29 Jun 2016 - 18 Jul 2016
This trip was one of the best experiences of my life!
Everything that happened on this tour exceeded my expectations! Contiki was amazing and took very good care of all of us on this tour.
The accomodation: this tour includes accomodation in the Special Stopovers and Cabins' section of Contiki and although these places were not 5 star hotels, they were comfortable and exactly what you needed for your stay. Remember you will hardly be in the rooms. I did not experience any bed bugs and Contiki really took care of me and my belongings at the stopovers.
The food: The Contiki provided food was surprisingly good! At the Contiki Special Stopover's you got a nice full breakfast and dinner's were really fantastic and relevant to whichever country you were in. Hotel and hostels provided a continental breakfast which was satisfying.
The bus: Comfortable seats and always fun when the music was being played loudly. Great way to catch up on some sleep.
MeTime Options: Such a fantastic way of seeing parts of Europe in a really unique and special way. Highly recommend Paragliding in Austria, Gondola in Venice, Space Disco in Florence, Jungfrau Mountain Visit in the Swiss Alps and the Canal Cruise in Amsterdam.
Contiki cough: Yep, it's a real thing. What I and about 95% of the bus had was pretty much bronchitis. Once one person gets it, the whole group gets it. It never prevented me from doing any of the activities but I recommend to bring bronchitis-specific antibiotics, electrolytes, cold and flu tablets, and just general pain killers.
Also bring tablets for gastro - we had that going around too.
I cannot thank my amazing Tour Manager Mackenzie and Tour Driver Artur enough. Both were so professional and dedicated to their jobs. They both made me feel so safe and provided me with hours of entertainment. Mackenzie really knew her facts about the countries and Artur has some serious skill driving and parking that massive bus.
If you're looking at seeing Europe in a fast paced and fun way - this is the tour for you!
Review written Sep 2016event 0.3
29 Jun 2016 - 18 Jul 2016
Contiki really does know how to do Europe!! This was a fantastic trip and really brought out the best bits to see and do in Western Europe. You spend just enough time in each place to see the big ticket items and feel the culture without feeling like you're missing out on something else.
The optionals are well worth it (except maybe the trip up Jungfrau which is really expensive but if you haven't seen snow before its an absolute must). The wine tasting in Rhine Valley is a must, even if you don't like wine, the local guides, the Montag family are fantastic, you will enjoy their antics! Also, make sure you have 32 Euros stashed away for the special "not advertised" MeTime optional in Amsterdam, it's good for a laugh and a good way to start your night there.
Our trip manager, Mackenzie and our driver, Artur did an absolutely smashing job on the trip. Mackenzie was knowledgable about all of cities and sites we saw and made sure everyone was having a great time. Artur made a bang up job of ensuring everyone got around safely (even with the crazy Italian traffic) and had a laugh and a drink with anyone who was keen (obviously after we got off the bus of course).
The only negative I really had was with the accomodation. Some of the locations, particularly all the places in Italy and the hotel in Amsterdam were very very hot and had no air conditioning and very little ventilation to get rid of the hot air so it makes sleeping somewhat uncomfortable. Additionally, those nights you are in hotels (e.g. Ibis Budgets, Hotel F1s, etc.) don't expect a lot out of breakfast, if it's edible, you will be lucky to get a croissant and a cup of orange juice. But these are little things and don't detract from your experience at all.
Summing up, if you are thinking about doing Europe, you should absolutely do this trip, you will have absolutely #noregrets
Review written Aug 2016event 0.3
09 Aug 2015 - 29 Aug 2015
You will have the absolute time of your life on this trip. It's the perfect amount of time, if you're trying to see a lot in not a lot of time. HOWEVER, there's a few things I wish I knew before I chose this trip:
1) If you are traveling later than July, you will encounter bed bugs. I traveled for the month of August and had three separate bed bug infestations - all at the "special" contiki stopovers, not any of the hotels. The management will not do anything about it unless you throw a fit, which I did both the second and third time, at which point you receive tokens for laundry and they "steam" your room. I got into the habit of checking my bed before every night I went to sleep, but there isn't much you can do to prevent them.. The bits are gross and itchy and it's beyond frustrating how little contiki does to mitigate such a disgusting problem.
2) You WILL get sick, like VERY sick. Bring enough cold medicine to last the entire trip, every single kind you can think of.
3) You WILL get lice. It's not as common as the bed bugs, but still very prevalent, and absolutely impossible to handle while traveling. Most people don't realize until they have already gotten home from the trip, but enough people in my same travel group got it as well to know that it was contiki (I ONLY traveled contiki, not a single accommodation was outside of them, so I can 100% know that where I got it).
*In the end, if you're with a good group of people these things aren't going to ruin your trip, but my trip would had been a lot less STRESSFUL (I mean come on I was trying to enjoy my holiday) had I known these precautions going into it.
Review written Oct 2015event 0.3
11 Sep 2015 - 30 Sep 2015
Over all, this was one of the best things I could of ever done. I went solo so I was extremely nervous, but by the 2nd day everyone had loosened up and intermingled and by then you already felt like a group.
With the OPTIONALS I did majority of them, I don't have any that stand out that say "do not do". some of the walking tours where a little boring but that just depends on the type of person you are, if you can keep your attention long enough. be prepared for the white water rafting, it was freezing! my toes went purple, so bring very warm clothes to change into after! apart from that, do everything you can afford.
ACCOMODATION: I didn't really have a problem with any of the accommodation. it depends on how picky you are with things. in Austria I unfortunately did pick up bed bugs but all my washing was paid for to get rid of them, and another guy got them in Rome. the cabins were really cute, majority didn't have air cons which was maybe the only down fall. in Florence I was a little annoyed at the fact there was only 2 washers and 2 dryers on offer to share, and which you needed to pay for (along with wifi that only worked in certain areas).
FOOD: the provided breakfast every day filled me up until lunch. At contiki run sights the breakfast was really good (eggs, bacon, toast, fruits ect) but at the hotels/cabins sometimes it was just toast, fruits yogurts and cereals which were still pretty good. lunch was provided on a couple days; other then that you needed to provide your own, but it was very easy to get where ever you went.
Some days you do spend quite a while on the busses, but you have service stops every 2.5hrs in a village to wander for an hour and get food. also on the bus is music and our guide played games ect. if you wanted to sleep then the chairs reclined and it was easy to doze off, especially after a big night before!
usually every 2nd night was a party night, even if it wasn't a party night; something chilled would become more. If you didn't want to go out that night/drink ect then there was no hassle at all, some nights I stayed in and I didn't get any crap for it.
my tour guide (Rachel) was better then I ever expected. she went out of her way to help me, one night she lent me her ipad so I could stay in and watch movies as I wasn't feeling very well. she was professional but knew how to connect with each person on tour individually and she pretty much notched the tour up that bit extra!
as for anna, the driver, the tight corners and passage ways she could squeeze through was crazy! even though she was at the front of the bus, she always bust a move and came out when she could!
the people I met on tour I will never forget, the last day together was very hard knowing you may never see them again.
all in all, this is a must do. ill def be doing contiki again!
#opaaaa #babybird #shoey #savethequeen #kyleeeeee #shotsshotsshots
Review written Oct 2015event 0.3
29 May 2015 - 17 Jun 2015
This trip is full on but such an awesome experience! You see so much and do things you would have never imagined in the 20 days. The sight seeing, the partying, the new friends you make, it is all worth it. I had one of the best times ever travelling around Europe for my first time with 49 amazing people!! You really do become one big family, and make friendships that will last a life time.
The accommodation and food well exceeded my expectations. Staying in little cabins at the contiki villages, makes it so much fun, as you're not all spread around a hotel on different floors. They aren't always that fancy, but it's part of the experience. All these sites have bars onsite, which is nice and easy for partying. The contiki team throw costume parties for you onsite, and they are awesome. You get feed pretty well on this trip, with 3 course meals most nights, and sometimes free wine with your meal, who can say no to that?
The optionals are a must do! Most people do them all, and it's a great way to bond with your new friends. In the end it's all about the people you share these memories with. Our tour manager (Courtney) said at the beginning of the tour "you saved to travel, you are not travelling to save" - so spend up and do everything you can and literally have no regrets!!
The bus rides aren't as bad as people make them out to be. You spend most of the morning catching up on sleep and you don't really get sick of the bus, it's actually quite fun, good time to have some down time and chat with all your new friends.
Recommendations would be to take some church clothes for places like Vatican City, you need to be covered up to walk around there. Also some nice outfits for Monte Carlo and a few of the other nights out. It can be a pain trying to find outfits on your free days in places like Paris when all you want to do is see the Eiffel tower etc.
You create the best memories ever with amazing people and Contiki treats you very well - such an awesome team of people! Missing all my contiki family so much!
Would do it all over again!!
Review written Aug 2015event 0.3
11 Jun 2015 - 01 Jul 2015
All in all the trip was amazing, this was my first contiki and I was travelling solo, but the people were great and it was a really good experience. It's really fast paced, you really just get a taste of each city, but you still get to see a lot. You get a lot of free time to do what you want do and see what you want and really get a chance to experience every city.
The accommodations are just okay, they weren't the greatest, but you really only end up sleeping for about 4-5 hours if even, so you don't really spend too much time in the cabins. Bed bugs were an issue, which was really frustrating and upsetting, but it happens. Bug repellent and cough/cold/flu medicine is a necessity, because the contiki cough is unavoidable.
Review written Jul 2015event 0.3
29 May 2015 - 17 Jun 2015
So glad I went on my trip, it was the best holiday I have had! Awesome group of people made for awesome times, we couldn't have done it all with out our fabulous tour manager Courtney! aka 'Coxy'. I could not recommend a Contiki more than anything, you wont regret it! They squeeze so much into the time you have it's just amazing.
Review written Jun 2015event 0.3
28 May 2015 - 17 Jun 2015
This is such an amazing trip! Everything you do is awesome from the sight seeing to the optionals--and do all the optionals! I cannot recommend this enough, it's the perfect amount of time and the perfect amount of places.
A few suggestions would be that you will need nicer clothing for some of the optionals in France and you will DEFINITELY need bug spray in Venice. Also, bring a neck pillow for the bus, I didn't have one and my jacket was not comfy. Also take a large beach towel for you towel because they can double up as blankets on the bus or if you do not want to get your sleeping bag out in the accommodations.
Again, I cannot recommend this enough and if you are even slightly considering it, just do it because you won't have any regrets and you will meet so many cool people and share incredible experiences. Also do not be afraid to go alone, I did and I am so glad for it.
The food is also great everywhere but be prepared to try some newer items that may be specify to the region.
Review written Jun 2015event 0.3
05 Apr 2015 - 25 Apr 2015
I just got home from my trip, and I could not be more disappointed to be home. Our tour guide Carly, was absolutely fantastic; she knew historical information, where to go, where not to go, she joked around, and knew how to show us a good time. Our driver, Sandro, was equally as awesome!
Met 44 of the most incredible people, and met 7 people that will forever be family. The places we went were incredible, and even though most of the monuments we went to in Italy were under maintenance and covered in scaffolding , we were just as amazed. The parties were nothing but fun. We were unable to do the water rafting in Austria due to it being off season, but other than that I did almost every optional, and I don't regret one. the Paragliding in particular was my absolute favourite.
There were people that travelled solo, people in groups, and even couples. So if you're travelling alone, don't worry about it at all. Everyone becomes a family by day 3. I would do this trip over and over again.
It is a budget tour, so don't expect to stay at fancy hotels. That being said, we were always looked after and had accom needs met, no problem. Contiki on sites were always there to help.
My one suggestion is to bring medicine and lots of it. the #contikicough is real, and it is not fun. I had it for a few days and then got over it, then everyone got sick and i caught it again and its sticking around. So make sure you bring lots of cough syrup, cold and flu meds and lots of tissues.
If you're on the fence about doing this trip, just jump and book it. Best time of my life. Miss it already.
Review written May 2015event 0.3
12 Sep 2014 - 01 Oct 2014
My Contiki trip to Europe well exceeded my expectations! The people and the Contiki onsites made it so welcoming and enjoyable for me. Traveling solo I did feel a little uneasy, but by the end of day 1 that feeling was long gone!
Travelling with 40 people, you do create a bond that turns into great friendships! My only regret was not picking a longer tour ! :(
That being said, I've already put down a deposit for my next Contiki ! Bring on America!!]
Review written Oct 2014event 0.3
18 Aug 2014 - 06 Sep 2014
The most incredible experience ever! The people on my tour were amazing! Going alone was the best decision I made. Our tour manager was absolutely amazing.. He was great at showing us around and making the tour extremely exciting and fun for all of us as well as our bus driver. Everyone on the tour became family within a week of being on the tour.
The places visited were beautiful and perfect.. Never had a better holiday in my life.. Contiki has changed my life it has reawakened apart of me, a passion for life, food, friends, family and culture.
Optionals were great and gave us an opportunity to bond as a group as well as experience as much of the country we were in.
Wow just wow! I want more saving up for the next one :P
Review written Sep 2014event 0.3
16 Jun 2014 - 05 Jul 2014
Being a frequent traveller, this was the first Contiki I've decided to do and I have absolutely #NOREGRETS.
This was honestly the best trip I've ever had! The sights covered in the tour are just amazing, the contiki villages & on site crew were so much fun. But the true highlight of the trip was all the amazing new friends I met and the ridiculous amount of memories we all now share. I honestly could of stayed on that bus and continued travelling the rest of the year with these guys.
But a massive thanks to our coach driver David & Steve our tour manger who was so much fun but also did a great job by giving us a lot of information on the cities & sights and making the trip run so smoothly & to top it of it was his first tour! Awesome job buddy & many thanks.
Definitely would recommend.
Review written Jul 2014event 0.3
31 Mar 2013 - 19 Apr 2013
20 days 10 countries sounds like a lot and it is but it is but I highly recommend it if you want to see things but don't have that much time. I had my doubts of being about to do this tour and still be alive at the end. There was 50 people on my tour and we all got along great, some of us became best of mates, we kept an eye on each other whilst out. Cindy our tour manager and Carhil our driver were fantastic, two very funny and caring people.
Review written May 2014event 0.3
29 Jul 2013 - 17 Aug 2013
Nothing will ever prepare you for the go go go of contiki! This was the best 20 days of my life that I got to spend with 45 amazing other travellers and our fantastic tour manager, Mark Davies and awesome coach driver, Cathal Woods. We saw everything amazing that Europe had to offer and you get so much more out of your contiki experience than you'll ever expect. Yes, we partied a lot and yes we hardly slept and yes! We were always on the move but I wouldn't change my experience for the world. The food was always good and so was the accommodation, and don't skimp on the optionals! It's the best way to get to know your fellow contikians. I would do this tour again in heartbeat, my advice would just be to know that you'll never be prepared for what's about to hit you but get ready for the time of your life!
Review written Aug 2013event 0.3
01 Jul 2013 - 22 Jul 2013
I recently did the European Experience tour this summer and had the time of my life! I loved how everything was already organized so I could spend my time making amazing memories, and friendships that will last a life time! My tour manager Chloe was absolutely amazing, going out of her way to make this the best trip ever, and our bus driver Scotty was so great as well! I would recommend Contiki to anyone and hope to do another tour sometime in the future! Sydney x
Review written Aug 2013event 0.3
08 Jul 2013 - 27 Jul 2013
I had the time of my life and will never forget it! I saw great sites, met great people, and learnt so much about myself in the process.
It was great having two nights in most places because it meant you had a whole day to explore the city/town. I would definitely recommend this tour!
Review written Aug 2013event 0.3
23 May 2013 - 11 Jun 2013
This was the most amazing trip of my life................ I really got the best tour manager and driver Anna and Atur!! (The A Team) and of course my contiki family!!
We have created many memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life :) travelling around Europe has always been a dream of mine and I am so glad I got to experience it with my contiki family!!
Don't forget to WORK HARD, PLAY HARD!!!!
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3