Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
The people, the places, our guide and driver Yannick and Pino - EVERYTHING was incredible. I thought going in winter would have been hard and I had heard so much about contiki that made me unsure but i recommended this tour to everyone who is hesitant - GO FOR IT! I love how organised it all is with transport and breakfasts and optional tours, yet there was still so much ME time where we had a choice in what to do, which really made it my own special trip! I made friends for life, saw sights I cant believe like Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona, The colosseum in Rome and the beautiful Cinque Terre and ate SO much good food! I found it to be the perfect amount of time to spend because it was enough to make friends and do the places without being rushed
GO for it!
China Adventure was my first ever Contiki trip and I have to say that it was one of the best travelling experiences I've ever had - worth every cent! Our guide Luke (hi Luke!!) was super knowledgeable about everything and had interesting things to say about every destination. Some of my favourite things on the tour were the Great Wall (and tobogganing off it), the cooking class in Yangshuo, trying scorpion and starfish in Beijing, tandem bike-riding on the Xi'an city walls and the acrobat show in Shanghai, although in all honesty I loved everything we did. Highly recommended if you want to see a bit of everything China has to offer!
Unbeknownst to most of us on tour, not everyone on the bus was doing LA to the Bay. There were three tours in total the others being Wild Western and Western Highlights. This meant half of the group was getting off at Vegas and new people would be joining to go the end until back in LA. To be honest, it was disappointing knowing you wouldn't be with that one group the whole time. It seemed that the group joining in Vegas didn't get as much of a chance to bond with all of us who had already formed close friendships.
Overall, amazing trip! Have made friends for life and seen some wonderful places. San Diego was lovely and Phoenix was unexpectedly good fun! Two nights in the Grand Canyon was probably overkill, we just all wanted to get to Vegas! Two nights and one full day is not enough time in Vegas so I'll be returning very soon! Bass Lake was not the hype we were expecting. Our accommodation change from chalets to a dingey motel was a huge let down. San Francisco was colder than I anticipated.
All optionals were great. You can't go to the Grand Canyon without doing the helicopter flight! There were many optionals I didn't choose like hot air ballooning in Phoenix (which some of the group said was overrated anyway) and the 'exercise type optionals' like bike riding, hiking etc - that wasn't for me but it was suited to many.
The coach was comfortable and the tour manager and driver were awesome and lots of fun. The included breakfasts weren't anything to rave about but the places we ate for dinner as a group were fine and the bars that we were taken to were good fun.
Overall, amazing experience and if I did it all again I probably would have opted for the Western Highlights tour stopping off at Vegas and doing a couple of extra nights there. That's personal preference though, everyone is different you need to work out what it is you want to do....
Love Contiki, it's my second tour and I would do another one again!!
Where do I start!! Amazing trip from start to finish, worth every single penny. The accommodation was brilliant, all the hotels were gorgeous, big spacious rooms, balconies and very clean. Even the cattle farm stay, hostel and surf camp were all great fun and good accommodation, although don't expect 5 star at the surf camp, a very basic room, bunk beds and a small shower room. The surf lesson makes up for it though and is a must!! Although the trip is called Reef & Rainforest, to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef is an optional extra. All the guided walks/talks we had were very enjoyable and the guide will happily answer questions. You learn a lot of knowledge from the guides. Our tour guide Mark and driver Gaz were wonderful and Gaz knows how to drive and was very good and felt safe. You get to pick who you want to be in a bedroom with which is good. The pre-arranged meals were all lovely. If there's an option for kangaroo in cairns then you must try it. I wish we had longer in some places but it gives you a taster off it all and now I'm heading back to my favourite places to explore some more. Daydream island is lovely and although I didn't do the optional extra of the Whitsunday beach I heard and saw pictures and it is gorgeous. Although from the island it's a 2hour coach journey and then a boat to the Island. I really can't fault this trip and would do it all over again. If you book the trip I know I will have an amazing time. Contiki 2013
Great trip very fast but suited me, got to see so much and heaps of free time to explore. Made great friends contiki team was fantastic
What a great tour. Despite it being the rainy season our groups "positive energy" kept the clouds away and we had a great time. The Inca trail is a must, so many stairs but so worth it when you get to the top. The altitude sickness got to quite a few of us, but most of us acclimatized quickly. The tour was good value for everything that was included, I was surprised at how many great meals were included. Peruvian cuisine is amazing, We ate alpaca, guinea pig, and pirahna. The amazon jungle lodge was such a cool experience, bring mosquito repellant though!
Not sure why I didn't do this trip sooner but Laura our guide was the best ever!! We were a close group & took care of each other. We did our own facebook group & constantly keep in touch.
It was GREAT!!! The meals, tours, water & partying was the best ever. Ready for my next trip!!
I have done the south island NZ previously via my own road trip so went in thinking ok I have seen a lot of the scenery is this worth it, but the experience just was so much more than I could have expected + more. Every time I come to NZ I always see such beautiful country side and have a relaxing holiday and with Contiki I have come home with amazing new friends around the world and have done things I thought I was too scared to do.
I got to canyon swing and jump of a cliff paragliding, walk on a glacier, dress up in a sheet at a toga party and the list goes on. The motto on our tour was YOLO, a phrase I used to not dig but now after the experience I understand the phrase and am living it. The tour I did joined on to a previously started Big Tiki tour but you just need to get in there and talk to people and join in as everyone was the same way when they started.
I can now tick the North & South Island Contiki's off my bucket list. Thanks to Isobel & Pumba for an amazing adventure on Sweet As Reverse :)
Check out my contiki video on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCiY691iMQc
did this trip, hoping for a better european experience than my, I can't for the life of me remember why I picked a budget tour. If I ever do euro trips again, that would not happen. Much better than my first euro tour. Some nice folks and some folks still stuck in high school mentality. Overall fun most of the days.
The experience as a whole was good. Was looking for exceptional...better luck next time I guess.
For those who are keen on taking a bit easy while having the best time of their lives, pay a bit more, and you will not regret it.
This was my first contiki trip, and I had the worst tour manager.
Camera got stolen, I reported it to her. When I tried to file insurance claim when I got back, she denied knowing anything about it. Ridiculous.
trip was abysmal, felt like I was back in high school again. Too much drama on the bus made the trip irritating (long bus rides!)
Spent too much time on the bus due to traffic, so by the time we got to the location, it was already to late to do much...never doing a short contiki trip again. This probably contributed to the cranky nature of 99% of us. Would focus on the more expensive ones instead, that'd weed out the childish folks, hopefully.
The best contiki experience for me ever. The people are much more mature and down to earth than the folks I met during my past euro tours. From the first day to the last, the experiences shared and friendships forged are forever. I still talk with my tour mates, met up with a few since then also.
Unlike most people, sadly, I don't really go over the brochure, I simply pin point the package that works best for me and looks fun, then simply go for it. So everyday was pretty much an enjoyable surprise :D. Laos for me was the most unexpected delightful surprise for me. Loads to do there.
Vietnam, was quite an experience, got sooo many clothes made, that I still wear till date. Great food, Ha Long Bay was divine!! Good times!
I usually never write review's on trips but I felt motivated to write a positive review after having an amazing time in Egypt. Sherif was the best tour guide I've ever had for any type of trip. You get to ride a camel around the pyramid's, go into many temple's and tombs, see a mummy or two and cruise the Nile for a few days.
The entire trip was organized, fun, full of adventure, allowed for time for many optional's and the group was full of fun people. I have recommended this trip to all my friends and I hope people continue to sign up for this trip.
I wrote this review 2011 shortly after going on this Eastern Road tour, so it is possible some of this information is outdated. I still wanted to post it, since none of the current reviews are this thorough. I will start with an overview of the trip and then detail each optional trip. The only optional trips I would absolutely skip are the Eye Spy Berlin and the Vienna Concert. All others are worthwhile.
Accommodations: The hotels were all decent. About half of them had air conditioning. Most were within 20 minutes via public transportation or walking of the city center. If you are a couple, the guide works hard to get you a double bed. My biggest complaint about the rooms, were the uncomfortable beds, but that’s just my opinion.
Transportation: You should expect to do a lot of walking when in each city. The public transportation is easy to use in most cities. Stick with a group if you are unsure about using the public transportation alone. The coach rides between cities are about 4 to 6 hours with a few stops for food. The coaches are very modern with air conditioning, a bathroom, reclining seats, and curtains. The roads are all very good with the exception of a few roads in Poland. Do not take the coach from Warsaw to Berlin if you can help it.
Food: The provided meals and optional meals are all very good. On your trip you will experience a lot of salty meat and potatoes. The food is good and there is variety if you look for it. Vegetarian meals are available. Try the local specialties in each city to get a truly cultured experience. None of the food I had on the trip was bad. Be adventurous.
Berlin historical walking tour: This is a long and thorough walking tour of Berlin’s many sites. It lasted about 4 hours for us. The guide was good and kept it interesting. It is well worth the 9 Euros. I would recommend this to everyone who hasn’t spent a lot of time in Berlin.
Eye spy Berlin: This was not worth the 16 Euros. It was with the same guide, but it involved much less. It was about 45 minutes of history. We then got a free drink at two lousy bars. You can see more and get more by skipping this optional. It is just disappointingly little for the amount of money it costs.
Traditional Czech evening: This was a fun dinner that is worth doing. The food was very good. The singing and dancing felt a little cheesy, but that didn’t stop it from being enjoyable. Sit with a group of newly made friends and enjoy good conversations over good food.
Vienna classical concert & dinner: This was disappointing for the price. The food was very good, but concert did not feel very grand. It was in a far off corner of the palace in a small side room. The seating was removable stackable chairs, and the orchestra was only about 10 people. The music was of average quality. The whole thing felt overpriced. With only one night in Vienna, you can find much better things to do than this.
River cruise with dinner: This was a lot of fun and worth the money. Dinner is an all-you-can-eat buffet, which provides the variety that most people need at this point in the trip. The city is beautiful from the water, and the boat has an open air upper deck. This is a fun night that I can definitely recommend.
Group photo: I didn’t get a copy of this. With digital cameras, I don’t know why you would pay for a professional picture. You can easily get pictures with your own camera of the people you want to remember. It is a beautiful place for a picture though. In either case, you’ll enjoy the area.
Parliament tour: I didn’t do this tour. I just didn’t feel like it was worth the time and money. The people who did it seemed to enjoy it. It’s up to you.
Salt mines tour: This was very interesting. It is currently the top attraction in Krakow for a reason. It is not very dark or cramped, so most people should be okay with it. It is worth the money, so I recommend it. They aren’t too strict on taking pictures either.
Schindler’s factory visit: This is a large interactive museum. It’s well worth the 6 Euros it costs. The tour guide went too slow and covered too little in my opinion, so I would try to break off of the group if you can. There’s a lot of history to see while you’re there, so don’t get too absorbed with the Schindler’s List movie information.
Air Travel: (This is based on my experiences.) British Airways is a terrible airline. Avoid them if at all possible. They are responsible for all of the worst parts of my trip. No seat reservations, lost luggage, large surprise fees, rude and unhelpful staff, ect. I flew 4 flights with them on my European journey and there were issues with every flight.
Had a great time. Everything was fun. Had a great group and our tour manager was fantastic. She organised heaps of little extra activities which made it extra special!
I just came back from the European Discovery tour last week, and it was AMAZING! I would highly recommend the tour to anyone who wants to see the highlights of Europe and has limited time. Having hotels, some meals, and excursions planned out for me in countries where I didn't speak the language was very nice, and I could never imagine seeing all the sights I saw on my own without a tour manager coordinating along the way. Rome was definitely my favorite, and the optional excursion in Amsterdam night one really united our tour group and I highly recommend. Plan on taking lots of pictures, not getting much sleep, and having an amazing adventure!
NOTE: As this is 7 countries in 14 days, it is very fast paced and not for the faint of heart or those looking for a relaxing vacation.
This tour was so much more then what I through it would be. The Tour Guide Luke was OUTSTANDING, he was friendly,helpful and so nice that he made the trip fun, he really knows his stuff and you can see that he wants everyone on the trip to get the best of China.
The people on the tour where a GREAT GROUP and everyone got on and enjoyed the trip, we where like one big happy family, couldnt have asked for a better Group.
The Local Guides on all the stops where also OUTSTANDING and really showed us the Best that China has to offer and where helpful if you had questions they could answer.
Accommodation on this trip is out of the World, every Hotel is well cleaned and in Great Locations of the Cities and sights. (If you have done Contiki before then the Hotels are no way a normal Contiki Hotel) if you havent done a Contiki before and do this trip then don't think that ever Contiki puts you up in the Best Hotels in the City casue they don't, this tour doesn't even feel like a Contiki.
Every Day was full on, yet you couldnt have asked for less, you saw everything and nothing was left out (you wont be leaving the tour going I wish we had seen this, as ever base is covered).
Meals where good and very nice (don't think its just Asian Food all the time you get a mix of Western and Local food).
The Optionals for this tour are Great and it is worth doing all of them, really couldn't say what the best one was cause I enjoyed them all and was good to do them.
Best Moemnt cant reaslly say as I enjoyed the whole trip and wish it was Longer cause I loved China and can't wait to go back again.
I def say it worth doing as you see so much and learn so much on the tour that it really is worth every cent you pay.
An awesome trip because of the company. We had a fun group - Our tour manager however sucked. Just proves, you can have a good time if you're in the right company. The added bonus was the place.
This tour was absolutely incredible from start to finish. A perfect way to see a large part of Europe in such a short time. We kicked off the tour with a night in Paris, some of the group watched the Eiffel Tour light show with a bottle of Moet and got to know each other and that's when we knew we were going to have an amazing trip. Our tour guide and bus driver were extremely knowledgeable and entertaining - what I loved most was the introduction to each country with a history and run down of a city map as we were entering each day. We were given helpful tips for getting around, where to find the best local food and other interesting facts and tips which made being in an unknown city less daunting. Make sure you do all of the optionals..some of them seem very different to what we may be used to but it's all part of immersing yourself in the culture of that country and with a big group, it's hard not to appreciate it. The bus trip can get tedious but we made our own fun, get to know the group, play games and eat ridiculous amounts of food (the service station stops are classic - so much food and it would be rude not to try everything). Basically just be open to everything - Europe is an amazing place and the European Vista will give you a real taste of the culture without having to do too much research. Loved our tour guide Garai - he seemed to know anything and everything about every country so it was extremely beneficial and we loved picking his brain - he was also hilarious and knew how to perk us up even when we were tired and feeling a bit worse for wear.
Definitely a value for money tour and I highly recommend it!
This trip was AMAZING!! I still can't believe how much we fitted in to such a short time, great taster trip for someone (like me) who wants to go everywhere. Everything about the trip managed to exceed my high expectations; including the accommodation, tours, people etc. I was nervous about travelling due to requiring a Gluten Free diet, however contiki really do a great job catering for people with food allergies and my tour manager was a great help when it came to organising this for me.
Loved it so much I have already booked another Contiki, only a few months after getting home! :P