Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
The Kiwiana Panorama trip was awesome and worth every penny. The optional excursion prices can seem abit daunting but some are experiences of a lifetime. Skydiving over Queenstown at 15,000 ft was beautiful and such a rush, extreme cliffhanger swing in Taupo was another great feeling. I'v enever laughed so much doing Funyaks along the Dart river and the endless banter and partying you have with your new friends cannot be beaten!
Everyone should visit Egypt at least once in their lifetime! Despite what's on the news on TV, Contiki really went out of their way to make us feel safe. We had a security guard at some sites, and security with us when crossing the Sahara dessert on our way to Abu Simbel! our own entourage, how cool is that!? :) Over all, the trip was amazing, we had a very small group (13 of us), and Sherif, our amazing tour guide! He really made us feel taken care of and safe. Our accommodations were for the most part very good, but this is the reason why I can't give this trip 5 stars. The hotel in Cairo where you stay the first and last night, is just not a good place . By no means am I bashing it, because I know that this is budget traveling, but the place had bed bugs! Two of the rooms had bed bugs, and two of us woke up with our bodies covered in bites :( I talked to the tour guide manager and on the last night they moved me to a different room, but I feel that they should have booked a different hotel for us altogether. I strongly feel that Contiki should look for a different accommodation while in Cairo, so that there aren't any more incidents with bedbugs. The cruise accommodation was amazing, and the one in Hurgada with a beautiful view!! Overall, I have NO REGRETS having gone on this trip, which was my first with contiki, and I am already thinking about where to go next! :)
I didn't think within the timespan we had in each city we would have enough time to experience a lot, but with our tour manager Treasa and our bus driver Majick they had managed to let us see the sights as much as possible. I did most of the metime options and I recommend to do every single one of them because everyone does them anyway and it's a good time to interact with everyone and experience everything all at the same time. The accommodation wasn't very fancy but it seems like a small con out of the whole trip. Just keep in mind to bring a power board or some type of adapter with a lot of USB ports because there aren't very much power outlets. I met so many people on my trip that were around the same area I lived in and it was amazing how sad it was to leave everyone even though we knew each other for only 14 days. But i've managed to keep in touch with a lot of people i've met on tour even though they're from another state or country. They weren't kidding when they said you first travel with strangers and leave as a family.
What can I say, what an amazing 9 days. It helps when you have an amazing contiki team to guide and drive you all over Europe Jay and Eric were absolute legends. The group I had was absolutely amazing and a great variety, Aussies, Americans, Canadians, South Africans and even a guy from the UK. We all hit it off from day one but it also helps when your tour guide makes you all comfortable from the start. We honestly had an amazing guide and I hope everyone gets to have him as there guide as he is very knowledgable and is so easy going and laid back and is ready for a good time any time and any place. Accomodation was great, me time optionals were great and the food we got was also great. This tour has some amazing inclusions, mikes bikes tour in Munich is a must it's included in the contiki and not as an optional, it was my favourite activity the guides are brilliant and they take you to a beer garden for a stein and then let you back on the bikes to cycle around some more. Top blokes and Such a laugh. Paris was amazing we were there for there national day known as Bastille day so to be there on that day was pretty surreal. I would 100% recommend this tour to anyone, I had the time of my life! #noregrets #contikijay #legends #europeanmagic2k15
My boyfriend and I just got back from our Contiki trip to Berlin, Prague, and Vienna. We had an amazing time! Our trip manager, Nick, was super knowledgeable and fun. He always had great suggestions for places to eat or bars/clubs to check out. He suggested a rooftop bar in Prague that had amazing views of the city and was one of the highlights of our trip. Before going on the trip I didn't know what to expect from the ME Time Optionals but I definitely suggest doing all of them. Some of our favorites were the Berlin bike tour (amazing food and an awesome guide), the nuclear bunker tour in Prague, and the Strauss/Mozart concert in Vienna. Almost everyone went on each Optional and it was the perfect opportunity to bond with other people on the trip. My only regret was not being able to travel all the way to Budapest (since the full trip is Berlin to Budapest). We were sad to leave the tour and our new found friends in Vienna. I absolutely recommend this trip if you are interested in these cities and I hope you're lucky enough to get Nick as your trip manager!
Wow, just wow. What an amazing experience this trip was.
Everything we did was just extraordinary, from being blessed by monks, riding elephants, traveling through Halong Bay on a private boat, everything just made you say "I can't believe I am actually doing this!"
The Accommodation, The food, the activities and even our awesome tour manager Az was perfect, I would do it all again in a heart beat!
Wear suncream, trust me, I got second degree burns and had to go to a dodgy Cambodian hospital, wear your suncream.
Don't bother with Maleria tablets, you don't need them.
Try all the street food, just eat everything.
There are a lot of steps, be prepared.
I would honestly recommend this trip to anyone and everyone, it was spectacular.
You will make friends for life.
Thank you so much Contiki!
The Spanish Spree was by far the greatest holiday I have been on!
It was so jam packed with everything - bit of party (as in a lot), relaxing (on beaches when you aren't getting lost in a magical new city) and history (when you remember to listen or don't get lost because your distracted by something)!
I went solo & booked a triple and came back with so many new friends!
The accommodation is pretty good, all the breakfasts are satisfying and the things you see you will remember for life... unless you get to schwasted at Ibiza and forget everything.
- Add a booking NOW.
- Be prepared to cry your little eyes out on the last day when you have to leave everyone.
I AM IN LOVE WITH CROATIA AFTER DOING THIS TOUR... seriously, drop everything right now & book a Contiki Croatia cruise. Only thing preventing it from being 5 stars is that the rooms are very hot at night & sleeping is uncomfortable... hopefully Contiki looks into working on this. I really can't put into words how great this tour is. You'll see some amazing places that you didn't even know existed... you'll connect with amazing people... you'll get a tan... just go!!! Go to Croatia!!!
This is a really fun way to see some of Europe's must-visit cities. I had a great Tour Manager and Driver and that just made it better! The tour is a solid four stars - just be aware that the Amsterdam, Paris, and Barcelona hotels are about a 30-40 minute commute to the city centers, and the Lucerne hotel is in a good location but the rooms are very small and there is no elevator so you'll be carrying your luggage up and down stairs. Also, the drive days are long and there aren't a lot of exciting stops on the way from city to city. These can be deal-breakers for some people but it didn't really affect me - after all, who goes to Europe to hang out in a hotel??? And the long bus rides are good times to nap and connect with your fellow travelers. Definitely do all of the "me time optionals" that interest you & interact as much as you can with your fellow travelers - some people in my group came with friends from home & stuck to themselves for much of the beginning of the trip, and it wasn't until we only had a few nights left together that they opened up. So, definitely be open to making new friends! Overall I would definitely recommend this tour!
When I took this tour I had never travelled alone before and had never been to Europe. While on this tour I saw some of the worlds most amazing sights spanning from the Eiffel Tower in Paris all the way to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. This really was a trip of a lifetime and I will never forget the people and places I met on this adventure. The night life is amazing. I think I went out almost every night and partied my @## off. Get ready to drink because you will never slow down. If you are debating on if the trip is worth your time or money, just book it already. Thats what I did and this trip has been the best decision I have ever made.
One of the best times I've had in my life.
This trip was very first experience in Europe and I was so sad when the tour ended...
I made so many friends, saw many places and experienced things I'd never forget.
I'm saving up for the next trip back !
Before starting my tour I was worried about the fast-paced nature of a Contiki tour, this all changed after about the third day. Yes, the tours are extremely busy, and fast-paced, and exhausting, but I can honestly say I got to see mostly everything I wanted to in each stop. My Tour Manager Ellie was incredible, and made sure we got the most out of each city. Everything is arranged for you, so you can basically shut off and just enjoy the experience. Even when minor issues came up they were dealt with quickly and didn't interrupt the trip much. As a first time solo traveller, I was a bit nervous about the trip, but Contiki was the way to go for sure. I met so many amazing people, and got to enjoy hassle-free travel.
This tour in particular was great because we visited so many historical sites, and I learned a ton about the history of the countries visited. The amount of time spent in Italy was great, amazing beaches, historical cities, and delicious food. Overall I would recommend the Quest to London to anyone. The only thing to note is that this tour is part of the larger European Quest (which I didn't realize when I booked it); if I could do it over again I would do the whole tour as it was a bit of an adjustment joining on a tour that had already been together for a week.
I only did the Tuscan Dinner in Florence as far as optional dinners go and it was amazing! I heard that the other dinner optionals weren't very impressive, but if you are able to, I would do all the optionals. The majority of the group does go and the group activities are a lot of fun, more fun than being on your own for the evening. My favourite optional of the whole trip was definitely the boat ride around the Isle of Capri, they stop off for a couple chances to do some swimming, so amazing!
I did this trip mid-June 2015 and thought it was pretty amazing. We had a couple of snafus during the trip that made it less fun, such as border control at the port France going on strike and thus not allowing us to cross over from England. That delayed our trip six hours and we missed out on the canal cruise in Amsterdam. However, our tour manager Dani was great and we ended up going (illegally) to Dover Castle and the town of Canterbury. We also missed out on going to the Vatican museum because of a religious holiday, but instead we actually saw and were blessed by the Pope. Another aspect of the trip that I didn't love was the "selling" part of it. Every country, it seemed, is known for something and we were taken to shops to see demonstrations and, of course if you want, to purchase something. Leather, watches, rings, perfume, etc.; this got expensive real quick so be aware.
Some specific highlights of and tips for the trip:
Amsterdam: if going to see Anne Frank's house, leave early (i.e., before the group does) or you won't have time. But the city is marvelous on its own to explore.
Rhine Valley: wine tasting was good though only of white wines as this is common for the region; hotel bar is cute and offers good prices for drinks. Use this time to meet more people on your tour, really any bar time is good time to meet peeps. Pack an overnight bag for this hotel; there is no lift/elevator!
Munich: by far the best time of my trip. Really this place should be giving two days for the tour; I have to go back. The bike tour was amazing (go with Tony if you can). Drink lots of water because the beer halls and beers are tremendous. Best hotel of all the hotels we stayed in.
Austria: white water rafting was awesome. Listen to your guide and you'll be fine. I skipped Swarovski world (another selling aspect) but even if you don't go through the museum you still get a ticket to enter the gift shop (of course).
Venice: the gondola ride and walking tour were great but the dinner was just ok. The wine was watered down and the food, sadly, not the best. But doing the dinner provides more bonding time with your group.
Rome: it was nice that the coach gives a mini tour of the city so to eliminate some walking and Dani also gave us a walking tour of the city. Basically, we "sight-saw the shit" out of Rome all in one day. The next day was a free day to go back to places you want to spend more time. The Colosseum tour was great but you can barely hear the guide; still pretty neat to go through. Make sure to eat dinner while out that second night because dinner at the hotel is not good.
Florence: do the dinner optional here! It was the best dinner in all of Italy and the two bottles of wine before the disco puts everyone in partying mood. The disco is two floors - karaoke/bar at bottom and dance hall at top.
Lucerne: gorgeous city. I did both optional activities and wasn't that impressed with either. Mt. Stanserhorn does provide great views and photos but it takes forever to get up and back. The cruise was too short and the guide didn't say much about what we were looking at. Again, more time to bond with group is the plus for these activities. (Side note - the charms for the bracelet presented in the Florence leather/jewelry store are much cheaper at one of the four "selling" shops here.)
Paris: skip the perfumery and go sight-see the shit out of the city; you can buy perform anywhere. If you've never been to Paris before give yourself the extra hour, maybe more if you leave before the group; take the metro, it's easy. The Nouvelle show was an experience and also the last big outing for the tour. Unlimited wine at the show makes for an amazing last night out with the group.
This trip was my first ever group tour trip and I really loved it. I had such a great time and I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is a solo traveller and/or has never been to the snow or skiing/snow boarding before. Just make sure to pack lots of warm clothes - or if you want to pack lightly - pack good quality thermals!
I had never been to the snow before and I made the mistake of just getting cheaper thermals and they were not warm enough. (for example I had to wear 3 pairs of pants thermals (underworks brand level 1 warmth) and 3 thermal singlets plus 3 t-shirts under my ski pants and ski jacket to keep warm).
So easy - everything is organised for you!
I would highly recommend this tour. It was the best 3 weeks of my life! We had amazing food and got to see much more than I expected so a big thank you to Kayla and Mark for all they did for us on this tour.
Being in a campsite environment forces interaction, which I'm very grateful for. You get to know everyone on a much more personal level and get to make friends for life!
I didn't participate in much of the "me time" options as I like doing my own thing and had more time to explore. If you'd like to see more of one city and not pay so much for the me time options, then there really is loads more to see. Our tour guide, Eilidh, was more than happy to point out the best spots to hang around or look for certain things (when I wanted to go see Jim Morrison's grave, she gave exact location and the best way to get there).
Just please take note of the contiki tip recommendations. Contiki recommends that you tip 2 euro per person per day (for the tour guide, cook and driver - which adds up to 6 euro per day). If I had know to budget for it earlier, it would've been nice but they didn't mention it to us at all in the beginning of the tour.
But as a whole, it was really amazing. The long roads tend to get to you but there were always games that kept us busy so it doesn't get to us too much. Oh, and stay hydrated! Beer is cheaper than water so brace yourself for that!
If you are wondering whether or not you should take this trip, don't think--just do! You'll never regret it. This is by far the most incredible trip I've ever taken. From the culture, art, food, water sports, people and of course, your amazing tourmates, this is the trip to end all trips (and be the envy of your friends). Two weeks pass by in a flash, but you get a great mix of big city, landmark highlights, nature, history and laughter, not to mention the once-in-a-lifetime experiences and interactions.
My highlights: riding an elephant in the jungle, waterfalls in Laos, giving food to the monks, seeing the sunrise over Angkor Wat, tubing in caves and playing with monkeys... here are some of my photo highlights from Laos:
If you get a chance, go around the Songkran New Yr Water Festival (April 13th or so), which is super humid/hot, but there's a great water fight in the streets of Thailand, complete with supersoakers, partying in the streets and crazy adventures. Our tour guide, Jeenah, was awesome, really fun and knowledgeable about the local culture and hot spots. If you really wanted to, you could just relax and do your own thing, but I recommend doing the optionals, as they were all pretty amazing. There were a few times that you'll have to wake up super early (like 4am) for alms giving to the monks and checking out Angkor Wat, but we were able to beat the crowds (and heat), and the scenery was incredible. This is the second Contiki trip I've taken (1st was Europe), but this trip was really unique as you get to check out the countries by train, tuk tuk (motorcart), bus and boat--so you get a whole different experience than just by bus. To put it simply, be prepared to have your mind blown by everything you see and experience, from the gorgeous art of the temples to the sad genocide museum of Cambodia, to the simple beauty of the Laotian landscape, and even the crazy partying in Thailand.
Food: Thailand--amazing snacks and street food! I was really wary of the drinks, as I was trying to avoid ice (to be safe), but found out later that the ice in Thailand is made with filtered water, so enjoy those fruit smoothies--they're incredible! Laos, try the street crepes--yum! In Cambodia, avoid street food, as the quality isn't so great and you may get sick. Though, in the restaurants, you could get an amazing slab of steak for under $8. Cambodia has a unique "Kampot pepper", which is pretty pricey if you get overseas, but is cheaper there, and has amazing flavor. Also, if you have a weak stomach, stay away from salads and dairy, as it's so hot there, you never know...
If you love shopping, you'll definitely enjoy this trip--everything is super cheap. Luang Prabang is where you could get more handmade, unique items (silk scarves!) and Cambodia/Siem Reap, you'll find great prices for silver jewelry, clothes and other souvenirs. Haggling for the prices is super fun.
Mobile connection in Laos is really spotty at best. Also, English is not really spoken much, so I'm glad I created this Visual Guidebook beforehand. This may be helpful for you too--just point to the pic and smile :)
-Mosquito wipes/spray and lotion (if you get bit)
-Temple Wear: Depending where you go, you'll need a couple tees and pants/capris that cover your knees. You could always buy something there too
-Trainers/tennis shoes: You'll have to walk up hills and some rocky areas; some of my tourmates hurt themselves while wearing flip flops
-Small packet of vitamins/medicine: With the constant go-go-go, lots of folks get sick...
-Earplugs: on the overnight train, this comes in handy
-Tissue paper and wipes/purell: some bathrooms don't have the essentials or soap/running water
-Currency: Cambodia is the only spot that widely accepts American dollars as well as Riel, so be sure to get local Thai and Laos currency as they don't really take the other ones. Small bills are best as most places won't have much change.
Good luck and happy travels!
My Contiki trip was one of the best things that I have chosen to do. The people on the tour were all amazing and I now consider them great friends who I want to keep in touch with. Our tour manager and bus driver weren't only amazing at their jobs, but they were crazy great people to tour around with too. I would recommend this tour to anyone looking for a stress free holiday to some of the most beautiful countries in the world with some awesome people!
Had an amazing time exploring so much of the United States and a small part of Canada! Would highly recommend the trip to anyone. Our tour guide was great, I met some fantastic new friends and made memories for life.
Best way to sample a lot of countries in a short space of time! Late nights and early mornings featuring awesome people who became my family, the best tour team (Scotty and Gaz!) and all round amazing experiences. You have to go into it with the mind set of NO REGRETS! I did every optional activity and everytime I said that I would have regretted not doing it.. I think that pretty much says it all! So go for it :D
This was the best trip ever!
It was so much better doing less countries but having more time in each, you really need the extra time especially in Spain! You get to pretty much follow other contikis around as well so you'll always be meeting knew people.
If you're a guy and looking for females you would love this trip because it was 90% females. but still so much fun. highly recommend it!