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European Escapade

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11
DAYS
26
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COUNTRIES
11
DAYS
26
FROM
$3,130
SAVE UP TO
$639
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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 you'll be downing champagne & escargot in Paris, the next throwing dice at the Monte Carlo casino.

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June 2017

Jun
25
  • Sunday 25th June
  • Thursday 20th July
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Jun
28
  • Wednesday 28th June
  • Sunday 23rd July
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$3,769

July 2017

Jul
1
  • Saturday 1st July
  • Wednesday 26th July
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$3,769
Jul
4
  • Tuesday 4th July
  • Saturday 29th July
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$3,769
Jul
7
  • Friday 7th July
  • Tuesday 1st August
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$3,769
Jul
9
  • Sunday 9th July
  • Thursday 3rd August
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$3,769
Jul
13
  • Thursday 13th July
  • Monday 7th August
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$3,769
Jul
19
  • Wednesday 19th July
  • Sunday 13th August
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Jul
21
  • Friday 21st July
  • Tuesday 15th August
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Jul
25
  • Tuesday 25th July
  • Saturday 19th August
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$3,769
Jul
31
  • Monday 31st July
  • Friday 25th August
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$3,769

August 2017

Aug
6
  • Sunday 6th August
  • Thursday 31st August
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$3,769
Aug
18
  • Friday 18th August
  • Tuesday 12th September
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$3,769
Aug
30
  • Wednesday 30th August
  • Sunday 24th September
Definite departure $3,605
$3,605

September 2017

Sep
2
  • Saturday 2nd September
  • Wednesday 27th September
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Sep
5
  • Tuesday 5th September
  • Saturday 30th September
Definite departure $3,605
$3,605
Sep
10
  • Sunday 10th September
  • Thursday 5th October
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$3,605

March 2018

Mar
27
  • Tuesday 27th March
  • Saturday 21st April
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,176
$3,176

April 2018

Apr
8
  • Sunday 8th April
  • Thursday 3rd May
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$3,176
Apr
19
  • Thursday 19th April
  • Monday 14th May
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Apr
25
  • Wednesday 25th April
  • Sunday 20th May
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$3,176

May 2018

May
1
  • Tuesday 1st May
  • Saturday 26th May
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,239
$3,239
May
7
  • Monday 7th May
  • Friday 1st June
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$3,239
May
13
  • Sunday 13th May
  • Thursday 7th June
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May
15
  • Tuesday 15th May
  • Saturday 9th June
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$3,302
May
23
  • Wednesday 23rd May
  • Sunday 17th June
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$3,302
May
25
  • Friday 25th May
  • Tuesday 19th June
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May
31
  • Thursday 31st May
  • Monday 25th June
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,302
$3,302

June 2018

Jun
2
  • Saturday 2nd June
  • Wednesday 27th June
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Full
Jun
4
  • Monday 4th June
  • Friday 29th June
Promotional Code $3,302
$3,302
Jun
6
  • Wednesday 6th June
  • Sunday 1st July
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$3,302
Jun
10
  • Sunday 10th June
  • Thursday 5th July
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$3,302
Jun
12
  • Tuesday 12th June
  • Saturday 7th July
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$3,302
Jun
18
  • Monday 18th June
  • Friday 13th July
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Jun
20
  • Wednesday 20th June
  • Sunday 15th July
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$3,450
Jun
22
  • Friday 22nd June
  • Tuesday 17th July
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$3,450
Jun
24
  • Sunday 24th June
  • Thursday 19th July
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Jun
27
  • Wednesday 27th June
  • Sunday 22nd July
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Jun
30
  • Saturday 30th June
  • Wednesday 25th July
Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450

July 2018

Jul
3
  • Tuesday 3rd July
  • Saturday 28th July
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Jul
6
  • Friday 6th July
  • Tuesday 31st July
Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Jul
8
  • Sunday 8th July
  • Thursday 2nd August
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$3,450
Jul
10
  • Tuesday 10th July
  • Saturday 4th August
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$3,450
Jul
12
  • Thursday 12th July
  • Monday 6th August
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Jul
18
  • Wednesday 18th July
  • Sunday 12th August
Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Jul
20
  • Friday 20th July
  • Tuesday 14th August
Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Jul
24
  • Tuesday 24th July
  • Saturday 18th August
Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Jul
30
  • Monday 30th July
  • Friday 24th August
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450

August 2018

Aug
1
  • Wednesday 1st August
  • Sunday 26th August
Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Aug
5
  • Sunday 5th August
  • Thursday 30th August
Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Aug
11
  • Saturday 11th August
  • Wednesday 5th September
Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Aug
17
  • Friday 17th August
  • Tuesday 11th September
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,450
$3,450
Aug
23
  • Thursday 23rd August
  • Monday 17th September
Promotional Code Full
Full
Aug
29
  • Wednesday 29th August
  • Sunday 23rd September
Promotional Code $3,302
$3,302

September 2018

Sep
5
  • Wednesday 5th September
  • Sunday 30th September
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,302
$3,302
Sep
8
  • Saturday 8th September
  • Wednesday 3rd October
Promotional Code Full
Full
Sep
11
  • Tuesday 11th September
  • Saturday 6th October
Definite departure Promotional Code $3,302
$3,302
Sep
14
  • Friday 14th September
  • Tuesday 9th October
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$3,302
Sep
16
  • Sunday 16th September
  • Thursday 11th October
Promotional Code $3,302
$3,302

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EUROPEAN ESCAPADE

Only $200 deposit to book.
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ITINERARY
YOU WILL VISIT
United Kingdom, France, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Belgium United Kingdom, France, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Belgium +5 MORE
SEE FULL ITINERARY
APPROX TIME SPENT
approx time spent
1
2
London
1 day
Dover
Calais
Paris
2 days
Beaujolais
2 days
Barcelona
2 days
Arles
The Riviera
2 days
Monaco
Pisa
Florence
2 days
Rome
2 days
Venice
2 days
Vienna
2 days
Munich
1 day
Dachau
Austrian Tyrol
2 days
Liechtenstein
Lucerne
Swiss Alps
2 days
Heidelberg
Rhine Valley
1 day
Edam
Amsterdam
2 days
Belgium
Calais
London
1
2
WHAT'S INCLUDED
Accommodation
Team
Food
Inclusions
ME Time
Transport
Reviews for

European Escapade

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36 reviews

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  • European Escapade
  • Mara
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Apr 2016

Ah-mazing!

  • European Escapade
  • KendylG
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled Jun 2014

If you do a tour, make it this one! You won't regret it.

What a month it was. European Escapade gives you a taste of everything Europe has to offer. If you're looking to get as much out of Western Europe as you can in a reasonable amount of time, this is the tour for you. My tour guide and driver team was amazing. Anything you needed to know or needed assistance with Clare was there and Rado our driver? Oh Rado... What a GEM! I miss them both so much. Contiki is amazing, they plan everything for you and the on-site teams were also insanely cool. Those were my favorite stops along the way... Contiki themed hostels/lodges/chateaus always had a cool atmosphere, wicked bar and usually a club of some sort. All you basically need to do is wake up on time and Contiki team does the rest for you I had a blast. I literally could not give you one single complaint or regret. It was the time of my life, just be prepared because they have theme parties at a few of the contiki stops, tight & bright, shock your mother, i heart roma.. Those are the best times so pack some funky items just in case!! ALSO bring vitamins and cold meds from home the contiki cough WILL get you! One last thing... The suggested budget is a little off if you're a big partier like myself because I don't they don't factor in drinking.. Factor in some wiggle room for the budget if you plan on drinking your face off which will probably happen because it's contiki! There's something for everyone on this tour and there were some people in my group who preferred to hang alone but honestly if you're looking for a party atmosphere this is it. I have never laughed and smiled so hard for so long in mt life 26 days of pure, uninterrupted HAPPINESS!!!

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  • European Escapade
  • Nick
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Jul 2014

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

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  • European Escapade
  • Chloe
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Jun 2014

Escapade Be Cray

  • European Escapade
  • Emily_Canada
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled Aug 2010

Tour Review

All I can say is AMAZING!!!! Best way to see Europe in a month,made some great friend and I would say we will keep in touch. Having the best tour manager-James and the amazing talented bus ddriver-Patrice made this trip that much better. From day one the entire group click as one big party and group of friends. I would recomand anyone to do this tour, it was great!!

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  • European Escapade
  • Natalie18
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Oct 2011

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.

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  • European Escapade
  • Matthew
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Jun 2013

#no regrets

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

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  • European Escapade
  • NRMLKiwi
  • Booked from New Zealand
  • Traveled Jun 2011

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!

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  • European Escapade
  • Ellia
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Aug 2015

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!

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  • European Escapade
  • Felieshafrost
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Dec 2015

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 :)

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  • European Escapade
  • Jayme
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Aug 2013

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!

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  • European Escapade
  • Explorer1212686
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Nov 2011

Epic

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

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  • European Escapade
  • LUKE
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Jun 2014

European Escapade

just come back from tour had a blast with a great road crew and Group of People to go around Europe with and would gladly do another Contiki again well worth the Experience and time to kick back and do what you wanted to do and the place and onsite teams were awesome as well I would recommend anyone who want to go over seas in Europe to do a Contiki

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  • European Escapade
  • Explorer1150214
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Dec 2011

Time of my life!

  • European Escapade
  • saminsoup
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled May 2013

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.

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  • European Escapade
  • MeaganLTaylor
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Jan 2015

Great trip

This trip was a fantastic introduction to Europe. Got to see almost all the major tourist cities and attractions in Europe. Great tour to see a lot in a 'short' amount of time, and have some amazing experiences, including all the additional activities, which I highly recommend. Some of the accommodation was great, and some was average, but it doesn't really matter, because you pretty much just need a bed to sleep in. This trip let me know where I want to go back to and for how long. Loved my experience on this tour with Contiki.

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  • European Escapade
  • Gemz
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Nov 2010

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!!

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  • European Escapade
  • nursetabs
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Feb 2014

An amazing adventure

This was a fabulous trip and I had an amazing time over the 25 days. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who would like to get a good feel of what Europe is like, it was just the right amount of time, anything shorter and I don't think it would of been as enjoyable. Do as many of the extras as you can, they really make the trip.

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  • European Escapade
  • LBatstone
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled Sep 2011

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.

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  • European Escapade
  • Adam
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled Jul 2014

Incredible! But just so you know..

I should start this review off by saying it was the best month of my life, and if you've never been to Europe before and want to check out as many things as you can, then this is the perfect way! It was truly an incredible experience to travel to a place where civilization as we know it started, with the huge amounts of history and stunning sights all part of the journey.. However this isn't just a review saying how amazing it was, because there were definitely some negatives that I found with the Contiki/European experience. I'm gonna go through some of low lights and annoying parts of the tour, not because I like to focus on the negatives but because everyone will tell you how amazing it is so it's only fair if you really know what you're in for right? I just want to give a bit more of an honest recap of things. First of all, be prepared to pay for everything, from using WiFi, washing your clothes and even going to the toilet (not on contiki sights, only in public areas). Europe as a whole is very very expensive!! WiFi was painfully hard to connect to and use at times, with only about half the places you stay at offering it completely free, the rest requiring you to either buy a drink or pay a small amount. It was usually really slow and only stretched within common areas too, meaning no internet in your rooms. Barcelona was the only accommodation where it did reach the rooms and was completely free, easily the best place you'll stay all tour (because it's modern as well, not just the WiFi!). Now obviously you're not paying all this money to come to Europe and sit on your phone, but there's always times when you want to relax and talk to your friends and family on Facebook but can't get a half decent connection. A lot of the servo's you stop at on the way will have WiFi too but its not normally free and sometimes impossible to use. There was WiFi available on the coach, but it's so expensive it just isn't worth it. Speaking of the coach, make sure you get on it early enough on drive days(travelling from one city to the next) so that you secure yourself a window seat. They're so much easier to get to sleep on, which can be hard at the best of times when you're clinging to life from a terrible hangover, but just trust me and get a window seat! Laundry facilities are available at most places you'll stay, but of course it comes at a price. They would vary from 3-5 Euros for a wash and the same for a dryer. This annoyed me, you would think paying all the money that you do they would at least let you wash your clothes for free, but nope. Your best bet is to split a machine with someone else to halve the cost. Again we're not talking a lot of money, but is it annoying? You bet. The rooms themselves were... small. Most places you stay will be 4 to a room, with only just enough space to put your suitcase down if you're lucky. The worst part about these rooms though is undoubtedly the heat. Now of course if you're going in summer it's going to be hot outside, but nowhere near as hot as some of the rooms will get. The Europeans don't seem to have discovered A/C as of yet, so don't go expecting any of that in the accommodations. You won't even get a pedestal/ceiling fan to at least help the mugginess of the rooms. If it's been a hot day outside, be prepared to sleep in a sauna that night. Maybe that's why everyone was drunk all the time, just so they didn't have to endure trying to sleep sober in those conditions. Not all places are like this, but a fair few will be. P.S. Don't wet the mattress in any way, even with water, because you will have to pay 100Euro in the morning... (long story, just look after your mattress!) Showers and toilets are sometimes communal and sometimes in your room (so much better). Again, everywhere you stay is different. The food you get served by Contiki for dinner is a little bit hit and miss, but did get better towards the end of trip strangely enough. Some meals were really nice with plenty of leftovers while some weren't great and left you still hungry.. luck of the draw really. Breakfast is continental and fairly standard in most places, with muesli and yoghurt always available which made me happy. They do cooked breakfasts occasionally as well which were pretty decent. Be prepared to get sick! I know everyone says this, but that's because its 100% true and guaranteed. You're basically paying 4 grand to push your immune system to its limits in strange and foreign conditions. I was a bit silly in that I didn't take/bring any medication for coughs and whatnot with so I pretty much just took it on, which wasn't too bad until i got a stomach bug in Amsterdam.. oh well! Just be prepared and pack whatever you know you're susceptible too. Now, onto the ME Time 'Optional' Extras. I use quotation marks over the word optional because they tell you that they're optional, but they will try their absolute hardest to peer pressure you into doing each and every single one. This was just about the most annoying part of the whole trip from a Contiki stand point for me. A few days in, your tour manager will go through each and every single optional available whilst your sitting on the coach hungover, explaining what each one is and why you should do it. Now that probably doesn't sound so bad at first, but what I didn't realise is that they will then pass out a form and you have to decide then and there what optionals you wish to do for the rest of the tour. It is a massive sales pitch by the tour manager and it's a hell a lot of money to be paying upfront for things you don't even know if you'll want to do in 3 weeks time (about 700Euro+ to do them all). I was under the impression we get to decide a day or two before if we wanted to pay for these extras, because really who knows what you'll feel like doing before you get to a city?? But no such luck.. Thankfully however most of the ME Time Optionals are totally worth it. The best being the railway up Jungfrau Mtn in Switzerland. This one is expensive but SO SO worth it, specially if you haven't experienced mountains and snow before, you HAVE to do that one. I had no idea we were gonna get to be in contact with snow but luckily there's snow all year round in the Swiss Alps! All the activity ones are definitely worth it, including the bike rides. They're really easy and even the girls enjoyed it, which says something I think! The only optionals I would say to avoid would be the group dinners. This being because when you go to these dinners everyone gets the same thing and there is no choice in what you want, so all the food is mass produced and just not that great. You would be much better off going off with a small group to a random restaurant and getting meals actually cooked for you. These dinners are a chance to mingle with the group of course, so really it comes down to whether you would rather socialize with your contiki family or experience some of Europe's amazing cuisine. Contiki will also take you to random stores(you get no choice) that they have an affiliation with in pretty much every city and the store will try to sell you more things. A lot of these stores are actually pretty decent like a really nice Perfume factory in France and beer stein producer in Germany, but some are shit, like a leather shop. So yeah, just so you know. Finally, bring a lot of money!!! I got told London was expensive but I had no idea the rest of Europe was just as bad! Food and drink are the worst killers. Naturally you're not carrying a lot of food on you so every time you get hungry it means more money. Try and always buy a few snacks at a time, fruit is a good idea because its often hard to come by, and always have a water bottle with you to prevent having to shell out money every time you're hungry/thirsty. Even the drinks in nightclubs are expensive, something I thought would be cheap. Some clubs do 'free pour' which normally means you get a reasonable amount of alcohol but these drinks usually cost up to 8Euro and can very quickly add up. A lot of the people on our tour needed their parents to send them more money because they simply didn't have enough, something that I only just avoided myself! Alright, I think that's all the negatives out the way! Please don't read this thinking that you shouldn't go, if you're 'umming' and 'arring' about this tour, don't! You definitely need this in your life! It was truly the best experience of my life and I'm so glad I did it. For all the rest of the amazing reasons to go on this trip, and to get a better idea on other things, just read all the other reviews! Good luck and safe travels!!

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