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I recently just returned from this trip!! First off, it was a blast!! The sights were amazing, the people were even better and our tour manger, Michelle, and our bus driver, Tony, were even better!! They made the trip totally worth it!! Don't miss out on this great opportunity!! You see so many things in such a short period of time!!! I highly recommend this tour!!

My Contiki was: Amazing, incredible, awesome

  • lou_85 Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

I have just finished this tour a couple of days ago and I had the best time. It started in Rome - most people were there a few days early so we didn't really need the free day other than to nurse our hangovers - it would of been great to have an extra day in Sorrento or Corfu. Everything in Rome was fabulous, how could you not like the history, culture and especially the food!. From Rome we headed south to Sorrento via Pompeii - its a must see! It was amazing - take a hat and water though, it was bloody hot!. Then we were in Sorrento - absolutely gorgeous and then the Isle of Capri was fantastic but one thing I wasn't overly stoked about was the optional of the Blue Grotto, it was about 12.50 euros and it was not worth it - you see similar blue water in different areas, don't waste your money. Then off to Corfu and the Contiki village and George's Boat! Its a must do optional - George is hilarious and its a great day - I don't want to give any info away but I wish I could go again, the day I was there it was cold and raining but we still had so much fun. After Corfu was Athens - the Acropolis made the trip, we were also lucky enough to be there to see the Olympic flame too. From Athens most of the tour group went on the 3 day cruise (some didn't and some went on the 7 day option) to Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos and Santorini. I would of liked more time in Mykonos, Kusadasi (shopping heaven) and just not stopped at Patmos at all (it had a lot of religious aspects and I'm not religious) but Santorini was my favourite - we spent the whole day there and I rid a donkey up the hill, it was hilarious, if you're not sure whether you should do it just go for it, it takes about 15 minutes, depending if you have a stubborn donkey or not but I loved it.
In regards to tour mates I went on my own and had a great roomie - that really made the trip, the rest of the tour were great too and our tour manages were awesome - one for the land portion and one for the 3 day cruise.
My overall highlights were The Vatican, Sorrento, Pompeii, George's Boat, The Acropolis and Santorini. Also the food and drinks on the cruise are awesome - its all you can eat and with drinks it was just under 70 euros for all you could drink for the 3 days (alcoholic, non-alcoholic, tea, coffee, juice, water etc) and also try a Gyros - or 10 in Greece - yum!.

My Contiki was: Great Food, History, Party

European Discovery

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ EUROTRIP

Had the time of my life, I would do it again in a heartbeat! Loved my tour mates!

My Contiki was: fantastic, amazing, awesome

Italian Espresso

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Italian Espresso
  • Estephania Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries

A series of events presented me the opportunity to travel Italy with Contiki on the Italian Espresso tour with tour manager Maite. I've done a lot of traveling over the past few years and I've got to say that this was truly one of the best tours and Maite was easily the best tour manager I've had!! I wouldn't even know where to start with a list of things that I enjoyed on this trip!! The food, the sites, the people and the experience as a whole were so much more than I ever expected and I will carry the memories of this experience with me forever. Thank-you Maite! Thank-you Contiki!

My Contiki was: incredible, yummy, unforgettable

Ireland

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Time of my LIFE!!!

Loved every minute of it!!! Our tour guide was beyond great and I met some amzing new friends! I wish I was still in Ireland!! So much to see and do- You must book this tour if you every wanted to see Ireland and have the best company!

My Contiki was: Amazing, Beautiful, Adventurous

  • Ariana_S Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 4 Countries

I had an amazing time on this trip! Our tour manager Chris and coach driver Raf were an awesome pair and SO much fun! They definitely made the trip so entertaining and fun. I loved how we were able to spend at least 3 days in each city which gave us ample time to see all of the sites with free time to spare! The hotels in each city were great, nothing extravagant but all were central and easy to find. I met amazing people and I was so sad to see them go, but we all added each other on Facebook and are keeping in touch.

Overall this trip was AMAZING. I had such a great time, with great food, great people and awesome memories. Thanks Contiki!

  • Jacqueline Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 5 Countries

Awesome experience! Met awesome people, saw absolutely breath-taking places those places you have once dreamed about- Rome, Colosseum etc , best guide - Thanks Angie :) Still have that theme song of our bus!! Contiki will see me on another tour!

Money well spent- very affordable!

European Whirl

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ European Whirl
  • Amanda* Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

This was absolutely the best trip ive ever experienced! fast paced, but hit everything you would want to see! made life long friends, took amazing photos, and i have he best memories that I still talk about a year later. I strongly recommend this trip!!!

My Contiki was: happy dayz, thrilling, partying

European Whirl

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ European Whirl
  • Amanda* Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

This was absolutely the best trip ive ever experienced! fast paced, but hit everything you would want to see! made life long friends, took amazing photos, and i have he best memories that I still talk about a year later. I strongly recommend this trip!!!

My Contiki was: happy dayz, thrilling, partying

  • Sam Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 22 Countries

This would have to have been the most amazing experience I have ever had. So well run, so many sights to see and I feel like we fit more into a day then I thought possible. But what's more is I made some really amazing friends that I know I am always going to keep in contact with. So worth the money, so much included and the memories you make just make it all the more unforgettable.
Would recommend it to anyone and everyone!

  • melanie Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries

This tour was heaps of fun, it's a great way to spend a week in the British Isles! Our tour manager, Hugh, was awesome and so knowledgeable. Saw so many amazing and unexpected things, and met awesome people. I would recommend this tour to everyone, and I can't wait to go on another Contiki soon! :)

My Contiki was: Fun, Friends, Food

I had never been to Europe before and this was the perfect trip. What I really liked about it was that it was like a sampler platter of Europe. We got try a little bit of everything. Going from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and more – there was a little bit of each local flavour - foods, wines, histories, languages, cultures, the landscapes and weather were all so different, yet so cool. I don’t think I could have seen how different everything was if I hadn’t gone by coach. We could feel the altitude change going into the mountains of Italy and Switzerland, and we got to see how the cities changed as we drove, from large stretches of country with nothing but convenience stop, making our way into large cities (imagine seeing Paris at rush hour!).
As we headed south we could see everything change from weather (gray skies became sunny), colours (flowers grew brighter from Brussels to Italy) food and weather (all the ingredients and spices and wines changed by regions.) It was awesome to see so much of Europe in just 3 weeks. I packed more into my holiday than my mates who opted for just a few countries or a beach holiday. Most people would spend years and thousands of dollars more for what I saw on this trip!
I definitely had the best photos to take home.
The best part was the people. We were all strangers, even with the few couples – but by the end we were all best mates. That’s what happens when you spend hours a day traveling with people who want to see the world the same way you do, everyone becomes friends. I now have new mates all over the world to visit and reasons to keep traveling!
I learned a lot about places I never knew I wanted to visit. Lucerne in Switzerland was jaw dropping – glass reflective lakes and snow peaks in the middle of summer that you can bike up to, IF you want. Or stay several hundred meters below and enjoy the gorgeous landscape with some Austrian hiking. I wanted to try everything on this trip, I didn’t feel pushed, and I am not usually an outdoorsy person.
I was really concerned that there wouldn’t be enough flexibility – I didn’t just want to do tourist sites on my trip out – but I didn’t feel constrained. Because I was in a group and staying at hotels, I met more people and had more nights out than I could have possibly done on my own or even with a few friends. It was a good mix as our days were loosely structure, and our nights were open to do as little or as much socializing as you want :)
If you’ve never been to Europe before and want to see new places, Impressions is definitely the trip to take!

My Contiki was: Unforgetable , Culture, Amazing

  • MitchellR Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

This was my first time ever out of Australia and I was also travelling for the first time on my own and I must say I had the best time of my life so far. I met so many new friends as it ended up being 3 different contiki's in one with Grand Southern, Southern Adventure (LA to New Orleans) & Eastern Discovery (New Orleans to New York). My tour manager & driver were awesome the tour manager had so much knowledge of all the places we went to and set up awesome night life for everyone. My highlights were definitely Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Dallas, Memphis, Miami, Washington DC then New York after the tour finished. And going to see Gracelands, Kennedy space center, Arlington National Cemetery & all the memorials as well as museums in DC. I already miss it all and everyone I met and I only been home for a week.

  • Greg Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Well what can i say...best 3 weeks of my life, had a awesome time!!.....travelled solo, (which was a good option). I made soo many new freinds. Have some Awesome Memories!! ...Hotels were great, Places were great, Optional were great and the tour was Amazing

A MUST DO! on the tour is a chopper ride in Las Vegas ( Grand Canyon) its Absolutely breathtaking. It takes u right into the canyon, Champagne lunch, goes for about 1 and a half hours. If you can do the bike tour through San fran, it goes for about 2-3 hrs lol, but great way to see San Fransisco =D

This was my first trip solo and as much as i was nervous, the 2nd day on contiki i was and ready to go!! No need to worry, everyday is organized, all you have to is choose what you wanna do...Recommend this for anyone!!!.....this trip has given me the travel bug...Next stop Europe Contiki =D

My Contiki was: Awesome, Amazing, Good times !

  • Sasha Level 5 Traveler
  • 5 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

London: The crown jewels are really something else! They are located in the Tower of London and the line gets ridiculous so go there first thing! We did and there was no line; by the time we got out — huge line! St Pauls opens at 8:30 and the nearby Tower of London at like 9, so easy to combine the two. If you only have time to visit one church, I would suggest Westminster Abbey over St Pauls. The London Eye is cool, but it’s something you could skip really. It takes about 30 minutes to do the revolution btw. Tate Modern and National Gallery were cool but if you are low on time, you can skip. The one museum you must see is the British Museum (and free and by the hotel so no excuse). It’s a tourist trap for sure but I loved the London M&M store, located near the West End… it is so cute and a great place for souvenirs! Try to pay for Westminster Abbey by cash as it’s a much shorter line. If you are going to be there for several days before consider the London Pass; I didn’t get one but someone else did and she thought it was worth it. Oh and let me offer a huge timesaver: if you buy the tour over the phone they should offer a 10 pound metro pass that takes you from Heathrow to the train station by the hotel…. definitely buy that instead of at the airport metro station. The line is ridiculous and you will thank me. If the pass wasn’t offered to you I would call contiki. Probably saved me at least half an hour of standing in a ridiculous line.

Paris: I did the extension so I stayed an extra 2 days and I thought that was a good decision. Otherwise you will have about a day and a half to explore the city as the trip to the Palace of Versaille will take half a day. Like I said above, if you are going to be there for extra time, definitely get the Paris Museum Pass (2, 4, or 6 day) and I suggest buying it at the military museum (no line). If you lack time, skip walking up and down the Champ Elysee — it’s like fifth avenue in NY, lots of high end stores, and connects the Arc de Triomphe with the area of the Lourve. If you don’t have the time, you can take the metro station by the Arc de Triomphe to your next destination. If you do have the time here are a few highlights of that street (I walked up and down twice while I was in Paris): you might want to go to the Louis Vuitton store if you are into that kind of stuff (I skipped this), if you are female it might be worth going to the Abercrombie and Fitch store –- not to buy anything but because what you will see when you walk inside might be good for some giggles -- and I am not going to spoil it; you will not see the store from the street but instead a golden gate with a line outside and security in the form of guys with Abercombie and Fitch sweatshearts. If you are into cars at all, all of the French manufacturers have display rooms on this street – not to sell cars but to show off. The highlight for me was Renault which is showcasing their new car, Twizzy. The Citroen showroom was also cool. The Disney Paris store sells a very cute bag for 3.99 euro that makes for a great souvenier or beach bag. There’s a yummy pizza place that I went to with outside seating just to say I ate on the Champ Elysee. In the Lourve, well you need to see everything of course. But if you are limited in time you will have to see the Mona Lisa just because people will ask you, same for the Venus de Milo. Also make sure you see a room called the Apollo room –- it’s beautiful beyond words, trust me. I think it is in the Shelly wing (there are 3 wings). Napolean’s apartment is there as well and cool if you can find it. There is a hidden downstairs entrance to the Lourve which the tour guide suggested but it ended up with a huge line so I wouldn’t suggest it myself. If you have the museum pass then you can skip all the lines and enter through the pyramid and walk right in. The Musee d’ Orsay is OK, but I think it is safe to skip. The Pantheon is over by the Latin Quarter and a bit out of the way but if you have the time you should see it — one of my highlights; it is a shrine to the most famous french people. The Luxembourg gardens weren’t that interesting so I think it is safe to skip. The modern art museum, Centre Pompideau is pretty fun if you have got the time (make sure to check out the fountain outside). Bascillica Sacre Couer is a must do but far away from everything else. It is open like 6 am to 11 pm so fit it in if you can. Go to Sainte Germain by Notre Dame if you are there for some extra days.

Tips for Europe in General:
Yep, no problem. I’ve been to Lisbon, Madrid, Ireland, as well as London & Paris and these are my suggestions:
–- Always know the tipping customs for each country. In most of the countries that I have been to, the custom is not to tip or just round up to the nearest Euro. Just look it up online ahead of time. In France it is not required to tip the waiter. I never ate out at a restaurant in London, so I’m not sure.
- Understand how the VAT (value added tax) works. I am a bit confused myself. Basically, if you are not a citizen and buy over a certain amount at a store, some stores will give you a receipt to get back the VAT. At the airport you put the reciepts in an envelope and there are kiosks where you drop off the envelope and you will get money back on your credit card. I did this in Ireland where I got those receipts, but didn’t see anything in France. Google beforehand, especially if you are planning to make any big purchases.
–- The cheapest way to do currency exchange is to use an ATM. Your ATM card should have a VISA logo. Depending on your bank, it may have a program where you don’t pay fees if you use another member bank in a foreign country. Bank of America has such a program with other international banks. When using your ATM card you may pay a flat fee per transaction (my bank, Regions, charges $5). Airport kiosks and western unions are more expensive and less convenient.
- Capital One credit cards are the only ones I know that do not charge an extra fee for currency exchange. So that is what I always use. Discover Card will be pretty useless though I think they announced a program where they will be accepted internationally, check on this (but don’t bother if you have Capital One).
–- Most European credit cards use a chip and pin system where the card has an embedded chip and you slide the chip or insert the card half-way and then enter a pin. American cards do not have this, but can often be accepted. If there is a machine where you partially enter your card (enough for the chip to be read) look to see if there is a place to swipe instead. When I went to Madrid the metro only could accept cards with a pin so I was able to use my ATM because I had a pin to enter in the PIN screen.
- Remember: the ground floor for Europeans is the first floor for Americans. The first floor for Europeans is the second floor for Americans. It can be confusing at first.
–- Bring a pen on the plane as you will have to fill out a customs form. Make sure you have with you on the plane the name, address, phone number of where you will be staying.
- In some countries (ex. Spain, Portugal) restaurants may put appetizers on the table; they are not free so if you don’t want them just decline.
–- You will need a travel adapter, but I have never needed to use a travel converter. Most electronic devices (phones, laptops, cameras) can handle outlets in Europe provided you have the right adapter. Btw, in some countries, Spain comes to mind, they do not have a ground. The ground is the circular ‘thingy’ between the two prongs that you would have in an American plug. A little bit more risky, but I would just not have the ground plugged in.
- - Always make a copy of your passport and have it somewhere. The hotels we stayed at did not have safes in the room, so I used my money belt ($10 at walmart) and put my passport there and brought it with me (easy when you are wearing a coat and sweater). My copy I kept in my locked luggage.
–- You are supposed to register with the embassy ahead of time to inform them that you will be out there in case there is some emergency. Half the time, I forget to do this.
- Pickpocketing is an art form apparently. Especially in crowded areas like the Eiffel tower and in front of the Mona Lisa. So watch out for gypsies, pickpockets, etc. Always have your purse in front of you, yada, yada, yada.

My Contiki was: London, Paris

  • lou_85 Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

I had the most amazing time on this tour! I was really apprehensive before going on the tour because I went solo but I didn't need to worry at all! I think half of the people on the tour were there solo - it was great doing the twin share option so you could meet other people, my room mate was great!.
The highlights were Seaworld in San Diego (The Shamu Show), The hot air balloon in Phoenix (so beautiful!), The Grand Canyon, VEGAS! - the hotel is a casino - what else can I say!, my absolute favourite was Bass Lake - the place isn't really that close to anywhere and you have quad share so it was basically a big party for 2 nights - my tour manager Eileen organised beer pong for us, it was hilarious!. Speaking of Eileen she was really great - she organised all sorts of little 'Eileen Optionals', I won't go into too much detail just in case some of you have her as your tour manager, I don't want to spoil anything!. Ending the tour in San Francisco was great however the one down side to this was the hotel we stayed at, it was in a really dodgy area - if you're planning on staying longer in SF after the tour I'd definitely book elsewhere.
All in all though I would do this tour again in a heart beat! I've made some great friends (for life) and had the best experiences! If you're umming and aahing about this tour just do it! You won't regret it!.

My Contiki was: Laughter, Friendship, Party!

I had the most amazing time ever on this trip. Out of the 3 North America tours i did (also did New York New Year and California Highlights) this was def the most exciting of all. Made fantastic friends, ate fantastic foods in New Orleans, saw amazing sites including visits to the beautiful Charleston and Savannah. Drew, our TM and Ray, our driver were both incredible and made our trip the best it possibly could be. They went above and beyond- in Cocoa Beach they organised an amazing poolside cookout (BBQ) for us!
The optionals were usually pretty awesome (my favourites: the swamp boat in Louisiana and the New Orleans School of Cooking) but next time i probably would pass on the Miami Party Cruise and Riverboat in New Orleans.
My biggest advice if you go on the tour is to not go too hard at nighttime all the time because the East Coast of the USA (even small towns that you may think might have nothing to over you) has such rich history and beautiful sites.
The hotels we stayed in were of a good standard, great when you consider the overall cost of the tour.
Overall this is a fantastic value for money tour!

My Contiki was: unforgettable , amazing, unreal

I had the most amazing time ever on this trip. Out of the 3 North America tours i did (also did New York New Year and California Highlights) this was def the most exciting of all. Made fantastic friends, ate fantastic foods in New Orleans, saw amazing sites including visits to the beautiful Charleston and Savannah. Drew, our TM and Ray, our driver were both incredible and made our trip the best it possibly could be. They went above and beyond- in Cocoa Beach they organised an amazing poolside cookout (BBQ) for us!
The optionals were usually pretty awesome (my favourites: the swamp boat in Louisiana and the New Orleans School of Cooking) but next time i probably would pass on the Miami Party Cruise and Riverboat in New Orleans.
My biggest advice if you go on the tour is to not go too hard at nighttime all the time because the East Coast of the USA (even small towns that you may think might have nothing to over you) has such rich history and beautiful sites.
The hotels we stayed in were of a good standard, great when you consider the overall cost of the tour.
Overall this is a fantastic value for money tour!

My Contiki was: unforgettable , amazing, unreal

  • Arianna Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Best experience of my life and I would do it again in a heart beat!
I met so many wonderful people who have become life long friends.
I went solo and realised there is nothing wrong with doing things on your own! it only makes you stronger and more independent.

The greek isalnds were one of the most beautiful and culturally blessed places I have visited. A must trip for anyone who just needs to get away and have a good time!

The group leader was so much FUN! MJ would party till dawn with us and still be able to get up early the next day and teach us about Greece.
the accomodation was beautiful especially Mykonos! you must visit the restaurant Taverna! the most beautiful scenery!
the night life was amazing! Crazy and wild!

I would recommend this trip to anyone - couples, singles and groups of friends. the tour has everything! whether you want a relaxing holiday or a crazy trip you can have both!

GREEK ISLANDS 2012! OPEN YOUR MIND!

My Contiki was: Greece, Greek Islands

  • BieBie Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

I went solo.. Scary at first.. But on the first day I already made so many friends and had soooo much funn!! I had the most amazing time ever!!! My Contiki were great.. Dave our tour leader was such a nice guy and knew his story!! Chris our bus driver were awesome!!

Its defnitly worth every cent!! Just do it!! Im still amazed with everything I saw in such a short time!! Europe is soooo beautifull!! And Contiki is the way to go!!!

We had great nights out, had the most amazing meals, I did most of the optionals and they were great (except for the walking tour in Venice - i wont recomend this one. Our guide had no Idea what she was doing. You'll see more by yourself) But the rest was fabulous.. Going to the top of the Eiffel tour, walking tour in rome& florence, Dinner at the Hofbrahaus, Sunset cruices in Lucerne and amterdam, Dinner in Rome, wine tasting in St Goar, Going to the top of Mount Stanserhorn, Schnapps train in Austrian alps were beautiful, aswell as the Swarovski museum... I can go on for hours!!

The accomadation were great.. Love the Blue Square hotel in Amsterdam, our hotel in Austria were so cute, nice little hotel in St Goar (just note theres no lift so rather back an overnite bag), Azimut in munich was nice aswell.. Just didnt like the hotel in florence that much but its okay and clean enough for one night.. Staying at the Jailhouse hotel in Lucerne was something diffrent.. DInner were great and dessert aswell!!

Contiki is great!! Your get so much for the price you pay!! Im already planning my next trip!!!

Thanks for the best time of my life CONTIKI
xoxoxo

My Contiki was: Time of my Life, soooo much funnn, Awesome!!!!

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