Contiki's at it again. The youth travel company have managed to consistently stay ahead of the travel game since their first trip some 50 years ago. Contiki don't just take you there, they ensure you get under the skin and immersed in the culture of every place you visit.
So travellers, you asked and they listened. Adding to an already stellar line up of trips in Europe, Contiki have eight brand-new itineraries, including four new countries to visit – Bosnia, Montenegro, Romania and Iceland. Here's what Contiki has in store for 2016.
Best of Balkans, 15 Days
Split – Dubrovnik – Budva – Sarajevo – Belgrade – Timisoara – Budapest – Ljubljana – Plitvice Lakes – Plitvice
Jaded by the lines at the Louvre? Seen one too many Instagram snaps of Parc Guell in Barcelona? Swap Western Europe for the best that the Balkans has to offer. In 15 days, you'll find yourself walking in the footsteps of your favourite Game of Thrones characters in beautiful Dubrovnik, partying in Sarajevo, and living out your mermaid dreams in Plitvice Lakes amid a landscape of amid woodland forests and mesmerising waterfalls.
Balkans Discovery, 12 Days
Croatia – Montenegro – Bosnia & Herzegovina – Serbia – Romania – Hungary
From the sun-drenched splendour of the Dalmatian Coast to the architecture marvels of Belgrade, get a taste for the Balkans across 12 whirlwind days. Across six countries you'll see and discover old vs. new, fun in the sun vs. history-laden cities and partying vs. chilling out. Highlights include sunset cocktails in Split, kayaking down the Bega River and overflowing bowls of steaming goulash in Budapest.
Mini Balkans, 4 Days
Hungary – Slovenia – Croatia
Short on time but keen to see what all the fuss is about in the Balkans? This four-day trip is the perfect itinerary for commitment-phobes. Meet your buddies in Budapest, before heading to Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana. Also, prepare to have your mind blown by the whimsical beauty of Plitvice National Park and its network of cascading lakes and waterfalls.
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Iceland, 4 Days
Reykjavik – Blue Lagoon
The travel (or, at least Contiki) gods have finally answered your prayers. Easily the most requested destination by travellers, Contiki's four-day Iceland trip is now taking bookings. From the milky blue water of the famed Blue Lagoon to the forward-thinking capital of Reykjavik, you'll discover a landscape filled with natural wonders and quirky characters. But cross your fingers for clear skies as you'll be heading out with a local guide to tick off that true bucket list experience – the spectacular Northern Lights.
London Uncovered, 5 Days
London – Stonehenge – Windsor
Don't fancy navigating the Tube on your own? This five-day trip is the perfect orientation to London. Kick off your European escape or gap year beyond the obligatory Big Ben or Buckingham Palace photo stop. Be wowed by the bright lights and recognisable icons of London before you head out into the countryside to the mythical boulders of Stonehenge.
Mediterranean Escape, 10 Days
Rome – Vatican City – Amalfi Coast – Bari - Athens
A new one for the sun seekers, the Mediterranean Escape takes the best of the coastline and packs it all into 10 days. Add a dose of culture in Rome with a history lesson or two – your reward is enough pizza, pasta, gelati and Aperol fit for an emperor – before switching to chill-out mode along the Amalfi Coast where grottos, caves and beaches await. Then, hop over to Athens for a mix of myths and ancient wonders alongside modern hotspots.
Also making up two of the new itineraries, this trip also comes with the option to check out the Greek Islands with either a four-day cruise or 10-day island hopping version of the tour.