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Introducing the ultimate gap year trips, exclusively for 18-22s

You’ve put in the hard yards. And many more beckon from the distant horizon. But that’s next year’s problem, right? Now, it’s time to celebrate. To explore. See the world. Meet new people and yes, even ‘find yourself’ along the way. That’s right, it’s gap year time, and we’ve crafted some awesome European adventures to get you started. 

When it comes to whisking bright-eyed travellers around the world’s most iconic (and all-round gorgeous) destinations, Contiki are the experts. Not only do you get to hop along for the ride while someone else takes care of your itinerary, accommodation and transfers – you’ll also be joined by an entire coach full of brand new besties. 

In this case, Contiki has taken their biggest and best European adventures and repackaged them so that everyone on your coach (and in your Contiki family) will be 18-22 years old. Just. Like. You..

Here’s a trip-by-trip breakdown.

European Whirl Gap Year

Days: 18

Countries: 10 

Gets you: around Europe in serious style. 

Here’s a trip that combines Europe’s A-list destinations with party capitals and natural beauty spots. You’ll visit Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, the Austrian Tyrol, Venice, Rome, Florence, the Swiss Alps, Beaujolais (French wine region) and then wrap up in Paris.

European Trail Gap Year

Days: 23

Countries: 13

Gets you: around Europe – with no stone unturned. 

Is Europe a once-in-a-lifetime trip for you, or do you just love to see EVERYWHERE when you travel? On this trip, you’ll visit Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Krakow, Budapest, Ljubljana, Venice, Rome, Florence, the Swiss Alps, Paris and London. Deep breath. It def goes big. Whether you want to go home afterwards is up to you.

Vienna to Rome Trail Gap Year

Days: 9

Countries: 7

Gets you: off the beaten track. 

This one’s all about appreciating Europe’s lesser known gems (cough, hipsters, cough). You’ll visit Vienna, Krakow, Budapest, Ljubljana, Venice and Rome before heading home – or out to explore the rest of Europe with your brand spanking new travel buds. That’s a pretty decent option, too.

London to Rome Trail Gap Year

Days: 15

Countries: 6

Gets you: to Europe’s most famous destinations in 2 weeks. 

This one’s for the bucket-list ticker-offers. You’ll start in London, then head to Paris, the Beaujolais wine region, Barcelona, the French Riviera, Venice, Florence and Rome. Dreamy or what?

Vienna to London Trail Gap Year

Days: 16

Countries: 9

Gets you: The Europe you’ve read about, plus unexpected surprises. 

This one’s all about balancing the stuff you’ve always dreamt of with the stuff you’ve never fathomed. You’ll see Vienna, Krakow, Budapest, Ljubljana, Venice, Rome, Florence, the Swiss Alps, Paris and London. Perfectly balanced if you ask us.

Rome to London Trail Gap Year

Days: 8

Countries: 4

Gets you: a cost-effective adventure. 

Spend just over a week cruising and munching your way through Europe’s culinary capitals – Italy and France. On this trip you’ll see Rome, Florence, the Swiss Alps, Paris and London, plus a whole load of scenery in between.

Greek Island Hopping Gap Year

Days: 8

Countries: 1

Gets you: hitting the Greek islands. 

Done mainland Europe before, or just fancy something different? This is the trip for you. You’ll hop to Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, Ios and Athens. Life really is a beach – surrounded by cobalt blue seas. 

Check out the trip here.

London to Vienna Trail Gap Year

Days: 8

Countries: 7

Gets you: a collision of past and present.

This one’s for the history buffs – and the party animals. In just over a week you’ll visit Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna and London, coming away with more stories than a Czech nightclub. (That’s a lot, btw). 

Check out the trip here.

Croatia Island Gap Year

Days: 7

Countries: 1

Gets you: familiar with the best islands in the Adriatic sea. 

Sun-seekers, this one’s for you. You’ll travel by boat to Croatia’s big hitters, Split and Dubrovnik, with a trip to the lesser known islands of Hvar, Korčula, Trstenik and Makarska in-between.

Check out the trip here

London to Athens Gap Year

Days: 17

Countries: 7

Gets you: a slower-paced, but vibrant journey with plenty of scenery to soak up

Calling art historians, wine tasters and feet putter-upperers. This is the adventure for you. You’ll journey from London to Paris, Beaujolais Wine Region, Barcelona, the French Riviera, Venice, Florence, Rome and Athens.

Check out the trip here

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