Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
Hotel Accommodations: I wasn’t really concerned with the hotel accommodations. All the places we stayed were nice, comfortable and clean which is all I need.
Transportation: The transportation on the coach was fine, because you got to sit back and look at the pretty views of the cities you are passing through. However, I would say that too much time was spent driving and not enough time was spent seeing the actual cities.
What I did: I tried to do everything I possibly could do on the tour and tried to have some sightseeing time for myself. It says on the brochure that we would have to stop at Balboa Park in San Diego and Route 66. However when we went to these places we were only allowed 20 minutes to view these places. I don’t know how our Tour Manger Ryan expected us to get the full experience after viewing a place for 20 minutes. We didn’t get to see anything, because we were too busy trying to use the restrooms before getting back on the bus. Also there was too much shopping on the tour, I booked this tour to see the country and the sights and sounds of the cities I was visiting. There are shopping malls and stores in every city, why do I need to constantly shop when I can do this at home?
Optional Activities: I have mixed feelings about the optional activities that were available to us. In San Diego, on day 2 we had to option of going to either Sea World or the San Diego Zoo. A lot of people on my tour wanted to do both and we weren’t able to. So I would suggest that the tour have Sea World on one day and the Zoo another day, so people can do both if they choose to. I also did the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon which was amazing. I also signed up for the Grand Canyon Biking, which ended up being a disaster. The bikes were too big for me and the people didn’t’ seem to understand why I was asking for a smaller bike and therefore, I couldn’t do the optional and wasted my money. I was going to ask my tour guide for help, but he was nowhere to be found. Our tour also had a Surprise Optional that our tour manager signed us up for. It turned out that it was a fake wedding in Vegas involving two people on the tour that I didn’t know or care for. A group surprise is supposed to involve everyone on the tour, not two people with everyone else as bystanders!
Crew: I had no problem with our bus driver Richard. Richard was nice guy and he got me from point A to point B without being harmed. I had a big problem with our tour manager Ryan. First of all, he didn’t do the tour introductions until day 3 and 4 of the trip, which should have been done on the first day to break the ice. Also, Ryan left several people that were a couple of minutes late to the optional activities even though he was late quite a few times himself. Also, if he had a crush on you or you were one of his favorites, he would go out of his way to help you pack and go around on the coach with everyone waiting to find you. Once we go to Vegas and Ryan got his tips, he stopped caring about doing his job.
Lastly, if you are doing your review of your tour for Ryan, he doesn’t give you time to think about what you want to want to say, he wants them back in an hour even though your tour isn’t over. Ryan also said that if you wrote something negative about him and the tour, we would have to explain to him then and there why we wrote what we did on the review.
I may do another Contiki tour in future, but I will make sure that Ryan Fockler is not my tour manager.
Not much to say except that the tour was amazing. Great tour guide (Whattup Sam!) even Greater people.
First of all, let me just say that Mandi, our tour manager, rocks! She was so helpful, fun, and nice. Truly, she made the trip an incredible experience for us.
Additionally, our tour guides, Louisa (in Arequeipa) and Jose Abel (Cusco/Macchu Picchu), were both fantastic. I felt that I truly got insight into the culture and history of all of the places we visited.
As for the tour overall, I left feeling like I really had seen most all I could ever want to see of Peru, with the one exception being the Nazca lines. If you want to see the latter, you have to do it on your own, because Contiki doesn't offer that option. Aside from that, I feel like I would have never seen half of the things I did or have even half of the experiences I did had I done this tour on my own or through another company.
Be informed about the level of activity on this one though. We were going dawn to dusk most days, so that we could make it everywhere on the itinerary. Also, be prepared for high altitudes and the effects it can have on your body. We did a LOT of walking most of the tour as well, so bring comfortable shoes that you can climb/hike/go up stairs in and that don't have slippery soles. The streets, sites and sidewalks can be very slick and depending on the time of year, rain compounds this affect. An additional caveat to those that get motion sickness, the first part of the trip you will spend a lot of time on the bus.
Also, this tour is most suited to those that are looking to have a truly unique experience and be a participant in another culture/history. While we went out, had a couple of really big nights, and a lot of fun "on the side." This tour isn't a "party" tour.
Overall, I would chalk up this trip as one of the best I have ever been on, and I have traveled a lot of places; Europe multiple times, Australia, Japan, China, S. Korea, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt, Costa Rica, Belize, and multiple islands. I would HIGHLY recommend this tour to anyone into adventure travel.
This tour was absolutely incredible!! This was my first Contiki and my first time overseas; at 19 tand going by myself his was pretty daunting for me but Contiki made sure I had nothing to worry about. This tour is pretty darn fast paced, but this let us see and do soooo much in just over 5 weeks. This tour was really good though because about halfway we stayed for 3 nights in Mykonos which is really good recovery time!! This trip was great too cause we stayed in a lot of Contiki stopovers - these are so much fun because you get to hang out with the awesome Contiki crew and there are often other Contiki groups staying there too that you will meet up with at various points. Definitely the trip to do if you want to see it all, I chose this one over the Ultimate European as this one went through Croatia and was that bit more affordable. Honestly the best thing I have ever done, European Adventurer is just AWESOME, you will have no regrets!!
This tour was also super affordable when you think about everything that is included - transport across Europe (not taxis), all accommodation, all breakfasts and half your dinners, a far bit of sightseeing/local tours, discounted drinks in some places and much more!
I am definitely glad I went by myself even though I was pretty scared, because it takes you out of your comfort zone and I have made some lifelong friends for sure. Spending 5 weeks with the same people, you become like family! This is one of the major advantages of a long tour I think - by the end we were all so close.
You will have the time of your LIFE on this tour! - Highly recommended!
I would give it 10 stars if I could!
Egypt had so much to offer! It was the most incredible trip, with a perfect mix of both culture and partying.
During the day it was all about pyramids, temples, markets and history. But at night we went to some fantastic restaurants, had some great parties, and the cruise was simply stunning! Would highly recommend this tour to anyone and everyone.
I would also suggest doing all of the optionals, particularly Abu Simbel, even though it's expensive it's definitely worth it. Everyone on the tour was so friendly and made for an awesome trip. The tour guide for this particular trip is incredible. He knows everything and anything and recommended all the best places to eat and things to do. He was fantastic.
Had an amazing time would definitely reccommend
For my 1st time travelling solo this tour was fantastic, the hotel was perfect and new year club night was great had enough time to do my own things IE muesems, coffee shops and shopping and be with the group was just the right balance, had such a good time i've booked another new year with contiki to see in 2013.
The fact that my hotel, airfare, tour and transportation was covered made the trip stress free! I loved my tour guide he was awesome! Always attentive to the group always helpful with helping us find the coolest things to do on our free time. Every city I went to starting with Rome had so much history, great food, and adventure. I honestly took over a thousand pictures from the colosseum to flamenco dancing in Barcelona. I also got to celebrate my birthday as well and I had a blast! I recommend Contiki for anyone who wants to travel alone like myself and have a great experience and make new friends!
Contiki Grand Southern was INCREDIBLE! Can't believe how much I got to see and do in just 26 days! Vegas was sensational, the night life in New Orleans is like nothing I've ever experienced - you must go to Bourbon St! Even some of the smaller towns along the way, like Savannah, were some of the best nights on the trip! The bus trip was fun, as there were always people to chat to or games going on, or you could just sleep after the big nights out! Personally, my favourite optionals were the helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon (amazing experience!), white water rafting in Durango, the rodeo and Cowboy Stadium tour in Dallas, riverboat dinner cruise in New Orleans, Universal Studios in Orlando and the Miami party booze cruise. And of course, the people that I travelled with were incredible. By the end of the trip I had made so many amazing new friends! The people you meet and experience everything with on the trip is what makes it so great, I am really happy that I decided to go on my own too! I also highly recommend staying in New York after the Contiki, its an incredible place and there's heaps to see and do there! Everyone who is thinking about doing this tour, you definitely won't regret it!!! I had the time of my life.
Action packed tour, awesome tour manager and met people from all over the world. If you are visiting Europe for the first time, this tour package have the best value for your money.
I could have never imagined i'd be living my dream partying in Edinburgh(My ideal hot spot) on my 19Th birthday. With such an amazing crew of people and amazing Tour guides! I've never experienced anything like the Aaran Islands & Cliffs of Moher and all the other amazing sights including the Highlands!
I will never stop dreaming of my time with Contiki!! i look forward to many more years of traveling with them!
Thank you so much!!
Dont think about it just do it :-) Thats the advise I would offer to anyone considering this tour, It offers value for money and an unforgettable lifetime experience. I have to say I was a tad bit skeptical after reading some not so nice reviews about Contiki tours, I have to say having experienced it for myself i survived and would most definitely do a Contiki again, maybe its because we had an Amazing Tour Manager Danny Steenkamp and a Super Awesome driver Patrice and the amazing people that made our group what it was, We were like one big happy family. There are memories to be cherished for a lifetime :-) Things I would alert you to is that you budget for entrance to tourist sites Like Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower, These are not included in the tour and they are optionals as seperate to your Contiki. Meals you should budget around 10 to 20 Euros for lunch, you are able to buy snacks at every service station. Pringles, M&M's plenty. Dont forget comfy shoes and drink lots of water you will get dehydrated and most importantly increase your Vitamin intake when doing a Cotiki, Take flu & cold tablets with you, It is inevitable that you will get the Contiki cold / cough. Accommodation was ok, it was livable and for the most part you to tired to realize you not in the lap of luxury, go with the flow - Are you there to sleep or to take in new experiences. Make sure you do all the optionals, so worth it you dont want to regret it later. Travel opens your mind to so many experiences, cherish each moment this truly is the best of Europe ;-) Contiki European Highlights 10 - 23 September 2012 - You guys Rocked - Thank you!!
Great tour! Fast paced so be ready for a crazy 14days. Partied all night and slept on the bus all day. Be prepared to drink copious amounts of wine as the Italian and French love it!
We visited every country and although at times it felt like we were flying by the seat of our pants everything we got to see and experience was great.
I definitely recommend doing the optionals. Contiki has picked some of the best things to do in the different countries, and although for some people it may be a bit boring, like just a dinner in Florence, it is well worth the money.
If you don't want to do the optionals the crew are awesome people and will advise you on whatever you want to know. They know the best bars, clubs, restaurants, sightseeing areas, monuments, statues, etc in the area. Things to do and places to see.
Accommodation for some seemed to be not fancy enough. Personally, I was there to see Europe, not hang out in a hotel room. The accommodation was just fine.
We usually ate local food and they were all good wholesome meals. And breakfast seemed pretty standardized across the sites. Nothing fancy but fitting for all tastes.
The crew would always go above and beyond to ensure that everyone was having a great time. If you had special requests they would see if it was at all possible to accomplish them.
The coach was very comfortable. I did some solo travel after the tour and it was far less comfortable.
All the people on tour were friendly, and although not all of us may have gotten along, we were civil to each other and by the end of the nights were all dancing in one crazy group. Contiki is the time to leave any prejudice and pet hates aside and just enjoy the people for who they are.
I really loved Austria, I'm more an adventure/ outdoor sort of person and Austria was just packed with Mountain Bike ride, Paragliding and White Water Rafting.
I did enjoy the cities, walking, shopping and seeing all the ancient architecture.
This tour had an even mix of everything on the tour. There was shopping, adventure, walking tours, cultural viewing and plenty of group bonding.
I would absolutely recommend this tour to everyone who wanted a quick view of some of the most popular sites. This tour has let me taste all those infamous sites that everyone raves on about wanting to seeing (Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, etc). And has given me a basic idea of what I want to go back and re-visit, and explore further.
This is the most amazing tour. Having two nights in each city is really great and gives you more time to see the city. Lee was our tour manager and Kev our tour driver, both were the best anyone could ask for. I am a coeliac and had no problems with finding gluten free food on this tour. There is absolutely nothing I would change about this tour, I had the time of my life. No regrets.
Was an awesome trip! Travelling on the bus from London was long & horrible (especially on the way home) lol.. make sure you take a travel pillow. Lots of Ozzies on our tour. We didn't do any of the optional extras as wanted to spend all our time at the festival. Tents were fine, though it got really cold of a night.
The beer tents fill up quickly though this is a great way to join random tables and meet new people!! Make sure you do buy costumes because you will feel left out when everyone else is dressed up! We had a wheres wally day and that was great fun!
I know people from our trip that went again this year and didn't have as much fun as we did last yr. I think its a destination that you go to once.. have the time of your life and thats it :)
From the pre-tour meeting until the last goodbyes was an all round life changing experience! The tour made the holiday an ease with no stress about having to book accommodation or worry about how to get from place to place. The contiki campsites were mostly modern and meeting the contiki crew and other contiki groups was brilliant - I never thought I would have so much fun washing dishes after the groups meals or enjoy getting up early to move onto the next stop! It was great to see the main cities that truly are the highlights of Europe, a continent that one mustn't go through life without experiencing. Being on tour with other similar age and like minded travellers with a keen sense of adventure and energy to see everything possible within this fast paced tour. Being on tour is like travelling with a bunch of old friends that you didn't know you had who make the good times amazing and the mishaps even better! even today, we remain in contact and visit fellow tour mates who have now become lifelong friends. Our tour manager was excellent and the bus driver just as good! Their insight and endless stories were entertainment in themselves! The optionals were reasonably priced and the people who didnt do these later regretted it. the food didnt differ too much from home consisting of steak and salad one night to lasagne or pizza the next. There really is no need to think about doing this tour......just go on and do it!!!!
This tour was amazing!! Our tour guide knew everything about everywhere!! Great as a taster of Europe. Spent about 2 days in each place, just enough time to see most things. When food was not included, our tour guide pointed us (or dined with us) in the most amazing local spots. Made many friends of whom I still keep in contact with. I recommend everyone to go on this tour!! Best holiday yet! =]
Had such an amazing time meeting so many beautiful people and seeing so many amazing coutries..Contiki is defs the way to go if you want value for money.This was my second contiki and i was no dissapointed.Good work Contiki..Its hard to name your highlights when there were just so many but one ill never forget was paragliding in Austria,the view and moment was just perfect.Would defs recommend the Whirl for any peeps travelling to Europe.