Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
Eastern Road was the second Contiki tour for my husband and I. We loved the European Discovery trip a bit more than Eastern Road, but have no regrets and had a fabulous time.
One major difference is that with Eastern Road, many of the cities aren't as well known as say Rome or Paris and doesn't have major attractions like the Colosseum or Eiffel Tower, but this trip we felt was best enjoyed through taking in the culture of the city, the food & drinks, & the history (more so pertaining to WWI & WWII). We also really enjoyed having 2 nights in each city with more of a relaxed itinerary. I'd have to say that Prague was most beautiful, especially at night. Budapest is a great city, easy to get around, lots to see, & great food. Krakow was a wonderful surprise. Easy to walk everywhere & great atmosphere. All of the included meals on this trip were great and at decent restaurants, some with traditional music. All of the hotels were nice & clean and close enough to the city center to either walk, take a tram/train, or a cheap taxi. They all had decent to great wifi.
ME TIME OPTIONALS:
Berlin Walking Tour: skipped because we walked around the day before and saw most of the sights and wanted to check out other things (the Jewish Museum in Berlin is incredible and worth going out of your way to visit)
EyeSpy Tour: also skipped, heard mixed reviews from the group.
Traditional Czech Evening: Live music & dancing. Fun atmosphere. A plate full of duck, sauerkraut, dumplings, cranberries, ambiguous meat patty... basically a pile of meat with a few sides. Very filling.
Nuclear Bunker Tour: Could have been uninteresting and boring, but the guides were entertaining and interesting and we also had a Communist dress-up photo-shoot.
Schnapps museum: skipped to have more time walking around the city.
Viennese Classical Concert & Dinner: skipped to see a different concert in St. Stephen's. Less than half of the group attended, mixed reviews.
Budapest Dinner Cruise: Great buffet. Gorgeous view of Budapest at night. The lights are stunning. Good time socializing with the group. A must.
Parliament Tour: The architecture and interior of the building is stunning. The tour is boring. I tend to take in everything visually and not retain much historical information, but I found the building worth seeing. You might only be there once.
Salt Mines Tour: Be prepared to walk 100 + meters underground for 2-3 hours. Aside from that, it's super interesting, unlike anything I've ever seen. Lick the wall.
Polish Pierogi Night: Excellent food. Demonstration of pierogi making was fun. Overall great dinner.
Bike tour in Prague: My husband enjoyed this way more than I did. Prague is crowded. The streets are cobbled. I couldn't enjoy the city on a bike because I was too concerned with not hitting a pothole in the cobblestone, not hitting a pedestrian or the bike in front of me or other random bikers, not getting hit by a tram, getting thru the 6 second tram lights, and your face will jiggle the entire ride also. Wasn't my fav.
Auschwitz/ Birkenau: Moving. Eye-opening. Sad. A place you will never forget with history that should never be forgotten.
Walking/bus tours: The best walking/bus tour was in Prague, mostly because we had a fantastic tour guide that was interesting and engaging. The guides in Budapest, Krakow, & Warsaw were a little dry. We did a bit of them then would cut off on our own.
Our Tour Manager, Tasha, was fantastic. Very easy-going and organized. She created great handouts called "Tasha in Your Pocket" which we used many of her recommendations for museums, restaurants, & sights. Super helpful. Pete, our bus driver, was very friendly also.
After doing two European tours, personally nothing has yet to compare to Paris, but these cities were very enjoyable and beautiful. Berlin and Warsaw were my least favorite. Berlin doesn't have quite the grandeur and beauty of other European cities and much of the architecture is very blocky and rigid, but the history is compelling and there are many monuments & wonderful museums (Pergamon & Jewish Museum were excellent). The public transportation was the worst in Warsaw, couldn't find any tram or bus maps. The city is quite spread out and we spend the majority of our time in the Old Square. Did eat twice at Zapiecek's, a fantastic traditional polish restaurant, worthwhile!
Being married and a bit older than most of our tour mates, we tended to split off on our own more so than most of the group. Nonetheless, I would highly recommend this trip. And most of all, to travel without expectation. Then everything will be a surprise and a new experience. My biggest pet peeve was to hear people whine about how something wasn't as they thought, 'why they didn't have free wifi at a cafe in Slovakia or that the caesar salad they ordered wasn't the correct caesar salad...' Traveling is an adventure. So why leave home, travel hundreds of miles, spend lots of money, and have the same expectations as you do at home? Contiki's motto is all about NO REGRETS. We experienced amazing cities, visited 7 countries, ate delicious food, met 50+ new people, and thoroughly enjoyed our time in eastern Europe!
This tour was absolutely amazing, had the best on road team that made the experience even better. made some amazing friends that i don't think i would have made if it wasn't a camping tour. Food was absolutely amazing, thank you Laura. Lucas gave us some amazing tips on where to go, and Ian was an amazing driver. If you can't do this tour, you have to at least make it to dubrovnik somehow, most amazing place ever!
Had an absolutely amazing trip, tour manager Steve was absolutely fantastic very knowledgeable and worked hard to ensure everyone had the time of their lives. Too many brilliant stories and locations to mention and would strongly recommend this trip for anyone who wants to see a number of the major sites in Europe as well as a few hidden gems off the beaten track, big shout out to miki our driver as well. As for the optional extras, all were well worth the money and really added to the entire experience in particular the cabaret dinner and show and white water rafting were exceptional!
Greek Island hopping was by far the best tour I have ever been on with any group! Our tour manager Courtney Dailey was amazing! She gave us all the best info on each city we went to and made sure that we had the time of our lives! I could not have asked for anyone better :) The places I went and ESPECIALLY the people I met will never be forgotten! If you like to get lost in small towns,do a little sightseeing, go to the beach , eat amazing meals and party at night then this is definitely the trip for you!
Also, you will never see a more gorgeous sunset then in Greece! Each is more spectacular then the next!
This was an absolutely amazing tour! It was fast - paced and exciting. The memories I made on my trip will remain with me for the rest of my life. Our tour manager was excellent and so was our driver.
There is no doubt that Contiki is an organized, fun and affordable way for young people to travel the world!
This trip was a once in a lifetime for me (although I hope maybe one day to go back again). Greece and more importantly thee Greek Islands are a sight to see. Where do I even start.... if you are looking for relaxation, swimming, shopping, partying, sun and socialising this tour has a bit of something for everyone. And the views are just from out of this world, Greece is so amazingly stunning you can't even put it into words, it's just something you have to experience for yourself. I think this has been my favourite holiday so far, this being my third Contiki, and having travelled elsewhere solo, this has to be my favourite by far! Courtney our Tour Manager did such a great job, and she always had suggestions and things we could do and explore on each Island. The Greek food is beautiful, so tasty. Mykonos was beautiful very relaxed and laid back, Santorini had the spectacular views and so much to do in town, and Ios you can get pampered at the spa or hit the town at night for its incredible night-life. Highly recommend this tour Greece is definitely a place that everyone should experience.
9 day greek island adventurer tour.
10/10 for nearly every aspect of this trip.
If you like to party Greece is definitely the place to do it and this trip takes you to all the best places to have a drink or three... beautiful sunset bars, sailing around the islands, local clubs (with cheap prices for contiki) and don't let me forget Club Tropicana; the worlds best beach party - it literally blew my head off!
This is obviously different for each contiki but I couldn't have asked for a better group then the one I travelled with. Made some great friendships!
The only slight criticism I have are the descriptions of the optionals at the beginning of the contiki i don't think they gave you a true idea of what you were doing. That being said I did all but two of the optionals and was only slightly disappointed with one of the optionals I did. And no skin off my tour managers nose, he was awesome! Maybe just better descriptions on paper beforehand?
And lastly, did I mention that the Greek islands have some of the most beautiful places I've ever seen? Crystal clear water, mountanous rocky backdrop, not a cloud in sight and gorgeous women everywhere... lock me in for round 2!
The landscape of the south island of New Zealand is unbelievably breathtaking, and if scenery isn't your thing there is Queenstown! A town in which you can sky dive, bungy jump, jet ski, horseback ride and much, much more. The tour guide and bus driver were great, all the tours for any 'me time' options were great, and all the locals were as friendly as can be. Would recommend for anyone thinking of an adventure holiday, or seeing a beautiful country that is still mostly untouched. Coming from Australia I found that most of the food and activities were on par with pricing here.
This trip was the most amazing week of my life. Croatia is stunning, and seeing it by boat is even more incredible. The trip is the perfect mix of relaxation, nightlife, and sight-seeing, and the seafood was the best I've ever tasted. Considering going on this trip again... great for solo travelers like myself, and a fantastic way to meet people all over the world. I can't say enough about my time in Croatia!
Met some amazing people, had a lot of fantastic experiences and saw many beautiful and interesting things.
I would HIGHLY recommend doing this tour for the excellent variety of countries and also you REALLY need the 2 days per place. If this is your first Contiki/time overseas its a great pick for you, its a huge range of personalities on the trip so you will find your place in the group VERY easily and another positive it that it is short enough tour to avoid getting homesick and long enough tour to make you feel like a genuine traveller!
Accommodation is what you expect of a 3 or 4 star hotel, most stays were in the IBIS hotel chain if that gives you a better understanding. Food everywhere is amazing because its Europe of course!
Everyone is different obviously but I highly recommend at least these three optional extras:
1. Lake Cruise in Lucerne (STUNNING!)
2. Tuscan Dinner (lots of wine included and you're fed enough to last you a week)
3. Moulin Rouge (Dinner and a show, its great fun and awesome send off for your last night together)
My tour manager Mark and bus driver Christian were fantastic, you would be lucky to have either on your trip :)
I rate my Contiki experience 10/10 - not a single complaint!
My advice to you is to make the most of all the experiences on offer, I did almost ALL of the optional extras and don't regret any of them but I genuinely appreciated the "Free Time" when I could explore with my new friends and get lost in beautiful places.
Mediterranean Highlights (Start Rome) is a 13 day trip through Italy, Vatican City, France, Monaco, and Spain.
What is great about this tour is that you get to see so much in just 2 weeks! It really is a mind opening experience to be able to actually see places you've read/studied about in school.
What made this trip a success was our wonderful tour manager Maite and the awesome bunch of fellow contiki tour members. Maite provided us with alot of useful information and tips about the local areas including maps, trains, and buses to take if we wanted to explore during our free time.
A few things that makes contiki great is the free time to go explore on your own and the Me Time Optionals. The Me Time Optionals unfortunately are additional expenses on top of the tour you paid for, however the experience from it was worth it!
The highlight of this trip was probably San Gigmignano, Tuscany, Italy. The most amazing and beautiful view you will see of the Italian country side! If you go on this trip, climb the darn tower and see the view!
I traveled solo and was a little curious as to how that would work out. I ended up making awesome friends!
Tip: Travel with an open mind, be courteous to other fellow tour members, and don't be late, then your trip will be amazing :)
It was a couple of years ago now that my sister and I went on this tour, but I still have vivid memories. I have absolutely no regrets about choosing this tour, we got to see so many different sides of America!
Already on the first night my sister and I were blown away by the accommodation, it was well above what we expected. In the smaller towns it was less luxurious but still more than adequate.
I would never have thought to visit some of the cities on this tour; there were some very pleasant surprises. For me, the first half of the tour was the most memorable. Boston, Montreal and Chicago were just fantastic. So much great architecture and history. I really think I could live in Boston or Chicago!
The extras, like going to a baseball game in Chicago, were outstanding, and something I never would have done otherwise. We didn't choose to do all of them as it got too expensive, but we chose the ones that appealed to us the most. You really can tailor the whole experience to suit you.
Our tour guide was lovely, and had the great idea of making a 'tour song' - playing the same pop song every few days, so that years down the track we would remember the experience every time we listened to that song.
The main issue we found was that the tour was very long. By the end of it we were exhausted and very ready to say goodbye. I wasn't too into all the national parks, either. Not much of a nature person. But it was a great overview of the US and I think if I were to ever go back (it's a killer flight from Australia!), I would visit a lot of the same places as I did on this tour!
The European encounter was the first adventure of our honeymoon. At first i wasn't too sure about sharing all these moments with a group of strangers, but as soon as i met everyone that was to be on the same tour, i realized that it was going to be an experience that i will never forget!
This particular tour took you to a large amount of must see's while in Europe, such as the leaning tower of Pisa, and the Eiffel tower.
The hotels that we stayed at were fine. They were not your 5 star hotels, but they had a shower and a bed so everyone was happy! You're hardly ever in your hotel room anyway so there would be no point to be in super fancy rooms!
Our tour manager, Alex, was remarkable. You could ask him almost anything about Europe and he would be able to answer it. If he couldn't answer the question he would make it his job to find out the answer for us asap. He was also super friendly and approachable which made the tour much more pleasant.
Some of the best memories of my life have been made on this tour, the people i met, the friendships i made, the sites i saw. I would recommend this tour to absolutely anyone and everyone. Don't look at it as "oh its too expensive for me" you cannot put a price on experiences, adventures and memories that you will never forget.
Spanish Spree was my first contiki, and I was a bit nervous at first. I was traveling Han Solo (on my own) and got a twin share room with someone else. As a recent graduate, I was worried about getting my money's worth. Let me tell you, Contiki hooked us up. Each hotel was really comfortable, and provided WiFi so I could contact my family (most hotels had WiFi in the rooms), as well as breakfast every morning. Very cool. Then, I was worried about sharing a room. I've gotta wonder if Contiki facebook-background-checked me because my roommate and I graduated with the same degree and got along swimmingly. We were both crying when we had to leave each other to go home to opposite sides of the world. Everybody in our group, for that matter, (there were 51 of us) was absolutely amazing and made leaving very difficult.
Everything provided this trip exceeded my expectations of comfort. Really nice coach that we rode around on, an included plane flight to Ibiza, and a ferry ride back (I mean, the ferry had a pool on it. C'mon).
So, about the actual trip. Wow, I can't believe how much we got done in two weeks! I felt like I really got to see and experience everything. Do you like culture and history? This trip is for you. Do you like to go out and party? This trip is for you, too. Do you like delicious food? Oh man, get ready. We even got to go Ibiza for two nights and then Gebraltar and play with the apes for a day! Prepare to be pushed to your limits of awesomeness. Our tour manager took us everywhere. She even reserved us tickets to see David Guetta in Ibiza, as well as a bunch of other clubs at a discount, and we all took a necessary spa day in Cordoba. I also really enjoyed all the additional optional excursions that were provided.
Speaking of which, let's talk about my tour manager (her name is Chloe). I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but I can confidently say that Chloe helped make the trip for the majority of us. Talk about being amazing, incredibly competent, knowledgeable, and just....everything! I was surprised when she started taking us out on the night life after full days of touring, but she's got the energy of like 1000 people! Amazing! I'll never forget how attentive she was to everyone. She handled every situation with consideration, authority, and a smile on her face. I'd jump off the edge of the world if she told me to! This girl deserves an INSANE amount of credit. You should be so lucky to get on a tour with her!!
Overall, there's not enough I can say about my first Contiki trip. I had the time of my life. I got closer than I ever thought was possible with a group of 52 amazing people in the span of two weeks. I would absolutely recommend this company to my friends for their travels, and am looking forward to my next Contiki trip as soon as possible! Wow!!
I had a fantastic time on this tour and would highly recommend it to anyone! I had a great group and the most amazing tour manager, Tasha, who knew exactly how to serve everyone (culture vultures, foodies, partiers, shoppers - Tasha had all the answers to make every traveller happy). Pete the driver was courteous & transported us everywhere safely, helping with translation in every city.
5/6 hotels you'll stay in are great - the only "mediocre" one is the one in Berlin (no AC, bad Wifi, not particularly easy to access from public transport). As this was my first impression I was worried that the rest of the accommodations would be similar to that of Berlin but fortunately it only went uphill from there. The hotel in Vienna was my personal favourite (even if the Wifi wasn't good) and the breakfast I enjoyed there was the best breakfast I've ever eaten.
My group was incredible - I called ourselves "sophisticated by day, wild by night" and each member of the group seemed to embrace the diverse range of interests and backgrounds of those on tour.
All 6 cities are magnificent - everything in Prague is spellbinding, Prater in Vienna was a welcome surprise, Budapest was beautiful (if not very warm - bring summer attire!), everywhere was stupendous.
Bring an umbrella as it will rain but it never rained for longer than 15 or so minutes at a time.
One of the most important aspects of the trip is the pilgrimage to Auschwitz. This alone was worth the entire trip.
You'll eat lots of meat, sausage... some of the meals are better than others, but you'll never go hungry as there are McDonalds, KFC, and kebab stands everywhere.
DO THIS TRIP, you'll be happy you did! :)
I was a little sceptical before embarking on my Contiki adventure, many of the reviews I read were negative and gave me second thoughts. I am so glad I didn't listen to them. This experience was my first trip overseas and honestly I could not think of a better way to do it, all the stress of finding hotels and booking touristy things to do was taken from my hands and given to the people who know what is really worth doing when time is limited.
It is true that Contiki tours are fast pace but I have always been a person that loathes staying still, I loved the fast pace as it was not overly quick that I ever felt like I missed out, it was more than enough to discover these awesome places and know whether or not it is somewhere to visit again in the future.
Part of what made the tour so amazing was the team assigned to our tour, our tour manager and driver were the best, extremely helpful and professional - like our manager spending about three hours on the phone helping my friend to get her passport back after leaving it behind at a hotel - and both knew how to have a good time when the day was over (and how to make us laugh and appreciate the more stressful moments and unplanned bumps in the road, which are inevitable on any journey.) I also have to mention the tradition of tour songs as I loved the concept, I am never going to lose my love for American Authors now.
My only complaint (and it is a minor one) is that if you are travelling alone you can't choose your room mates and let's just say I received a very rude awakening one night in learning she had not returned to the room alone. If you are at all concerned I would recommend paying the extra for a single room, although you get very good at sleeping whilst on the move (this coming from someone with insomnia) something like that can really drag down an entire day.
Speaking of the coach I have to mention our driver, she impressed us everyday with her driving ability, a lot of times 'threading the needle' as I liked to call it, and even daring the roundabout circling the Arch de Triumph, it is amazing how something like that can make for some of the best memories.
For anyone worried about spending days or weeks with a lot of strangers - don't be! This was a particular sore spot for me before leaving but was quickly reassured, before departing the meet-up gives you a much need opportunity to speak with everyone and once the tour is under way the friendships only get stronger, becoming a Contiki family is inevitable, I made many lifelong friends. It really is true that friends make a trip, I would travel with Contiki again any time rather than going alone, it was simply amazing and the best first experience I could have asked for, I recommend it 100%
- Thank you for the best days of my life
I booked this trip only a few weeks before leaving and was a little unsure if I had had chosen the right tour as I herd it had a bit of a "boozy" reputation... it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life, not only did this tour cover an amazing range of places across the 3 weeks but our tour crew, Grant ( tour guide), Kayla (our amazing cook) and Jamie (Coach Driver) really made this tour one to remember.
It was super well organised, the food was outstanding especially considering this was a camping trip! Kayla our cook went above and beyond to give us a goumet taste of each culture which was so appreciated. I was also a bit nervous about camping for 21 days, but after talking to other Contiki groups along the way that were doing hotel/hostel tours i think our group was pretty lucky and were a lot more social sleeping, eating, drinking and hanging out around the camp together and as a result we all really bonded.
I'll never forget this trip and the people I shared it with I really couldn't recommend Contiki enough, it definately is the best way to travel in your 20s/30s, you will not regret it!
This tour was the best decision i ever made... I had so much fun and made friends for life. I don't have any negative things to say about this tour because without some of the negatives i wouldn't have had the experiences i had.
The contiki villages for me were the best accommodation because there were only contiki tours living at the sites so everyone was keen to meet new people and have fun. This tour has taught me a lot about the world and a lot about myself. It has shown me that i don't have to be afraid to be the real me. It only took a group of new people and some good times to do it but i am so glad that it happened.
I think your experience all depends on the group that you get, the people honestly make the experience 10x better and if your going alone it makes it that much more fun.
Our whole tour was basically sightseeing by day, partying and drinking by night and sleeping on the tour bus when we were traveling from city to city.
I love my new friends and i love my first experience in Europe, a trip i will never forget !
Big shout out to our tour manager Kate Nickelchok and our first time bus driver who i will never forget Barry Meehan....
LONDON TO ATHENS/IM TWENIEEEE/BEST DAYS EVER!!!!
I am literally taking a moment out my extended Europe adventure to have a coffee at a Swiss cafe' and write this review. Not only did this trip introduce me to some of the most adventurous, genuine and fun loving people I have ever met, but it also subjected me to the least enthusiastic tour operator imaginable, the most tediously generic optional activities and a level of organisational service that left each and every one of us wondering... On what exactly was contiki spending all of our money? I can sum it up like this:
1: I paid (top dollar) for a 6 day contiki adventure, and received a 4 day Louis cruise through Greece, which if booked directly, would have cost myself and my partner less than half of what we paid.
2: The ship, on average, spent less than 4 hours in each port, which allowed for little more than tacky souvenir shopping or...
3: 55 euro bus transfers (Tours), which (if purchased directly whilst at port) cost little more than 10 euro a pop.
4: The tour guides tried their best, and were decent, but certainly not worth the top dollar we paid.
All in all our tour operator was absent 90% of the time, and distracted/ uninterested for the other 10%, which actually proved to be a blessing as the group had more fun exploring, haggling and dancing at our own pace anyway.
After some research, it was clear that contiki, at least in my experience, acted as little more than a (Grossly overpriced) social introduction service, but honestly, there is no metric scale for the magnitude of fun we managed to have all on our own.