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  • Claudia Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 6 Countries

New Zealand is absolutely gorgeous, but this tour was just too short to love. With 2 days travel time, the tour was really only 3 days, it wasn't enough time. And 2 of those days were raining, which cancelled a lot of the optional activities, so that didn't help either. Unlike the Europe Contiki tour that I went on, Jaffas n Jandals is just one section of a longer tour, almost like a hop-on-hop-off bus situation. Some people already knew each other from being on the tour earlier, everyone left the tour at various times, there wasn't much time or opportunity to get to know people. I would not recommend this particular tour, definitely go for a longer one.

My Contiki was: raining, short, unfulfilled

  • Matt Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries

For a kick off there's heaps to do in both cities. There's something for everyone in the activities and if you're like myself and enjoy a bit of free time you'll fall on your feet here as well.

The accomodation was ideal both Hotels were in good locations especially the one in Prague you were a ten minute stroll from the main meeting point.

The people I met up with were great fun and easy to get along with. It was my first Contiki and left a great impression.

The best moments had to be the first night in each place, simple as that.

If I could change one thing it would be to extend the time in Dresden. It's a beautiful city and I would love to have seen more of it.

My Contiki was: Fun, Exciting, Chilled

  • Matt Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries

For a kick off there's heaps to do in both cities. There's something for everyone in the activities and if you're like myself and enjoy a bit of free time you'll fall on your feet here as well.

The accomodation was ideal both Hotels were in good locations especially the one in Prague you were a ten minute stroll from the main meeting point.

The people I met up with were great fun and easy to get along with. It was my first Contiki and left a great impression.

The best moments had to be the first night in each place, simple as that.

If I could change one thing it would be to extend the time in Dresden. It's a beautiful city and I would love to have seen more of it.

My Contiki was: Fun, Exciting, Chilled

  • zoejanaye Level 5 Traveler
  • 5 Contikis
  • 5 Countries

Forget everything you know about Contiki coach tours, the cruises are completely different! This is an ideal way to travel if you are wanting to do a cruise of the greek islands, as cruises are generally marketed towards older people. Contiki really helped as we had our own group of people. The size of your group will depend when you go, I went towards the end of the season, so there were only 24 of us, but it meant we were small enough that we could all hang out together and actually get to know everyone.

All the optional extras are operated by the cruise line, not Contiki, so you will notice the prices aren't as discounted as what normal optionals are. Your tour manager always goes with the majority of the group and what tour they do, so you may end up with your tour manager, or you may not. Our tour manager did a great job of keeping us all together on the days we didn't book any excursions and had free time in the port, and most of the time, we were on our own bus for the excursions, occasionally with a few elder people who were thrown in with us as well.

I only opted to do 4 of the tours out of the ones that were offered. The first one was the Ottoman Empire & Byzantine Legacy Tour which is a full day tour in Istanbul. You visit the basilica of Hagia Sophi, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, the Bazaar and the Spice Market. Unfortunately there were quite a few cruise ships in Istanbul the day we were there, and so the queues were quite long and we ran out of time to do the Spice Market. The Bazaar is great if you're looking for genuine fakes, learn how to bargain! Never accept the price they want. Also be careful, as some of the people can be quite sleazy. Turkey use the Lira, but you can also bargain in Euros, just make sure before you begin bargaining, you let them know which one. Overall the tour was great and we saw alot in one day, but we had no free time in Istanbul. If I had the time over, I'd probably do the tour again, or spend the day at the Bazaar, but it does get overcrowded, so if you're not a fan of crowds, Istanbul probably isn't for you! Lunch was also included, but nothing really special to rave about.

The next excursion I did was Ancient Ephesus through the ages, which was a great half day tour. We spent the first part of the tour exploring Ephesus which we went through with our guide, make sure you wear good shoes as the ground is super slippery. We were also given some free time throughout the tour to take photos and explore. The next part of the excursion included a carpet demonstration on the way back to the cruise ship. The demonstration itself was very interesting, but as soon as the demonstration is over, you get attacked by the salesmen. The carpets are not cheap and started from about $300 USD, but you can also purchase them in Euros, so again make sure you let them know before hand which currency you'll be bargaining in. We got free time in the afternoon/evening to spend in Kusadasi which was great and we went to the Bazaar which is similar to the one in Istanbul, just without the crowd, and grabbed some Kebabs before heading back to the ship and watching us sailing away.

The next stop was Santorini where I did the Cruise to Santorini’s islands and Visit the volcano. I would not recommend this one unless you are a super keen fit person and want to cross climbing a Volcano off your bucket list. I'm not an overly fit person, and I managed to climb it okay, I just thought it was a waste of time. It is only a half day tour, and we got to spend the afternoon in Oia, but given the chance over, I would have spent the day in Oia. Oia is beautiful, it's where you will be able to see the iconic white wash buildings and the churches with the blue domes. I could have sat there and enjoyed the view all day. There is also a bookstore in Oia which is one of the top 100 you must visit before you die, and it's definately worth a look even if you're not into books! There's a saying in Santorini.. there's more wine than water, more stairs than streets, more donkeys than taxis and more churches than days of the year!

The next day we were headed Crete and ported in Agios Nikolaos and did the The Crystal-Clear Waters of Elounda and Spinalonga excursion. Spinalonga is cool and used to be a leper colony. We had the worst tour guide here, and I've no idea what she was saying the whole time. But it's a pretty little island! We then had free time that afternoon in Crete where we got fish massages, something you have to do if you've never done it before! We then found a bar along the beach and sat there and drank cocktails until it was time to head back to the ship.

Crete was the last port where we got to spend a full day, and the next day we were headed to Rhodes in the morning, and Symi for the afternoon. Rhodes is a beautiful medieval town so very unique. Our tour manager took us on a walking tour and showed us a few places like where they still have the moats (there's no water now) but it is something different to where we'd been. We also did a little bit of shopping before heading back to the ship. We then set sail for Symi, where we ported at about 5pm, just in time to have dinner as the sun went down over the harbour. There isn't a lot to do in Symi, except buy some sponges (these are great!) and climb up a hill (using stairs) to get a view. This night on the cruise, our tour manager arranged for a private party in one of the bars, and we had our own toga party.

The next day we ported in Chios in the morning, before arriving into Mykonos about 5pm. Mykonos was probably my favourite and I wish we got to spend more time here. We arrived just in time to get some quick photos before the sun was setting over the iconic windmills. We grabbed some Gyros for dinner (these are a must try in Greece!) They're a bit like a kebab, with potato chips/fries & a special sauce! We then headed to a bar, and partied in a club before having to be back on the ship at midnight.

There is also a captains cocktail on one of the nights, which is a great opportunity to get dressed up and get some free champagne!

The cruise also offer drink packages starting at 10 euros for the basic one, or 20 euros to do the unlimited (including alcohol) and we definately got our money's worth. The only problem is, your roommate on Contiki has to do it as well. So if you get put in a twin room with someone who doesn't drink, you could have some issues there. It's always worth asking the tour manager if she can have a word to the bar manager to see if they can do an exception, but in our case you couldn't.

The next morning our cruise came to an end, and we arrived back into Athens. Not many people stuck around the next day, and I was headed to Italy.

All in all, it's a great cruise. It was definately great not having to live out of a suitcase for a week!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask :)

Ireland

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Ireland October 9-18 2014
  • Karen Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

ThIs trip was amazing! Traveling to Ireland was the first trip I've taken outside Canada. I'd been dreaming of going for years and when we had the chance my friend and I jumped at the opportunity... and Contiki doesn't disappoint!
My tour manager was Evan. I can't begin to say enough good things about him- he was hilarious (especially his Hollaback girl karaoke), knowledgable, entertaining, always has a smile on his face, and knows how to get us going. Our coach was masterfully navigated by Sammy who can drive a bus as if it was a compact car.
A Contiki tour is full of non-stop places to see- many included and a few additional add ons. We saw Dublin, Trinity College, Temple Bar, Belfast, Giants Causeway, Derry, Galway, Aran Islands, Blarney Castle, Jameson distillery, Guinness brewery, Cliffs of Moher, Cork, Kilkenny, traditional bands, cows, sheep...lots of pubs and it was ALL fantastic!
Last but not least- the people! I met so many new friends that are part of some of the best experiences of my life. I won't forget the Auzzies (and there obsession with how ridiculous Newfoundlands culture is), the Americans, and fellow Canadians (even though I'm a Newfie before I'm a canadian) who I shared this amazing adventure with! They all helped make the trip what it was!
I will definitely be taking another Contiki tour in the future!

My Contiki was: Amazing, Interesting, Ireland

  • Trina Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 5 Countries

My friend and I booked this tour during the week after Christmas and we had a blast. Our guide Giuseppe was knowledgeable and funny. We were able to experience Italy in a short amount of time. We went to the Colosseum, the Vatican, Tuscany, Pisa, San Gimignano, Verona and Venice. We spent New Years Eve in Florence! There are a lot of optional activities thrown in and it's best to pick what you want to do. Just don't be late when meeting the group! The bus was new and kept clean. Our fellow travelers were great and we made life long friends.

My Contiki was: Fun, Unforgettable, Educational

  • Max Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

This contiki tour was an absolute blast. The Austrian mountains, Switzerland, Italy and Greece are a must-visit for any traveler, and this trip helped me hit a lot of different places with a bunch of cool people and in style and comfort.

My Contiki was: Awesome, Sunny, Life changing

Simply Italy

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Simply Amazing

I can not really add much to the already 5 star trip and reviews below. Simply Italy, simply do it! :-)

  • lynsey12 Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

This was honestly the best thing i decided to do in my life! although travelling half way across the world was quite nerve wracking at first i cannot tell you how much it was completely worth it!

In this trip we saw everything there was possibly to see in southern america, i was at first looking forward to miami the most but was completely taken aback by how different places were! durango was AMAZING, moe's.. don't expect to be on good behaviour.. and texas was by far the peak of my trip due to a crazy band we met in a bar and had a rooftop drinking/..../ jam session all night, bus at 7 however KILLS YOU. but you find a way to get on with it.

the bus, no wifi, but it honestly doesn't matter, the people you meet become your best friends. i still face time the people i met constantly and am already arranging to go to australia and see them.

this trip offers everything but from my opinion it is a lot more fun if you enjoy partying, we had crazy day drinking sessions in the grand canyon and basically drank most nights. but there is something for everyone!!!

monte and ray ray were the BEST driver and tour manager we could of asked for. i cant tell you how sad i was to say goodbye to everyone when standing in the centre of new york!!!

if you don't do this trip then you will miss out on an experience that i cannot even summarise in words. just do it!

NO REGRETS.

My Contiki was: lifechanging, insane, PARTAY

For my first time visiting Europe, this trip exceeded my expectations. It was a good introduction to both London and Paris and sites that the cities have to offer. The tour staff were very helpful and friendly. You will see things like the Tower of London, Stonehenge, The Roman Baths, the Eiffle Tower, the Louvre, and much more. There was also a good amount of "me time" to explore the cities with your new found friends, but the option to see the things you really want to see if you so choose. Transport was good and the accommodations were great and in good locations. It's hard to pick a favourite memory from this trip but it was meeting up with great people and enjoying London and Paris overall. This trip is perfect if you are a solo traveler and are looking to see the main attractions.

My Contiki was: Fantastic, Awesome, Lot's to see

  • Sheridan Level 8 Traveler
  • 8 Contikis
  • 22 Countries

I've done a bit of travelling in my time but this tour has got to be the best one so far. Norway is so beautiful, I could look at my pictures all day. Russia: WOW. It's so different from any other country. The local guides there were friendly, funny and astonishingly knowledgeable. The three cities that we visited in Russia, to me, seemed very different from one another. The tour manager was amazing; Danny organised heaps of extra outings for the group and always made sure the special diet people were taken care of during meals. He was also heaps of fun along with the rest of the travellers on the tour. My favourite parts of the tour would probably be the Bobsledding in Lillehammer, the Boat Cruise to Helsinki and visiting Novgorod (because it's a beautiful little town on the river). I'll never forget what an amazing time I had on this tour and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to experience something new and different.

My Contiki was: Eye-opening, Unique, Fun

Grand Canadian

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Fantastic!
  • Simone Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Beautiful fun filled cities. Incredible Rocky Mountains with so many adventurous activities. Highly recommend this trip.

  • Taylor Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

A great way to experience Oktoberfest as a solo traveller. This trip allows you to meet a ton of people and experience the Oktoberfest traditions along with other activities like going to see Dachau, a castle, and a bike city tour. It's like making your own trip because you get to decide what you do everyday with no itinerary. The tour managers and drivers are always giving you tips about the culture, where to go, and what else you can do in the beautiful city of Munich.

My Contiki was: culture, friendships, tradition

  • Taylor Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

This tour was truly the trip of a lifetime. I couldn't have asked for better people, tour managers or drivers to be apart of my experience. Their knowledge of every spot only heightened my experience, and they went above and beyond to make it a special experience for all of us. I highly recommend this as a solo traveller as there were lot's of other solo traveller's as well as small 2-3 person groups. Go on EVERY Me Time Optional, it only enhances your experience in each city and gets you closer with your group. Lot's of food and drinks, sites, and memories. This trip gives you a taste of each city's culture, food, and sites, hitting all the most important. Most definitely an experience that I will never regret and that I highly recommend to anyone.

My Contiki was: adventure, enriching , culture

The only thing I would change is the organization of entry to the top of the tower which I believe was out of Lucy's control. The coach was clean and comfie and the hotels and Paris and Amsterdarn were nice but the hotel in London had wifi issues and was outdated.

Paris had the best food and London had the worst. Definitely take a canal tour and check out Anne Frank's house as well as the Van G Museum.

Our driver, Christian, offered us wonderful suggestions for sight seeing in Paris on a "ME" day. The pace was fast but we maximized the most of our time. My now fiance proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower and it will always be a magical trip.

My Contiki was: Fast paced, Encompassing, Fun

European Discovery

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Speedy

Really good trip! Had a very very very good time! Steve our tour guide knew so much about the area and showed us all the must see things! Would suggest it to everyone!

  • Claudia Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 6 Countries

Greece is absolutely amazing with it's wonderful mixture of history, nature, great seafood, and donkey rides!! Santorini was my favorite, with the iconic blue and white buildings and crystal clear waters. This picturesque island is unreal, really takes your breath away. Being with a great group of people is so important on a cruise, since you spend quite a bit of time on the boat. We had an awesome tour manager who was so much fun and so helpful. Toga party was epic!

My Contiki was: Seafood, Beaches, Historical

European Inspiration

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Wow!
  • Kara Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

Words cannot describe how amazing this tour is. Firstly, a HUGE THANK YOU to my tour manager (Chloe) and driver (Antonio). They put in 110% effort (plus more) and made every single one of us (there was not one empty seat on the bus) feel happy and enjoy every moment of this tour.
You have to actually do this tour to understand how fantastic it really is. The places you see, the places which are included and the optionals which are fantastic value and well worth it.
I'd honestly do this tour again and again, there's always so much to see and do. There needs to be more time in the day to include everything - Paris is impossible to see in just two days.

Accommodation was fine, if you go on Contiki expecting 5 star luxury - you're dreaming.
The food was amazing; every place you goto has something different so you're not stuck with the same food every day, there's a few walkabout meals - where you go find your own food - and they're always fun, even more fun when you get lost! It's all part of the experience!
Transport? Antonio's driving skills got us everywhere! If we wanted to go out and party, we had great advice given to us by Chloe on how to get back, best way to get back and any details (trams/trains/stops/etc).

Every moment was a best moment for me on this tour.. I'm from Australia and I spent 19 days with amazing people, met plenty of locals, and I was in Europe!!!
Every single person on our tour has made memories, all which are fun memories and we'll always remember this tour for many years to come. I encourage anybody who wants to experience the best of Europe to do this tour.

My Contiki was: Amazing, Memories, No Regrets

LA to the Bay

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ An AWESOME Adventure!

This was my first tour with Contiki but it sure wont be the last.
This trip was an amazing adventure from the start in LA, all the way to San Francisco. I first chose this tour because it provided the best way of getting around this part of the US and had all the places I wanted to visit from San Diego, Vegas, LA, San Francisco and my favourite the Grand Canyon.
Travelling solo I had small reservations but once you start the tour your make good friends with people from all over the world and have the best experience and time of your life! Our guide Jack was great, he had lots of knowledge on the places we visited, the places to party and was a funny dude.
If I had to pick out some favourite moments from the many it have to be the powerboats in San Diego harbour, Helicopter (imperial –GO BIG) and bike ride in Grand Canyon and the sunset catamaran cruise under the Golden Gate bridge in San Fran. The only problem with the trip is that it goes way too fast and when you first get your Contiki pack you may cringe at #NOREGRETS but come the end it will be your ethos.

BOOK NOW!

My Contiki was: Amazing Experiences, Great Friendship, Unforgettable

I loved this trip. I took it two years ago and it was my second contiki I had ever done. The first contiki I did was the big European Adventure five years ago. I would absolutely recommend this asia trip to all of you. I LOVEEEED it!!!!!

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