El Escorial
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Escorial & Valley of the Fallen 5-Hour Tour from Madrid

1. Escorial & Valley of the Fallen 5-Hour Tour from Madrid

On this 5-hour tour from Madrid you’ll begin with a visit to the Monastery of El Escorial. It was built under the reign of powerful King Philip II as a residence for Spanish kings, a monastery, and a royal pantheon. It became a symbol of the great power of the Spanish Empire at that time. The monument was declared to be of artistic and historic importance and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Valley of the Fallen was built in 1936, about 9 kilometers from Escorial, as a memorial to those who died during the Spanish Civil War. Situated in a beautiful valley in the Guadarrama Mountains, this impressive work features a cross standing more than 150 meters high, as well as a basilica and crypt built into the hard rock under the mountain. The tour includes admission to the Valley as well as a visit to the basilica’s interior.

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San Lorenzo de El Escorial: Monastery and Site Guided Tour

2. San Lorenzo de El Escorial: Monastery and Site Guided Tour

Visit the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and travel through the history of Spain to the reign of Philip II. Admire this Renaissance marvel and learn from your local guide the ideological and cultural aspirations of the Spanish Golden Age. Discover the interior of this imposing building built in the 16th century. Explore the basilica, the Battle Hall, the pantheon, the palatial rooms, and other essential places of the monument. Also, visit the famous library of the Royal Monastery whose volumes were collected by Philip II to expand his humanistic knowledge. After two hours of unveiling the mysteries of this grill-shaped monastery, finish the guided tour next to the entrance.

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El Escorial, Valle de los Caidos and Toledo Full-Day Tour

3. El Escorial, Valle de los Caidos and Toledo Full-Day Tour

Begin your full-day tour with a morning visit to the Monastery of El Escorial, built under the reign of powerful King Philip II as a residence for Spanish kings. See the Monastery and Pantheon of the Royal Family at this site that was declared a monument of Artistic and Historic Interest, and Mankind Heritage. Your tour includes the Monastery, the Cloister of the 4 Evangelists, the Palace of Philip II, the Pantheon of the Royal Family, the Chapterhouses, and the Basilica. The Valley of the Fallen is a memorial to those who died during the Spanish Civil War. Situated in a beautiful valley in the mountains of Guadarrama, this impressive work features a colossal cross standing over 150 meters high, and Basilica and Crypt excavated in the rock under the mountain. This tour includes admission to the Valley and a visit inside the Basilica. On arrival in Toledo you’ll take a panoramic walking tour of the city, entering the old quarter to visit the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, and admire the façade of the impressive Primate Cathedral, the old Palace of Justice, and the City Hall. Continue your walk through the narrow streets of the old Jewish quarter to the Church of St. Tomé, home to the famous El Greco painting, The Burial of Count Orgaz. You’ll also visit the old Synagogue of Ste. Maria la Blanca, which remains as a symbol of the coexistence of the 3 Cultures. Afterwards you’ll visit a typical damasquino factory to see this well-known handicraft art form of Toledo.

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From Madrid: El Escorial Tour

4. From Madrid: El Escorial Tour

Check-in at the office in central Madrid at least 15 minutes in advance of your tour. Leave the city aboard an air-conditioned coach and head towards the Royal Monastery of El Escorial. Symbol of the Spanish power in the 16th century, the site was built to commemorate the victory of the battle of San Quintín. Promoted by King Felipe II, the construction took 21 years to complete and was aimed to be the family vault. Wonder at the architectural design, based on the symmetry and balance according to the humanist Renaissance style. That is the reason why it has been considered the eighth wonder of the world, and still is one of the most singular buildings in Europe. Get to know the building formerly importance and functionality. Visit some of the site highlights, such as the Habsburg Palace, the Royal Library and the Pantheon for both Kings and Infantes. At the end of the guided tour you will have free time to visit the site Gardens and surrounding area.

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Madrid: Toledo and El Escorial Full-Day Coach Tour

5. Madrid: Toledo and El Escorial Full-Day Coach Tour

Begin your tour in El Escorial. This was the symbol of the Spanish power in the 16th-century and commemorates the battle of St. Quentin. It is also mausoleum for Charles V. Due to the symmetry and balance of its construction, according to the humanist Renaissance style, for years it had been considered for years the eighth wonder of the world. Explore Habsburg Palace, the Kings and Princes Mausoleum, the Chapter House, and the Basilica. Next, 9 kilometers away from El Escorial, discover an enormous monument built between 1940 and 1959 to honor the fallen during the Spanish Civil War.  The basilica is carved into the mountain at 1,350 meters where an impressive 150 meters high cross places itself over the magnificent landscape of Madrid’s mountain range. Discover the City of the Three Cultures, 70 kilometers from Madrid. Toledo is a beautiful city-museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the oldest towns in Europe and has great artistic beauty with buildings from almost all periods in history including Arabian, Gothic, Mudéjar, Renaissance, and Baroque style. Visit the outside of the Cathedral and the interior of the Sto. Tomé Church with The Burial of the Lord of Orgaz, a masterpiece by El Greco. Explore the interior of the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca and the interior of the incredible monastery of San Juan de Los Reyes. Go to see a demonstration of the famous technique of damascened, inlay of precious metals in steel and forging of swords. Finish your tour with a panoramic sightseeing tour of Toledo and stop at a viewpoint for breathtaking views of the city where you can take the best pictures of Toledo.

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Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

6. Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

Leave Madrid at 9:00 in the morning and travel 50 minutes to San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Visit the baths upon arrival and then begin the tour of the San Lorenzo Monastery. Learn the long history of Spain, specifically the reign of Felipe II. See the building that best summarizes the ideological and cultural aspirations of the Spanish “Golden Age” and is named a World Heritage Site. See places like the Patio de Reyes, Cloister, Chapter Rooms, The Basilica (except on Sundays), The Pantheon of Kings and Infants, and the Royal Rooms. Travel to the Valley of the Fallen located in the Peña de Cuelga Muros after leaving San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Visit its surroundings and the basilica carved into the rock, and the burial place for 33,847 people who died in the Spanish Civil War. Be amazed by the great granite cross that is visible from kilometres away.

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Other Sightseeing Options in El Escorial

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What people are saying about El Escorial

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 100 reviews

Monumental sitio donde están enterrados casi todos los reyes de España, recorriendo además parte de este majestuoso edificio. Imperdible !

I loved both of these tours, Carlos was a very good guide who gave a lot of information. The time we had was enough to see everything.

The experience in El Escorial was amazing and the guide walk us to a piece of history that we all must know.

Excellent tour!

Very good and knowledgeable guide. I think his name is Juan.

Very good guided visit! Truly interesting, worth it.