Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
This was my 3rd time to Asia. It was great going to see the Mekong Delta and visiting the Chi Cu Tunnels. Another highlight was to see Hoi An (having tailored clothes made, is a must)!!
THE BEST NEW YEARS EVER!!!!!! Amy, our tour manager, was super cool! and seeing people throw fireworks in broad daylight was awesome!
Definitely recommend it!
Accommodations were great! My favorite part was being at the top of the cliffs on the Aran Islands, it was absolutely incredible and breath-taking. I Would go on this tour again any day.
Contiki Rocked my little world on this trip. I loved it all. I have recomended contiki to a few friends of mine and Im going on a nother contiki trip soon. the friend I maid on this trip are amazing. It was the best trip ever and I hope to repeat it soon.
It was the most AMAZING time ever, so much to do and see and you really do get to do and see everything. Our tour manager was amazing and I really could not have enjoyed myself anymore for my first oversea's trip. If I had to do it again I would have not changed a thing. Definatly worth doing and I would reccommend it to anyone who wants to travel europe. It is also an ideal time for uni students for it's during the school break in Australia. You make the best friends on Contiki and you will never forget them - most people are very like minded for they are there to do exactly the same thing as you! Going out was never a problem and you could always find someone to help you out! The sites were exceptional and the accommodation was pretty good standard for what you pay. You could not get better value for your money if you tried. Being transported by bus was not a problem, you got to chill with the friends you made and catch up on your much needed rest. Our bus driver was fantastic and you never felt unsafe. The days are so full on but you make the most out of every moment! Excellent way to experience the best of Europe. And we were lucky for our tour manager arranged surprises which created memories nobody could ever forget... can anyone say Ferrari? Absolutly fantastic!
Absolutely amazing trip! Opened my eyes and changed my perceptions about China. Oh yeah, and the food is awesome.
So many amazing memories gained from this fantastic trip, if you like fast paced and full on where you can see all the main places then this trip is perfect. I learnt so much thanks to the awesome tour guide Dom (you are SO lucky if you get him as your guide!) and Pedro with incredible driving abilites. I have made life long friends and will always carry with me the fantastic stories from all the cultures and history. I cant wait to go again!
BEST 24 DAYS OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!
The bus is your new home- make the most of it! This is where you will recap all your crazy nights and amazing sights you have seen with all your new best friends. Contiki almost forces you to live outside the normal parameters of your old life. You will make friends with so many people, share intimate details of your life after knowing them for a few days and rely on them as if they are your family. It's such a great experience but makes saying goodbye SO HARD at the end.
The Winter Wanderer is the best of the best, (as far as I am concerned!) I mean, 11 countries in 24 days is a pretty good effort!
Be prepared for go, go, go! There is no time for sleep ins, or lazy days. Make every day count. See everything, do ALL the optional extras. Go home not only broke, but owing people money. Put weight on in Italy, climb the Spanish Steps, go to Mauthausen Concentration Camp (it's devastatingly sad, but so important to experience), make a wish at Trevi Fountain, ride the gondola in Venice, see the Berlin Wall, go to the Moulin Rouge, have a snowball fight in Switzerland- seriously- DO EVERYTHING.
You may come back to Europe one day, but you don't want to get home and have any regrets.
We had an amazing crew- Filippo as our tour manager was outstanding. He went out of his way to ensure we all had the best possible experience, and Gustavo our bus driver was the coolest guy I have ever met- exceptional driving skills!
Best moments are too hard to pick between. The Prague pub crawl is the most fun I have ever had in one night. Being on stage for the sex show in Amsterdam was an experience I will never forget (I also wont look at bananas the same again), and the Tuscan dinner was one of my all time favourite highlights of the trip.
Finally, would I recommend it? I wish it was compulsory for every person in the world to have this experience. It was quite literally, the most amazing time of my life and I only hope my next contiki is as good as the Winter Wanderer was.
My first Contiki tour and first time to the USA - and I loved it!
Our tour manager was fantastic, very organised and had so much knowledge of every place we went to. As he was born and raised in the area, it was great having a local show you around.
I was surprised at how good the accommodation was, very comfortable rooms and most in great locations. A couple of places were a bit far out from the city centres but if you have a few people sharing a taxi the cost isn't much.
I did about half of the optionals, my favourites being the Rogers Centre tour in Toronto and the bike tour in Montreal. I would skip the IMAX movie at Niagara Falls - wasn't very interesting. It is possible to do all the optionals on this tour. Our tour guide also helped organise for us to do other things such as go to the baseball, which was great fun.
The tour is a pretty good pace, however a couple of times we were a bit rushed to arrive at our hotel and get ready for dinner. But you will see a lot on this tour, so many more places than are on the itinerary such as little towns you stop at for lunch.
I would definitely recommend this tour. The East Coast USA has a great combination of big cities, history and scenery so there's something for everyone. So many places I would go back to!
Good value stopover package - a great way to relax after doing another tour or as a way to break up your flight home.
The hotel is basic but very comfortable and great location, right on the beach! There is also a restaurant/bar attached plus Contiki gives you daily vouchers for Starbucks. Waikiki is great for shopping and people watching but I would definitely recommend doing a circle island tour to see the rest of Oahu as it's very different, beautiful scenery.
Unfortunately I missed out on the pre-booked Pearl Harbour tour as I couldn't get in contact with the company to confirm my booking and pick up location - every time I called I could never get through to their office, which was disappointing.
If I did this stopover again, I would book the extra nights and try to see one of the other islands. Overall Hawaii is lovely, very chilled out and great people, and this Contiki package was a good introduction to the place.
Probably the best decision I've made in a long time. This tour is VERY fast paced. You WILL NOT be sleeping in but you also won't miss a thing. Lots of options for personal time or to spend all of your time with the group. Quite a few couples and single travelers on the tour. If you're an older traveler (like me -27), the tour had a nice mix of young and mature travelers. Good balance. The hotels we're probably equivalent to Holiday Inns, Howard Johnson, and Embassy Suites (if you're familiar with American Hotels). Our tour manager and driver were outstanding at managing personalities and keeping it lively. Lots of photo ops. Great food. Excellent shopping. Late nights and early mornings. Amazing new friends. Nothing quite like partying Contiki style...
If you're interested in sighseeing avoid this company and tours you're better off backpacking on your own. I've backpack before and this was my fist time going on a "guided" tour. Too many Australian, stuck up kids on this trip. These people were interested in just getting drunk. The beds were horrible. It's the winter time, low season. we should have at least get something better. The beds were as hard as the floor. I hated the fact that we had "options" I though everything was included. The tour manager kept saying to tip the guides, the bus driver and even her. She wanted 26 euros for her and 26 for the driver. We were 51 people, THAT'S 1326 euros EXTRA!! My package included that already so I wasn't going to pay anyone additional tips. The dinner at Monaco and the good bye dinner should have been included. Avoid the winter is too cold and some places are not even open. They took us to Portovino. There was one restaurant open and the whole island was deserted. Waste of my life. i WOULDN'T RECOMEND THIS COMPANY TO ANYONE..SORRY BUT I EXPECTED MORE THAN WHAT I GOT
This was an absolutely amazing trip and one that will stay with the 19 of us on the tour for the rest of our lives. Emmo, our tour guide, is one hell of a good guy and made sure we had rollicking time in SE Asia. In terms of value for money, excitement and sheer scope of activities on this trip, it is hard to think of anywhere better to go.
Contiki take all the hassle out of travelling in a foreign country and is ideal for people who may be travelling alone. The first few minutes are a bit daunting but once you get to meet everyone (and have a drink or two!) you will make some lifelong friends.
Sign up for the Asian Adventure, just do it, do it now. You won't regret it!
Accommodation was *fabulous*! Really clean and nice looking rooms, really nice lobby and courtyard! Had a fab time in Sydney, a must-do is the Sydney Opera House Backstage Tour, it was awesome! Bondi Beach is great, but warning harsh sun! I put about four loads of sunscreen on and still got burnt! Another great place to go is the Darling Harbour/Darling Quarter/Chinese Gardens area of Sydney, fabulous place to just hang out, highly recommended. The Darling Harbour Sydney Aquarium is great, the Wildlife World not so much, save your money for Taronga Zoo where it's far better/interactive. Hint if you go to Bondi get the Bondi Beach pass from the train station return for only $8.80. (train and bus return)
* The reason I don't give this 5 stars is because
1) the hotel is right above Kings Cross train station. This is absolutely fine in the daytime and very convenient, however if you go out at night I would get a taxi back as it's the, um, "seedy area" of Sydney. You'll be fine walking around buying dinner or something across the road, they have lots of nice places to eat (I would recommend the mexican place Guzman Y Gomez, very nice and pretty cheap too) but I would stay away from the train station after dark.
2) if you're doing a Contiki by yourself and you aren't into going out at night and you just want to see the sights, I recommend paying the extra for a single room, roomates were very friendly but they came in late night/early morning and when I wanted to get up and go out early they were still half asleep so if you don't like being disturbed or having to sneak around in the dark get a single room. Note I guess this would only apply to the self guided tours like sydney explorer, la explorer etc, as with a proper guided tour you all have to get up the same time.
Overall, great time!
I did the 29 day tour of the European Contrasts and it was easily the BEST thing i have ever done! I went July 23rd - August 20th 2010. Everything about this tour was amazing!
The weather was hot throughout the whole tour, peaking in the high 30's through Italy and Greece! Corfu and George's Boat were highlights!!
I would recommend this tour to anyone! I would even do it again!!
A review about the Winter Wanderer, it's hard to sum up, despite having unlimited words. I didn't read many reviews before I left- I was so nervous! Met the tour in Paris after they had already spent a day together on the bus. I shouldn't have been nervous, contiki people are lovely. Our fabulous tour manager was the best possible, we couldn't have got anyone more knowledgeable, kind or funny to take us on our trip around Europe! And our driver was one of the best parts of the tour, always up for a challenge (especially routes with 'No Bus' signs posted above them!)
I can only give my opinion of the tour - I would have paid 5 times the price I did - so don't be afraid that the tours will be a waste of money. If you are travelling solo, many people do! And it doesn't matter what age you are or if you're travelling in a group or not, you'll make friends that will be impossible to leave when it's time to go home.
My advice, if you want advice from someone who just finished the tour, is do everything you get the option to, rotate seats on the bus and sit with a bunch of different people, learn names nice and quickly, follow your tour managers advice (They're super awesome with tips and tricks), go out when you want to- don't be forced into going out all the time and then missing the cool cities you're in the next day with hangovers or illness and love the people who will surround you for 24 days. You will miss them! Contiki withdrawal is a huge problem :)
Don't be afraid to ask for help- shit happens. Sometimes the hotels are cramped and the food is bad, you learn to live with it. You learn to love it! You do LOADS in the 24 days you have on tour, that means long bus rides, lots of late nights and early mornings, clubs, pubs, walking tours, sightseeing, shopping. It is exhausting. Be ready for amazing sight after amazing sight! If you're up for 24 days of non-stop opportunity and experiences you will never forget I would highly recommend this tour. Be keen for fun and you can't go wrong!
Enjoy yourself, I hope this helped a little. It was the greatest 24 days of my life so far, I only hope the same applies to all the people who do the tour in the future.
The best way to see the highlights of China - Contiki set us this trip so that we would see the best things from the best point of view - You can't imagine how amazing to experience the Great Wall with very little people around, and the bund in Shanghai!
Our Tour Leader Luke was knowledgable and very easy to approach, and anwsered all our silly questions and opened up our minds to what we thought we knew about China.
I met so many amazing people from America, South Africa and NZ, as well as people from Australia!
Our Accomodation was amazing - Even staying in 5 star hotels in certain cities! (This may be variable for your trip though!)
Overall, this tour is amazing for anyone wanting to go here - I guarantee it will not be what you thought it was!
The first thing i will say is if your thinking about this trip dont forget your not going to a destination where tourism is well developed things will go wrong that is the joy of travel if you wanted it to run smooth you would stay home...
Saying that this was probably the best trip i have been on not everything went to plan but thats where special memories come from.
The Contiki tour was very well organised with a very professional tour manager (Hoover) and the local drivers where great.. the local tour guides where very knowledgeable although hard to understand some times when they had the microphone but they where easy to approach and answered all questions.
If youve done other Contikis. you might be a bit suprised when a big pink local bus pulls up out the front of your hotel . The bus was a bit older but it seemed well maintained and was comfortable for the longer days..
The hotels we stayed in where great they where clean and had everything you needed.. The only hotel we had trouble with was in Hanoi but we where told it was the first and last time contiki would stay there..
If your on this trip to see the sites or to party there is plenty of opportunities to do both and dont worry we did both.
You have the opportunity to eat western or asian at most stops dont deprive yourselves of there fabulous food . I did give in about half way through my tour and had a steak 1 night but that was a mistake. You will have the opportunity to eat Snake and Rat in the Mekong supprisingly the Rat tasted pretty good wasnt a fan of the snake but glad i tried it though
Our tour had a range of people on it from 18 - 36 and everyone got along great we have had about 4 reunions since aug 2011.. It was a good mixture of people i turned 35 on the tour so if your wondering if you should do Contiki because your at the tip of there range its not a problem these young ones need someone to show them how to party LoL...
There arent to many optionals in Vietnam but everyone signed up for all of them ..
There are things that will come up remember your on holidays and your doing CONTIKI so just go with the flow and do it.. I got called up to sing Karaoke in the middle of the ocean with a ladyboy not many people can say they've done that (or want to) . or float around in the middle of the ocean on a tube drinking rocket fuel. To seeing the war remaments and Vietnams history ..
If your looking for a tour that shows both the sites and traditions of a country where you can learn alot to trying traditional foods to going out at night and partying this is definetly the tour for you..
The great tour guide we had
The tour companions with all the sites and partying with out great people on the tour i dont think it would have been as enjoyable .. The tour is only as good as the people on it make it;;
Going to get on a plane and finding someone else already had that seat so haveing to catch 2 planes to get to the destination after the group ( i did get buisnees class the whole way though.. and i did say not everything will go to plan but just go with it . Its part of the travel to these destinations
Seeing the War museum and Vietnams history
Bartering (Its a bit daunting at first have fun with it though and it becomes enjoyable . but dont barter for something you dont want ause if you agree on a price you will end up with it..
Trying rat and snake..
Halong bay the party (My Bday) the sites and just the relaxing day
The whole trip was a highlight and i could mention everything..
But as i said go on this trip with a open mind as you are traveling to vietnam not everything will run to plan but they make up some of the unforgetable times on your trip and it makes your trip unique from the next....
And yes i would definetly recomend Contiki Vietnam
Im happy to answer all questions
I could not have asked for a better tour! Our tour manager was very engaging, friendly and knowledgeable.Our tour manager always knew the best places to eat and visit and every new city we went to we got a map showing were major sites were. Our bus driver was also very nice and a good driver. The two of them always went the extra mile for our group, for example we made two extra stops that weren't included in our itinerary, to innsbruck, Austria, and to the Ferrari centre where you could drive or be a passanger in one. All the included walking tours and dinners were great as was the accomodation (for european standards). I did all of the side tours offered which made the tour all that much better as it helped you get the most out of the cities you were visiting and get to know everyone on the tour a little better. As or getting to know everyone on the tour- its very easy and you meet some really fantastic people who you end up spending all your time with. The bus we travelled on was comfortable enough, for a bus so no complaints there! The fact that this particular tour ends in paris was a highlight as it really finishes the tour in a special way (especially if you see the moulin rouge). The cities visited were all fantastic and worth seeing and having two nights in every place meant we mostly had enough time to see everything in such a jam packed tour. I would reccommend it to everyone and would go on another contiki trip in a second!
What can i say what an amazing, unforgettable and life changing experince. For those who want to see Europe and travel the world to experience what llfe has to offer then go no further, a Contiki tour through europe is a must and the camping tour especially as you'll get a once in a life time chance and experience to camp throughout a very large part of europe. Europe will give you a very good look at different cultures, history, food and local customs that you may have never seen before. From visiting the Eiffel tower in Paris, experiencing the floating city of Venice on a Gondola ride, seeing the history of the Colosseum in Rome, experincing the relaxing life style of the Greek island of Corfu, to experiencing a true Greek Meal, The opportunity to visit Gallipoli and stand on the shores of Anzac Cove, The cultural experience of Istanbul to the Eye opening experincing of Albana, experiencing the full on action of Oktoberfest in Munich, seeing the awa inspiring views of the Swiss Alps and the Crazy city of Amsterdam. Every day will be a totally different experience going from country to country whether its learning a new language, experincing new foods to experiencing new local customs.
In addition to your tour inclusions the optional activites are a good way of seeing and experiencing things not normal seen The camping accommodation is very comfortable with plenty of space and air mattress to keep you compfy while you sleep. The food provide was well above normal camping food and gives you an opportunity to experince local foods like frogs legs to pasta dishes.
Your Contiki crew will be on hand to help with anything from giving directions to the best places to visit and eat to how to get around each city you visit, your tour driver will get you to all the places you need to get to hassle free and your contiki on road cook will keep you feed with heaps of food. You'll travel in very comfortable air condition coaches with power point to charge your electronic devises, its a great place to just sit back chill, listen to music, sleep or chat amongest your mates. I was one happy camper with one of the best touring partys, everyone pretty much got along really well and alot of people made close bonds with new friends and im very sure life long friends too, i know i have.
My top three places visited would be 1. Travelling through Italy 2. Visiting Gallipoli and Anzac Cove 3. Swiss Alps but i would have to say in whole it was amazing and there are plenty more favourites and ones to surprise me were 1. Istanbul 2. Budapest and 3. Prague would definiately return to these places and visit in more detail.
In finishing i would totally recommend doing this particular contiki tour if not justing doing contiki tour as its a great experincing, new way of meeting new friends, life changing, full of fun and memories to last a life time.
If your planning on travelling europe indepentently and are not sure what to expect in certain places i would totally recommending doing a contiki tour first as in the end will save you money as you can get a taste of each place to see if its worth spending the time or extra time in the city or country.