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European Escapade

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11
DAYS
26
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From Rome to the Rhine Valley, not a minute of your European Escapade will be wasted. This is 25-days of heart-pounding, non-stop adventure. One minute you'll be throwing dice at the Monte Carlo casino, the next you'll be downing champagne & escargot in Paris.

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March 2017

Mar
27
  • Monday 27th March
  • Friday 21st April
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April 2017

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May 2017

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  • Friday 2nd June
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June 2017

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August 2017

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6
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12
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  • Wednesday 6th September
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18
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24
  • Thursday 24th August
  • Monday 18th September
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30
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  • Sunday 24th September
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September 2017

Sep
2
  • Saturday 2nd September
  • Wednesday 27th September
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5
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  • Saturday 30th September
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8
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  • Tuesday 3rd October
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  • Thursday 5th October
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EUROPEAN ESCAPADE

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WHAT'S INCLUDED
Accommodation
Team
Food
Inclusions
ME Time
Transport
ITINERARY
YOU WILL VISIT
United Kingdom, France, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Holy See (Vatican City State), Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Netherlands United Kingdom, France, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Holy See (Vatican City State), Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Netherlands +5 MORE
SEE FULL ITINERARY
APPROX TIME SPENT
approx time spent
1
2
London
1 day
Dover
Calais
Paris
2 days
Fontainebleau
Beaujolais
2 days
Barcelona
2 days
Arles
French Riviera
2 days
Monaco
Pisa
Florence
2 days
Rome
2 days
Vatican City
Venice
2 days
Vienna
2 days
Mauthausen
Munich
1 day
Austrian Tyrol
2 days
Liechtenstein
Lucerne
Swiss Alps
2 days
Heidelberg
Rhine Valley
1 day
Edam
Amsterdam
2 days
London
1
2
Reviews for

European Escapade

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4.9

  • 5

    30

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35 independent reviews

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  • Madeleine
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled June 2015
  • 20
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Absolutely amazing, minus the bed bugs.

This trip was simply incredible! I traveled solo and had the best time. I t was very full on though, they really do mean high energy, honestly not a lot of time to chill out and do your own thing, but in saying that we saw so much in such a short period of time!! So worth it! Our tour guide Marine and driver Chico were bloody brilliant too, they were both such good fun and always ready to have a laugh. But something you should be prepared for is bed bugs, you will get them, its like the contiki cough. Just be prepared, take a cream over with you and try not to let your luggage touch the beds and put your sleeping bag in a plastic bag after using it. Be prepared when you get home to wash absolutely everything with hot water and then tumble dry, meaning your clothes will shrink sadly :( But this trip was incredible! Paragliding and white water rafting are a must do!! Everything was so beautiful but Rome was definitely my favourite.

My Contiki was: Bed bugs-amazing-adventure

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30 June 2015 - 24 July 2015

  • LBatstone
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled April 2011
  • 18
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Unreal.

For anyone interested in going on this tour, I definitely recommend it. The duration is great for someone who is traveling for the first time. The additional activities are all worthwhile except for the Flamenco show in Barcelona, it's a waste of money. The campsites at the budget tours were all very clean and had great reps working, making sure we had the best stay possible. More than anything, your trip will be memorable from the friends you make. I met lifelong friends on this tour; it's enough time to really get to know people and bond. As cheesy as it sound, it'll be the trip of your life.

My Contiki was: wagon wheel-alcohol-miriam and rasto

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8 April 2011 - 4 May 2011

  • Natalie18
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled September 2011
  • 21
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

Escapades Brilliant!

European Escapade was an insane month. I met so many people i know i will always stay in touch with. It was a tiring month where at the end i slept for days. Late nights, early mornings but it was worth every second! My tour manager was so knowledgeable, even though you party hard and do lots of shopping you also learn so much history. It was so flexible, you could go hard and get smashed every night or choose to have a night in with mates. It really was an amazing mth i wish i could do all over again.

My Contiki was: Insane-Fun-Memorable!

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7 September 2011 - 1 October 2011

  • NRMLKiwi
  • Booked from New Zealand
  • Traveled May 2011
  • 21
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

Tour Review

The most insane twenty five days of my life, you drive out of london and you just don't stop. Fantastic people fantastic atmosphere, awesome campsites. take food for the bus and make sure you have a pillow of some sort cos you catch up on sleep on the bus cos wen you get off its non stop amazing exciting fun!

My Contiki was: Insane-action-packed-party

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16 May 2011 - 9 June 2011

  • Mara
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2014
  • 22
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

Ah-mazing!

My Contiki was: --

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11 July 2014 - 4 August 2014

  • Explorer1212686
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2011
  • 23
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Epic

Great tour great memories and all thanks to the bus driver and tour manager. big ups coniki!!!!

My Contiki was: Epic-Memorable-Grand

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17 July 2011 - 10 August 2011

  • Laura
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled June 2011
  • 18
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Tour Review

My Contiki was: Amazing-Fun-amazing freindships

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11 June 2011 - 5 July 2011

  • Felieshafrost
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2014
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Most amazing trip!!!!!

I had the most amazing trip and made friends for life. our tour guide magdi was amazing. i would recommend contiki to any one you will never regret going you will have the best time of you life :)

My Contiki was: --

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13 July 2014 - 6 August 2014

  • Rachel E
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled August 2010
  • 31
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Tour Review

Had the best time! Met some awesome people, saw some great sights (took heaps of photos) and ate some nice food! Jono (tour manager) and Jimmy (driver) were great, couldn't have asked for a better time. Thanks Contiki, will def look to travel with you again :)

My Contiki was: photos-drinking/ dancing-these will be the best memories

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21 August 2010 - 14 September 2010

  • Ellia
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2014
  • 21
  • Level 4 Traveller
  • 4 Contikis
  • 32 Countries

DO. THIS. TOUR.

Travelling to Europe for the first time I knew that I was going to be in for an incredible trip but I had no idea just how good it was going to be. I did back to back tours (the first one being The Eastern Road) and had a two day rest in between in London. Honestly if you're going to do back to back and you don't want to start your tour with the dreaded "contiki cough" already buzzing through your system then I would advise at least a 5 day gap. I wasn't very popular for spreading the cough around as normally it takes at least a week to contract and I had spread it around within the first couple days! Not that it stopped us from still having the best time. I had a small group of 35 and in my opinion it was a much better group number then a full bus of 55, I only say this because a) you tend to form a closer whole group bond and b) most importantly you can almost always guarantee yourself two chairs on the bus to yourself to stretch out and snooze on those woeful hungover mornings. I travelled alone for this one and was slightly worried that I'd be the only one, turns out nearly half of my tour group were solo travellers but it really didn't matter by the end of it. You make friends with everyone in your group and I was lucky enough to make a very special group of friends who I have been able to catch up with a lot since tour ended even though we all live in separate parts of Australia. The hostels and special contiki stop-overs we stayed in were a little hit and miss. Most of them were fine (I mean really all you need is somewhere to sleep and store all of your baggage) but we did have a few bed bug issues in the cabins in Rome, I took a sleeping bag and a small silk sleeping sack that has a section you could slip your pillow into that I bought on eBay for $7.00 and never got the nasty bite so I recommend both! Alternatively you could take a sleeping bag and a fitted sheet. The Château in the Beaujolais wine region was incredible, it had a pool, a beautiful view from all the rooms and it's very own dungeon night club. It hosted a great dress up party too which you MUST get into! Same goes for the Contiki’s Austrian Gasthof in Hopfgarten! It was my favourite stay on tour. It was where I rode a bike for the first time since I was 9 and it had some great activities like trout fishing and an awesome water park that needs to be seen to be believed. It too had a crazy themed party night which was loads of fun. I'm going to have to say the food was a slight let down for most of the stays that offered dinner (except in the Swiss Alps, I mean, who doesn't like cheese fondue?!) Regardless I would recommend doing all the different extra dinner nights though as generally most the group will do it and they were always a lot of fun. Also, Italian food in Italy, not that great... Italian food in Austria though... MAGNIFICO! Obviously this is because most of us are very used to westernised Italian food so it was a shock to find out was true Italian food really was. If you're looking for an authentic Italian restaurant make sure you check the menu for carbonara. We were told by a tour guide that the restaurants that served carbonara were not authentic as apparently carbonara was a western invention. What to pack!? I took a large suitcase as I was travelling for 7 weeks and I can be a bit heavy handed on the packing side of things. I used every piece of clothing in my suitcase though so I have no regrets. I went on this tour in July/August so it was mostly hot with a few cool nights. I got away with one jacket, a jumper, a hoodie that I bought through contiki and a spray jacket (for those days that it just bucketed down with rain). I also wore winter pyjamas but swapped to a t-shirt with the long pants most nights. Shoes wise I had two pairs of sandals, thongs, runners, converse and knee high flat leather boots. I probably could have done without the leather boots however they were a blessing from the heavens when we went and explored the snowy alps of Switzerland. I also could have gone without a pair of sandals, maybe even both as I pretty much wore thongs everywhere. ATTENTION LADIES! DO NOT BRING HEELS. IT IS A WASTE OF SPACE IN YOUR LUGGAGE. There was not one night where we needed heels, even at the Mozart & Strauss concert and the Monte Carlo we wore dressy flats and they were fine. Also don't believe the bullshit they spin about having to be super dressed up for the Monte Carlo to be given access, the boys went into full stress mode about not having dress shirts or pants and we spent most of our free time in Nice looking in department stores which was definitely not what we'd had in mind. We got to the casino and there were patrons there in hoodies and grandpa socks and sandals which then annoyed the hell out of everyone who has stressed about what they were going to wear. Pack swimmers and two microfibre towels - mine were a God sent. They dried me off really quick and they dried themselves off even quicker, and they are much lighter than a normal towel and pack better. As for toiletries and other misc items like jewellery and makeup, take what you need. During bus rides it's required that the tour bus driver stops for a break every 2 hours and we generally stopped at servos so if you run out of shampoo or toothpaste you could easily get more. I don't really want to tell you what ME time activities you should and shouldn't do as everyone experiences things differently. My travel buddies and I didn't always share the same opinion on the extras so honestly do what you want to do! One activity that isn't a ME time but it is offered is the extremely sobering stop at the Mathausen concentration camp memorial. It is an absolute MUST DO. I also visited Auschwitz & Birkenau concentration camp memorials and both visits had me in indescribable shock and tears. I know that doesn't sound all that pleasant but you gain so much perspective and as someone who had a particular interest in this war I felt like I owed it to myself and the people who's lives were lost or destroyed during this awful and dark time to see what they went through and pay my respects. There is nothing more I can say that will prepare you for walking on this ground but you have got to do it. It was the most life changing experience for me. I feel really grateful that I was able to do this trip and I am lucky to have been put with an incredible group. My tour guide was alright, I formed a better relationship with our bus driver who was an absolute legend. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better 25 days. I almost think it has spoilt any other tour for me because it was just that good! Hope this has been helpful!

My Contiki was: Eye-opening-Hilariously fun-Spectacular

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13 July 2014 - 6 August 2014

  • Jayme
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled April 2010
  • 19
  • Level 3 Traveller
  • 3 Contikis
  • 15 Countries

Best Getaway Ever

I had an amazing time on this tour. Our tour manager Karlene was the best! It was perfect for someone my age (18 at the time). I made great friends. People may think being on a coach for hours is terrible, its really not. That is where we all got to really know each other and bond. I have since been on another tour where there was all flights and no coach, the group connection was not anywhere near as strong. The places we stayed in were fantastic, the special stay in France, the Chateau... AMAZING! Highly recommend anyone to go on this tour, perfect amount of time to be away, and a great insight into each country. I know where I would like to go back to again with my partner!

My Contiki was: Incredible-Eye Opener-Fun

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5 April 2010 - 29 April 2010

  • Sarah
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2014
  • 25
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

Best way to Travel Europe and Make the Best of Friends.

If you want to travel around Europe and have it all organized for you then this is the tour for you!! If your asking your self " Do i really want to travel alone?" or "Maybe i am to old to do a Contiki tour?" Then stop right there! We had 35 ish people in our tour which was considered a small group ages between 18 and our eldest was 33. ( Room to spread out on the bus ummm Yes please!!) We had 5 couples and the rest traveling alone or with a friend. This tour shows you the best of every country and you make so many friends along the way. My favorite place we visited was SPAIN!!! The hostel we stayed at was awesome and so clean and funky!! The food and country is amazing!! Make sure you get to the Food Markets and the Sagrada Família. Switzerland was beautiful but cold so take warm clothes!! I didn't and had to buy a few things haha. Try and do all of the ME time options there honestly worth the money!!! Beware of the bed bugs in Rome that was the only down side of the accommodation and my poor partner got eaten alive!! Take vitamins and cough syrup but keep in mind THE CONTIKI COUGH IS REAL no matter how healthy you are you will get sick!! I sounded like a dieing seal the whole time but it didn't effect my time overseas! I could talk forever about this tour If you have any questions message me and ill reply to any of your questions or concerns.

My Contiki was: Time Of My Life-Friends Forever-Doing another one in 3 months

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13 July 2014 - 6 August 2014

  • Nick
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled May 2014
  • 22
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Top Trip with Top People

This trip was nothing short of amazing I literally can't put it into words and met some great friends along the way. The reason you are reading this is because you wanna know stuff and i'll tell you the things you want to know! Wifi - There is is wifi everywhere not even kidding. We all turned into wifi warriors trying to find a connection so don;t worry about trying to get a roaming sim. The Contiki buses do have wifi but it's crazy overpriced and you pay per 100MB. Nobody used it. All the sites you stay at have it, some you'll have to pay, others you'll have to walk to a certain sweet spot and others it's shitty slow. Optionals - Most of the optionals are great. I only didone of the dinners (the last one) as you can find food ALOT cheaper elsewhere especially the French dinner. So get lost Paris and find something cheaper with your new buddies! Bus time - You'll be spending alot of time on the bus, especially to and from Barcelona. It is not a bad thing! Either you can catch up on some well needed sleep, or look at the sights or listen to your tour manager talk about Napoleon! The sites - All the places you stay are alright. You aren't in hotels but hey, it's not dirt. Keep an eye out in the Italian sites as during the warmer months there are bugs (Bug spray for Venice is ESSENTIAL. You will be eaten alive) so make sure you keep windows a bit closed! Most places have 4 or so to a room and the rooming list gets passed around so buddy up! Contiki Cough - You will get it. No amount of preparation will stop it. Get some pseudo from the pharmacies, they are everywhere, and hope that it goes as soon as it comes on! Criminals - Ok so in places like Barca, Paris and all of Italy there are some pretty shifty dudes. You don't need a secret undershirt bumbag or whatever (if you want though, go ahead) just keep your bags closed and back pockets empty. Ignore all the street sellers and petition signers and never EVER go home alone from a night out. Pack Lightly - I cannot stress this enough. There are H&Ms everywhere so if you need more clothes, cheap and easy. I dumped many shirts and shorts while travelling. You don't need heaps of clothes! ID - Continental Europe is pretty lax when it comes to ID in clubs and stuff so you wont need your passport except when you go to Monaco so don't worry. UK is a bit more strict but a drivers licence will do. Sleeping bags - You can buy them at the Contiki basement in London but me and my friend got one from Argos on the cheap. You'll need them for most contiki sites as they just provide a bed and a pillow. Towels - Bring a quick dry towel. Small, light and drys quickly especially when you have early starts. You can just dry them over the seats on the bus. I had a regular towel but they are not fun to transport or have wet in your bag all day :/ Alcohol - Since alcohol is flowing daily in Europe and it is Contiki alot of people will be drinking. Since I am not a big drinker I was a bit worried but everyone is cool. No pressure. Drink what you what when you want. Don't worry if you can't drink beer in Munich, have a pretzel instead :) That's more or less the main points. You will have an absolute blast doing this tour. This was my first trip overseas and now I have friends for life! Seriously, just do this tour. #noregrets

My Contiki was: Amazing-Informative-Life Changing

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12 May 2014 - 5 June 2014

  • Gemz
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2010
  • 23
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Tour Review

This trip was amazing...I think it was the right amount of time in each city to see the thing you wanted to. I felt there was enough free time in the cities and when you got to over night stops etc to relax and meet people from other tours etc! The French Chateau was amazing! definitely a highlight of the trip! It is in a beautiful setting and run very well! I loved the special stopovers with the contiki staff that was nice and they were like minded people so could relate to us. The accommodation was ok, there were a few places that were very average and unfortunately our tour manager coped it a bit as we were unhappy Our driver and Tour manager were AMAZING! Got us from A to B in one piece and we only lost 3 people haha those were testing times for the group!! This trip was truly amazing and something I will never forget! I met some amazing people and saw some amazing places! I am already planning my next adventure!!

My Contiki was: breath taking-amazing-memoriable

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16 July 2010 - 9 August 2010

  • saminsoup
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled March 2013
  • 21
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Time of my life!

I booked this tour without planning or really thinking about it only 2 months before it left. It was homestly the best thing ive ever done! Ive made friends I'll have for life, saw incredible sights and have some awesome memories! I had an awesome tour manager Megghie (you'll be blessed if you get her) and a fabulous driver Rui! If you are thinking about doing this tour, DO IT!! Also make sure you have enough money for optional extras, they are worth it! Paragliding over the swiss alps was insane! Something I will never ever forget.

My Contiki was: Timeofmylife-Bestfriends-PARTY!

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28 March 2013 - 20 April 2013

  • Matthew
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled May 2013
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

#no regrets

Just an awesome time with an awesome bunch of people. Become a multi-national family!

My Contiki was: Picturesque -Exciting-Cultural

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13 May 2013 - 6 June 2013

  • Anna
  • Booked from United Kingdom
  • Traveled July 2013
  • 18
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Amazing experience with wonderful people

I found the Contiki experience an amazing one - a really good taste of Europe (my favourite places were Paris, Barcelona and Venice). You get so close to your tour group and tour manager, and that really makes a huge difference. The nightlife and parties were incredible too, especially as Contiki had a lot of connections in bars, clubs and activities. At 18, my friend and I were the youngest on tour with the average age being about 22/23 (oldest was around 26). Just a few things. Contiki will try to milk you for your money, especially with optionals, so if you're travelling with a tight budget you might struggle - I spent a lot more than I intended (about 2000 AUD, and I didn't do all the optionals). Some of the optionals were really disappointing too and seemed to be a bit of a rip off. Optionals to avoid: - Flamenco show, Barcelona - boring and amateurish, especially for 30 euros! Would much rather have wandered Barcelona. - Tuscan meal, Florence - really average food in a not-particularly-special restaurant. Would have been much better off finding food elsewhere. - Electronic Space Disco - it was fun because everyone on tour went, but the actual club was disappointing. - Vatican Tour AND Imperial Tour - these were both overpriced and the guides were horribly boring and uneducated. - Bobbahn, Austrian Tyrol - I didn't actually do this, but I heard negative reviews from everyone who did, saying it was uncomfortable and at times painful, and not worth the money. - JungFrau mountain, Swiss Alps - I didn't do this either, but from what I heard, the journey up the mountain was the main feature of the day (2 hours long) and the experience was quite overpriced and not particularly special. Optionals that were amazing: - Cabaret, Paris - very expensive but worth it for the real Parisian experience with your new group, one of my favourite nights in the tour. - Parisian dinner - absolutely boiling when we went (no air con in the restaurant) but the food was delicious!! - Venice walking tour - this guide was lovely and very knowledgable. - Viennese dinner - a very eccentric experience but completely hilarious. - Munich bike tour - the guides are hilarious and the tour was really fun. - Whitewater Rafting in Austrian Tyrol - not very hardcore for professional rafters out there, but fun and a good experience. - Tandem paragliding - expensive but INCREDIBLE, worth it. - Wine tasting, St Goar - another really bizarre experience, hilarious. Highlights of the whole tour were some of the nights out we had as groups, like in Paris, Barcelona, Florence and Amsterdam. Also the free days we had in each city to explore and go our own way - our tour guide organised maps and metro maps for us each time, which made it way easier. We also got to see really special parts of each city which you wouldn't necessarily find otherwise. I thought the accommodation was fine for most of the trip - the hostels were comfortable enough and clean, which was fine, and the contiki properties served surprisingly good food. The issue I had was that in Italy we stayed exclusively in Contiki campsites in cabins, none of which had air conditioning (in 35+ degree weather) and all of which were quite far from the cities. Venice was ridiculous - to the point where we physically couldn't travel into the city at night because the transport cut off. Another slight downer is that Contiki will try to sell you things at every available point, usually disguising it as a 'demonstration' or an 'opportunity', when really they're just informercials preaching to you about their products. Bit of a pain, try to avoid when possible. You'll be on the coach for about 40% of the trip. The coach was pretty comfortable and we'd all sleep or socialise, but some days involved long drives so bring comfortable pillows and things to do! Also, take as many vitamins and immune boosters as possible. You will get sick. The Contiki Cough is famous. Overall an amazing experience, really happy I did it and happy to recommend the trip to others.

My Contiki was: young-sociable-fun

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30 July 2013 - 23 August 2013

  • MikeG23
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled July 2010
  • Level 3 Traveller
  • 3 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

Time of my life

Had so much fun!!!! Lots of great sites, lots of great people, partying, drinking and learning so much about different cultures and countries. I even met my now fiancee on it. Everyone should do this at least once in their lives!!!

My Contiki was: Awesome-Fun-Cultural

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30 July 2010 - 23 August 2010

  • ztag
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled August 2014
  • Level 7 Traveller
  • 7 Contikis
  • 35 Countries

Amazing Trip :)

Seen so many amazing sites and scenery of this trip, but also meet some amazing people on our tour.. The adventure side of this trip was fantastic, White Water Rafting, Bobsledding, Mountain Bike Riding and best of all Paragliding in Hopfgarten. Lauterbrunnen was by far my favourite place on this tour. If your a first timer to Europe I highly recommend this trip but the only trouble is you will want to go on holidays again as soon as you get home.

My Contiki was: amazing-fun-adventure

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16 August 2014 - 9 September 2014

  • Gaby Melnick
  • Booked from United States
  • Traveled June 2013
  • 22
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

Best Taste of Europe in 26 days

I did this tour last summer with some of my girlfriends and we had the best time. It is pretty fast paced, but if you are looking to get a taste of Europe in one month, then this trip is for you! When you go back in the future, you can spend more time in the places that you really love. I recommend this trip for first-time Europe travelers like me :) Check out my blog www.ellafortuna.com to see each place we went to and how much fun we had! :)

My Contiki was: Life-changing-Fun-Memorable

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10 June 2013 - 6 July 2013

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