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El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

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Madrid, Spain
El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon5 hours  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more

Overview

Discover Spanish history on a guided half-day visit from Madrid to the monastery of El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen monument. Accompanied by a guide, delve into the history of the religious El Escorial complex and discover why it was considered the eighth wonder of the world. Then see the sculptures at the Valley of the Fallen monument built to honor those who died during the Spanish Civil War.
  • Morning tour of El Escorial monastery and Valley of the Fallen from Madrid
  • See royal tombs and ornate artworks on a guided tour of El Escorial monastery
  • Visit the Valley of the Fallen monument for those who perished in the Spanish Civil War
  • See cultural treasures and learn about Spain’s history
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Bilingual Office guide
Local guide
Air-conditioned vehicle
Radio-guide system
Entrance to the Royal Monastery of El Escorial
Entrance to the Valley of the Fallen and the Basilica
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Food and drinks
C. de San Nicolás, 15 , C. de San Nicolás, 15, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Next to Plaza Ramales

8:30 AM
Plaza de Oriente , Pl. de Ote., 28013 Madrid, Spain

Underground parking Plaza de Oriente, Level -2

Depart from Plaza Ramales in central Madrid in a comfortable, air-conditioned coach and look out on the Spanish countryside as you travel 28 miles (45 km) northwest to the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Get acquainted with the history of the regal structure along the way as your guide offers commentary on a striking symbol of 16th-century Spanish power.

Begin your tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed wonder at the monastery, the final resting place of Charles I and Isabella of Portugal. See the religious relics of the basilica and the Baroque dome.

Next, venture to the grand palace known as the Pantheon of Kings. Pay your respects to the marble tomb of Charles V and browse the collection of building equipment in the Architects Room for insight into construction processes of the 16th century. See vicious arms in the Weapons Room, and the frescoes in the library.   

Continue to the Valley of the Fallen to visit a vast basilica carved into the side of a mountain. Capture a photograph of the colossal granite cross that tops the structure and learn its origins from your guide. Head inside to tour the vaulted crypt replete with sculpted angels and then check out the views of the surrounding countryside from the arches.

Return to your vehicle and take in more gorgeous scenery on the return journey to Madrid.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Check in at our office in central Madrid 15 minutes in advance of your tour. Leave the city aboard one of our comfortable air-conditioned coaches. Enjoy a guided tour through the Royal Monastery of El Escorial, an architectural ensemble declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Built in the 15th century, it is a symbol of the power of the government at the time. Learn about the impressive Royal Mausoleum it contains and the story behind the 21 years it took to build the site. Of Renaissance style, you will marvel at the building symmetry. Listen to your guide explanations as you walk along the site visiting the Habsburg’s Palace, the Chapter House, the Basilica and the remarkable library.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Valley of the Fallen
Board your bus again at the end of the guided tour for a short drive to the Valley of the Fallen. The site is located 9km away from El Escorial, in Sierra de Guadarrama. You will be able to see it from far away thanks to the monumental cross built above the site. The monument is an underground church built into the mountain. The same is topped by the World’s Largest Cross, which can be seen from miles away.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Infants aged 5 years and under are free of charge, provided they do not occupy a seat
  • Operated by a bilingual guide in Spanish and English
  • Please keep in mind that the excursion includes several visits on foot, comfortable shoes are recommended.
  • The duration of the tour includes the round trip to the destination
  • Royal Monastery of El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen Basilic visitors are kindlyrequested to respect the instructions of the Security: Photography and filming are not permitted inside the exhibitions.
  • Failure to show up at the established check-in time may entail losing the tour
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 25 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Julia Travel S.L
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid.

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Traveler Tips


  • "A great tour although it is fairly quick and gives little time to take in everything." See review
  • "I recommend this tour as an easy way to get between both of these places." See review
  • "The tour provides an excellent way to visit sites otherwise difficult to reach from Madrid." See review

Reviews

4.0
star-4
592 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 592 reviews
star-4
Great day out
ushashergill
, Jun 2022
It was very interesting to learn about the history of Spain . The background information provided by the tour guide was very good.
star-4
Two great sites!
Harry_W
, Apr 2022
This half-day tour included two memorable sites. The tour guide provided great commentary especially at El Escorial. Only negatives (both minor) were not enough free time to explore inside the Valley of the Fallen monument, and no photos allowed inside both locations - not the fault of the tour company, but it would have been useful to know in the tour description.
star-2
El Escorial Monastery/Valley of the Fallen
Jorge_A
, Apr 2022
Excellent guide person. Great historical places to visit with family but NOT enough time to enjoy them…. Rushed through both places. I can not recommend it to family or friends.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Dear Jorge_A Thank you for your kind comments on our guide, I regret to learn you were not satisfied with the tour duration, we will take your comments into account for future revisions of the tour to see whether is room for improvement, Sincerely,
star-4
Escorial and the valley of the fallen im winter
carol_J
, Jan 2022
Seeing the chapel, the famous el Greco painting and touring the rooms of the palace. Our guide was exceptional. I was the only non-Spanish speaker and he made sure that I understood everything.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
History in Spain
Gregory_N
, Nov 2021
The tour of El Escorial was informative for the history of Spain and how Spain was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The tour of Valley of the Fallen showed that even though the Republic side lost the Spanish Civil War, Francisco Franco honored them as well for having the deceased of both sides at Valley of the Fallen, even though there were POW's that built the monument.
star-5
The pantheons
David_L
, Mar 2020
Concise and to the point!! Perfect in terms of timing for kids with a short attention span! Walking distance was comfortable.
star-5
A Thought Provoking Tour For Sure!
MaryEllen_C
, Jan 2020
Our guide, Anoria, was an awesome guide. Her English was excellent! She took her time explaining everything that we were looking at El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen. We were not permitted to take pictures inside of either place but there are inexpensive guide books available for both that give additional information. Our bus ride was very comfortable. I recommend this tour as an easy way to get between both of these places.
star-3
Too fast!
Linda S
, Dec 2019
I loved seeing the monastery and the cathedral, however the trip was too rushed. I would have preferred more time and more information.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
rushed
Marie_T
, Dec 2019
El Escorial was beautiful, but I feel like we (almost) ran through the highlights-- speed walking through the library, for example. I understand the need to keep things moving at such a popular attraction, but this was December and not very crowded. The Basilica @ Valley of the Fallen was so unusual and fascinating yet there was no tour guide support for this part of the visit.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
Insights into Spain
Kenneth G
, Nov 2019
The tour provides an excellent way to visit sites otherwise difficult to reach from Madrid. We had a comfortable coach and an excellent guide in Nuria. El Escorial has lots of upstairs and downstairs but gives insight into Spanish history and culture. The Valley of the Fallen is breath-taking - a monument to fascism and its hatefulness.
star-5
el Escorial Tour
Jose_L
, Oct 2019
Very knowledgeable and friendly tour guide. Answered all questions. Bus ride was comfortable. Would recommend to others.
star-3
Interesting but very disorganised
PierreDonovan
, Oct 2019
These are very important historical sites, but the way the tour was organised was very disappointing. Tour guide audio was hopeless and too much time simply wasted.
star-4
A very good albeit hurried tour
Ayps
, Aug 2019
El Escorial monastery is huge but extremely beautiful. But the tour was extremely rushed. No fault of the guide who was very informative but we were literally running from point to point and hardly had any time to appreciate the monastery which is beautiful. Would suggest not clubbing it with Valley of the Fallen which is relatively modern attraction and does not compare with El Escorial.
star-5
El Escorial is a must!
Maria_S
, Aug 2019
We enjoyed the amazing history of Spain as explained by our guide. The Kings and Queens of Spain resting place is very impressive.
star-5
A very relaxing and informative day
trebor54172019
, Aug 2019
The guide was brilliant and very well informed and the trip was well worth the effort ...not too rushed and a chance to do something different and learn more about the Spanish Civil War
star-4
Quick but thorough visits
Matthew B
, Jun 2019
Our guide was excellent, and the tour of El Escorial was very thorough. I felt that there was the right amount of time spent at each location. The walking pace of the tour was slow at times, since there were so many stairs at El Escorial, but overall it was a great way to spend the morning and early afternoon.
star-4
Fascinating and comprehensive
Pioneer55200039730
, Jun 2019
Excellent guide, although a bit on the strict side. She meant business and she was very knowledgeable! Do not book on a Sunday or you won't be able to enter the Escorial church. Valley of the Fallen was chilling to say the least. Definitely worth it!
star-4
Wonderful experience, limited time
Karl_H
, Jun 2019
A great tour although it is fairly quick and gives little time to take in everything. Our guide was knowledgeable and helpful, we were a small group so we're able to see an extra room and have a little free time.
star-5
Escorial from Madrid
Helen_S
, May 2019
The tour was very well orginized, well planned. Tour guide was knowledgeable and attentive. I would recommend to take this tour to anyone who is interested in history on Spain.
star-3
Good, some important features skipped
fpres2n
, Sep 2018
We saw most of what was open for visitors at the Escorial (the chapel was closed as it was Sunday). However, the frescoes at the top of the stairs at the beginning of the tour were skipped because another group was there, but we never went back after they moved on. Also, one of the most important features, the library, was skipped. The Valley of the Fallen tour was good, even though there were hoards of visitors there wanted to see Franco's grave for the last time.

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