Top attractions in San Lorenzo de El Escorial
What people are saying about San Lorenzo de El Escorial
This is a good option if you want to see both El Escorial & The Valley of the Fallen and do not have your own transport. The hotel pick-up was a waste of time - we were walked to the tour company office a few minutes away. The actual visit was very good given time constraints. In El Escorial we visited the Royal Apartments, the Picture Galleries,the Mausoleum of the Kings & Queen's of Spain and also the vast Basilica. Our guide was very knowledgeable and gave commentaries in both Spanish & English. There is a lot to see here and more time would have been nice to explore further. We then drove to the Valley of the Fallen. This was the shorter visit although there is less to see. Again our guide provided a commentary as we visited and then allowed us an extra 20 minutes to explore alone with our thoughts. If you are unable to arrange your own transport this is a good option.
The headsets did not work in many parts of the building and the poor guide Alfredo struggled on with the English speakers. He was very knowledgeable and patient but it was hard work. The tour timings were exact and the bus comfortable. The visit to the Valley of the fallen was interesting but I didn’t feel enough information was available on site as to the background of Francos rule and the significance of the place. The guide did his best to explain but there were no names of the fallen, no details anywhere on the site. I was surprised to see Spanish & tourists taking smiling selfies and walking across where i believe there are unnamed graves as if it were a theme park .
It was great, but as bit too stressful, perhaps if I would have known I would have chosen a two-city day trip. But it was still very well managed and the guide was great :) I still enjoyed all three places and feel like I want to go back and really relive these cities (especially Segovia and Ávila) :)
I think some of the reviews I read pointed to the same issue that the trip to El Escorial was short and hurried. There is not enough time to see such a huge place and to visit the garden. I think I was the only English speaking person in the group but the guide tried her best to explain it in English
Great giude - Belén te amamos - but the tour just bit off more than it could chew, with very little free time to do anything meaningful in the cities. Great if you want to see the maximum in the shortest time. Not so great if you want time in a museum or to stroll and shop.