The trip was great. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and gave us the best value for our trip. The accommodations were very nice and the food was good. I was happy with everything except the fact that it took us 3 separate flights to get there and back. Thank you
CanMc / Adult traveler Everett, WA / Posted on July 17, 2017
Very informative tour
I went as a chaperone on an 18 day tour to Italy and Greece. The tour director was excellent, very knowledgeable and efficient. All the local guides were very informative. The places we visited were very interesting.
1. We spent one hectic day in Rome. Visiting the coliseum/Roman Forum and the Vatican in one day is very exhausting, considering the waiting in line. We were not able to enter the Pantheon. Rome should be scheduled for two days in order to truly appreciate it.
2. Visiting the museum with the real David should be part of the Florence tour. Or add it as an optional tour. We did not have time to wait in line for tickets to see David. EF has the capability to buy the tickets so why not include it in the schedule.
3. Optional expenses such as the gondola ride in Venice, the climb up Mt. Vesuvius and the ride up to Santorini should be specified so we prepare enough funds to cover these.
4. Some of the hotels need updating or should meet a certain standard of cleanliness. Towels were gray and tattered. There were numerous flies in the restaurant.
5. We went with a group of 8 and a group of 3 from other states. All the group of 8 did was to find fault and criticize our group of 33. The tour leader for the group of 8 should not be allowed to travel with EF. She can not get along with other groups and will only make the other travelers miserable.
Mariel / Adult traveler Downers Grove, IL / Posted on July 14, 2017
HOT, History & Hotels
What a great overall experience! We saw some amazing cities and sites.
We had a really good Tour Director, Bus Drivers and Local Guides. The local food (lunch) was amazing. And seeing the "birthplace" of Western Civilization is an experience I'm glad my daughters got to have this early in life. We stayed in some amazing locations and had some very good encounters with some friendly locals. And both Italy and Greece have good gelato and ice cream! And the Greek food was soooo good.
The hotels were hit and miss. Most of the mattresses were very hard. And air conditioning means something different than it does in the USA. To be fair, that part of Europe was experiencing a heat wave though. Even if the rooms weren't always the best, several had amazing views of lakes (we stayed across from the Pope's summer home!), the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas.
Some of the tours were rushed. For example, The Coliseum was a good pace, but we flew threw The Forum and all of the Vatican. And the time allotted at Pompeii didn't allow us to tour but about 10% of the ruins.
But, did I say anything about the views? Tuscany! Sorrento!! Assisi!!! Meteors?!? Tolo? (I may go back for a week at this Aegean seaside resort town!). Delphi? (Side note: I got to run here through the temple to Athena and drink from the spring that fed the fountain where ancient visitors had to purify themselves before speaking with the Oracles).
The only other "negatives" were the amount of after-tour gift shop tours we were directed to and not getting to explore different restaurants for lunch several days when we were traveling (all had to eat at the same place). It was obvious the Tour Director/ EF had some kind of revenue sharing agreement in these cases.
I would recommend this tour. And all the better if the heat stayed below 90F.
Spacityrunner / Adult traveler Hot Springs, AR / Posted on July 12, 2017
We saw all of the ancient highlights, from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the Acropolis. This tour is jam packed with history!
Sciencechicken / Group leader King City, CA / Posted on July 06, 2017
This experience was absolutely amazing! EF Tours was very organized and really maximized time used to explore many places. This experience was life changing and I will never forget all I learned.
Ladyfingers / Adult traveler Jacksonville, Florida / Posted on July 06, 2017
Great tour but needs some fine tuning
The tour delivered what was promised but included some features that should be left out. The tour had many attempts to get us to make expensive purchases (ie wood engraving, glass blowing, leather goods, pottery etc.) These were unnecessary, unwanted and prayed upon younger students who felt pressured to make purchases. It felt like the tour director was guiding us to these tourist traps for a reason other than education or student enrichment. I would not recommend this tour for any one under 15 years of age without their parents travelling as well. Other than these issues, we saw many amazing sights in a very comfortable and organized manner.
Rael / Adult traveler Citrus Heights, CA / Posted on July 06, 2017
When I booked this tour to travel with my kid, I expected to stay in an average hotel not 4 or 5 star but something acceptable, however the hotels were so old, outdated, with no A/C units working, far away from the cities. The meals included were breakfast and dinner, food was terrible, we didn't get to try authentic Italian food, except for one night. The food in Greece was a little better but still was lacking variety. Many attractions were not included that we have to spend extra money. I wouldn't recommend this company to nobody!
Rosse / Adult traveler Hollywood, Florida / Posted on July 05, 2017
The tour sites were awesome. We had local guides that ranged from good to excellent. Being with a tour allowed us to bypass long admission lines and spend more time seeing what we came to see versus waiting.
Our tour director was somewhat lacking in his credentials and had questionable motives as to directing us to the places that we were taken for shopping and lunches. We visited two countries and our director did not speak the language of the second country. We were directed toward tourist traps and "autogrills" that had benefits for our director at our expense.
I would definitely recommend a tour when going to the country for the first time. It allowed my family and I to see numerous sites, experience the food and culture, in a way that would never be possible by ourselves. It was a lot of walking, driving, and listening. Free time was few and far between but the amount of sites that we were able to visit was amazing.
So like the title suggests, it was truly a mixed experience for us.
Skeetdo / Adult traveler Roseville, California / Posted on June 30, 2017
First of all our tour director, John was very knowledgeable and helpful in all areas. He was responsible for our trip being so great. The sights, sounds, and smells of ethnic foods was great. The gondola ride in the Grand Canal was wonderful. One of our groups favorite was the Greek cruise with captains barbecue. It was not what we expected, but the family hosting us was wonderful and the island was beautiful and our meal was great and the kids loved swimming in the Aegean Sea. Also being on the Island of Samos with one mile stretch of water between us and Turkey on the day of the Coup was a story to be able to tell over and over. I know we are not to mention other companies, but our air line cancelled our flight and we were over 27 hours late starting our trip and missed some key attractions. I took 4 grandchildren on this trip and over all it was a wonderful experience. I have already booked a trip next year with 2 grandchildren.
Ganny / Adult traveler Waxahachie, Texas / Posted on August 09, 2016
Overall, this was a good tour, but you absolutely have to make the most of it. If myself and my family had not been knowledgeable about the areas we were going to, we would've missed out on some key things. For example, in Rome we had only one day to see the entire city, and we had two scheduled tours that were mandatory. The Vatican tour took nearly three hours, leaving us with roughly two hours to see anything else in the city. The way we toured in Greece was odd, as we were given massive amounts of free times in cities with not much to do. We spent a day in Sorrento hardly doing anything despite the fact that we were so close to Capri. We paid for a tour, not down time at the hotel. Our tour director also gave us faulty information on occasion and poor directions in finding something we wanted to see in Italy. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves, but we really worked as a family to make sure that we got the most out of the trip.
/ Student traveler Youngstown, Ohio / Posted on July 31, 2016