Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
This was my first time to Asia and it did not disappoint! Thailand was a beautiful country with extremely friendly people.
Koh Samui was the biggest island and the most city like. Definitely do the jeep trek optional. It was a blast and a great way to spend your first full day with the group. Koh Tao is the prettiest island of the three! The hotel there is awesome and the beaches were gorgeous. The snorkel optional/booze cruise was so much fun! This was a highlight of the trip for me! There's also about a 15 minute hike you can do during your free time to the John Suwan look out point. Definitely worth it - beautiful views of the island. One night you go to a lady boy show - that's something you need to experience at least once hahaha. In Koh Phangan, you stay at this adorable backpacker's resort. Here you have a ton of free time to just chill out by the pool, beach, whatever. We had a blast with the crew who worked there and had themed parties every night at the bar. Make sure you get an Attitude Adjuster. It will definitely adjust your attitude. There's an optional to the Marine Park you can do (we didn't - too tired/hungover) but pictures from others on the group looked pretty!
Our tour guide Alex was awesome!!!! He made the trip so much fun, easy, and enjoyable! He was really knowledgeable about not only Thailand, but Asia in general and we had so much fun with him. Highly recommend him!
All in all, I had a blast on this Contiki! This was my fourth Contiki, but it was my shortest one, so I was wondering how it would go. It was definitely enough time to see the islands, the east ones at least, and had a great group as well. I don't think you can really ever have a bad group on a Contiki :)
My first Contiki and i went it solo. The before trip App made it so easy to talk to everyone and find fellow group on the same flight!
Bali is amazing. The local people are willing to do anything for you and always do so with the biggest smile!!
Then we left the mainland and hit the forever beautiful Gilli T. This place is now my Favourite place on earth. No cars or Scooters meant Horse and cart, Push bike or a pleasure walk along the winding small road around the entire island. Snorkling is a must! With lunch on another small Gili Island.
The resort on Gilli T is amazing and you literally walk across the road and your on your own resorts beach with seat of swings into the sunset like in all the famous pictures.
One of my favourite moments was breakfast the first day at the Aston resort, Gilli T. The tide had come up high at night and into our open seating area. We literally ate breakfast with small waves hitting our feet. How often does that happen in your life time??
FOOD IS TO DIE FOR!!!
The second Island on this tripwas pure beauty. So much green! I spent the whole time on the beach having massages, their amazing wood fire ovens and dips in the beautiful pool. I felt like i was on another planet. this resort is something out of a movie with its large asain style buildings.
Tour guides really know their stuff.
The whole Island experience was the safest i had felt ever on a holiday. I didn't have to worry about a single thing.
I could not put into words how much fun we had in the local clubs and bars as a group. I felt like i had met all 29 other Contiki people before in a past life. No one wanted to leave and we still post to each other everyday.
#Bali #Joss #Malone <3
Best time... EVER!!!! Such an awesome trip. It was all thanks to our amazing tour guide 'Timmy W' and our bus driver 'Jelly'. If you every get one of these guys, your trip will be a blast and full of memories!
We saw so many beautiful places and did so many amazing things to name. So if you do this trip make sure you have your cameras ready! You will need to have you camera on stand by and that is a promise.
Absolutely amazing, incredible, breath taking!! Words cannot describe how much I have enjoyed this trip. Not only due to the experiences, and places that I have seen, but also the incredible people that I met and new things that I learned. Alex and Steve were magnificent and everyone else that helped organise this trip. The highlight would definitely have to be Whistler and Calgary Stampede!!!
TAKE THIS TRIP!!!! Trust me you wont regret it!!!
Let me start by saying that even though many friends will tell you all about contiki. You will never be fully prepared for what you are getting yourself into. And it's wonderful. Now you may hear people telling you that Contiki goes through places too quickly.. well they didn't read the itinerary - that bad boy will let you know how long you'll stay in each place. HONESTLY, I knew I was having only 1 -2 days in some places & I was fine with it as you see & do so much within that time that it feels like longer! Think of it as a taste tester. The perfect and budget friendly way to find out where you'd go back and where your happy to say you've seen.
Your team are not just your guides but your mates. Both our Team Manager & Bus driver went above & beyond for us all, they joined in with us & we all did became the best of mates ( yes it's true & cheesy).
I saw the highlights of Europe & so many little towns & scenes I would never have thought to have seen on my own ( or known to have seen ).
I was shown around, taught about each stop, shown the best places to shop, eat & drink. I had walking tours & tours but I also had free time to do what I wanted ( & hints on where to go & what to do ).
I partied hard & explored & laughed & only cried when it was all over.
I've also travelled solo & though it was amazing, I didn't do as much nor did I fully see everything because I would sleep in or just wonder around ( which is amazing but you can also miss out on a lot). & it was stressful at times trying to figure out transport ( when you have bad wifi ) or finding out that your hostel doesn't actually do breakfast like it said online & all the little things that you wouldn't think off ! Even getting sick & unable to find a doctor. - When I was on tour I had to worry about nothing but what flavour gelato I was going to eat that day ( which is harder then you would believe once you get to Italy )
I climbed the Eiffel tower in a thunderstorm, Parasailed over Nice, Saw the Grand Pre track in Monaco, had a snow ball fight with the best 45 people on top of Europe in the Swiss Alps, slept in many awkward positions on the bus, took some terrible photos with the Pissa, ate a lot of gelato & copied David, drank cocktails on the beach in Barcelona, had a gondola ride in Venice, dressed up for many many themed nights, white water rafting in the Austrian Alps & many many more... AND I did it with 45 of the best people. You can't do that on your own. Sometimes it's the people you met as well as the places you go. Sometimes you need to be with people to share these experiences ( I mean imagine seeing the Eiffel tower on your own... you'll want to be with people, Trust. ) AND sometimes you need 45 people to make you do things like paragliding or eating snails ( You can't always talk yourself into these things you know) or jumping onto a river because you lost 'what are the odds'. You can't always make these types of memories or friendships alone. The things you'll do & see together will bond you all for life.
Contiki offers you that hand in hand. Stress free. ( I promise they do ). Sorry not sorry but seriously #noregrets.
What can I say? This trip was beyond anything I had even hoped for my life goal of traveling to Egypt. Sherif does an amazing job of keeping everyone happy and excited. The group we were in was small but we all meshed so well. Floating on the felucca sunning ourselves is the warm Egyptian sun, all of us couldn't help but amaze that this was real life. The sites leave your breathless in the sense of wonder about history. Go to Egypt, you won't be disappointed!
Firstly the trip started in London and we got to see a few sights (I'd recommend that you do atleast 2 days in London alone before contiki) We then headed off to Liverpool, York, Gretna Green, Edinburgh, lake districts (lake Windermere) where we did a high ropes course which was a must!! and my highlight: LOCHNESS! We then headed to Scottish Highlands, aisle of Skye, Oban and lastly to Glasgow! (Here you can join onto the Ireland leg too)
Accommodation: everything was 3Star and had wifi, great bathrooms and very comfortable
Food: Hotel breakfasts are amazing!! Take full advantage of these... We stopped pretty often for bathroom breaks and food. Basically go where the trip manager advises
Crew: Ed and Derek were amazing!! Make the most of the knowledge the crew give you
Your mates: the absolute best! I honestly wasn't too sure if a single traveller would fit in or make friends, but everyone honestly becomes very close and you also get a roommate which helps, but put yourself out there! It's the best way to be noticed and make friends, especially on the bus, take an interest in what people do and their lives
I loved all the moments and cannot pick my favourite, apart from making friends that I'll stay in contact with for life
The trip might sound amazing. All the places and sights you are able to see in a short amout of time. A very short amout of time. So short that you have no time what so ever to really experience it - you mostly just have the time to take some quick snapshots and then leave for the bus. It mostly left me wishing that I could stay longer at many of the locations.
During this Contiki trip you basically live on the bus. Lunch is almost always at a gasol station, so do not expect to enjoy the local cuisine. What is funny is that our tour manager always made it sound like these stops at the stations really was a way to get an insight in the culture. E.g. "Did you enjoy the beautiful German food?". "No, because the only food available is Burger King and sandwiches".
The optional activites were pushed onto us too much by our tour manager, but still barely half of us participated in them. Optional activities should be optional, and not forced. The most fun I had during the trip was actually at our spare time. Anyhow, most optional activities were worth the money besides the dinners. The food was never more than "okay", and when I went of to find dinner with friends we fould better food for about the same price or cheaper (depending on amout of courses and alcohol).
When it comes to the bus time, I had been expecting more information and facts about our destinations from our tour manager while we sat in the bus. As it was now it was mostly superficial facts, if any, and sometimes the facts were wrong.
Even though Contiki is aimed at 18-35 years old, I would recommend it to 18-20 years old who first and foremost wish to get away from their parents to drink and party. Even if the party animals at our trip were a minority, it felt like the focus was on drinking, as our tour manager often suggested drinking and bars as a free time activity.
Some positive words; you make new friends.
Lastly, if you are looking for relaxing on your holiday, Contiki really is not for you. Early mornings, long hours sitting in a bus and a forced schedule. If you want to enjoy other cultures there are absolutely better ways to do it.
I had an amazing time on this tour! I loved our group, it was so hard to leave everyone when it ended. Our Tour manager Nic and driver Gabi were awesome! Best tour manager and driver ever! I went as a solo traveller, but after this trip I have made so many friends. I would recommend this tour to everyone, it was a great way to see lots of Europe! It is very fast paced so prepare yourself for lack of sleep and lots of partying, but mostly lack of sleep. Sometimes it sucked having to leave a place so soon but it is too be expected with this tour. The accommodations are never very close to the city center. It would've been nice to be closer to the action. I didn't mind The accommodations, there were places that were better than others. You will stay in a couple of "camping" areas in mini cabins. You aren't paying for top notch hotels or hostels so don't expect the best. Going on this trip was the best decision I have ever made. I had so much fun, made so many friends and have no regrets! I had the time of my life! Corfu was probably my favourite part and was the most relaxing part of the trip. Also, I would suggest to not do paragliding in Austria and arrange to do it in Switzerland! It's a bit more expensive but very worth it. It's longer, higher and you glide through the Swiss alps. It's very close to the camp ground contiki stays at, five minute walk. A couple of us did not get to do paragliding in Austria due to weather so we did it in Switzerland and it was waaaaay better! Overall amazing time, do this trip!!
Favorite places : Corfu, Prague, Amsterdam, and Switzerland
This was my first Contiki and from what I've heard it is not a typical Contiki as a cruise pace means more time individually and disappointingly for me most of my group were couples which was unexpected as a solo traveller. That being said our tour manager Caroline was great and even though it was her billionth cruise I never felt like it was and she was enthusiastic every step of the way answering our questions before we even knew what to ask. If you are travelling alone like me it's imperative you attend the first couple of excursions and get to know your group before you all start splitting off a bit.
Overall I had the best time and cannot wait to book more Contiki !!!! Even though there were more couples I never felt alone or bored and my group really made the trip so invest in friendships early on.
The first night at the President Hotel was AMAZING. Rooftop pool and stunning cocktail bar . It's worth getting here early to make most of your stay and I'd wished of booked post night accommodation. The room was basic.
The windowless cabin was tiny and poor making me feel a bit sick so definitely go for twin or quad share as this helps you bond fast making friends for life so you'll always know what's going on with at least someone! We never spent much time here.
Buy the drinks package on the ship as it's so worth it - drinks are a bit watered down but wine and sparkling are included to!
Pack Suncream as there is no shade!! The ship is basic 3 star but thr bars are plentiful and more than adequate for drinks every night with your fellow group but don't book am exercusions everyday or you'll regret getting up at 6 am daily!!
I packed too much - you only need a handful of little tops and shorts over your swimmers as we took these everywhere for beach swimming.
Mykonos; the tour guides are reluctant to take you to Paradise Beach but YOU HAVE TO GO. A small group of us branched off and it was a few euros on a 15min shuttle and it is the party beach . Best bit if the week!!!!
Santorini is the best exercusion but there's not much time here so I wish I had some days here after.
Turkey doesn't like lira so don't change and just use euros.
Rhodes was beautiful and we saw it all for a short city bus ride and skipped the excursion. Save it for the beach in the afternoon. It's stoney but there's a bar renting loungers under umbrellas with fantastic cocktails and wifi!
Tell friends and fsmily you have no wifi as we only got it once or twice entire week.
This Contiki was a great taster for anyone not sure if they like Contiki as there is something for everyone and it's a little bit tame in comparison to others. My best advise is make the most of every moment as it's over too soon but is a good taster of the islands as I saw a little of each and now know where I'd go back.
We all wished we'd taken a deck of cards with us for group games.
The exercusions are expensive because they are cruise ship not contiki hence my 4 star rating not 5.
I'd 100% go on a Contiki again and was the most liberating experience!!
Where do I begin? Well first I would like to make it clear that I am an extremely positive person. My parents raised me with the highest of values and taught me to be rational with every conflict I come across. That being said, when I’m faced with an arduous situation, I like to think I’m always fair when addressing said situation. This trip was truly an experience never to be forgotten. I laid my eyes on sites that I never thought I’d be blessed with seeing at such a young age. Yes, the food could have been better and the hotels could have been closer to the city centers but it’s fair for the price you pay. The trip would have been perfect if it weren’t for the trip manager. The trip manager is a person I almost can’t explain in words due to the fact that I am still overwhelmed at how barbaric he acted and how unprofessionally he represented Contiki. To be fair, the trip manager put on a good show. The way he misled some of the more gullible members of the group was astonishing. However clever he was, it was unfair, oppressive really, the way he “managed” a group of people who had just spent a large sum of their money in order to visit one of the most artistically and historically beautiful places in the world. Less than two days into the trip, the trip manager started to have an affair with a fellow member from my group. They could have kept it private but instead she boasted her position to everyone and he had no interest in stopping her. I’m all for sexual freedom but this was not that. One’s intimate life is meant to be separate from one’s work life and I understand that the trip manager’s job doesn’t favor a serious relationship but if you’re that concupiscent that you need sexual attention from another person, don’t make the rest of the group feel uncomfortable with your lustful, and probably illegal in the workplace, arrangement. About a week later, the trip manager was fifteen minutes late to the bus departure. He made the reason clear when he arrived with a “one night stand” (a fellow Contiki employee) and brought her onto the bus, still in her clothes from the night before. The trip manager didn’t even have the decency to apologize for being late, which tells me that he either thought we were too mindless to note his inappropriate behavior or he just didn’t care about what we thought. Not only that but, on the first night in Paris, he left a young girl who has never left Australia before, alone at the Eiffel Tower to have to find her way back to the hotel and she ended up having to pay for a 70 euro taxi. But, when the girl that he was having an affair with was late for the bus, he didn’t hesitate to wait for her before we departed. Now how is that humane in any way? The events that I have discussed thus far caused me to feel uncomfortable and unsafe because it was clear that the trip manager's priorities consisted of himself and nothing else. “If there was an emergency, would he abandon us?” was a question I started to argue in my head yet, I am thankful to have returned home safely with only a bit of psychological scarring. If it weren’t for my best friend who came with me and a few other like-minded people I befriended, I would have gone home halfway through the trip, as everyday seemed to consist of at least one misbehavior or violation of the trip manager. That being said, it hurts me that I regret going on this trip as it was fantastic but unfortunately, the manners of my trip manager greatly deterred from my experiences and blemished my month overall.
for everyone thinking this trip is to long, it isn't. I had the time of my life on this trip and made friends that I will have forever. Our tour guide told us we'd be like family at the end of the trip and all of us were like no we won't, but when it came to the last night I felt like I couldn't live without my contiki family.
Our contiki crew was awesome, shout out to Feddo and Timmy, they made the trip for all of us and all the insures were really inviting!
We seen so much in 45 days and it was incredible, it was so hard to choose my favorite place, I had so many!
but to wrap it all up, I definitely recommend this trip to anyone wanting so make friends forever and see the world! #fatbrokehappy
Doing this trip was one of the most memorable and best things I have ever done! It is no joke when they say it's high energy. You are constantly moving. Going out at night till 3-4am and waking up at 6am to do it all over again. Needless to say, it takes a toll, so this trip isn't for everyone. If you don't take care of yourself, it can definitely ruin some awesome nights for you.
With the tour being a High Energy, you move fast and spend a lot of the time on the bus. Here is where you get to know everyone and make awesome conversations. This tour is the perfect tour to do if its your first time in Europe and want to see as much as you can with an awesome price. Our tour guide (Scott) and bus driver (Joao) knew so much information! They new the perfect places to go for absolutely everything. The sights that you see on this tour are unreal.
The people I met on this tour, made it amazing. I have met the most sincere, wild, awesome people who I know I will definitely keep in touch with and will love to see in the near future. I even met my spirit twin! You're with these people literally 24/7 and in such a short amount of time, you become so close.
I will definitely do another Contiki tour!
If you're looking at this trip, just book it. The sights are incredible and the scenery is something else. The accommodation is simple, but it's clean and has everything you need. The itinerary is perfect (our trip manager said that this is generally considered the best European route). The people you travel with become your family and you'll make some lifelong friends. Shoutout to our Trip Manager and Driver, Ric and Kamil, who kept us entertained and in high spirits the whole way, especially as it was their first ever trip! Can't wait to go on another Contiki.
My contiki experience was one that I will never forget and for good reasons! Not only did I meet amazing people who will now be life long friends - I saw some amazing countries, did some incredible things. It was all a once in a lifetime opportunity and I took it all in!
Our trip manager Evan was absolutely amazing and completely made this trip for me! His passion for travel and the his knowledge of the history of every country we went to was amazing. I learnt so much that I never would have if I had travelled on my own. Both he and Rui our coach driver were amazing guys and I can not thank them enough for what they did and how they made my experience that much better.
I would highly recommend contiki to anyone looking to travel especially if you are just starting out! This was without a doubt the best month of my life and I will definitely be returning to Europe!
This short explorer was amazing,
I covered all of London in just 4 days before my 24 day contiki winter wanderer in Europe.
You get so many coupons and flyers that you can use those days which come in handy. You also get an underground card for the metro which you can use to get to places rather then catching taxis everywhere.
You get things a lot cheaper doing this explorer rather then doing it yourself cause the contiki discounts things. And the amazing thing is you can do whatever you want whenever you want. No time schedules or selected times which is great.
I highly recommend to use the bus tour, it's either toured via headphones on the bus or by a tour guide. You can hop on and off whenever you like and simply wait 10-15 mins for another bus to hop back on and get off to your new landmark. You find out so much history and information with these tours which really help when your walking around freely or even finding where to go.
I definantly recommend this to anyone, definantly started my holiday and experience perfectly!
BEST TIME OF MY LIFE!!!!
Growing up I never fantasised about travelling but my best mate asked if I wanted to go and I thought why not?
And I'm so glad I did. It was the best time of my entire life.
There was so much to do and covered so much of each country we visited. Let's just say you never get bored or never have anything to do. My tour manager was magdi and driver was joao aka- j wow haha. I couldn't have asked for a better team, magdi told us so much history and information when we travelled to each country and even when we were just roaming the streets and towns, asked her anything and she always had an answer. Joao was a cracker, he made the long bus trips and absolute ball, with playing his funk music to prancing people on the bus and taking selfies on our phones if we left them on the coach!
We stayed in hotels which I was more comfortable on then staying in hostels. They were all clean and tidy. Even though a lot of us had issues with the showers and it flooding the bathroom floors! But I couldn't complain too much!
All of the optional a were great I probably missed about 2-3 out of all of them. My opinion is it's worth doing all of them so you constantly have things to do, rather then finding stuff to do! They are all worth the money rather then going off and doing it yourself!
I was worried on what to pack cause it wasn't in the heart of winter it was at the end. But trust me it was still oh so cold! Plenty of jumpers and I tended to double sock it most of the time. Make sure you bring very comfortable foot wear aswell as you girls at night with heels cause most countries don't have flat surfaces, they have uneven stone grounds, I personally almost fell over a couple of times. So keep that in mind Aswell. But just pack really warm clothes, it's always best to pack to warm, cause you can always take layers off during the day.
As for the rest of the contiki group, I couldn't ask for a better group of people to travel with. They were such a happy, nice, amazing bunch. Everyone got along with everyone and there was not one single issue. Don't get me wrong there were a few that made some cliques which is predictable, but everyone always spoke to eachother everyday! Being back now for about 3 months now, I still talk to half the group which was a group of 53. I made life long friendships which I will cherish forever. Even though they might live on the other side of the world or in another
State or country, distance doesn't define friendship.
I highly recommend this tour, you cover so much in a short amount of time, but also enough time to gain great friendships and an exciting experience travelling all over Europe!
This was my first trip with Contiki, and I am so, so, so glad I did it! I really lucked out with my trip!
Being a shy and introverted person, I wasn't sure how well I'd do on a group bus tour, but I was so lucky that the group I ended up with was welcoming and friendly. There was a mixture of Aussies, fellow Canadians, a few Kiwis, a handful of Americans, one South African, and one Hong Konger; one of the best things about this trip was meeting people from so many different (yet similar) cultures and comparing notes (like all the different words for "tank top," haha). I ended up forming friendships with many of them, and have stayed in touch since.
I chose not to do all of the included activities and optionals, mainly because I needed some time alone to recharge, but also because I hate riding bicycles and wanted to save money (haha). Wandering through a museum filled with art by Alphonse Mucha AND Salvador Dali was one of my favourite things that I did by myself, but I also loved . You can tailor your experience to suit your tastes, though you shouldn't limit yourself too much either. Even if one of the activities doesn't sound like something you'd enjoy, take a leap and try it anyway! You might be pleasantly surprised. ;)
Of course, the trip wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of the Contiki team. Our guide Cameron was fun, passionate, knowledgeable, and always there to help us "sausage dog through it" (make the best of a difficult situation). Being a history nerd myself, I really appreciated how he injected humour into his summaries of historical events -- it definitely helped keep us awake on those long bus rides! And I can't give Patryck, our bus driver, enough praise for his skills at driving that massive coach, for cleaning up after us all the time, and for staying so upbeat through it all.
The only kind-of negative aspect of the trip (for me) was the length of the bus rides between cities; it's a necessary evil, though at the same time it's a good opportunity to socialize with your group. I'd recommend changing seats often to break up the monotony, which is something I wish I'd done more of!
To summarize: I was super lucky. Meeting so many interesting people, seeing so many amazing things, and having such a fun time, made this trip worth every penny. I had #noregrets :)
I had the most amazing time on my trip, i have seen that other members from our trip have written about our tour manager, unfortunately they have written things that are untrue. Evan was the best tour manager i could have asked for. The knowledge and experience was extraordinary, his passion for travel and the help he provided was brilliant. There was not one fault for our Crew, our bus driver Rui was brilliant and the relationship within the crew was happy and great.
I can't wait to go on another Contiki and i would love to travel with Evan and Rui again, i feel really sad that other members of our trip have falsified information from our trip in spite of our crew. There was not a wrong foot put by either of them and i can see why Evan and Rui are very valued members of the Contiki crew in Europe.
The Western Quest was amazing. I went alone, but made so many new friends right away. The ability to explore cities on your own but still have a tour manager to give you tips and a short tour on arrival was great, it really let me make this trip my own.
I was surprised that I got to know 50 people so quickly and we truly did feel like a family. We'd go off in smaller groups to explore, but when we ran into anyone, everyone was really friendly and welcoming. At bars and clubs everyone made sure to look out for one another so you never felt alone. No matter what, you could always find someone else who wanted to do the same as you whether it be staying at a Paris bar until 5am close, or finding Nutella stuffed churros in Barcelona.
The Me Time Optionals were wonderful, but don't be fooled, the name makes them sounds like solo adventures, but really they're a great way to get to spend more time with your tour group and they're fun and the food is really good. I did all of the optionals during my short tour and had a great time during each.
The only disappointment was the included food. Unfortunately, it was very lackluster and made me wish it hadn't been included at all (I'd rather the overall price be a bit cheaper and have to find my own dinners more often).
I always felt safe and comfortable, even when I went off on my own to explore. The hostels surprised me and were actually nicer than one of the hotels we stayed at. Rooming seemed to be random, it could have been better organized by who became friends, but it forced me to meet even more people.
The nightlife was amazing, and you can usually recover on the bus the next day, meaning you don't miss anything. Our tour manager had "ins" in every city and not only knew what bars were fun, but also got us discounts on drinks, into clubs for free, and we were always able to skip the line.
All in all, this was a trip of a lifetime. Western Quest is the start of the the European Quest and when it came time for me to leave in Barcelona I wanted to continue on. I would definitely do this again, and just be prepared to not eat the included meals when possible. I hope to do the rest of the European Quest soon!