I recently returned from my very first trip to Europe – and I have to say, I couldn’t have traveled with better suited company for my age group like Contiki Tours! My whirl through Germany, Switzerland, and Austria was filled with off the beaten path adventures, making my experience more personal, local, and unforgettable. I participated in Contiki’s High Energy Experience, allowing me to have late nights, early mornings, and a lot of adventures in between! I was incredibly surprised by how much we accomplished and saw in our seven-day tour.
We started and ended our tour here – and oh boy, did I fall in love with this city! The architecture, the atmosphere, the shops and the beer gardens all contribute to the charm, and of course, dominating the list is the very famous Glockenspiel that I had a chance to visit!
We got a very thorough taste of Munich from our three hour bike tour with Mike’s Bikes, when we were taken around town at a leisurely pace, stopping at different attractions and also were given a bit of history on the town! We ended our bike ride in a beer garden located in the middle of the English Garden!
After our morning bike ride, we were taken on a six hour coach ride to the heart of Lauterbrunnen, a small village in Switzerland.
I will not lie, this place is a fairy tale – no matter where I turned, I was surrounded by a beautiful Swiss Alp back drop that left me speechless. My chalet room gave me a wonderful view of them each morning, and I also was able to wake up to the sound of sheep grazing outside my window. How often can you say that?!
The highlight of Switzerland was taking the cog train up Jungfrau Mountain. Sitting at an elevation of 13,642 feet, this mountain is the highest in all of Europe and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The view is unbeatable and there are two observation decks to really check out how high it is. If you ever have the chance to visit, don’t forget sunscreen! While it is chilly and snowy up top, it is also very sunny, and a couple of my travel companions received unexpected sun burns!
I was devastated to have to part with Switzerland, but Austria has always been on my bucket list to travel to. The rolling hills did not disappoint, and I even got the chance to go paragliding off of one of them! Truly a breathtaking experience, and is always an optional experience while traveling with Contiki to Hopfgarten.
Our visit to Austria included a mountain bike ride with a glorious view, a gondola ride up a large mountain with a celebration at the restaurant up top, and a stop at the Swarovski Institute on our way back to Munich!
All good things come to an end:
I was so sad to part from all of my new friends that I made on the trip – we grew close and they felt like my family! I think that is one of many things that Contiki is known for – creating a family out of the travelers on the tour, and bringing us through so many adventures that we didn’t even know we were going to have!
No matter what kind of young traveler you are – if you are easy pace or energetic, or if you are an in-depth explorer or a foodie – Contiki has a tour pace with your travel style in mind. I would love to help you secure your spot, because once you take your first steps off the plane, you are in for an adventure you will never forget!
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