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European Whirl

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ try again
  • Z Level 5 Traveler
  • 5 Contikis
  • 17 Countries

did this trip, hoping for a better european experience than my, I can't for the life of me remember why I picked a budget tour. If I ever do euro trips again, that would not happen. Much better than my first euro tour. Some nice folks and some folks still stuck in high school mentality. Overall fun most of the days.
The experience as a whole was good. Was looking for exceptional...better luck next time I guess.
For those who are keen on taking a bit easy while having the best time of their lives, pay a bit more, and you will not regret it.

My Contiki was: good

European Horizon

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ok
  • Z Level 5 Traveler
  • 5 Contikis
  • 17 Countries

This was my first contiki trip, and I had the worst tour manager.
Camera got stolen, I reported it to her. When I tried to file insurance claim when I got back, she denied knowing anything about it. Ridiculous.
trip was abysmal, felt like I was back in high school again. Too much drama on the bus made the trip irritating (long bus rides!)
Spent too much time on the bus due to traffic, so by the time we got to the location, it was already to late to do much...never doing a short contiki trip again. This probably contributed to the cranky nature of 99% of us. Would focus on the more expensive ones instead, that'd weed out the childish folks, hopefully.

  • Z Level 5 Traveler
  • 5 Contikis
  • 17 Countries

The best contiki experience for me ever. The people are much more mature and down to earth than the folks I met during my past euro tours. From the first day to the last, the experiences shared and friendships forged are forever. I still talk with my tour mates, met up with a few since then also.

Unlike most people, sadly, I don't really go over the brochure, I simply pin point the package that works best for me and looks fun, then simply go for it. So everyday was pretty much an enjoyable surprise :D. Laos for me was the most unexpected delightful surprise for me. Loads to do there.
Vietnam, was quite an experience, got sooo many clothes made, that I still wear till date. Great food, Ha Long Bay was divine!! Good times!

My Contiki was: great, awesome, divine

  • Akbmsoe Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

I usually never write review's on trips but I felt motivated to write a positive review after having an amazing time in Egypt. Sherif was the best tour guide I've ever had for any type of trip. You get to ride a camel around the pyramid's, go into many temple's and tombs, see a mummy or two and cruise the Nile for a few days.
The entire trip was organized, fun, full of adventure, allowed for time for many optional's and the group was full of fun people. I have recommended this trip to all my friends and I hope people continue to sign up for this trip.

I wrote this review 2011 shortly after going on this Eastern Road tour, so it is possible some of this information is outdated. I still wanted to post it, since none of the current reviews are this thorough. I will start with an overview of the trip and then detail each optional trip. The only optional trips I would absolutely skip are the Eye Spy Berlin and the Vienna Concert. All others are worthwhile.

Accommodations: The hotels were all decent. About half of them had air conditioning. Most were within 20 minutes via public transportation or walking of the city center. If you are a couple, the guide works hard to get you a double bed. My biggest complaint about the rooms, were the uncomfortable beds, but that’s just my opinion.

Transportation: You should expect to do a lot of walking when in each city. The public transportation is easy to use in most cities. Stick with a group if you are unsure about using the public transportation alone. The coach rides between cities are about 4 to 6 hours with a few stops for food. The coaches are very modern with air conditioning, a bathroom, reclining seats, and curtains. The roads are all very good with the exception of a few roads in Poland. Do not take the coach from Warsaw to Berlin if you can help it.

Food: The provided meals and optional meals are all very good. On your trip you will experience a lot of salty meat and potatoes. The food is good and there is variety if you look for it. Vegetarian meals are available. Try the local specialties in each city to get a truly cultured experience. None of the food I had on the trip was bad. Be adventurous.

Optional Trips
Berlin historical walking tour: This is a long and thorough walking tour of Berlin’s many sites. It lasted about 4 hours for us. The guide was good and kept it interesting. It is well worth the 9 Euros. I would recommend this to everyone who hasn’t spent a lot of time in Berlin.

Eye spy Berlin: This was not worth the 16 Euros. It was with the same guide, but it involved much less. It was about 45 minutes of history. We then got a free drink at two lousy bars. You can see more and get more by skipping this optional. It is just disappointingly little for the amount of money it costs.

Traditional Czech evening: This was a fun dinner that is worth doing. The food was very good. The singing and dancing felt a little cheesy, but that didn’t stop it from being enjoyable. Sit with a group of newly made friends and enjoy good conversations over good food.

Vienna classical concert & dinner: This was disappointing for the price. The food was very good, but concert did not feel very grand. It was in a far off corner of the palace in a small side room. The seating was removable stackable chairs, and the orchestra was only about 10 people. The music was of average quality. The whole thing felt overpriced. With only one night in Vienna, you can find much better things to do than this.

River cruise with dinner: This was a lot of fun and worth the money. Dinner is an all-you-can-eat buffet, which provides the variety that most people need at this point in the trip. The city is beautiful from the water, and the boat has an open air upper deck. This is a fun night that I can definitely recommend.

Group photo: I didn’t get a copy of this. With digital cameras, I don’t know why you would pay for a professional picture. You can easily get pictures with your own camera of the people you want to remember. It is a beautiful place for a picture though. In either case, you’ll enjoy the area.

Parliament tour: I didn’t do this tour. I just didn’t feel like it was worth the time and money. The people who did it seemed to enjoy it. It’s up to you.

Salt mines tour: This was very interesting. It is currently the top attraction in Krakow for a reason. It is not very dark or cramped, so most people should be okay with it. It is worth the money, so I recommend it. They aren’t too strict on taking pictures either.

Schindler’s factory visit: This is a large interactive museum. It’s well worth the 6 Euros it costs. The tour guide went too slow and covered too little in my opinion, so I would try to break off of the group if you can. There’s a lot of history to see while you’re there, so don’t get too absorbed with the Schindler’s List movie information.

Air Travel: (This is based on my experiences.) British Airways is a terrible airline. Avoid them if at all possible. They are responsible for all of the worst parts of my trip. No seat reservations, lost luggage, large surprise fees, rude and unhelpful staff, ect. I flew 4 flights with them on my European journey and there were issues with every flight.

  • angus Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 13 Countries

Had a great time. Everything was fun. Had a great group and our tour manager was fantastic. She organised heaps of little extra activities which made it extra special!

My Contiki was: Amazing, Interesting, Fun

  • Kelsey Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 9 Countries

I just came back from the European Discovery tour last week, and it was AMAZING! I would highly recommend the tour to anyone who wants to see the highlights of Europe and has limited time. Having hotels, some meals, and excursions planned out for me in countries where I didn't speak the language was very nice, and I could never imagine seeing all the sights I saw on my own without a tour manager coordinating along the way. Rome was definitely my favorite, and the optional excursion in Amsterdam night one really united our tour group and I highly recommend. Plan on taking lots of pictures, not getting much sleep, and having an amazing adventure!

NOTE: As this is 7 countries in 14 days, it is very fast paced and not for the faint of heart or those looking for a relaxing vacation.

China Adventure

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ China
  • kittykat Level 9 Traveler
  • 9 Contikis
  • 13 Countries

This tour was so much more then what I through it would be. The Tour Guide Luke was OUTSTANDING, he was friendly,helpful and so nice that he made the trip fun, he really knows his stuff and you can see that he wants everyone on the trip to get the best of China.
The people on the tour where a GREAT GROUP and everyone got on and enjoyed the trip, we where like one big happy family, couldnt have asked for a better Group.
The Local Guides on all the stops where also OUTSTANDING and really showed us the Best that China has to offer and where helpful if you had questions they could answer.
Accommodation on this trip is out of the World, every Hotel is well cleaned and in Great Locations of the Cities and sights. (If you have done Contiki before then the Hotels are no way a normal Contiki Hotel) if you havent done a Contiki before and do this trip then don't think that ever Contiki puts you up in the Best Hotels in the City casue they don't, this tour doesn't even feel like a Contiki.
Every Day was full on, yet you couldnt have asked for less, you saw everything and nothing was left out (you wont be leaving the tour going I wish we had seen this, as ever base is covered).
Meals where good and very nice (don't think its just Asian Food all the time you get a mix of Western and Local food).
The Optionals for this tour are Great and it is worth doing all of them, really couldn't say what the best one was cause I enjoyed them all and was good to do them.
Best Moemnt cant reaslly say as I enjoyed the whole trip and wish it was Longer cause I loved China and can't wait to go back again.
I def say it worth doing as you see so much and learn so much on the tour that it really is worth every cent you pay.

My Contiki was: AMAZING, WONDERFUL, EYE OPENING

  • Jay Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 7 Countries

An awesome trip because of the company. We had a fun group - Our tour manager however sucked. Just proves, you can have a good time if you're in the right company. The added bonus was the place.

European Vista

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ European Vista
  • Sally Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

This tour was absolutely incredible from start to finish. A perfect way to see a large part of Europe in such a short time. We kicked off the tour with a night in Paris, some of the group watched the Eiffel Tour light show with a bottle of Moet and got to know each other and that's when we knew we were going to have an amazing trip. Our tour guide and bus driver were extremely knowledgeable and entertaining - what I loved most was the introduction to each country with a history and run down of a city map as we were entering each day. We were given helpful tips for getting around, where to find the best local food and other interesting facts and tips which made being in an unknown city less daunting. Make sure you do all of the optionals..some of them seem very different to what we may be used to but it's all part of immersing yourself in the culture of that country and with a big group, it's hard not to appreciate it. The bus trip can get tedious but we made our own fun, get to know the group, play games and eat ridiculous amounts of food (the service station stops are classic - so much food and it would be rude not to try everything). Basically just be open to everything - Europe is an amazing place and the European Vista will give you a real taste of the culture without having to do too much research. Loved our tour guide Garai - he seemed to know anything and everything about every country so it was extremely beneficial and we loved picking his brain - he was also hilarious and knew how to perk us up even when we were tired and feeling a bit worse for wear.
Definitely a value for money tour and I highly recommend it!

My Contiki was: Incredible, Value for money, Cultural

  • Alix Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

This trip was AMAZING!! I still can't believe how much we fitted in to such a short time, great taster trip for someone (like me) who wants to go everywhere. Everything about the trip managed to exceed my high expectations; including the accommodation, tours, people etc. I was nervous about travelling due to requiring a Gluten Free diet, however contiki really do a great job catering for people with food allergies and my tour manager was a great help when it came to organising this for me.
Loved it so much I have already booked another Contiki, only a few months after getting home! :P

My Contiki was: WOW, AMAZING, PERFECT

  • patman9726 Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

Gives you a decent location to set yourself up for all that London offers. If you love The Beatles then take the short tube ride out to Abbey Road and get yourself a photo on the crossing! The included day tour to Windsor Castle, Bath and Stonehenge is a must do. Go and have a pint of Carlsberg (my beer of choice) in The London Pub and meet up with travellers from all around the world! Very handy that the Contiki Basement is also located in the hotel complex. The tube pass is very convenient- take advantage of it. London is an amazing city and this tour does it's best to compress it all into 5 days for you!

My Contiki was: Convenient, Amazing, Fun

  • patman9726 Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

Best thing that I have done in my life to date! So much sight seeing and it's all organised and ready to go for you. I've met life long friends and created memories that are unforgettable. Accommodation is great value, the food on the Contiki sites are just like a home cooked meal and I 100% recommend doing all the optionals- they're great value! You'll give your liver a good workout too ;) Awesome tour manager (Lucy) and the best coach driver you could have (Marcin). What are you waiting for?! Go and book this tour NOW.

My Contiki was: Amazing , Unforgettable , Fun

  • Solo85 Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 4 Countries

Awesome trip and meet some amazing new people! Tour manager was awesome and took us to the best spots around. In krabi best pizza ever, I know pizza right but defiantly give it a try! Really good deals to be found in koh phi phi ...

My Contiki was: Mind opening, Amazing, Party

Vietnam Experience

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Amazing Tour
  • JamesA Level 13 Traveler
  • 13 Contikis
  • 13 Countries

Vietnam is an amazing place to visit and doing it through Contiki made it a lot better. Halong Bay was definitely a highlight, but really every place visited was great.

My Contiki was: Amazing, Crazy, Memorable

  • Jane Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

This is a great tour as an introduction to western Europe, as you'll visit all the major cities with a few interesting stops and Contiki special locations along the way. At least two nights in each place means you're not in a rush and can enjoy your time.

Paris is a big, beautiful city with so much to see and do - I'd recommend you plan ahead and check museum opening times, as many are closed on certain days. The Parisian dinner was the best of the optional meals, amazing food and atmosphere. The regular Cabaret show was closed when we were there, so our tour manager organised us tickets to the Moulin Rouge instead, which was an incredible show and worth the extra cost (note you can't take photos inside though). Whilst the excursion to Versailles is very interesting it is very busy, so be prepared to queue and you may not get to see everything.

After busy Paris the days at Contiki's Chateau are very relaxing. Apart from the included picnic lunch in the hills (study the map - easy to end up on the wrong path!) most people just chilled out by the pool or in the bar.

In Barcelona the hotel is far out from the city centre, so make the most of your time. Must visits are Gaudi's Sagrada Familia and Park Guell - you won't see anything else like them. The optional Flamenco show is fun and you will be invited to participate!

The French Riviera is a mix of charming small towns to the opulence of Monaco and Monte Carlo. Nice was great for shopping with markets and little local stores, and I was surprised at how comfortable the Contiki campsite was.

Venice is everything you would expect, picture perfect and beautiful. Spend the day just walking the streets and do the optional Gondola ride - yes, it's expensive and touristy but who knows how long the sinking city will be around for, so take the opportunity.

Pisa is all about the Leaning Tower, and there's not much else to see but it's fun to take the typical "holding up the tower" photo. Florence is another great walking city and the local guide on the walking tour was really knowledgable, especially about art. The optional dinner was just ok and I skipped the Space Disco but for most people this is the BIG night out on tour.

In Rome again the campsite is far out from the city centre but if you plan you can still see all the major sights in your days here. The optional tour of The Vatican is fascinating, you will see the famous Sistene Chapel and St Peter's Basilica. A few of us opted to do a guided tour of the Colosseum simply so we could jump the queues.

Unfortunately due to traffic we were running late so our tour of Pompeii was really rushed and disappointing. Luckily I'd been there before; I'd highly recommend it if you have the time, it's an amazing place.

Corfu was the best. The Contiki resort has everything and you can do as much or as little as you want whilst you're here. By far everyone's favourite was George's Boat - so much fun! It's a day filled with food, music, swimming and water sports, the best optional of the whole tour. Another day a few of us hired a car (cheap!) and drove around to different swimming spots.

Athens isn't the prettiest city but it has the Parthenon and the Acropolis, plus there are some great markets. The optional dinner is like a farewell meal as it's your last night on tour. And then you're done!

Overall this was a great tour, I had so much fun. Our tour manager was so knowledgeable and made everything really easy, as did the Contiki crew members at the accommodation sights. As for things like laundry, wifi, etc. they are all readily available at various places. You do spend a lot of time on the bus but it's clean and comfortable, and the scenery is beautiful (also a good time to catch up on sleep!). If I was to do it again, I'd definitely spend more time in London before the tour and go on after the tour to visit the Greek Islands.

My Contiki was: History, Culture, Food

European Discovery (Winter)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Unreal!
  • Jena Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

I just finished this tour and it was absolutely amazing. I got to see, do, experience and learn more than I could have ever imagined. If you're thinking about doing this tour- do it! This tour lets you see so much on the 12 days you have. Then again, it's only 12 days so it is extremely face paced- be prepared for some long days!
I was lucky enough to get the BEST contiki crew- Emmo and Sandro. If you get either of them, consider yourself lucky!
I can't wait to book another tour- done 2 so far and was blown out of the water both times!

My Contiki was: Amazing , Educational , Fast-paced

  • Dan Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 13 Countries

This tour is for anyone who wants to experience the best Europe has to offer in a very quick paced tour. Although the tour is short and packed to the rafters, there is soo much to see and do!

From the Red Light District of Amsterdam, to the stunning canals and hidden alley ways of Venice, there is simply something for everyone on this tour!

A great tour full of a great bunch of people, who made it all that more enjoyable and memorable, Not to mention our tour manager and driver who did a superb job in leading the way around Europe. On a side note, a must for any tour going to Innsbruck, visit the Schnapps shop and try the hundreds of schnapps flavours!

  • Karlee Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 4 Countries

My cousin and I added the Fiji Island stopover option to our Big Tiki New Zealand Tour. We were here from January 2-8. Best decision we've ever made.
The tour was 879 for 5 days which DOES seem pricey. However, when we stayed at our second accomodations, we saw the price that we would have paid for 2 nights had we not booked with Contiki and our bill would have been 730$. So needless to say it was well worth it.
Everything on the islands is covered except for your drinks and activites such as scuba diving, tube rides, etc. Those activities were not overly pricey though when added!

Beachcomber Island is a must go! It is such a good party atmosphere and if you're not into the party scene, you can relax on your own balcony in your hammock and watch the sunset too. There are 3 happy hours a day so although you have to pay for your drinks, it's not hard to lower your bill during those hours.
The island is small but very very beautiful. We didn't do any of the day trips as we were there to work on our tans but there are many trips you can do instead of sticking to the one island.
The food on Beachcomber wasn't the greatest and we found it to be a bit harsh on our stomachs since they used alot of spices that we weren't used to.
Our bure was so so so nice and cozy! One thing we were worried about was mosquito nets. 1. there were hardly ANY mosquitos or bugs and 2. we had screens on our windows

Mantaray Island is also very beautiful. This island is more rainforest-y and lush in landscape. The water is clear as ever and the beaches have little huts along the water that you can hide from the sun in if needed. The Bures were literally two beds in a square room. Again, all windows and doors had a screen for mosquitos but we didn't really see any. We did the sunset boat tour as a 30$ activity but I wouldn't recommend it. All you do is go out on a boat and then got off into a tube attached to the boat and watch the sun set.
The food was really good on this island. For lunch and dinner they have a menu where you can actually pick your food. By this time in our travels (especially after beach comber, we can speak highly of the grilled cheese).

The islands had been hit by a cyclone two weeks prior to us being there and everyone on the island kept apologizing for the "dirty beaches" which were more than clean and beautiful. I can highly recommend adding this tour! It is well worth the money and Fiji was everything we ever could have imagined!

My Contiki was: Fiji, winter, worth it

Amazing holiday. Met some amazing people who I will be friends with for the rest of my life! Highly recommend this tour. I'm already planning my next tour. :)

My Contiki was: Fun, Amazing, Unforgetable

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