Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
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.
Booked this Contiki trip very last minute and it was unreal! 8 days of sailing around (in my opinion) the most beautiful country in the world. Swimming, partying, water sports, eating and enjoying the sun! Had an incredible Tour Manager Patrice who was really energetic and made sure we were always going to bars and places to eat that were hidden away and super fun! Awesome combination of small and quiet islands to larger islands. On board meals were great, too much food to finish any of the meals. Heaps of solo travelers on the boat (myself included). Could not fault this trip at all!!
Working full time I needed a way to see the highlights of Greece and this contiki tour delivered. The land component of the tour was great with high quality hotels, knowledgeable local guides and a clean, safe and air-conditioned bus to get you around. Alex was Greek and put up with our silly questions and looked out for us as we explored athens and local towns. After four days the group split for those doing the 3-day or 7-day cruise. I chose the three day and thought I would get a lot out of it, 5 towns in 3 days. Unfortuntely you are left wanting more as you feel rushed through Mykonos and Santorini especially. There are no over night stays in any of the ports. The cruise ship was old but had everything you needed to enjoy the adventure. I would recommend spending a bit more for twin share as triple share on the ship was overkill. The only negative was the first night optional meal that everyone felt obligated to attend was way overpriced, low quality and boring. Thank fully everything improved from there. We had a great group of tour mates and everyone made an effort. I would highly recommend this tour for anyone who is time poor and wants to see the sites but have fun along the way.
Being a frequent traveller, this was the first Contiki I've decided to do and I have absolutely #NOREGRETS.
This was honestly the best trip I've ever had! The sights covered in the tour are just amazing, the contiki villages & on site crew were so much fun. But the true highlight of the trip was all the amazing new friends I met and the ridiculous amount of memories we all now share. I honestly could of stayed on that bus and continued travelling the rest of the year with these guys.
But a massive thanks to our coach driver David & Steve our tour manger who was so much fun but also did a great job by giving us a lot of information on the cities & sights and making the trip run so smoothly & to top it of it was his first tour! Awesome job buddy & many thanks.
Definitely would recommend.
Loved every minute of it - we had a great guide, friendly people, gorgeous accommodation. So glad I decided to island hop with Contiki. I will never forget that feeling jumping off the boat into the crystal blue water with my fellow travellers/friends. Definitely recommend this tour to anyone!
So this was my first time on contiki, travelling solo. our group was just awesome made heaps of new friends I still can't believe I saw the LA, rode over the Golden Gate Bridge on a bike.its well worth the pain the view is spectacular, partied up in true Vegas style and experienced the city that never sleeps it really is huge.
If you do this trip I highly recommend in San Fran the optionals of the golden gate bike ride and the food tour
If you have the spare time also I definitely recommend going to Alcatraz ( but you need to organise this yourself
I did before leaving home).
In Vegas I definitely recommend the Grand Canyon helicopter ride not only do you fly over but having lunch in the canyon itself is stunning and for those of you worried about flying in a helicopter really plane vs helicopter what's the diff apart from the obvious, amazing photo opportunities.
New York do the helicopter tour not as cool as the canyon heli tour but it's great cos it gives you a sense of just how big it actually is and the food cart tour will definitely get your mouth watering.
Oh L.A universal, Disney ect ect
Huge shout out to Brianna our guide who was awesome she even organised for us to see the baseball in S.F, and was alway ready to help out with any questions we had.
I can't wait to do another contiki tour soon I hope.
I was hesitant to do contiki, but this turned out to be the best decision i've ever made. I had SO much fun. My best friend and i made some friends for life. There was no way i could have seen all that i did in the time we did, with such ease.
Can't wait to go back to these places.
Wow, what a trip! 13 days were definitely not enough, but I still had the best time of my life! From the beautiful calm crystal clear waters in Mykonos, to the breathtaking views at the highest point in Santorini, to the extreme party life in Ios. There really is something for everyone on this tour, no matter what you fancy. You can go as hard as you like and party all the time, or sit back, relax and enjoy some delicious traditional food and the stunning landscapes of the islands. Our group was absolutely amazing and our your guide, Ed was just as great! I traveled solo on this trip and I'm so glad that I did, I met so many amazing people and have made some lifelong friends. Unfortunately in our last days in Ios my bag, phone, wallet and camera were lost/stolen. My group was so good though, everyone was so helpful and I am so thankful for that. Honestly, you become like a family with these people who were once strangers! My highlights of the tour would have to be the Beach Party at Paradise Beach (its even more awesome if you go back at night, thats when the real"party" starts), a day tour we did in Santorini - visiting the winery (all you wine lovers - this one is a must!) and definitely all the club/pub crawls in Ios - head to the fun pub, you'll have a ball! Apologies for the story long review but I really cant recommend this tour enough, if your thinking about doing it, even if you aren't, just DO IT! You wont regret it, I promise! :)
words cannot describe how amazing this contiki tour was. I am so glad I travelled the states with contiki. everything was planned and thought out for me. all I did was rock up and they showed me all the great sights. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone and everyone.
As a 31yo professional I was hesitant to go on a Contiki Tour, thinking I would be "too old" and wouldn't enjoy myself in the group scene. I was SO wrong! I had a blast and cannot imagine ever having another holiday that will be as good as this one. I met some amazing people that felt like family within a day and I have missed them ever since we parted. I saw some of the most magical views and sunsets in the world; I ate delicious seafood; I drank countless free pour G&T's; I got a Greek tattoo; I swam in the clearest and bluest waters; I went on ALL of the optionals and didn't regret a single thing; I danced every night with the crew and pushed through the tired because it was always worth it; I slept in quad-share rooms with no personal space and swamp-like bathrooms but laughed because it was all part of the experience; I carried my heavy suitcase up and down hundreds of stairs because Greece is just full of stairs and hills; I rode a donkey; I rode a cable car; I jumped from a yacht; I rode a quad bike; I partied at Paradise Beach; and I ate SO MANY GYROS! Our TM (Kev) was knowledgeable, young and fun - he catered to our every need and nothing ever seemed too much for him.
I could go on, but you need to experience this awesome tour for yourself. The only thing I didn't love was how short it was... I'd go back in a moment without hesitation.
I didnt know what to expect for my first contiki tour , but all i can say it was the the time of my life ! I met the most amazing people and I know I have made some life long friends . I fell in love with Koh Samui & Koh Panghan! I couldn't get over how beautiful it was. I felt so relaxed , loved the night life and I am having serious holiday blues. Highly recommend the Thai East Islands Contiki . AHHHHMMMMMMMAAZZZZZIIINNNNNGGG !!!!
this was pretty close to some of the funnest and most exciting days in my life. you meet the most amazing people who by the end of the trip are you're family. its worth every dollar.
I went on this trip solo and was so scared! However the first night I met people and I instantly knew we would be lifelong friends. I chose this trip because I wanted to see most of the attractions and countries all at once. The two places I was most excited for, Paris and Rome ended up be my least favourite places at the end! Don't get me wrong they are wonderful but contiki shows you how to have a good time and appreciate the culture in every country. I never thought I would fall in love with Austria and Amsterdam like I did. My tour manager was amazing! She made my trip amazing. Every country we visited she told us the history from the beginning until now. She told us everything you could possible know about all the countries we visited (12 in total). Absolutely amazing. She provided us with maps that she highlighted herself about interesting places to visit in that city including museums, historical monuments, cultural food and desserts. I feel like I got the full experience. The only downfall of the trip was the long bus rides every second day. I never knew that I would be spending so many hours on a bus, it wasn't bad it was just unexpected. Most of the hotels were great only a few were a bit sketchy but way better than staying in hostels. I chose this trip for the destinations and also no hostels. The me time optionals were fantastic. I did 95% of them and only was disappointed once. Another thing that surprised me was the amount of money I was spending everyday. Food, souvenirs, entrance fees into museums and churches, night clubs, alcohol, shopping and paying for wifi because it's not free at every hotel all adds up. I spent double what I planned on spending, so save more money because you don't want to miss out on something because you don't have the cash! Make it count! No regrets.
Words can't describe how incredible this trip was. It defeated my expectations, and was hands down the best thing I've ever done.
Our tour manager, Steve, was so professional and organized, it really made our trip so much more special. We really couldn't have asked for a better guy to take us around Europe, he was amazing.
We saw some of the most beautiful and well known places on earth, and if I could do it all over again I would in a heartbeat!
From sitting below the Eiffel Tower in awe, to chugging Sangria buckets in Barcelona, then seeing Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix, getting lost in Venice, donkey riding in Santorini, going to 5 level clubs in Croatia, having no hangover after a night at the Beer Hall in Austria wearing German outfits, climbing the Swiss Alps, and even seeing all Amsterdam has to offer; our trip literally accommodated to every single person.
We were able to see so many different types of cultures (in the historical/artistic sense, as well as experiencing the night-life).
The age groups on our trip ranged from 20-34 and it was honestly really awesome to get to know so many people from such different walks of life.
We were in hotels every night which was great! The only thing I would say is that if you're used to a huge breakfast, be prepared for the European way of breakfast (a croissant, a coffee, and some cheeses and meats). But that was fine because then you get to gorge on the amazing foods on your walk abouts in each city.
The cruise was so amazing, it was a nice change of pace to just relax for a few days as our trip so far had been really full on and so much to see!
The people I was blessed enough to meet on this trip will remain friends for life and will always hold such a special place in my heart. I shared some of the best days of my life with them and it was a very hard goodbye at the end of our tour.
One main suggestion- DO ALL OF THE ME TIME OPTIONALS! Every single one was so amazing. From Moulin Rouge in Paris, to yacht jumping in Dubrovnik, every single me time was one I would do over 100 times again. If you're thinking about the money side of it, don't! Think in the sense that you'll never be able to experience this with these people again, you're already in Europe, so why not!
Just do them all and you'll thank yourself at the end.
If you're worried that 33 days is too long, I can assure you it's not long enough! By the end you'll be wishing you had another 33 days! You become a family with your group, you fall in love with every city, you even love the bus rides to each destination. Thinking back now I really miss those bus days, we all had so much fun!
So I'll stop rambling now, but I hope this review helps even one person in their decision on choosing this contiki, because I guarantee you it is honestly the best thing in the world. A trip of a lifetime that I'm truly grateful I got to experience :)
P.s. eat as much gelato as you can in Rome, it is incredible! I also recommend staying back an extra week in Europe after your tour. I did and my friend and I went back to the places we loved the most.
This tour was absolutely amazing! It had a bit of everything - partying, relaxing, culture, great food, everything! The group I was with was amazing and i made so many great friends that i'll keep for a lifetime... Highlights of my trip were the tropicana paradise beach party in mykonos and the pool party at Farout in Ios, but every single day was a new exciting adventure and I wouldnt trade it for the world. I cant recommend it enough. The accommodation surpassed my expectations and was actually really nice and all of the optional extras were well worth the cost. Just book it. I am so sad it's over. I started my 2 month european holiday with this tour and it sucks because it's set the bar so high and now nothing compares to it :(
I travelled with a small group of friends but after seeing what the tour is like, i would have no hesitations in doing it alone because you meet so many people and make friends so quickly. Definitely worth going!
this is the fastest way with all the MUST SEE places to experience so you can decide what country you like and would return to. it was a great experience. i was happy with the accommodation and food. just be warned the food on the road at service stations are mostly bread and cheese, so expect to gain at least 5 kg's, but its worth it.... all the people were great and friendly. i had at least 95% of the time to myself. thanks judith and Daruis and all my Contiki friends