02 Aug 2016 - 22 Aug 2016
Hi Everyone! Firstly; I absolutely loved every minute of this trip - for me, it was a great way to get a taste of all the things I ever wanted to do and see in Europe.
My Details - 26 year old female from Melbourne. Solo traveller with twin-share accommodation (hotels) - had the same roommate for the whole duration of the trip.
What did we see & do - probably easier to tell you what we didn't see and do, heh. This trip covered just about everything on my Europe Bucket List - we got to see all the major attractions (Eiffel Tour, Colosseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Greek Islands, etc.) as well as things I didn't even think of seeing/doing or even know existed (Catacombs in Paris, etc).
Optionals - I booked in and participated in the majority of the optionals and I would recommend this to anyone doing this trip. Some of the highlights for me were the Paragliding in Austria, Bike Ride in Munich and the Boat Cruise in Corfu on George's Boat.
Accommodation - I personally was surprised with the level of accommodation on this tour - some hotels were better than others, but this is to be expected based on the city/country you visit. I found each hotel to be clean and safe and found the staff extremely friendly and helpful. I did pack my own pillow case just in case I found any of the hotels to be subpar quality, but this wasn't necessary =).
Food - I attempted to try a bit of everything - including snails in Paris =). The food that was included in the trip was for most part, good (some places better than others), however the breakfast was quite average. Expect to fill up on cereal, muesli, fruit, etc. most mornings however some hotels did have a much bigger variety (eggs, bacon, etc.). During your free time (generally around lunch/dinner) you do have the option to explore the cities to eat at one of the local restaurants on the odd days/nights where food isn't included.
Transport - our coach and driver were fantastic. Most people used the time on the coach to catch up on some sleep, however I preferred to use this time to socialise, check out the sights out the window (especially when driving through Paris, Switzerland, Munich & Austria) as well as update my social media using the coach's WIFI (yes, it even has WIFI).
Best moments - interacting and laughing with the locals. I found everyone I met and interacted with on this trip to be very friendly and pleasant. I also found that it definitely does not hurt to try and interact with the locals in their own language - it does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I got by remarkably fine with just the basics (hello, thank you, goodbye, etc.) and also downloaded the Phrasebook Apps for when I felt like showing off =P.
I would definitely recommend this trip and Contiki in general. Our tour manager; Cam was extremely helpful and knowledgable and his wealth of knowledge in regards to all of the history that surrounded the places we visited definitely enhanced the experience and made everything that much more interesting.
TIP: There was a few people on our tour who came down with a cold/cough so the advice is to come prepared. I took probiotics every day and also stocked up on vitamins and was fortunate enough to not get sick at all.
Thank you for a fantastic trip, Contiki!
Review written Aug 2016event 0.3
10 Jun 2014 - 30 Jun 2014
I was a little sceptical before embarking on my Contiki adventure, many of the reviews I read were negative and gave me second thoughts. I am so glad I didn't listen to them. This experience was my first trip overseas and honestly I could not think of a better way to do it, all the stress of finding hotels and booking touristy things to do was taken from my hands and given to the people who know what is really worth doing when time is limited.
It is true that Contiki tours are fast pace but I have always been a person that loathes staying still, I loved the fast pace as it was not overly quick that I ever felt like I missed out, it was more than enough to discover these awesome places and know whether or not it is somewhere to visit again in the future.
Part of what made the tour so amazing was the team assigned to our tour, our tour manager and driver were the best, extremely helpful and professional - like our manager spending about three hours on the phone helping my friend to get her passport back after leaving it behind at a hotel - and both knew how to have a good time when the day was over (and how to make us laugh and appreciate the more stressful moments and unplanned bumps in the road, which are inevitable on any journey.) I also have to mention the tradition of tour songs as I loved the concept, I am never going to lose my love for American Authors now.
My only complaint (and it is a minor one) is that if you are travelling alone you can't choose your room mates and let's just say I received a very rude awakening one night in learning she had not returned to the room alone. If you are at all concerned I would recommend paying the extra for a single room, although you get very good at sleeping whilst on the move (this coming from someone with insomnia) something like that can really drag down an entire day.
Speaking of the coach I have to mention our driver, she impressed us everyday with her driving ability, a lot of times 'threading the needle' as I liked to call it, and even daring the roundabout circling the Arch de Triumph, it is amazing how something like that can make for some of the best memories.
For anyone worried about spending days or weeks with a lot of strangers - don't be! This was a particular sore spot for me before leaving but was quickly reassured, before departing the meet-up gives you a much need opportunity to speak with everyone and once the tour is under way the friendships only get stronger, becoming a Contiki family is inevitable, I made many lifelong friends. It really is true that friends make a trip, I would travel with Contiki again any time rather than going alone, it was simply amazing and the best first experience I could have asked for, I recommend it 100%
- Thank you for the best days of my life
Review written Jul 2014event 0.3
07 Aug 2012 - 27 Aug 2012
My second contiki did not disappoint. We had the best tour guide Petula. We saw and did so much. Probably wouldn't do the walking tours again but would do all the other activities again. Loved the perfumery in Paris! It was magic seeing all the places I'd seen so many times in photos. Best food was definitely through Italy. Highly recommended tour to anyone thinking about Europe.
Review written Jun 2013event 0.3