Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
There is no doubt in my mind that doing this trip was one of the best decisions I've ever made! There's no lie when they say this trip is high energy! But don't let that change your mind when booking.
Our group had 53 people and each and every single one of us became a family. Our trip manager Kyle was helpful, friendly and downright amazing! Our driver Joao was punctual and a genuinely awesome guy. On the first day they told us we would become close but I never expected to become as close as we all did. I've definitely made friends for life from all around the world. I travelled with a friend, but many people were solo and seeing how friendly people were I would consider travelling solo in the future!
The trip itself is jam packed. Stopping in 7 countries over 10 days you would expect it to be. However, it's not so exhausting that you become miserable. There is the option of having some earlier nights but that comes at the cost of missing out on great memories! The sights, activities and people make you forget about the early mornings and make you focus on the amazing memories you make instead. You also will have plenty of time to sleep on the bus! There are many amazing MeTime optionals to pick from and you definitely get what you pay for on each of them.
Accommodation was completely up to my expectations. For the price you pay you get what you would expect. Most of the rooms are hostel style with bunk beds, and only one of the rooms we stayed in had a common bathroom/shower, the rest being private. All of the rooms were clean and the beds fairly comfortable. (you're so tired that you only care that you actually have a bed!)
Although the pace is high energy you do get a great amount of time in each city. There was enough time to purchase souvenirs and take in the culture. A few highlights for me would be the paragliding, Jungfrau Mountain visit, Lauterbrunnen and the Rhine Valley! If there is any doubt in your mind to do this trip, just book it! It was an unforgettable experience!
A few helpful tips:
-in some places you will need to take public transport back to the hotel ex) taxi, metro or bus
-make sure to bring a towel as some bathrooms do not have any
-the MeTime optionals are not included in the trip cost and you pay for them on the trip
-bring something red for the Swissco Disco party night in Switzerland
-bring something white or bright for the Tight White n Bright party night in Austria
-have change for some toilets at rest stops
-the bus does not have free wifi, you can pay however
I booked this tour after the 45 day ultimate European and it was nothing short of amazing. Being on the ship with contiki you don't have to worry about a thing. Thanks to our amazing tour guide Izzy, she honestly made the trip. From organising us all in one place to ensuring we spent our time on the islands doing the best things there are to do, to the historical information about the various stops. The food and accomodation on the ship is amazing! And drinks onboard are avaliable in a great value package. I would highly suggest this tour if you are wanting to see a lot in alittle time, because you are seeing ALOT of islands in the short few days time is limited. For me this was great as I had just been on a tour that has stayed in Greece for a week so stopping here and there and seeing the vast comparisons between the islands I had not visited was incredible. If you are looking for a tour with more time on the islands I would highly recommend the contiki Greek island hopping tour. Either way grab you swimmers/togs/bathers and book the tour you won't regret it, oh and be nice to your contiki team they literally do everything for you on tour X
I would highly recommend the European highlights trip, for me 14 days was perfect considering high energy everything was. It is really a highlights trip where you see the cities quickly and then back on the bus. The extras were great for bonding with the wonderful group we had, although if I did it again I would consider spending time just wandering around places like Rome, which can be very touristy. I loved the optional dinners and bike rides. The accommodation is hostel- like and some places have shared uni-sex toilets and showers. Most places were clean. The contiki camps were the best and the most fun as well. Lindsey our tour guide was great and kept everyone together and on time, she was knowledgeable and got the group bonding well. The bus was cleaned daily by Bruno our bus driver and we got everywhere safely. Our group was amazing and we all made friends from all over the world. I would recommend this experience to everyone.
I can't describe how amazing this trip is. Saw many beautiful sites and did many amazing things. Alex was an amazing tour manager, so knowledgable, helpful and friendly and always looks out for you. Richard was an amazing driver, had to navigate through super tight situations and was really friendly too! Unfortunately our helicopter trip was cancelled due to the weather but Alex is working on his powers to change the weather so hopefully he will perfect it soon! For a first Contiki and solo trip I would definitely recommend starting with this
So this was my second Contiki and I can not compare the two. This Contiki has a lot of different parts unlike my last Contiki (European Highlights). This we had people coming in Scotland and leaving in Glasgow but gaining people, we also gained people in Dublin. Some of us did London to London and think we got really close but we also enjoyed the new people each time.
So if you want to see London please get to London a couple days before your tour. Because on the 2nd day (technically) you leave London but they do take you on a driving tour.
Liverpool-Awesome! If you or a family member loves the Beatles this is the place! Very cool city! We walked to the Cavern Club where famous musicians have played like the Beatles and Adele and so many more. The Beatles drums and guitars are in a glass case in the lower level-very cool!
York-very cool place! We got to walk around town. A lot of shops and music performers and tours you can do. We did the Ghost tour which was really cool-only thing bad I can say was it rained the entire time. But the guide was super cool.
Lake District-Lake Windermere was very pretty! We got to hold and touch rescue owls and take a boat tour of the Lake. We had awesome weather! We were then off to high ropes, climbing walls, and archery (extras). The only bad thing I can say was the male instructor was not in a good mood and it showed..we happen to run into road closure and traffic and were running late. Next day was off to Hadrian’s Wall and it was pretty cool. We got to the Scotland and England Board and you get to stop. Really cool. Oh and two people get married and Gretna Green but for not for real but it's really cool. We picked the couple that was on the trip.
Edinburgh- you get two days here! 2nd day you have the option to do the Castle tour but it's a free day. Some people walked up Arthur's Seat-just google it. That night a group of us went on a ghost tour really cool. Do know you will be walking a lot here! The first night you have your Scottish experience-totally worth it! Awesome Bagpipe player!
Scottish Highlands-very beautiful! Look for Nessie!!! might even get to take a swim in the Loch Ness :)
Glasglow-This is the night where some people leave us. We say goodbye and leave the next day for Dublin.
Dublin-We meet new people for this part of the tour. We did free time and then had dinner with all the new people. Not too much time but you’ll be back to Dublin.
Cork-Kilkenny first for an optional bike tour-Must do!! Very cool and beautiful town. I wish we had a full day here. Also the Jameson’s Distiller Tour (optional) but very cool tour and you get a drink at the end!
Galway-On the way-Blarney Stone and Castle-must do! Cliffs of Moher was very cool! We got awesome weather! Beautiful! Aran Islands (optional) very beautiful place and you can see it all on a bike. We got excellent weather.
Derry or Londonderry-A lot of history here. Walking tour with an excellent tour guide. I got a lot from this city because my family originates from there. Peace Bridge is really cool.
Belfast- On the way-Giants Causeway-very cool! When you get to Belfast you get an awesome guide and Firo (Coach Driver) drives us around to see gates and talks about the instability there. Very interesting.
Dublin- We’re Back! But also this means the tour has come to an end. We do the Guinness Tour (optional) and its totally worth it! It’s a free day. Farewell dinner and its worth it as well. It’s a good night and everyone has one last night with each other. Some people decide to stay in Dublin and some of us went back with Firo and Emily (Tour Manager) to London.
Of course I left some things out but if any of this sounds interesting please look into it! So the few that road back to London, we had to take a ferry to Wales. We got to stop at the town with the longest name Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. Then it’s back to London and some us went to the pub and said our goodbyes. We got in about 7-8pm so you should book an extra night.
I will say I had a great Tour Manager Emily that would help you in any way she could. She would take us places you wouldn’t know if you were on your own. She was awesome! Firo was an awesome driver and got to hangout a night with him. I slept great knowing he was at the wheel. #noregrets
I have done Contiki before and absolutely loved it and had absolutely no complains regarding the itinerary or tour guide he was fun, full of knowledge, made us feel welcomed, showed us the best spots possible and took care of us, made sure we had everything we needed, went out with us and made sure everyone was safe and having fun. However, this trip was the complete opposite. I did enjoy most places we went and most activities we did. The me time were extremely fun and the reason why I chose Costa Rica in the first place. I chose it to escape work and home to make great friendships and have a fun time without having to worry about planning. This is the reason why I chose a group vacation. Our tour guide never answered any questions we had about anything he talked around them and seemed annoyed at everyone. The second our activities were over with he was nowhere to be found. You could not reach him in his room or through phone. One morning due to the lack of sleep and early check out I forgot a drawer full of clothes wishing the buddies I realized what had happened and told him to please make sure to contact the hotel and get my belongings to me ASAP and that I was willing to pay for shipping cost. It took him 2 days to even contact the hotel after me asking over and over again for it he finally said that the hotel had them stored and that everything is okay. He never asked for my creditcard or any payment so after a day or two I asked about them again and he said that I needed to conatct the hotel to give them my Creditcard info. I am in a country with no phone so I messaged someone back at home to do it for me. I'm on day 3 of calling the hotel and then telling me they never found anything until now he hasn't responded to my phone calls. Not only did he make us feel uncomfortable whenever he was around he also hasn't done his job as a tour guide. I pay extra for contiki in case things like this happens. I would not recommend this trip to anyone. And I am very disappointed for contiki for even considering he fit to do this job. Due to this experience I am hesitate of ever taking a contiki again.
This trip was amazing ! We had a nice group of about 34, and we all became a big family ! The percentage of girls was quite a bit higher than boys, but everyone got along so was good ! We all got to know each other especially on the coach and the group dinners. From my experience I would definitely try mixing and hanging out with a different group to get to know the people more.
I would definitely recommend doing all the optionals, they definitely make your trip more interesting and are really worth it. Some of the walking tours did seem to put a few people to sleep, but you would pick up the odd fun fact.
I think the time spent in each place is perfect, I would only recommended more time in Spain, so make the most of it there!
Nice and Corfu would definitely be stand out places for me, and seeing the Eiffel Tower at night was amazing.
Accommodation was good, the cabins at the campsites were surprisingly modern and the contiki chateau was really good.
Our contiki crew were the best you could ask for, their knowledge and skills were beyond incredible. They definitely play a big part on your experience, and they definitely do their best to ensure you have the best time. #contikipenguin #contikijoaog
My days consisted of sunbathing, swimming, reading, playing card games, Listening to music, drinking beer, eating and REPEAT for 8 days!!
This tour is so laid back We were very lucky as we were a double departure so our boat was massive!! Three stories high. We had a tour guide on our trip to keep us under control but on the smaller boats you don’t usually get one, its just the crew.
Make sure you do all the option excursions because its nice to get off the boat and do something a little different. Clubbing in Bodrum is lots of fun.
Big tip!! There are buses that leave the airport for Bodrum for $10 Turkish Lira. I asked around and they said the buses weren’t running that day so I paid $150 Turkish Lira for a one way taxi.. I got lied to and ripped off. Apparently there is a sign but myself and a few others didn’t see it.
I was a bit confused where to meet my Contiki tour. Basically Bodrum is a small sea side town. The boats are all lined up in one area. Just walk along the waters edge and wait until you see a huge Contiki sign you can’t miss it!!
The food on this tour is amazing! You defiantly won’t go hungry. Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner, Dessert, Snacks.. You name it!! They even come around with Ice-creams for you to purchase. Drinks are really cheap too and there pours are very generous!!
I made friends for life on this tour!! Such a huge mix of people ( South Africans, Canadians, Kiwis, Aussies, Americans, English)
This is a must do trip!!
Everyone has Egypt on their bucket list but I can actually say I have ticketed it off. You can be the same!!
I am a travel agent and even I was nervous to do this trip at first because it is very had to ignore what is being shown in the media. As soon as I stepped of the plane I felt completely safe. The Contiki representative was there waiting at my arrival gate with a sign and helped me with my tourist visa, he even carried my bag. The Egyptian people are so friendly. You may get a few hisses and stares because you are different but nothing you can't handle.
I have read the reviews about Sherif and expected him to be a great tour guide but this man is an angel. Every question I asked he knew the answer, he honestly couldn’t do enough for us, and everywhere we went he made sure we were safe and were enjoying our selves. Tourism in Egypt is really low at the moment. It was so sad arriving to these amazing sights the car parks areas are huge and only a handful of tour buses. This is also the best time to go because your photos have no tourists in them. You can have a selfie with no one photo bombing your pict.
- Money: You can pay your optional excursions with USD, Egyptian Pound, Credit Cards. I found Egyptian pound the easiest to use because the local rate had better conversion. I spent more on optional activities then I did on souvenirs etc
- Optional Excursions/ Must Dos:
Village tour (Meet and experience the local side of Egypt) , Hot Air Balloon ride ( Another bucket list- Views are amazing ) , Abu Simbel( One word: Breath taking, Early start as we drove about 4 hours oneway but so worth it), Camel Riding through the Pyramids of Giza ( My camel was Bob Marley)
- Best time to travel: I went in April – May I thought this was a great time to travel. Weather was still nice and hot. It was even 40 degrees in some areas. I love the heat but visiting temples & ruins daily I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if it was in the height of summer.
- Women: I stressed a lot about what to wear. I took some ¾ pants & t’shirts that’s all I really needed. Sherif will tell you when you need to cover up and when it’s ok to wear summer clothes.
- Food: There was so much food included and also really healthy options. The food on the Nile Cruise was amazing huge buffets with plenty of choice. No one on our tour was sick!!
- Toilets: I took tissues, Wet Wipes the works. I used them but you do have opportunities to buy these in Egypt if you forget. They are all pretty cheap.
- Take a selfie stick!!
I had the best time and met some of the best people. Our tour guide, Steph, was simply amazing and showed us all the sites you can't miss while in NYC. I cannot wait to head back.
I recently did the European impressions with trip manager lucy and driver magic. Both were amazing and made the trip the best time! We saw so many amazing places in such a short amount of time. It's a perfect trip for people who want a taste of heaps of different countries. 10/10 will recommend to everyone once I get home
Highly highly recommend this trip. I had the absolute best time. You meet great people & have a great tour manager and driver. It's fast pace for the first half, very go go go but then you get to stop at the Greek Islands and soak up the sun, exactly what you need. Then the second half is a little less jam packed. This tour gives you the best of Europe in a relatively short time. 100% worth your money. If you're thinking about it, stop thinking & do #noregrets
I might have hit the jackpot on this trip, the people cannot ever be replaced, I love all the people I was with. It had it's bumps but I would never not do this trip again. The contiki crew was the best hands down. This trip wasn't fun, it was absolutely epic!!!!!
I love Contiki, and I make no secret of it. I've had multiple friends go on Contiki trips solely because of my emphatic and repetitive recommendation.
I had no idea what was in store for Berlin, Prague and Vienna. These weren't cities that friends/family/books/TV showed me much. But I knew snippets of these cities' history, and I knew how much fun would be guaranteed for a Contiki, so I signed up.
I got to Berlin by train (from Amsterdam, which I toured with a friend who I'd met on a previous Contiki!). So recommended. What a way to see Europe.
Berlin is a total young person party city, but weirdly I didn't have an overwhelmingly "party" time there. Sure, I did go to a MASSIVE club where getting lost was almost a guarantee. (Side note: they are very generous with free drinkz for ladiez.) Sure, I stayed out until the wee hours of the night. But it didn't feel that party-ish, because every morning I was up and touring the amazing historical quarters. Also notable, I got to see where Michael Jackson dangled his baby off a balcony. Equally important.
Quick note (warning, I'm about to be a bummer): Berlin is famous for its role in WWII. There were a couple dumb kids running around on the stellae of the Holocaust Memorial. Please don't run atop a very serious memorial.
The road to Prague was awesome, because we got to stop in Dresden. I really only knew Dresden from the "Dresden dolls" thing (look it up), but this town is on a river and absolutely quintessential Europe. The hard part: I had no idea where to eat. We ended up stealing into a Canadian steakhouse (?) which was fine, but probably not the Dresden experience.
Prague itself: AMAZING! I recommend skipping the black light show. I am a fan of the arts, but this wasn't for me (nor was it for anyone in my group, so if you don't trust me, trust the volume). We went to a lot of fun clubs and bars, including one with a see-through floor. You could see people below you. Wild! There's also a fantastic beer bar just outside the main square where the astronomical clock is. You can get a 10-beer flight for what translated to a few USD. Love, love, love. The boat tour was real fun too. I wish I'd listened better. (I was drinking and probably laughing too loudly for some of it.)
On the road between Prague and Vienna is a wild rest stop. I won't spoil the surprise, but yeah, it's good.
Vienna is absolutely gorgeous. I mean, top 3 cities I've visited in Europe gorgeous. I don't understand how they can afford to run such an opulent city. Vienna's highlights: the schnapps museum; the concert; the dinner. Do all the add-ons here. Trust me. Also, Prater Dome. What can I say about it except that it's WILD to be clubbing in a theme park. Please go.
My only regret (noooo #noregrets) is not carrying on to Budapest with the rest of my friends. I've already seen some of them since, but boy would it've been great to share more time and memories with them.
PLEASE go. And tack on 5 more trips. Just quit your job and do Contikis for a living. I would.
As I write this, I'm already booked for my third Contiki.
London & Paris Plus Rome was my first ever time in Europe, and naturally my first Contiki. I'd had a recommendation from a former college roommate, who traveled the continent with Contiki after graduation.
Logistically, Contiki is best in show. I got to pay layaway without interest, so even if I could afford to pay in full up front, I didn't have to stress.
The trip was a-mah-zing. I made REAL friendships. This trip is how I met my "travel friends," a core group of girlfriends who meet up with me a few times a year (including one from Australia and one from Canada, so...#internationaltrips). That alone is worth the money I spent.
It's been a few years, but I remember highlights:
- Drinking champagne atop the Eiffel Tower
- Taking that cliche London phone booth pic
- A woman swimming with snakes at the Moulin Rouge
- Visiting Marie Antoinette's house and seeing the door mistresses snuck in/out
- Sitting around the hotel bar before deciding where to go
- Dancing at Le Queen, a nightclub on Champs-Elysee (this was not organized by Contiki, but we all went thanks to the surge of energy I got from going to Moulin Rouge immediately prior)
- Exploring Rome (unguided) on foot with a friend that I made on the trip
- Eating snails near the Sacre Couer
- Also post-Moulin Rouge, the entire bus singing Lady Marmalade at the top of our lungs
I've visited (and been visited by) so.many.people from my trip. I've gone on trips with them. We are a likeminded bunch who just love to sightsee all day and dance all night. We are SO FUN! So excited to see more and more of the world with Contiki.
This was my first Contiki trip and the best time of my life. It was everything I expected and a lot more.
It wasn't a very big group which helped everyone get to know each other and bond together. Our tour guide Karin was awesome and I don't think it would have been the same without her.
There is a lot of walking through little streets and through towns which helped me appreciate locations a lot more and you can get a better feeling of the atmosphere. We also caught a few ferries going from island to island (some of them are like cruise ships!!) which I think added a lot to the experience.
The hotels and accommodation are really nice and the one in santorimi is literally right next to the black sand beach which I will never forget.
The extras average around 50 euros each and you should do them all to get the most out of the trip but make sure you do the sunset in oia, its a moment youll never forget and is indescribably beautiful and the sailing spectacular you go on a pirate ship to a nice little beach and its a really great experience.
Going in may helped too because there weren't many tourists and I could appreciate the scenery a lot more. But i hounestly will never forget my time on the trip and enjoyed every single second of it.
Hounestly just book this tour, you really wont forget this for the rest of your life.
Literally the most amazing time of my life!!! I was excited but a little concerned booking such a long time but it literally flew by!!! You see soo many incredible sites, and I know everyone says it but make lifelong friends. 45 days with a bunch of people you are bound to make amazing memories. Tim and BeccyB our road crew went above and beyond to make sure we had a trip of a lifetime and made the trip what it was for all of us! At first coach days seem long but you will love it by the end time to chill out and catch up with mates what everyone's been upto, the best part is you don't need to organise barely any transportation other then nights out coming back home. Loved loved Greek islands, Budapest and the outdoor Austria and Switzerland!!! Everything was just amazing, just book it you won't regret it at all.
I 've done three Contiki so far. One in New Zealand, one in Western USA and this one in Japan just last week. All of them have been amazing and of course different. But I have to admit the Japan one is my top one so far!
1. Tour Manager: Our manager Shannon was top in all ways. Super professional, well organised, funny, always friendly but also able to be serious if necessary. And she is a real Foodie, she knew all the best spots to get all kind of food. #treatyourself
2: Tour Guide: Naito-San was a living lexicon/google. He knew everything about everything. To be honest sometimes it was almost too much information, so I tended to lose attention and drift away. Maybe also because English is not my mother language and he did have a quite big Japanese accent, so for me it was sometimes hard to understand. And he is a sprinter for sure, so if you have him as a guide, be aware of wearing comfy shoes :-)
3. Accommodation: This tour is a bit pricey compared to other Contikis. This is because of the great accommodation. Except for two nights in Hiroshima it's all been 4 Star hotels! Some of them with free Spa/Onsen included (Hakone,Takayama, Koya-San), most rooms with a stunning view into a garden or over the roofs (Osaka!!). Special traditional Japanese accommodation in Hakone and Koya-San were an unique experience even if sleeping on the floor wasn't too comfortable ;-)
4. Japan itself: What a country! I've been to so many places in the world, but I have to say Japan made it to be one of my favourite travel destinations now. Extremely safe and clean, access to clean public toilets (Robot-toilets!) everywhere you go, friendliest people in the world, great public transport (we did most of the tour by train) and so much to see and taste. I like big modern towns like Tokyo, Hiroshima or Osaka. But my favourite parts were definitely the old towns as Takayama, Kyoto and Koya-San where you could dig deep into the Japanese culture and history.
- Travel Japan as a Veggie might be difficult. Most meals are based on fish/seafood (loads of fish) or meet (chicken, pork, beef) and there is not much salad or vegetable. Also Kobe beef is well expensive (12 000 yen per 100g in a restaurant). Nevertheless if you like fish or beef you will definitely enjoy yourself!
- If you’ve got tattoos you won’t be allowed to do Onsen bathing at most places. There is a chance to get a private one in Takayama and the monks in Koya San don’t care. Don’t bring a bikini or swimming trunks, there is no need for it ;-) Also, I think it’s not worth paying extra for the public one in Tokyo if you can have it for free in other hotels. Except you want to see as many naked Japanese as possible :-D
- Do the Kimono option! First I thought it might be a bit awkward being European, walking around in town all dressed up. But only the chance to see how difficult it is to get dressed into a Kimono was worth it. Especially if you are a girl and let them make your hair too, you will love it! You will feel like a Japanese princess. And it’s great opportunity to get nice photos!
Summary: I 100% recommend this trip. Book it, you won’t regret it! #noregrets
This tour is first and foremost a cruise. You don't actually get any nights out on the islands and you are onboard with lots of other tour groups and travellers so if this may bother you it is not the best choice. But I highly reccomend it if you were like me and wanted to visit as many greek islands as possible in a limited amount of time as well as have a bit of R&R. You get to visit a new island every day and get a taste of what each has to offer. My highlights included tasting apple tea and turkish delight at the spice markets in Istanbul, having a turkish bath in Kusadasi, having an awesome boat party at a private beach in Crete, seeing the famous views in Santorini and ofcorse getting a taste of the party island Mykonos on the last night of tour. As always with Contiki the people you tour with make up so much of your experience and I was very lucky with a tight bunch of only 14 people. We had fun whether we were sunbaking or in the hot tub onboard the cruise ship, visiting historic sights, swimming at the beach or dancing at the disco. Basically my recommendation for this tour is DO IT, DO IT, DO IT :) You will have a ball and never want to leave!
this trip was my third contiki (euro inspiration and big indochina). this is the only contiki that is actually relaxing! your pictures will literally look exactly like the contiki stock photos- the water is perfect. the boat is pretty dumpy, but that's what you get when you're paying $500usd for a week including food. the bathroom is basically in your room.. you'll find out quickly that your room will flood when you take a shower :) the rooms are so small that you can't open the door fully.... BUT NONE OF THAT MATTERS. the water and landscape are seriously paradise. you'll spend your days laying out in the sun and swimming. our cook (mehmet) made us three meals a day and then tea time with coffee and cookies usually. the food is fantastic. there isn't much night life except for when you're in marmaris or bodrum. i wish i had packed way more lounge clothes than going out clothes. i had an exceptional trip and luckily with exceptional people. wish it never ended and we still all think back fondly about it!! if you're unsure about booking this- DO IT!