The Adriatic is hotter than hot right now, with these destinations being the top of explorer's lists all over the globe. Perfect for those wanting big sights, sun-filled days, lip smacking eats and old world charm, this trip is an all-round bucket-list ticker, and then some. Starting in the Eternal City, you'll be going deep with epic ancient Roman sights to get you right into the Italian way of life, before taking on a lot more destinations, falling in love time and time again.
Sunfilled days, hot summery nights, traveller you've arrived in Rome. On arrival set your eyes upon Rome with heightened love and appreciation for the great country she's nestled in. Get a glimpse of the greats, maybe down some pizza and stroll the streets in la mode of leisure knowing you have all day tomorrow to see the sites.
With a whole day to explore, there's free time to walk amongst the ancient ruins scattered around the city. Visit the famous Colosseum, home to some of the biggest spectacles of powerful Imperial Rome, with its labyrinthine chambers that once housed wild animals and gladiatorial contestants now open to the public to view. Or take to the cute cobbled streets for your fix of Italian food, with lunch specialities like arancini, caprese salad and of course, fresh pasta.
We leave a little bit of our heart in Rome, but we're not done with Italy just yet, there are two iconic cities to explore before our time in Italy is done.The Duomo Cathedral sits above the city making certain we know we have arrived in Florence. We'll become history buffs on a guided walking tour before we learn the art of leather. Tonight you can choose to begin your Tuscan love affair at an optional dinner - think olives, cured meats, crostini & wine. Later, you could keep it moving back in the city, and experience Florence by night.
Location: Rome, Florence
Florence, you've been heavenly, but today we have the floating city on our horizons and we can't wait. Pizza, piazzas … we can't wait.The floating city of gondolas, canals and pretty bridges - what a splendid way to continue our Italian love affair. A guided walking tour and a gondola ride are up for grabs, or you can always choose to get lost on your own and see where the maze takes you.
Location: Florence, Venice
Venice we love you, but there's more to see and we're ready. Today brings us another country to tick off our bucket list, and although the name is hard to pronounce, it packs some serious punch!Although you might find nods to neighbouring countries within Slovenian culture, a distinct identity has evolved from this melody of influences. After our guided walking tour, explore the bohemian art district of Metelkova Mesto, sit by one of the cities atmospheric watercourses & try all the incredible food on offer.
Location: Venice, Ljubljana
Bye Ljubljana! We have places to go and people to see, namely, Croatia. And on our way to the Dalmation coast, we have a very important stop with scenery that will blow your mind...Cascading turquoise-hued waters and jewel-like pools await us at Plitvice Lakes. Why this place isn't famous world over as one of the prettiest places in Europe, we have no idea, but for now it's like an extra special secret world. Wander the cute wooden bridges with waterfalls either side and stop for plenty of selfies along the route, as you contemplate the beauty and glory of Mother Nature.
Location: Ljubljana, Plitvice
We'll hit the road again for our next stop on the agenda, the harbourside city of Split.It's time to get nautical here on the coast of Croatia. Spend the afternoon exploring her sun-soaked, seafront glory. We'll start you off right with a visit to Old Town Split and Diocletian's Palace for a taste of ancient history amongst the cobbled streets. It would be downright wrong not to indulge in some local tastes tonight too, so opt for a traditional Croat dinner to fuel up on before the night ahead. Later no doubt feeling festive, you could hit the town to explore the city by night!
Location: Plitvice, Split
Split it's been fantastic, but we have to leave for other Croatian gems further down the coast.The drive along the Dalmatian coastline to Dubrovnik is a sightseeing must do all on its own. On arrival in the city you'll be greeted by limestone walls; an Old Town filled with quintessentially Croatian cafes and plenty of clubs; and a mountain meets sea situation will see you falling in love within seconds. After you've been guided around the city by our team, you'll be armed with the knowledge to pick out a waterside rock bar where you can swim and indulge 'til your heart's content. Tonight over dinner with the crew, spirits will no doubt be high and the show's not over yet!
Location: Split, Dubrovnik
Now that we've done all things Dubrovnik, we'll coast our way to the Albanian city of Tirana.All good journeys are broken up by pit stops in Rivieras with sandy beaches, medieval towns & ancient relgious sites. Crossing into Budva, we'll make a lunch stop in Montenegro.We arrive in the capital city of Albania after some serious mountain landscapes. This city is buzzing with life since the post-communism in the 1990's, boasting buildings painted in bright primary colours, cool cafes, streets and parks that are perfect for exploring. Explore this hidden gem by night, then head to bed knowing that city hangs are a thing of the past with our next stop, two nights in sun-drenched Corfu.
Location: Dubrovnik, Tirana
Goodbye city, hello beach hangs! It's southbound today into glorious Greece, one of the world's most sought-after holiday destinations and 100% bucketlist worthy.With two days of sunshine ahead, spirits will be at an all time high. Get excited for the next two days over dinner with the group, no doubt grabbing some refreshments and exploring the island by night!
Location: Tirana, Corfu
The best version of island time? Greek island time. And you'll settle straight into it on the dream scene of Corfu. A heritage listed old town, water sports aplenty & the option to hit the seas again on a cruise or devour an Ionian Dinner with the crew - this is what your first day in Greece will look like.
Another day, another chance to get salty & eat a smorgasbord of feta, olives and grapevines stuffed with delectable rice and kick back on island time. Before we lose all sense of reality and morph into sea-soaked island dwellers, we're making tracks to Italy for pizza, pasta and piazzas of course! After the sun has set, we'll set sail on our overnight ferry ride to Bari, where your feet will touch Italian soil.
Location: Corfu, Overnight Adriatic Ferry
Good morning Italy, we waste no time this morning and make our way to Salerno.Today could see you tick off another bucket list sight, where you could opt to visit breathtakingly the Amalfi Coast, making sure your camera is fully on charge for colourful houses cascading down the mountainside in sun-bleached hues.
Location: Overnight Adriatic Ferry, Salerno
Rise & shine! This morning we're hitting the cobblestones & headed for Pompeii, where we'll dedicate our time to exploring this archeological wonder.Once a totally vibing hang-out of the ancient Romans, Pompeii is now a living time capsule showcasing the remains of a Roman city and its residents, with walls, mosaics & activities perfectly preserved thanks to the catastrophic eruption of Mt Vesuvius covering the entire town with ash in 79AD. We're being treated to a guided walking tour around these real-life Roman streets. The saying 'stepping back in time' is about to take on a whole new meaning...This afternoon we'll be jolted back to modern city life as we pull in to Rome, Italy's bustling capital. Gather your travel family and make the most of your final evening together with a special optional group dinner 'La Dolce Vita'.
Location: Salerno, Rome
The adventure packed with No Regrets moments has come to an end, oh how much we've seen! With social details swapped and phone numbers exchanged we farewell each other, no doubts with plans for a reunion trip already in full swing. Japan Unrivalled, anyone?
Started by one man with big dreams in 1962, Contiki now offers over 300 trips to 6 continents for 18 to 35 year olds, with the mantra #NOREGRETS. It’s their way of life; it’s about changing your perspective on the world, walking in other’s shoes, witnessing different cultures, religions, and ways of living; it’s about living in the moment, pushing past your comfort zone, challenging yourself to do the things you never thought possible.
Contiki believe that travel is so much more than just ticking boxes and saying you were there. It’s not about doing things for the sake of doing them, or seeing things just because you should. For them, travel is all about experience. It’s the number of sunsets you’ve watched with best friends, the number of ancient landmarks you’ve visited, the number of times you’ve defied your comfort zone and done the extraordinary. So that’s what their trips are all about – the #NOREGRETS experiences that will make you, the traveller, richer than your wildest dreams.
Their incredible experiences encompass all interests and cultures – bathing in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, seeing the pyramids of Giza, walking the Great Wall of China, roadtrip along Route 66, watch the sunrise over Uluru, party in Las Vegas, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, zipline through the Costa Rica rainforest, see the Mona Lisa, fly over the Grand Canyon or cuddle a Koala. The cost of your trip ensures Contiki take care of all your travel arrangements, accommodation, breakfasts and dinners, organised activities, plenty of free time and optional ‘me’ time activities to put your own unique stamp on your travel experience.
Contiki cater to all travellers, whether you want to cram in as many destinations as possible and experience everything or stick in one region for a while for an in depth exploration to really get under the skin of the country, they have the trip for you and many other options in between. Choose a purely water-based adventure with their Sailing, Cruise and Beach holidays, or snowy travels with the Winter holidays and even purely camping accommodation to make the most of your holiday budget but still see and experience all your destination has to offer.
Contiki is a founding partner of TreadRight, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation in 2008 to encourage sustainable tourism within its family of amazing travel brands. The TreadRight Foundation acts as an older, wiser sibling to Contiki, guiding them down a more sustainable path. The TreadRight Foundation supports projects that help the environment, protect and conserve ecosystems, and benefit communities. The foundation, along with The Travel Corporation brands, has donated in excess of US$2 million towards international sustainable tourism projects - a figure that continues to rise.
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