Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
This action packed tour changed my life! from the snow on the Alps to the magic of Paris, we had an experience of a lifetime! now i crave my next adventure!
This was the absolute most amazing, beautiful, entertaining and fun time of my life. I wouldn't have done it any other way, we saw so much of the world in such a short time. This tour is definitely the one that covers the most amount of ground in the shortest time for the least amount of cash.
We literally saw every attraction listed plus so many more surprises, contrasts was good because it started off with the full on citys like paris and florence and then eased down to the slower places like munich. 29 days is a perfect amount of time to go, I was only just getting tired in the last 2 or 3 days and ready to go home.
Our tour manager (Maaaaat) looked after us amazingly between our hospital trips, missing persons and general misbehaviour, and our bus driver (Martin) was a great driver who was often called to show off his skills.
We also had the best group of people you could have asked for, everyone was like minded and full of fun. We became so close straight away and at the end it was like saying good bye to your brothers and sisters for the last month. I've been home for 2 weeks and we have already organised a catch up!
The not so good:
A lot of people on tour were annoyed with the amount of time spent travelling on the bus- thats how you get around, deal with it. If you want to see 12 countries in 29 days you are going to be spending a lot of time in transit.
The accommodation was usually neat and clean, bed bugs were an issue for a few people at some places. Several places were really far away from the city (30E + taxi) so it was hard to kind of do your own thing of a night and it often felt like a lot of pressure to drink (and spend your money) at the Contiki-run bars.
The food was always reasonably healthy and tasty, expect to eat a lot of cold bread, cold ham and cold cheese for breakfast. Contiki always did a good job of dinners and the only real bad meal we had was an optional in St Goar- that was terrible.
I'm not sure if it was just luck of the drawer but Contrasts always seemed to get the short end of the straw when it came to party nights at the contiki accommodation, it feels like every time we got somewhere none of the other groups wanted to go out because they had a massive night the night before with games and contests, and then when it was on again we were leaving in the morning.
The other thing that surprised a lot of people was that Contiki is a party. We drank and stayed up most nights and slept on the bus the next day- I enjoyed it most of the time but others may not have. You don't ever *have* to go out but sometimes if you don't you feel like you miss out a lot.
I did this tour in Jan of this year and we had the best time! the included dinners were great along with the two optional dinner we could chose to do, I highly recommend both optional dinners just make sure you are hungry!
We unfortunately at the start of our tour did not have an 'official' contiki bus as they had all buses already on the road and it was peak season, but we did nab ourselves one in Queenstown.
Our TM Sarah was amazing, she went out of her way to help you and answer any silly questions we might of come up with, between her and Adam (our bus driver) they made the times on the bus between where we were going to great fun, whether it was Adam getting Sarah to play a song that he wanted to listen to or the first time we were introduced to our day song Everything's gonna be alright! The included Jetboat in Queenstown was great fun! I did the white water rafting on the shotover and also did Milford sound day trip while in Queenstown. We didn't make it to Franz Joseph on the day we were meant to given the bad weather and the road had been closed - it was the middle of summer and the weather took a turn to the south including we woke up one morning to snow on the remarkables in Queenstown.
We got to Franz and Fox glaciers the next day and the weather had improved enough that those who had booked the helicopter trips and hikes could go up onto the top of the Glaciers nothing like throwing a snowball on top of a glacier we did not get ot see franz as their was cloud cover in the valley but we still got ot see fox and land on top of it one of the highlights of my tour.
I really do not think I can praise our TM and driver high enough especially given I had been injured on the Monday in Queenstown, by the friday after already seeing a doctor who told me everything would be fine I gave my TM and driver a scare when my body went into shock, Sarah stayed with me while Adam waited for the Ambulance to arrive dressed in a coconut bra and grass skirt! Then Sarah came with me to the local medical centre while they got me all sorted out and dosed me up on painkillers along with giving me crutches (thankfully the trip was ending the following afternoon).
This trip can be as adventured packed or as alid back as you want it to be, our first night on tour left us speechless given our location we were in a ski lodge over looking lake Ohau.
Where do I begin. This was the best trip/ experience I've ever had. It was a great way to get a taste of multiple countries in two weeks. The hotels were nice & clean (barely in them enough to have a complaint), the coach bus was always clean and comfortable, the food was a great sampling of each country, and I can say I left with several new friends from all over the world and many, many memories. I have to mention how incredible our tour manager, Danny Steenkamp was. Always working, always planning, always willing to go the extra mile to make everyone's holiday memorable, always positive...a wealth of information, great sense of humor, and made the experience seamless from country to country. This was my first trip to Europe and it definitely won't be my last. I am still blown away by the history and beauty of each country and truly had sensory overload. We were able to see pretty much everything we wanted to see at each stop (with some planning in advance and a quick walking pace) and Danny would have put us in the category of the "culture vultures" - but I was definitely in pure bliss through out the whole trip, taking it all in. We did most of the ME Time Optionals; The Tuscan Hills Feast is a must (one of the most memorable times with the group), Gondola ride was best way to see Venice away from the tourists and take it all in, white water rafting gave the most beautiful views of Austria & the Alps, wine tasting in St. Goar was a cool experience in a creepy, old cellar, Canal Cruise in Amsterdam great kickoff with group and relaxed way to take in views of Amsterdam, Swarvorski Crystal Museum is worth the 8 euro for a one time trippy museum experience, Mt. Stanserhorn was a breathtaking view of mountains in Switzerland and the Cabrio cable car was so cool, recommend the group photo since it was the only time everyone was together and there was a beautiful view of Florence in the background, & Cabaret Show in Paris was such a memorable way to end the trip. Only slightly disappointed with Vatican tour & Colosseum/ Roman Forum tours- they are back to back, with minimal time in Vatican museum, both are so crowded with tourists, it was crazy hot for the Colosseum & Forum and more than half our group left probably from hunger & dehydration and skipped the Forum (which was incredible to stand in a place over 2000 years old)- so plan ahead, bring water & snacks because it was a long morning and a little information overload but worth seeing! Otherwise some tips: keep change for bathrooms, introduce yourself to everyone day 1, bring cash bc it's just easier, glad I had a rain jacket & umbrella for different weather, bring meds ( i got a chest cold & heat rash- probably needed to drink more water consistently), do what you can to see everything you want to see- you might never be back, I loved having my Ramble & Rove travel journal (off Amazon) made journaling easier with writing prompts, glad I had video camera & regular camera, took IPhone but kept it on Airplane mode so could make text over iMessage, FaceTime instead of call, use for alarm clock, and get online (had wifi at most hotels)---overall have no regrets, I sure don't, I only wish I could have stayed longer.
First trip travelling alone, never felt more at home with everyone, amazing experiance!
The Italian espresso tour was lovely and we had a nice group, met some great people. Was a little disappointed in the standard of accommodation and felt that the itinerary breakdown of the tour sugar coated a lot of what we did. Did not find the included dinners to be of a decent standard and the optional dinners were very poor considering that after contiki my friend and I travelled Italy more extensively and often had 3 course meals with wine etc. and it cost less than what the optional "special" dinners did. Also there are lots of costs that don't get mentioned or the impression is created that something is included in our backstage pass when actually u see the thing from a distance. Also was quite disappointed in the level of professionalism regarding tipping, I found it very unnecessary and unprofessional that we got reminded not once, twice but three times about tipping. I felt that one explanation is sufficient seeing as the tipping is optional and in all fairness the average person doing contiki with the odd exception is not loaded with cash. Other than these let downs, contiki is a good brand especially if u in a country for the first time but is definitely most beneficial to sociable young people.
The tour is great but also exhausting. Me as a german not used to hot climate really needed time to cope with the high humidity in Ixtapa and Acapulco. Also the height of Mexico City, Morelia and Taxco can be exhausting. Nearly everybody felt a little sick (Food, Heat, Elevation). The tour is really great and in the end I needed "holidays". ;-) So stay a few more days longer in Cancun. It's worth it... and do the Mayan Jungle Encounter, it's so much fun. I'm glad having done this trip because it gave me 1000s of new impressions and many nice pictures. But it's a lot to see/experience in a short time. Traveling fast pace... and bring your own travel pharmacy, you'll need it.
This was the most amazing trip of my life................ I really got the best tour manager and driver Anna and Atur!! (The A Team) and of course my contiki family!!
We have created many memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life :) travelling around Europe has always been a dream of mine and I am so glad I got to experience it with my contiki family!!
Don't forget to WORK HARD, PLAY HARD!!!!
Saw the most amazing places, & met the most amazing people... Thank you contiki for inspiring me to see the world and travel more. This was truly the time of my life and I would do another tour in a heart beat.
It's commonly known that Italy is a beautiful country; and for a first visit there, it was exactly what you can expect and even much, much more! The trip was truly action-packed and memorable thanks to our incredible and brilliant Contiki staff (Enzo and Giuseppe) and our fun and friendly group (we all bonded very easily, it was great and it made the whole trip so much more fun!)
In 12 days, we covered so much ground (from Rome to Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Florence and then Venice, Verona, Milan, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Vatican, etc.) that you get the feeling you get to see it all. Everywhere we stopped, we wanted to stay longer (especially in Sorrento and Capri!). Beautiful cities and landscapes, amazing food and wine (Yes, I'm a French woman who enjoyed Italian wine much to the amazement of our tour manager, Enzo!), fun nights out, lots of culture (I recommend the walking tours in Florence, Venice and Rome) and playful moments at the beach (great memories from Portovenere and Monterosso). Accommodation-wise, it was incredible. We stayed in great places. My favourites are the rooms in Sorrento, Florence and Milan. Fabulous! Best value for money!
Time flew by in an instant but all these great memories will stay forever. I strongly recommend you do all the optional activities, they're worth every penny (especially the dinners such as the fancy one in the restaurant on the hills of Florence and the farewell dinner in Rome). All in all, you get to experience La Dolce Vita and you won't be willing to leave at the end of the trip but at least you know what places you want to return to (for me, Sorrento, Capri, Florence and Cinque Terre). Ciao tutti!
This tour was really amazing, it was my first Contiki and I can't wait to do another one, very hectic and don't count on getting lots of sleep but soooo worth it!
Best 2 weeks that one could ask for. Beautiful country. Amazing beaches. Delicious food. Unreal all night parties. The best "sex on a beach" drink I've ever had at paradise beach in Mykonos. Lie in the sun during the day. Lots to see and do. Made amazing friends. My third contiki and definitely not my last! Dance, drink, never sleep. - my theme for this trip!
I did this trip back in 2011, and I had always wanted to see europe, england especially. I had the most amazing time of my life, and even though I went by myself I met some amazing people, some of which i still keep in touch with today. The tour manager Michelle was AMAZING and she went above and beyond to make sure we had / and saw everything possible. She even took the time to take us out to bars and whatnot whenever we had the chance. Same goes for our Tour driver Pete! He was super funny, and again went above and beyond for all of us to ensure our experience was amazing.
The best moments were probably getting a little tipsy at a pub in the middle of the day in a small town, and crashing a wedding in a hotel we were staying in.
I always recommend contiki to my friends, and I also recommend going by yourself if you can!
Amazing 21 days! Lots to fit in, and heaps was coverd! Had lots of busy time,as well as chilling on your own, great group of people! All the hotels beat my expectations although some of the dinners could have been a lot better.
I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get a good idea of Europe and be mezmorised by some of the things you will see! I really had an amazing time, an I'm sad to be home without my contiki family!x
European Highlights was honestly the best, most amazing two weeks of my life so far. It is crazy fast-paced, and you will see more in these two weeks than you ever thought possible. My group, TM (Clare) and driver (Mark) were incredible and definitely made the trip what it was. I wouldn't change a thing. Contiki really knows whats good in all the places you visit.
I have a full breakdown and review on my blog http://meganstraveladventure.wordpress.com/ and if you have any questions please ask!
You will not regret doing this tour at all, and it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make!
Had an amazing time Island Hopping in Thailand, with an amazing group of people, fantastic activities, adventures and cultural experiences, (some religious some not so religious :S) and 9 days of drinking, great food and stunning scenery.
The additional activities were fantastic, with no shortage of things to see and do, food provided and the half day boat cruises, their staff were amazing and friendly, great value for money.
Other activities like the Cabaret in Phuket was entertaining and funny, I highly recommend going to see it, a very talented group of people.
Other things to see in Phuket are the Big Buddha and Bangla road
Phi Phi is an island paradise, the water is amazingly clear, the view from the look out is breath taking at sun set, and the beach party's go off.
Krabi is a nice town, with plenty to do, recommend going to Raleigh Beach, via Long tail, get a group together for rock climbing, the view from the tiger temple is insane, not to mention the cultural monuments that are at the top of a 1200 + step climb.
The accommodation is great, the food is great, this is a real value for money tour
We had the time of our lives. We amazing people and made such good friends form all over the world. I don't think it is possible to see so much in the 9 days other than with Contiki. I would recommend this to anyone having limited time but want to see as mush as possible. The optional extra's are worth doing and is really not expensive. Do it...you know you want to!
I absolutely enjoy this trip. Let's start by saying that the city of Florence was MAGICALLLL!!!. It was my favorite from all the places we visited. The Italian food was to die for from pastas, real homemade pizzas to delicious desserts. I would for sure return to Italy. The tour was exhausting, but fun. My tour manager Vincenzo was really nice and funny. He made the tour even better. The optionals were very good. At least I was able to know how much Euros to spend and save. You will for sure need money for lunch and other extra things you want to do. The venice shops were sooooo awesome and beautiful. Venice is quite a peaceful place with many hot gondola guys.. jee jee..
This was a great trip - sort of like 5 tours in one as you can stay for England and Scotland or just Scotland or just Scotland and Ireland or just Ireland or do the whole three like I did! A lot of lovely scenery and great optionals such as entry to castles or dinners like the merry ploughboys (farewell dinner) and scottish dinner (where you can try haggis!) We had Cindy as our TM who was great at showing you the best places to go.
Such an amazing 28 days! Met so many people and had a great Tour manager (Bri) and Bus driver (Atilla)! This trip lets you see so much of each country as we mostly had two nights in each location allowing us to have a whole day of our own adventure. Optionals were awesome as well... Some included bike riding in Netherlands, tour around Pompeii and a Mozart concert (which wasn't boring!). We were definitely 'on the go' all the time which kept it exciting. If you want a great, awesome holiday where you see heaps then I highly recommend it to you.