Summer Fun + Sailing 14 May


#1

Hi All,

Anyone booked on this trip? Im joining up with it on day 8 (i think) when its in Rome. Would be fantastic to hear from anyone thats on this trip :slight_smile:


#2

Hi Shellbelle

So i am a newbie and this is my first ever trip over seas. I am super excited and nervous!
I am doing this trip and it would be lovely to meet some people before hand :slight_smile:


#3

Hi Shellbelle

You will have at least 2 travel buddies for the trip - my sister and I are doing it, starting in Rome also (European Horizons) on 20th May. Very excited :slight_smile:

If any previous travellers can share any feedback/tips on the trip, we would love to hear it.


#4

Hi guys

i did this tour last year (it was AMAZING) so if you have any questions please ask :slight_smile:

Nicola


#5

I have questions Nicola! :slight_smile: I’m doing the Summer fun and sailing but I depart London on 29th April.

What was the accomodation like? Did the places provide basic bedding? Or should we bring sheets/pillows etc if we want them?

How much walking was involved? (I’m not fit at all so just want to know how much I’m gonna have to prepare!)

How much $$ were some of the optional extras? Eg. Entry fees? Tours? Gondola ride in venice? Paris show? paragliding? I wanna do it all so I need to know how much to save!!

Did you sleep on the boats for the greek sailling? What islands did you get to visit? What port do they sail from and to? What were the boats like? Get sea sick at all? How long were you on the boats each day?

How many nights did most people go out?

How much spending money did you take and how much did you spend?! :slight_smile:

As you can see I have heaps of questions B-) - and there’s probably more, this is just all I could think about right now - so thank you in advance for answering all these queries! ;D

THANKS AGAIN!

Natalie


#6

Hey Natalie

i asked all the same questions the first time i went too :slight_smile:

accommodation - all places except maybe 2 or 3 provide bedding, blankets, pillows, sheets etc and they are really clean in 99% of places. you will definately have to bring a sleeping bag cos there are some places that dont provide anything. i took a small travel pillow with me so i could use this on the bus to sleep or use it in places that didnt provide anything (sleeping on the bus will be your favourite hobby over there!!)

there is a fair bit of walking involved but its not really difficult or power walking. most of the time yuo can stroll along at a normal walking pace, and you stop all the time to see sites and take photos. there are a few places that almost kill people (even fit people, and belive me im not a fit person at all!) like the walk up the top of sacre coure in paris and the rome walking tour. but seriously you will be fine!!! most of the time you just are walking around site seeing at your own pace.

optional extras (not 100% sure but this should give you a rough idea):
paris - river cruise 18 euro, caberet show 50 euro - i did the caberet, was excellent
lauterbunnen switzerland - skydiving 400 euro, jungfrau trip 80 euro - i did jungfrau AMAZING!!!
florence - nop optionals but make sure you have a florentine steak, its mouth watering!
rome - vatican tour 40 euro - brilliant, do it!
greek sailing - no optionals
tirana - no optionals, the accomodation is excellent so we used it as a recovery night
dubrovnik - no optionals, but amazing nightlife! there is a place in town that sells cocktails in buckets!!
zadar - no optionals - dodgy hostel, be very careful of bed bugs soooooo many of us got bitten there!!
venice - gondela ride 30 euro - every single person does this, it is fabulous!!
tyrol - canyoning 50 euro, skydiving 300 euro - i went into the next town called St Johann, our bus driver drove a group of us there and droped us off and we caught cabs back to the place we were staying (it was about 10 mins away - and all cabs are 10 euro) St Johann is a small typical austrian mountain town, the most beautiful place ive been, the buildings are out of fairy tales!!
munich - no optionals, but make sure you go for dinner at the hofbrauhaus the famous beer hall, its an experience!
prague - no optionals, brilliant city, make sure you climb up and see the view from the top of the castle, its magical!! there is the sex museum which is a crack up and the markets are really nice too.
rhine valley - no optionals, gorgeous!! if you get a chance walk down to the town after dinner and have a drink at a restaurant on the river, the local wine is yummy and if you can try “ice wine”. they have an awesome Birkenstock store as well that is SOOOOO cheap!!
amsterdam - red light district and live sex show tour 18 euro, canal cruise and farewell dinner 30euro. i did both and i highly reccommend both!!! amsterdam rocks, you can jsut wander the streets and finf little cafes everywhere. i went to the anne frank museum which is unbelievable and then did the heinekin tour as well.
i think thats all the places!! let me know if ive forgotten anything!

yes you sleep on the boats in the sailing, they can be a bit cramped (there are 6 people to a boat) but it is the most amaxing experience!! you sail your own boats and get to stop in and jump off in the middle of the mediterrainian. where you go depends a bit on the weather, we went to corfu the first night, soewhere else the 2nd night then back to port on the 3rd night. they sail from iguamentista port which is really pretty! you get to sail most of the day then pull up in the afternoon at port and dock the boats, you then go ashore to the places and have dinner and drinks. you can go back to boats whenever you want to as they are docked at the peir, some people went back early and some people stayed out all night. just be careful getting on the boats, they constantly move so if your a bit drink, it can be pretty funny to watch ( and yes people did fall in the water trying to get on board) not a single person got sea sick, but we have brilliant weather and no rough waves, you are up on deck during the day sailing so you have fresh air all the time.

going out, there are some places that we went into town and other places have onsite bars and disco’s. we went out in: paris, tirana, dubrovnik, zadar, munich, prague and amsterdam
we stayed in the camp sites and partied at the on site bars in lauterbrunnen, florence, rome, venice, tyrol, and rhine valley. the on site bars and discos are the best!! cheaper drinks, no worries about getting home and sooo much fun!! the italian camp sites are just brilliant, they are little cities with bars, restaurants, supermarkets swimming pools, etc they are the best accommodation of the whole tour!
most people went out most nights, most of the time we would have a few drinks and go to bed about midnight and then there were a few huge nights as well. the main thing we did was have dinner as a group then hang around having a few drinks there then go to the bar til midnight.

i took $3000 australian in spending money (i did this tour and the greek island hopper as well) and i spent pretty much everything. i paid for my pre and post tour accommodation on my credit card when i arrived.

one piece of advice, take an australian power board with you and a mini flash light. there are limited power outlets in some rooms and if there are 4 of you trying to charge stuff its a pain, if you have a powerboard you can charge everything at once and youre done. the flash light is great for sailing, cos there are no lights on the boat (there is enough power for about 30 mins of light) but its really dark in some places getting to the boats and some of the hostel.

hope this helps a bit!! and let me know if you have any other questions :slight_smile:

Nicola


#7

Wow this is absolutely a GOD-SEND THANK YOU!!! ;D

I’ve not printed this off and added it to my prep files :slight_smile: Thank you so much for your suggestions as well! having never been to Europe I like getting all the advice I can get my hands on!

So :slight_smile: I have more questions again…lol

How much did you pack? What exactly did you pack?

How did you access your money over there? Did you just use your normal Australian Debit card?

How many people did the whole tour (eg 26 days) and how many did were on it at its peak? What month did you go in?

Also, how cold do you think it’ll be - I’m going in May mostly so its not quite Summer yet…should I bring warmer night clothes? How warm was your sleeping bag?

What did you wear going out to the clubs/pubs? Dresses? or just jeans and a nice top? Did you bring heels at all? lol. :slight_smile: I’ve a very girly girl so I live in heels usually but don’t wanna be the only doofus to bring heels on the tour!

It sounds like from the locations you stated for the greek sailing that we may not go anywhere near Santorini :frowning: Is that right? That’s sad but I’ll just go back there next Summer in 2012…flights from London shouldn’t be too exy!

How much time did you usually spend on the bus each day? I’ll probably be of the thought that why should I sleep at night when I can sleep on the bus! :slight_smile: hehe.

O and did anyone else take tiny laptops etc? Was thinking of taking my little netbook to keep family up to date on my blog… Could also then use it for looking up interesting places to visit I guess too!

Ok I’ll stop again…THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU IN ADVANCE! You’re the bomb! hehehe.

Nat


#8

Hey Nat

No worries!!

i took a suitcase and a soft cabin bag with me when i flew over. when i got to london i emptied all the contents of my cabin bag into the suitcase and folded the cabin bag up and put it on the bottom of my case so i only then had 1 bag to worry about. all up i had about 18kg in weight.
i went in the end of august so it will prob be similar weather over there. you will need to take a mixture of clothes with you, think layers!! during the days we were mostly in shorts and tshirts or jeans and tshirts and keep a light jacket with you cos it can get a little cold during the afternoon. then in some countries it can be soooooo cold so make sure you have a warm fleecy jacket with you as well. i basically took:
2 x jeans
2 x shorts
2 x summery dresses
6 tshirts
3 singlet shirts
3 short sleeve going out tops
3 long sleeve going out tops
2 light jackets
1 warm jacket
1 scarf ( a MUST!!)
1 going out dress
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair birkenstocks
1 pair low heels (even the nights you go out, you will do some walking and on cobblestones - a lot of girls did take 1 pair of heels with them and they were fine)
2 pairs of swimmers
1 sundress to put over swimmers
bras, undies, toiletries, sunnies, chargers, etc
i think thats about it!!
i took a summer weight sleeping bag from kathmandu - you wont really need anything warmer, most places have central heating or reverse cycle aircon in the rooms :slight_smile:
if you bring dresses and heels you wont be out of place, it was baout 50/50 on our tour, some girls just wore jeans and dressy tops to go out and the other wore dresses and heels/strappy sandles (there were prob only 3-4 night they wore heels, the rest of the time nice girly flat sandles)

money = i took an ANZ travel card. you pre-load it over here in aus and it converts to euro, so when you use it overseas you dont pay any conversion fees. you can also withdraw any kind of currency with it (so if youre in croatia you can use the atm and withdraw kuna) and its a visa debit card, so you can select credit when you buy stuff from shops and not pay any fees. the anz web site has all the info.

there were 40 people on our tour pretty much the whole time. the tour is 3 tours in 1. we all started in london, about 10 people left us in rome, then we picked up another 6 people in venice til the end fo the tour. by the end of the 2nd day you will be friends with everyone for life!!

the greek sailing goes to the eastern greek islands (the other side of greece from Mykonos and Santorini) they are pretty too. i have to say Santorini was lovely, but mykonos left it for dead!! it was the most beautiful and amazing island. if you get a chance, try and do the Topdeck Greek island Hopper, it was so much fun!!

the bus = you normally get up have breakfast and are on the bus about 8am, then you will be on the bus til about 2pm driving (you will stop every 2 hours for breaks and to top up on snacks - take tissues with you cos some places dont have a lot of tiolet paper). you willl get in to wherever your going and have the afternoon there. the next morning you will be dropped into town for your free day and you find your own way back. so every second day you will be on the bus for at least half a day. you can watch movies, listen to music and best of all SLEEP!
i would say i dont think i saw bed before 1am at least every night, so the bus is a godsend to catch up on sleep!

quite a few people took little laptops :slight_smile: a lot of the places we stayed had wifi so they could log on. they all reckon they came in soooo handy!! i normally found a macdonalds and logged in on my phone using their wifi for free. when i go back again this year i will be taking a baby laptop with me for sure.

oh and make sure you take panadol, motion sickness tablets and anti nausia tablets, you will need them!! lol. the ferry crossing from dover to calais can be very very very rough and every single person on my trip was sick on the boat coming back. and then if you have had a big night before and youre on the bus and its a windy road you can feel really sick, so take stematyl tablets. oh and take anti-hystamine tablets with you too!! something like phenergan. if you get bed bug bites or have an allergy they will help sooooo much!!

hope this helps even more :slight_smile:

Nic


#9

Hey nic I’m doing the summer fun and sailing n greek island hopper do u have any tips for the Greek island hopper tour. Veronica


#10

Hey Veronica

you will have ball on both trips!!!

we did the island hopper a bit out of sequence cos of the weather, so we ended up at mykonos first. it is the most AMAZING place ive been too! the hotel is unbelievable and the water is to die for!!! we went into the main town everynight and partied. there is a little bar that sells cheap drinks (cant remember what its called but ist right across from the italian resturant and it has a little veranda you can sit on out the front) we started there and then went to the Scandinavian Bar and danced all night, its an excellent club! the beach party on the party beach was closed when we were there :frowning: but its meant to be brilliant as well.

paros was next and it was great. vey very vey small but totally relaxing, we needed it after mykonos. a group of us hired a car and went exploring, there is a little town called Lefke which is really pretty and traditional so we stopped there for lunch, then there is another little place (begins with “n”) on the top of the island where we stopped and sat by the water and had coffee. you can hire mopeds and quad bikes, its a great little spt to catch up on sleep.

Santorini was lovely, great shopping and some really good bars! the sunset was a total dissapointment as it was overcast and rainy when we were there. we had 1 big night there and one small night. most of the shops are open quite late there. and there is the best little bakery that sell baklava!!! yummmmmm…

some tips? take a powerboard so you can charge everything at once, and take some cold and flu tablets as we all were sick by the end from too much partying and lack of sleep.

hope this gives you a bit more info! :slight_smile:

Nic


#11

Hello Everyone

I am planning on going on this trip with a friend of mine. I have a lot of questions and I am super excited to hear any feed back or meet other people who will be going on the trip. I am going to be doing the entire 26 days- starting in London (13 May 2011) and finishing in London (7 June 2011).

How flexible is the tour, do you have to stay with the group for the majority of the time?

Can you skip group meals ect. if you know some one in the city you are visiting and would like to do your own thing?

In the accommodations that there are no bedding at would be be able to choose to stay at a nearby hotel, if there is one, (at our own expense) if we wish? Or, do we have to stay at the accommodations provided?
I read on earlier post that there the ‘yachts’ slept 6 people. Do you get to choose who you have on your 6 person boat?

I have loads of other questions but this is all i can think of at the moment. Appreciate any help/feedback and meeting others on the trip.

Thanks :slight_smile:


#12

Hey Kristina

the tour is pretty flexible, you tend to be on the bus every second day til after lunch then go on a walking tour or bus tour in the afternoon to familiarise everyone with the area. then on the second day you have a total free day to do and go wherever you want. you can hang out with people onthe tour, meet up with your own friends, its up to you. if there is a scheduled dinner or something and you dont want to be there, just let your tour leader know so they dont worry about you.

the accommodation that has no bedding is awesome!! all you need is a sleeping bag. some of the places there are no nearby hotels so you would have a heck of a cab fare to get to a hotel!! and honestly its sooo much more social being with everyone at the same place. not a single person even remotely considered staying somewhere else at any stage of the tour. also i dont know how it works with insurance if you stay somewhere else, thats something you woould need to contact topdeck directly about.

yep the yacht sleeps 6 people, we sorta picked our groups on the boats, you tend to end up having a few people that you tend to be better friends with than others and our tour leader kept them together, so if there are 1-2 other people that you really want to stay on the boat with, just tell your trip leader and you should be fine. but we sailed really closley together and when we were docked everyone just boat hopped and you only really sleep on the boat, you tend to be docked most of the afternoon ashore where u drink and eat together til way into the morning.

any other questions please ask :slight_smile:

im so jealous of you guys all going :stuck_out_tongue:

Nic


#13

Hey guys,
I’m looking at coming along on this tour, will be travelling solo so I look forward to meeting you all. Should be purchasing tickets soon to get that sweet 7.5% discount =)

Sean


#14

Hey Nic

Thanks of the help, I really appreciate it.
I’m sure you are right, i did not even think of it in the sense that i will probably will not even want to leave the group once i make friends.

Can u remember which areas are visited on the sailing portion of the trip? (I’m kind of hoping we get to go to the areas in grease where they filmed the ‘sisterhood of the traveling pants’ :stuck_out_tongue: looks amazing)

Sean- looking forward to meeting you! Let me know when you confirmed for the trip!


#15

Hi Kristina

the sailing does very a little bit depending on weather, we went to Corfu the forst night, then back to mainland Greece to a little port which was beautiful for the second night, then sailed back to our home port of Iguamentista for the third and final night. We had perfect weather and we did bucket loads of sailing :slight_smile:

if you want to see more, then you need to do the Greek Island Hopper as it goes to the other side of Greece to Athens, Mykonos, Paros and Santorini.

Not sure where that movie was filmed, so sorry i cant be of more help!

Nic


#16

I’m all confirmed and locked in really looking forward to it! Will be staying in London at Clink Hostel for the week either side of the tour too :slight_smile:


#17

hey nic
i am still deciding on whether to take a suitcase or travellers back pack what would u recommend

thanks
veronica


#18

Hey Veronica

I took a suitcase with me, but it was about 50/50 on both tours. Saying that i have just bought duffel bag/backpack with wheels for my next trip.

The pro’s of the suitcase is that it offers a little bit more protection for items inside your suitcase, but its a pain in the ass to carry it up stairs (there are quite a few places that dont have lifts so you have to carry your stuff up multiple stairs) also its not easy to fit it under beds for room space (the rooms are very very small) so youre constantly stepping over suitcase.

backpacks are good that you can put them on to climb stairs and its heaps easier to transport them around, and they arent rigid in shape so you can stuff them into places, lol. down side if they get heavy its a pain to put them on and off and can give yo some back pain.

i would go for a hybrid, it looks like a duffel bag, but it has wheels as well. so then you can put it on your back for stairs, etc but you can still wheel it if it gets really heavy and you have to walk some distance.

This is the one that i bought:

the people on my trip that already had these reckons they were the best.

good luck!!!

Nic :slight_smile:


#19

Hey guys,

I’ll be joining the trip in Rome from the 20th as I’m doing the European Horizons.
Good to see I won’t be alone!

Sam ;D


#20

Hi guys,

I’m also coming on the Summer Sailing tour from 13th May - 7th June. I’m staying at the Clink Hostel the night before the tour as well.

Look forward to meeting you!

Courtney :slight_smile: