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Spanish Spree // Contiki Review


One Group. 2 Weeks. 13 Cities. 1 Country. New FriendshipsUnforgettable Experience!

My Decision. 
After traveling solo in Morocco for eleven days, I wanted to explore more of Spain with a tour. This time around I was looking up tours through TourRadar.com and came across a few Spain tours I was interested in but ended up picking a Contiki tour. If your not familar with Tour Radar, it's a website that narrows down your search when looking for tours for a specific destination. I have been on two Contiki tours previously, if you want to read more about my experience on my 30 day Euro tour (click here) or my 9 day Thailand experience (click here). With my first Euro tour we stopped in Barcelona for three days (click here) to read more about my time there. I instantly fell in love with culture, people, and food. I knew one day I would want to come back and spend more time exploring the country.

My ultimate decision this time around had to do with Contiki offering the Spanish Spree tour and another tour that included Spain, Portugal and Morocco. The deciding factor for me was that the Spanish Spree tour went to many cities in Spain I was interested in and the other tour did not. As much as I really wanted to visit those 3 counties, the tour didn't go to all the places I would've liked in Portugal. That's why I decided to do Morocco by myself and then do the Spanish Spree with Contiki. Portugal will have to wait for another occasion. Usually when booking a Contiki trip I would have booked directly through their site but TourRadar.com offered a great deal/sale I couldn't pass up. I highly recommend checking their website if you want find a great deal on a tour!


Spanish Spree. 

This tour is offered both in the winter and summer months. While figuring out what dates I wanted to book, the tour dates were selling out quickly. So if you're interested in going on this tour definitely book as early as you can so you can secure the dates you want go on because it's a very popular tour especially in the summer. If you ever wanted to go to Spain and immerse yourself in the culture, this tour is for you! Our tour group was lucky to have the most comfiest coach bus I've ever been on a Contiki tour, which was great for those long bus rides between cities. We also were first to try there new dining experience with locals. I thought this was such a great feature Contiki is adding into their trips. We had the option to have a dinner cooked by locals in art museum or on a rooftop and it was honestly one of the best experiences I've had on a Contiki trip!



What is Contiki?
Its a travel company that offers numerous trips all over the world that have everything planned out for you. It's targeted audience are 18 to 35 year olds, which makes it fun and easy to make friends if you're traveling solo! The biggest decision you would have to make is picking the destination for your travels which can be difficult because they offer an array of trips in different price ranges, locations, and durations. It all depends on your budget and how much vacation time you have.


Pros traveling with Contiki
  • INSTANT FRIENDSHIPS-  If you're a solo traveler, this is a perfect way to make new friends easily. You meet people from all over the world, all walks of life, and are bound to form new friendships that can last a lifetime or just till the end of the trip. I went solo again on this trip and met incredible new friends that I still talk to today. Surprisingly this time around there were more Americans on my tour, especially people from California, Texas, New Jersey, and New York. I became really close to so many people on this tour and especially this one Canadian girl, we talk  regularly and are planning to meet up soon!
  • CONVENIENCE- Everything is already planned out for you! You don't have to worry about booking hotels, transportation, and etc. You have transportation available with group activities as well as a tour guide who can guide you to where you want to go. 
  • A TASTE OF SPAIN- I chose this trip because I wanted to explore more of Spain. As opposed to other tours I looked into, this tour targeted the cities I wanted to see and explore. Like I mentioned before, on my first ever Euro tour (3 years ago!) we stopped in Barcelona and I instantly fell in love with Spain. Because I know Spanish, communicating with locals and understanding the culture wasn't difficult for me. I actually was able to help others on the tour with translating things and also teaching them some basic spanish words and phrases. I loved learning more of the history of each city especially getting the local guides perspective also indulging in the amazing food. 2 weeks wasn't enough for me and would actually love to go back and explore other places we didn't get to see.Can you tell by now, I fell in love with Spain?
  • ACCOMMODATION- All the hotels we stayed in were great. This was a hotel only tour which I prefer red after doing a tour that mixed hotels and hostels on my first tour. The hotels were very comfortable and nice but weren't all centrally located with all thirteen cities we stayed in which wasn't a problem for me.
  • TOUR MANAGER- Your tour manager could also make or break your experience! I had two tour managers back in my Europe tour. The tour manager that I always rave about (Haley) conducted the Greek Island part of my tour and she was honestly the best! You can tell that she really loved her job and exuded positive energy and vibes. In Thailand, our tour manager was a bit reserved and quiet which isn't necessarily bad but wasn't what we were expecting. Luckily our Spain tour manager (Dylan), was young, knowledgeable and knew what he was talking about. He was definitely an upgrade from our Thailand tour manager and was tons of fun throughout our trip.
  • PARTY HARD- Let's face it, Contiki is known for partying hard. Some partied hard more than others but nonetheless it's the memories created that was worth it. If you're not much of a party person don't worry, you won't be peer pressured to do so. I would say plan out the days you want to drink and have fun. Because partying too hard the night before a long bus ride isn't so fun if you're hungover. The night life in Spain is incredible and long. They don't start the part until after midnight and end until the early hours of the morning. For me I felt like I was home because of the music and ambiance and loved every second of it. You will love the music, dancing, and the people you meet!
Cons traveling with Contiki.
  • GETTING SICK- You will get sick unless you have an amazing immune system. Upset stomachs, food poisoning, alcohol poisoning, motion sicknes, being in the heat, etc- will catch up to you at some point during the trip. Bring pills, medicine whatever works for you on your trip because it's better to be safe than sorry.
  • FREE TIME- Because this trip focuses on one country it's not so intense like a multi-country tour. But because it fits in thirteen cities in a two week period you may not get as much time in certain cities. Like I mentioned before, you get a "taste" of each city so keep that in mind before booking a tour.  For me, Madrid was a city I have been dying to visit for many years (Real Madrid fan over here) so I made sure to arrive a day early to see as much I can and also stayed a day later when the tour ended to see as much as I can of Madrid knowing the tour didn't stay that long in that city. Since I've been on Contiki trips before I know how it goes and I made the most of the free time given to us. We did have a lots of free time but if you're a person who desires more, then the time constraint in each city maybe a problem for you.
  • GROUP DYNAMIC/ TRAVELING WITH FRIENDS- The group dynamic can make or break your Contiki trip also. My group didn't have that problem for the most part but I have talked to people who had drama between tour mates or people who they traveled with. A few people didn't get along with their roommates. So if you're a solo traveler keep in mind when sharing rooms, you may or may not get along with your roommate. I was lucky to hit off with my roommate but if you rather not share a room with a stranger than make your arrangements ahead of time. Everyone is there to have a good time so make the best of your situation!  
Overall Thoughts. 
I'm so glad I chose this trip! I had a blast from the beginning to the end. I told myself awhile ago never to visit a country twice but rules are meant to be broken. I can honestly go back to Spain endless of times and never get tired of it. I'm actually considering moving there at some point. I just feel at home when I'm there. There's so much more I haven't seen and cities I would love to revisit and stay longer. If you stumbled across this post and are considering going on this tour, I say go for because you won't regret it! From the beautiful architecture, beaches, people, nightlife, history, food, markets, culture, and forming more new life-long friendships, gracias ESPAÑA!

YouTube Video. 



#NOREGRETS
I will be doing individual posts on each city I visited, links below :)
San Sebastian: https://goo.gl/CEhPUx
Barcelona:
Granada:
Comment below,
What's your favorite Contiki trip you have been on?


16 comments

  1. Im not a big fan or organised tours. But going by what you say, it seems pretty easy paced and you also seem to have covered many must sees. great trip I guess!

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    1. I think doing a tour that focuses on one country is less hectic than going to multiple countries on a tour.

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  2. I would agree with your assessment. This post brought back great memories of my first trip to Europe, the 30 day Contiki tour! For an inexperienced traveler it was a great way to see the continent and decide where I wanted to go myself afterward. (I also used to work with someone who led Contiki tours. She loved that time in her life!) It was a great time. :)

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    1. Yes I agree! I also love doing tours to break up my solo travels just switch it up. Thanks for reading :)

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  3. I didn't realise that Tour Radar had deals with tours. I don't tend to do coach tours but I do think it's a great way to meet people and see the highlights of the country without it being too rushed. What a great idea to have dinner cooked with locals included in your tour and the chance to sample real authentic food. Really enjoyed watching your travel diary! :)

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    1. Neither did I until I stumbled upon their website! Thank you so much :)

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  4. I love organised tours. Most tour operators are experts and know the best places to visit and how to get around especially if you're only in a place for a few days. Plus you get to make new friends. Sounds like fun!

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    1. It's so much fun, I love meeting new people!

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  5. Oh, now I know: I've met a lady from Australia last year when I was in Venice for the Biennale and she told me about this kind of tours. It's certainly amazing for young people - or people who love to be in a group...which I do not. But it's certainly a great way to explore different parts of the world. Keep on travelling!

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    1. It's not for everyone but I do think people should experience it for themselves!

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  6. I'm always mixed on these tours so thank you for a great insight! The convienience sounds great but it's the 'drama' that could happen between a group of strangers that puts me off - I've stayed in one too many working hostels where this has happened haha.

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    1. Oh really? I never experienced any drama on any tour that I went on. I guess it all depends on the person and their personality.

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  7. I like the idea of “sampling” the different cities. Then, you can decide which ones you want to come back to and spend more time. Did you have a city that was your favorite?

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    1. Yes I had a few cities that were my favorite such as Granada, San Sebastian, Ibiza, and Madrid

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  8. I've not heard of TourRadar before, but it sounds like they have a great selection of trips. I'm off to check them out now, as have some annual leave to use and don't know where to go yet :) x

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