Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
It was alot of fun!! Needs an extra day in Barcelona tho for sure. Do the Florence dinner and nightclub (space) it is well worth it!!! The dinner in Monacco do not do, not worth it and over priced.
I would suggest going a day earlier as the tour starts that day, sightseeing and all!
Beware the contiki cough!!!
What an amazing trip. These countries are truly different from any place I'd been before. Contiki are really good at creating these adventures that give you the opportunity to be thrown from your comfort zone, whilst still providing the support you need to make it a trouble free trip.
Laos and Cambodia are incredible countries, places that most people don't know anything about. There were several times in Laos when I felt compelled to compare it Never Land. Best experiences of the trip include, elephant rides in Laos, visiting hill tribes in Thailand, Thai cooking classes, market tour in Phnom Penh, bike riding in Luang Prabang, and the boat ride down the Mekong.
I had a great tour group, its the best place to meet like minded people, people who enjoy traveling. There are quiet a few people who do the trips solo, so its easy to make friends. The transport and accom were all great, so long as you remember you're in Asia. Our tour guide was brilliant, her knowledge of these countries was mind boggling, and she went out of her way to assist us in everything we needed. I highly recommend this tour. :)
This trip is amazing and well worth the money. Our guide Roland was very knowledgeable and able to answer almost all of the questions we had and showed us the best places to visit in every city we went. There are a couple longer bus rides (6ish hours) but they are broken up well and the stops along the way, as well as the destinations, make the rides worth while.
There is plenty of free time to explore the larger cities you go through. The optionals are also a lot of fun (except for the "Mountain Biking" is Cusco, not worth the money). You get to check out many nice restaurants, eat local foods (alpaca, guinea pig, ceviche), and explore the nightlife in the different cities. The hotels on the trip are quite nice, especially at the Jungle Lodge. The ruins we explored were very interesting with incredible views and Machu Picchu alone makes the trip worth while.
If you have time in Lima try and go surfing. Its a short walk from the hotel and super cheap (Lessons, wet suit, and board for about $20 USD)
I highly recommend going on this trip.
El tour abarca muchos lugares diferentes de España, muchos lugares únicos, diferentes. Es una buena forma de conocer muchos pueblos en un mismo tour. Los desayunos buenos las cenas algunas un poco flojas, muchas tapas y no todo el mundo ama las tapas.
Hace mucho frío en invierno, lleven ropa adecuada. Las excursiones opcionales también estuvieron bien, las recomiendo. sobre la seguridad muy buena en toda España, el transporte también excelente, los hoteles todos muy buenos, y céntricos menos el de Barcelona un poco lejos y había que subir una gran cuesta para llegar al hotel.
Recomiendo este tour a todo aquel que desea aprender la cultura española.
El guía estuvo bien, y el chofer también. Muy buenos .
Yenny from San Juan PR
Esta ruta abarca muchas cosas interesantes para ver. Cada pueblo es una atmósfera diferente donde podrá ver y hacer muchas cosas diferentes. Los hoteles son grandiosos, principalmente las Cabañas en el gran Cañon y el Bass Lake. La comida muy buena y los desayunos, algunos variados. Las excursiones opcionales todas son muy buenas, principalmente la del globo en Sedona será una experiencia única. Las Vegas fabuloso, gran Cañon inolvidable, san Francisco único. Recomiendo este tour a todos disfrutarán mucho y aprenderán nuevas costumbres y cultura.
Mi guía Jonh Rammel excelente, el mejor guía que he tenido por mucho tiempo, responsable, organizado, fue excelente!!! 100% recomendable
El chofer Adrián O. Fue también excelente, siempre puntual, siempre todo limpio, organizado, alegre, compartía con todos, excelente chofer. Siempre llego a la hora estimada y a veces antes.
Fue un viaje inolvidable!!! Gracias Contiki.
Yenny from San Juan PR
This trip was easily one of the best weeks of my life. We had 15 people on the trip plus 3 crew members. Everyone was incredible and we bonded so well. We had a range of people from ages 24 – 32 with some who partied hard and others who were more low-key. The crewmembers were fun and joined in on all of the action with us. They even did a midnight jump into the water with us! ALL of our meals were included, and delicious, which made the trip affordable and so easy. The weather was nothing less than PERFECT. While the views from the boat were amazing, every time we dropped anchor we saw essentially the same thing.
The optional day trip to the Mud Baths and Turtle Beach and the night trip to Marmaris were SO WORTH IT. It was a full day out, but after spending so many days just hanging out on the boat, it was great to get out and see some historical sights. The nightlife in Marmaris was incredible and unexpected. Don’t forget to try some waterpipe when you are there and grab a late night Doner Kebab!
What to bring:
DON’T pack a large suitcase. There’s little room for “extras” on the boat. All you need is bathing suits and a few “going-out” outfits anyways, so you don’t need too much.
Make sure to bring a towel, sweatpants/sweatshirt (it can get cool at night, especially if you sleep up on the deck like we did), and sunscreen. A great mix on your ipod is good too – the boat has speakers!
I would recommend tacking on a few days in Istanbul before or after the trip as the city is not to be missed. I had the greatest week ever and I am already planning my next Contiki! I only wish I discovered these trips in my 20’s so I didn’t get aged-out so soon!
I wish the trip went longer. Made some best mates and had the time of my life. Could not ask for a better driver (Marco) and tour manager (Bec). Really helps when the contiki crew want to make the most out of our trip. And all 49 people were ever so greatful
This was the most amazing time of my life! Saw all the major sites in the big cities, had some beautiful relaxing days in Corfu and Dubrovnik, learnt so much, was surprised by some of the cities I knew little about. Camping really wasn't that bad, in fact it helped our group to bond that little bit more. Our road crew was simply amazing, best manager, best driver and best cook! I loved hanging out at the Contiki Campsites, Rome was a highlight with the Whiteboard party. Ate so much amazing food I cannot even comprehend. I will never ever forget the friends I made, la familia for life! If you're looking for a tour that does everything, leaves nothing out and has the most amazing environment, I recommend the Big Chill 100%
This was the best trip we've ever been on! We made so many good friends and are still feeling post-holiday blues 5 months after our trip ended - wish we still on the bus! It is a fast-paced trip, sometimes covering two states in one day - but this is what you must do to see more in the time-frame (and to get more for your money) - I wouldn't change any of it. We had plenty of time at the main locations (my highlight was the Grand Canyon with it's first snowfall for the year).
The optional extras were great - especially snowmobiling, some optionals are dependent on month and/or daily weather. Accommodation was great in most places, all were hotel rooms. Our bus driver and tour guide absolutely rocked and made our trip.
This was our first organised trip where we let someone else take charge and it was worth it. We are now looking at Contiki again to do Europe in 2014. P.S. If you're feeling extra adventurous, get hitched in Las Vegas like we did on Day 2!
It's actually incredibly hard to actually put into words my true feelings towards my Simply Italy trip that I've just come back from. Especially as right now, I'm back home in the UK and having some holiday blues. But let me take it to the beginning.
It's fair to say that most people going on this tour must have been a little nervous beforehand. And I certainly fit the bill for this. The apprehension that you might not really get on with your room-mates / fellow tour members was certainly one that was strong in mind.
Our tour manager, Erica, gave an introduction - and her bubbly, energetic personality just got absorbed by the room. Before long, we started to meet our fellow travellers and within a few minutes, I knew that this trip was going to be perfect. And it was.
My roommate was probably the craziest/out going guy on the tour - which is far from my personality. But I wouldn't have changed him for the world. We clicked within a few seconds of our introduction - and I feel privileged to have spent 12 days with him.
The way that our tour worked was that within a few days, natural friendship groups formed around the travellers - which was great. As exploring each city/place as a big group of 40+ was always going to be a no go. So in your friendship groups, you generally go off together and see the things that you all want to see. But at the same time, there are enough group activities going on (and on the coach) to really get to know everyone else at the same time.
There's not one person out of the 40+ members of our tour group that I didn't like. I felt there was a lot of like-minded people to me there and it was great to have spoken to every single one of them throughout the 12 days.
It’s hard for me to give you a flavour as to my favourite day – because I feel like it would be unfair on all of the other days! Florence was probably my favourite place to visit, peaceful and completely beautiful. But having said that, every single place we visited had something different to offer and gave another unique perspective on the fabulous country which I now know Italy to be. I feel content that I’ve seen the major highlights of Italy and really got a great flavour for the culture – thanks to the trips and from our Italian tour manager Erica (who gave us helpful advice; speaking Italian, gestures, recommendations of places to see in our free time).
I purchased all of the optionals on the tour. And generally, a large portion of the group did as well. My only initial concern with the optionals was for the prices of the meals. But in hindsight – the places we went were excellent, the food great (although a set menu) and usually unlimited wine. I’m honestly glad I paid for all of these as it was another great way to spend some time with my new ‘Contiki family’.
Without a shadow of doubt, I would urge anyone who is even remotely interested in seeing Italy to book the Simply Italy tour with Contiki. The Contiki motto is 'No Regrets' and I can promise you, there will be no regrets if you are lucky enough to get to go on this tour.
As for me, I'm already looking at future Contiki tours and how I can fit that into seeing my new found friends from around the world!
I loved having Erica as my tour guide. She went above and beyond with her efforts to make sure everyone was comfortable and having the time of their lives. Her happiness and enthusiasm was contagious and made the trip unforgettable. She is the reason I am so many others on the Italy tour had the best trip of our lives.
This was the best holiday ever! Met so many lovely people on this trip and had great tour manager and driver who helped out with au problems.
There was lots of free time for things we wanted to do by ourselves. Do the extras on this trip they are definitely worth it and get the group photo!!! We had so much fun on this trip with lots of things to do! The hotels were all beautiful.
Travelling to rome without a tour manager was I little daunting but our group all stuck together and we got there fine! Our local guide in Rome did barlely anything and couldn't even recommend a good restaurant but the reception at our hotel was very helpful with anything that we needed.
Overall amazing tour and would definitely recommend to anyone!!!
We spent the first 2 days learning skills at pro dive it was a mixture of theory and practical. Some of the skills we learned were assembling our tanks,filling our masks with water and emptying them while underwater in the pool, losing and recovering our regulators. On day 3 we were taken to the pro dive retail shop where we could store any extra luggage then we were taken on the bus to the wharf. Our boat was called scuba pro and it was our home for the next 3 days.
On day 1 we went diving twice and it was amazing, the water was a bit rough but once we were under the water it was spectacular. After the second dive on day 2 we were certified open water divers and we are now able to dive to 18 meters. On our third dive we went diving by ourselves in buddy teams without instructors, it was such a different experience. The fourth dive was an optional night dive i was too sick to do it but everybody loved it. On day 3 you did another 3 dives unless you had an early flight then you couldn't because you can only fly after 24 hours of not diving. I went snorkeling 2 times and i saw so many amazing fish and coral it was so beautiful. We had an amazing cook who was so nice she even prepared separate food for me because i have coeliacs, it was nice because it made me feel like i was normal again. The staff and instructors were all so nice even when you struggled with something for example i had major issues with the stairs to get back on the boat they were so patient and they saved me numerous times. The staff did such a great job at keeping the boat clean, it was such a great environment to live in. I was lucky enough to be with the people i was and i would not change a single thing about my trip except for i wish it was longer. It was so sad to say goodbye to the new friends i had just made including the staff, to me we weren't students and instructors, we were family.
This tour was an experience of a life time! We had an amazing group with an awesome tour manager and driver. We got taken to all the cool places in all the cities we went to and then got set free on our own to explore. I really enjoyed Munich but wish we had more time there. Austria was awesome with the adrenalin activities. Over all it was a great time and I have met some friends for life I I would recommend it for anyone looking to see a fair bit in a short time! And partiers are always welcome!!
This was a great tour overall. Awesome tour manager. Great locations, different from anything you see around here. Really mixed aged groups which is great. I went as a single traveller and made so many life long friends. Accommodation was really nice, Mostly hotels. transport was good, did not spend too much time on planes or buses. Definitely do it all over again.
Everything from start to finish with Contiki impressed me. I had a bit of confusion with pricing and deals when booking and it was handled so well and efficiently.
The tour was everything I had imagined it to be. My tour manager and driver were amazing and were so knowledgeable and passionate about everywhere we went! I was lucky to have incredible weather for the whole 16 days so it felt as if was living in a postcard. The included meals were great, all breakfasts included made it easy and convenient. The accommodation was okay for the most part but expect to pay a small fortune for wifi at a lot of the hotels/hostels. The coach was super comfy and beautiful. Would recommend a pillow and a blanket!
The only elements of the trip that disappointed me were time schedules. I know this is to be expected on such a short tour that spans the whole East Coast. Some places listed on the itinerary that you "see" you don't even get off the coach for.. you just drive by, which I found frustrating. There were lots of times when we wouldn't arrive to a place until it was dark then we'd leave early the next morning. Which left me feeling like I never even experienced the place at all.
Another thing.. Australia is so expensive! The me time optionals were very pricey, since I was on a student budget I couldn't afford to shell out another couple grand on things that weren't included. So a lot of time I was left to my own devices while others went out and did other activities. My advice... Plan to spend an extra grand AT LEAST on extra activities.
Overall, I would recommend this tour! Everything about it was fabulous and the only complaints I have are in the hands of the time frame not our fabulous Contiki team.
This was the best trip I have ever gone on. I went solo but came back with heaps of new friends. If I did the trip on my own I probably would not have booked the hotels we stayed in but they were not that bad. There is a good amount of time that was spent on the bus but I did not think it was a bad as people say. This is a great starter trip hitting the highlights and finding where you like and where you don't. If I had a choice to do it again I was say DEFINITELY!
Having been to Hogmanay before, I knew what to expect but had such a fantastic time the second time around too.
My travel buddy and I were in the spirit of the festival and meeting people and enjoying the atmosphere, trying to collect random bits and pieces for her costume for Loony Dook the next day.
The hostel was one of the best I have been in. Granted it was a hike to the city and it was all uphill, it made getting home at the end of the night easier.
We had a fantastic tour manager Evana and Andy our driver was great too. So much knowledge and experience.
The visit to Stirling Castle was great - the walking tour made the history come alive, Edinburgh itself is an architectural wonderland, where old meets new and there are hidden stories around every corner, such as Mary King's Close. A must see for all history fanatics.
The Scottish Evening was pretty good. I think some people didn't realise what they were ordering and were a bit taken back when they got their chicken and it had haggis in it but the entertainment was funny and the location was lovely.
Whilst not personally participating in Loony Dook, I did go to watch and take pictures. It was hard to see things but I guess the town isn't really built to accommodate that many people trying to swim in the freezing water with thousands of spectators on one tiny beach trying to watch the crazy one's swim. It was a fun atmosphere and I am glad I went.
All in all, this was a nice finish to our European holiday and you haven't really done New Years until you have been to a street party with 100,000 other people trying to get the best location to watch fireworks, sing auld lang syne and try to get an alcoholic beverage from a street vendor.
Should be on the to do list for any traveller :)
This tour was among the best trips of my life. I was a little nervous at first about the age bracket given I'm 32. Even though the majority of the group was under 30 age was not a factor because everyone bonded regardless. There was a good combination or both singles and couples, although I wouldn't have minded if there were more singles. The variety of places we visited was truly the most exciting thing about the tour. If you are interested in seeing lots of Italy this is definitely the best one to do. I am basically obsessed with the Italian culture and couldn't get enough. Our tour manager Christina was outstanding. She brought us to see so many great things including a super hot nightclub in Milan where I met the most gorgeous guy I have ever seen. Another of my favorites was Sirmione on lake Garda at the foot of the Dolomites. So incredibly spectacular. If you are on the fence about booking this trip, my best advice to you is do it a soon as possible. You will not regret it.
BEST TIME OF MY ABSOLUTE LIFE!
still friends with so many people on my contiki, the tour guide and bus driver were amazing, great food, great accomodation, you get to see the best countries in the world- it doesnt matter that it is winter time, you get so drunk that you don't even feel the cold haha... it is seriously so much fun and i recommend it to anyone!!! :)