not included like the Stonehenge and roman baths. You get plenty of free time in Paris to go explore the museums and the great Parisian food. Amsterdam was unescorted but you make friends throughout the first two destinations. We went to the Anne Frank house, the Heineken factory, red light district. Definitely a great adventure, I will travel contiki again specially since i went as a solo traveler never felt like i was alone.
I did this tour two years ago, so it's been a while, but as I'm about to finally do my 2nd Contiki I thought I'd review the first!
It is a great way to tick so many boxes in Europe - It's crazy to think how many countries I've visited, and now I know which places I want to see again in more details.
It was soooo cold, but I packed accordingly and it was nice to have snow as we walked through places like Prague and Amsterdam.
The best thing about this tour is because it's in winter, there aren't so many tourists, and you get to see places in a different light, other than the sunny postcard pictures most people imagine in summer.
The people were amazing - our tour guide and driver, Laura and Andras were phenomenal. Our bus was full of Aussies, and they were so much fun. Heaps of couples, which was perfect for us as we were also a couple, but also a group of singles who bed hopped a bit.
If it's your first Contiki, do it. It's awesome, and just long enough to say you've had a great time, and you're ready to go home at the end!
Take way more money than you think you'll need. There are extra things to do all over the place, and there were some people on our trip who couldn't afford it and it sucked for them, and also for us because we didn't want to talk about it in front of them.
I actually went last year and promised the guys I'd leave a review. I've completely forgtton until I've come back here to book my next holiday.
I've seen the dude who's left a rather indepth review; it's pretty acurate so I'll try keep mine short and sweet :)
Don't think about it, just go ahead and book it!!
This trip was soooooo incredible; the people, the lifestyle, the destinations...ARGHHHH, thinking about it makes me want to go back so much!!
I can't call them staff becuase they've really become my friends but the guys at Contiki on the boat were really awesome. Their company really made the trip for me.
What I really loved was the freedom to really feed my curiosity. I would litrally say "Hey guys, can we head over to that little island over there?" and they would reply with just simply sailing over. It wasn't on the trip, just some random island we were sailing past that was a nature reserve. We set anchor, and spent a couple hours there. AMAZING!!!
The food was incredible, the people even more so, and the places we visited were breathtaking.
From watching a thunderstorm in the distance after an incredible plate of food to raising some undies that I stole as a flag to climbing up a castle to swimming with schools of fish to chilling at a bar with a glass of bourbon; there's tons to do to completely unwind. I forgot to mention the donkeys..oh, and the dolphins.....
So a huge thanks to my skipper Yiorgos and the guy who made it all happen Petros for making it a week I'll never forget. And all you lovely gals who were with me as well, you know who you are ;)
Greece, I love you.
P.S, the toilet paper thing takes a little getting used to but it's not that bad. If you have no idea what I mean, go forth and find out brave adventurer!!
P.S.S, the picture I've included is one I actually took by the way, just saying....
For me, going on this trip was quite spontaneous and a spur of the moment thing, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions and one of the most incredible experiences of my life so far.
I travelled solo and did this tour over Christmas/New Year and had the best time. I met the most incredible people from all over the world. I met people from Australia, South Africa, the US, Germany, Ireland and we all got along like a house on fire! So much so, I miss them every day!
Overall, it's a safe place to travel (although beware of pickpockets, especially at night - don't take your valuables out with you), your money goes so much further there, the accommodation is great, the people are so friendly and the food is unbelievable.
I'd recommend the Vietnam Experience over the Highlights tour, purely as you have the extra 2 days at the start. With the 'Experience' tour, you go to the Mekong Delta and that is the first full day of the tour. The night in the jungle was a great ice-breaker of a night and a great bonding experience for the group. The people who joined later as part of the 'Highlights' tour very much became a part of the family, but were like 'oh man!' when they heard about the night in the Mekong!
Highlights for me were:
-Christmas Eve at the homestay in the Mekong Delta.
-Nha Trang. The day on the boat/swimming in the sea and the night at the Sailing Club were incredible.
-Halong Bay. Like nothing you've ever seen before. You'll be awestruck at it's beauty. Kayaking in the bay and through those limestone karsts was just magic. Photos just don't do this place justice. Quite possibly the most beautiful place I've ever been.
I feel the group dynamic on the whole is slightly better on Contiki Asia tours than the Euro ones, as there is a max of 30 here. As a result, everyone gets to know everyone really well and it's like everyone's known each other for ages!
This country has so much history, everywhere you go, it's such an interesting place. I'm so glad I made the spontaneous decision to go on this trip. I've got friends for life and still reminisce about this trip all the time.
If you've got any questions at all, feel free to hit me up here or on facebook, I'll be happy to answer them! My instagram's also got many photos of the trip (@adamjcp), feel free to check it out!
Last recommendation - If you can, spend a bit more time after the trip in Hanoi. There are a few people who stay behind a bit longer after the tour and all you'll want to do is keep exploring with your new contiki family!
It's been nearly a year since I did this tour, but I still reminisce about it all the time. I'd never travelled overseas on my own before this trip, but I've done it again since. Honestly, don't worry about travelling solo, there are many others doing the same and you'll all have the best time!
This is a bit long, but bear with me....here are some of my notes and recommendations about the places you'll visit on this trip:
-If you're a football fan, doing a tour of Anfield is a must in your free time.
-Spend some of your free time chilling at Albert Dock, very peaceful place.
-I had a blast at the Cavern Club! It's very crowded early on in the night, but give it some time and once it starts to clear out a little is a very enjoyable place. Interact with the locals!
-The narrow cobblestone streets of York are very cool. Take a stroll through the markets, you'll find some amazing food for lunch or an afternoon snack.
-Check out Clifford's Tower, you'll get some very impressive views of the city.
-DEFINITELY do the ghost walk at night. Even if you don't believe in that stuff, York is a great setting for those horror/supernatural type stories as the sun goes down. By the end, some people are so on edge, that even dull sounds in the distance start to scare them!
-Do the high ropes course! It's great fun with many laughs involved. A really good bonding exercise for those who choose to do it.
-If you do the Lake Windermere cruise, take a decent jacket!
-This is such a great city for sightseeing. Definitely check out Edinburgh Castle, then go wandering the cobblestone streets to check out the awesome architecture around the city.
-Absolutely go to the Scottish dinner and order the haggis! You're at a Scottish dinner in Edinburgh with everyone dressed up with a brilliant and hilarious bagpiper, might as well try the haggis! It tastes better than you'd imagine!
-If you're a rugby fan, take the opportunity to check out Murrayfield in your free time.
-Searching for Nessie is good fun and take a dip in Loch Ness!
-Isle of Skye. Amazing. Never have I seen such stunning natural scenery. Take the opportunity to dip your face in the freezing 'stream of eternal beauty'!
-Oban is a nice chilled out seaside town. Glenn, our awesome TM, took us Scottish Highland dancing that night and it was amazingly fun! Another really great bonding experience for the group.
-On the way you'll stop in at Stirling, check out the castle there, pretty cool way to spend a couple of hours.
I actually found Glasgow quite average, but if you're a football fan, do a stadium tour of Celtic Park. Stunning.
-The nightlife in Glasgow is really awesome, this was one of my favourite nights on tour. Everyone gets dressed up and has a super night!
*Dublin (1st time)
-The bus ride to the port and then the ferry ride from Scotland to Ireland is as good a time as any to catch up on sleep. Trust me, your body will thank you after the previous night.
-Head out to Temple Bar and check out the live music scene. Great atmosphere.
*Dublin to Derry
-Belfast is an incredibly interesting place, especially if you're a history nut like me. The peace wall and the Titanic slipways are very cool.
-Giants Causeway. Amazing. Incredible natural scenery.
-You must do the walking tour with Ronan in Derry. Such a great guy and so knowledgable. So much history there and by the end, you'll feel a great sense of empathy for what went on. The best walking tour of a city I've ever been on.
-I thought it was a pretty average place to be honest, but you MUST go and see the Aran Islands. You can ride a bike around the island all day surrounded by stunning scenery. Quite possibly my favourite place on tour.
*Galway to Cork
-Cliffs of Moher = Breathtaking, peaceful, magnificent.
-Blarney Castle - Go on, kiss the blarney stone. It makes for some cool photos!
*Cork to Kilkenny
-Not too much going on during this day, but I thought paying a few Euro to see the Rock of Cashel was worth it.
-If your TM plans to take the group to the Karaoke Bar, you must go! It's an incredibly fun night, right up there as one of the most enjoyable nights on tour! Words cannot describe.
*Dublin (last night)
-This is pretty much the last night of the tour, so make sure you sign up for the optional Irish dinner! Everyone gets dressed up again and there's some great Irish food, singing and dancing going on.
-As it's the last night, everyone's pretty tired but I'd recommend heading out to Temple Bar one last time before the trek back to London. It might even be the last time you'll see some of the group as they finish in Dublin and fly out early the next morning. So make the most of it!
*Dublin to London
-The whole day is taken up by a ferry and bus trip, with a short stop in Wales with the longest town name in history. Everyone pretty much spends the whole day sleeping on the bus. Your body will need it.
All in all, it's 16 days of awesomeness and worth every last cent. You see so much in such a short space of time. Perfect for those with only a few weeks to travel, like myself. Last few recommendations/info:
-On this trip, you don't spend much time on the bus at all which was awesome. Your sightseeing time was definitely maximised.
-Food was great, as was the accommodation.
-Travelling solo was great. As long as you're open minded, willing to make an effort to get to know people and let others get to know you, you'll be sweet. You'll have friends for life from all corners of the globe. I now have friends from NZ, South Africa, Canada, the US, Germany, Mexico and all parts of my own country, Australia. Since this trip, I've had numerous contiki reunions (even travelling interstate for these) and it's so great to catch up with my fellow travellers and reminisce about the great times we shared on this trip.
-Travelling alone and having to share a room is fine. In fact, my room-mate on this trip is now one of my football team-mates.
-If you're a student, bring your student ID - you'll get in cheaper at some of the places.
-As this trip does a quick drive through of London at the start before departing for Liverpool, I HIGHLY recommend staying another week or so after the trip in London. A lot of your new friends will do the same and after the trip is done, all you'll want to do is spend more time with them! Not to mention having enough time to properly check out one of the most amazing cities on the planet! I only spent a further day in London and regretted that, while several others did exactly what I mentioned above and had a great time.
-It doesn't matter if you're a partier or not. My group had a mix of people who partied a lot (sheepishly raises hand haha....) and people who chose to have many quiet nights in. No-one forces you to do anything and no-one minds either way if you decide to go party or stay in. I made good friends with people on both ends of that scale. It's entirely up to you!
The only downside to this trip (apart from not having enough time in London or Wales included) is that after it's all said and done, you'll miss everyone like crazy! I'm currently planning a trip to Canada (with some fellow Aussies from this tour) to catch up with the Canadians I've met from this tour.
If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up here or on facebook. I'll be happy to answer any questions you've got about anything! If you want to check out some photos of my trip, I have many up on my instagram (@adamjcp).
If you're thinking about doing this tour, just do it and don't look back. You will have the most amazing time! #noregrets
We are a married couple from Adelaide, South Australia.
From the moment we stepped onto our tour bus we knew we had made the right choice choosing Contiki.
Everything was expertly organised and everyone on the bus was ready to experience everything Europe had to offer. There was a good mix of couples, singles and friends travelling together. Every second day was a bus ride to our next destination and we usually got there early/late afternoon. The bus was extremely comfortable and everyone actually looked forward to getting on the bus - good to catch up on sleep/sight see. Maps were handed out for the city we were travelling to. Landmarks, tourist attractions and the best places to eat were all pointed out to us so we could plan where to go in advance. A basic language lesson for each country was given also - super handy!
We had walking tours in every city we went to, which got us orientated with the city and the best places to go and then usually had the majority of the day to ourselves after/before coming together as a group for planned activities/meals.
Night time was often reserved for anyone who wanted to hit up popular clubs/pubs - which was always super fun and we always felt extremely safe.
Hotel rooms were all lovely. Breakfasts were nice. Included meals were great. Our tour leader, Dani, was amazing - so warm, welcoming, fun and organised.
Could not have asked for a better experience, we didn't want to leave and were sad to leave everyone and head home.
Best value for money and a great way to experience Europe.
AMAZING TRIP - ID DO IT AGAIN!
It was an awesome Trip with loads to see! The optionals were worth every Penny! Harry Potter fans get to see the cafe where seh wrote Harry Potter or the graveyard with the characters names... Went for a dip in Loch Ness, fun but very cold ( 2 degree Celsius)... Scottish night with bagpipper was fun and the ghost walk in York was creepy but fun! Great group of people and a amazing contiki Team!
The inclusions are amazing! The musical was fantastic and the day Trip to Stonehenge, salisbury cathedral and Bath as well!
This trip was so much fun. I was nervous about traveling alone but I met so many great people with the Contiki group. It was a great atmosphere and everyone was really fun and friendly. Dublin city was awesome. We did a walking tour, went to the Guinness storehouse, saw some authentic Irish dancing and music, and just generally had a great time exploring the city. Our tour guide, Ian, gave us great tips and got us around the city really well. I went on to travel to a few other countries without the group, but I can say that I had the most fun in Dublin with Contiki. I would definitely recommend this trip!
Great trip, get to see all the famous sights, great value for money. Do it with an open mind and a positive attitude. Your there to experience a life changing moment, seize the day,
It would be nice if contiki offered age groups of 27-30, as well as 18-30. Not sure if this has been an offer in the past.
Great trip, get to see all the famous sights, great value for money. Do it with an open mind and a positive attitude. Your there to experience a life changing moment, seize the day. The only thing I had trouble with was some of the maturity of the 18-19 years who could not handle there booze.
It would be nice if contiki offered age groups of 27-30, as well as 18-30. Not sure if this has been an offer in the past?
Great trip, get to see all the famous sights, great value for money. Do it with an open mind and a positive attitude. Your there to experience a life changing moment, seize the day,
It would be nice if contiki offered age groups of 27-30, as well as 18-30. Not sure if this has been an offer in the past?
If you never been to Europe before this is the best introduction tour to everything you will want to experience. It gives you a taste of what Europe has to offer in a decent amount of time. Some say that a 10 day tour is too short, but it was the perfect amount of time for me as I couldn't take more than 2 weeks off from work. I would highly recommended this tour for first time travelers to this area who don't have their heart set on one specific country.
Accommodations, transport, food, optionals and the Contiki crew exceeded my expectations 150%! Taking a Contiki tour really eliminates of the stresses of travel, they take care of all the stuff you don't want to deal with while on vacation so you can focus on having FUN! Plus you are traveling with 50 other like-minded people who want to have the same experience you do, so its very easy to make friends fast, so don't worry if you are traveling solo like I did.
I just got back home and I am already planning where I want to go on my second Contiki. Trust me, if you book this tour or any other Contiki tour you will have "#noregrets". Also if you get Megs as your Tour Manager or OJ as your driver you are in for a real treat! I couldn't imagine doing this tour without these two! They were both AMAZING!!!
I went on this tour February 2015 and loved it! Do all the optionals they are all worth it! Go even if your underage you will still have the most amazing time ever! I did! I will definitely be going back sometime :)
You will instantly fall in love with Croatia! Beautiful country, awesome people and with Contiki you can never go wrong. Made great friends, the crew on the boat was absolutely fantastic and the tour guide was fabulous. I would recommend this to anybody, whether you are travelling alone or as a couple.
I had the best time of my entire life on this Contiki Tour - I HIGHLY recommend this trip. This was my first Contiki trip, and it will not be my last.
This tour provides the best of everything: lots of time with the tour guides, who will wake up early to provide amazing information on the cities and landmarks in the wildly ancient city of Athens and islands in Greece and still come out to party with you late into the night; amazing relaxation on the beautiful beaches on the islands and gorgeous pools at the hotel; incredible excursions and ME time optionals that you must absolutely choose to do (don't miss even one!); such an exciting nightlife; and friendships that will last a LIFETIME.
The tour guides MJ and Stacey were so much fun, and so kind. They really listened to all of us, considered our interests and feelings along the way, and tried to provide the best of the best in entertainment, food, and nightlife all along the way.
Best advice that I can give: fully enjoy the party scene (especially in the islands) at night, but DO NOT miss the excursions the next day simply because you are too tired or too hungover to wake up. Some of the best excursion days were the ones that occurred the morning after an extremely long night of partying. The volcano hike and donkey riding in Santorini, for example. Don't miss it!
Enjoy every second of the trip, enjoy the long lasting friendships that you make, take advantage of the free time by relaxing by the pool or shopping in the towns, eat all the local cuisine you can, take quick catnaps whenever you can in order to make the most of the pub crawls at night, while still waking up the next day to enjoy the excursions.
The only unfortunate thing was that there are a lot of additional costs for these optional excursions. Almost every special thing we did was "optional", but if you missed them, you'd really miss a lot of the bonding time and wonderful memories of the trip. Factor all of these costs in when deciding to book this trip. You should partake in all of them, but they are an additional cost that the tour guides will ask you for on the first couple of days of your trip. Be prepared to pay for them then.
There are a few ferry rides, and most of them aren't too long or rough, and that is really the only major transportation you will use on this trip. A great thing is that you will not spend most of your time on a bus, like a lot of other tours. We really only took a coach bus to get us to and from some restaurants, or to and from the ferry and the hotels. You will walk lots (probably no need for heels, ladies!) so you'll get to experience the culture and excitement of the cities and islands firsthand, every step of the way.
All in all, you won't sleep, you'll eat way too much, you'll party LOTS, and you will actually have the most amazing time of your life. Why haven't you booked yet?!