San Lorenzo de El Escorial Activities

Our most recommended San Lorenzo de El Escorial Activities

San Lorenzo de El Escorial: Monastery and Site Guided Tour

1. 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.

Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Entrance Ticket

2. Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Entrance Ticket

Enjoy a visit to the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and discover the ideological and cultural aspirations of the Spanish Golden Age. See how Italian and Flemish artistic forms blend together and learn of the era of Philip II. Explore the building that houses several different purposes. First, the monastery of San Lorenzo el Real was created for the monks of the order of St. Jerome. Explore around and learn of Emperor Charles V and his wife who once lived there. Experience the untouched layout of the building, which to this day is largely unaltered. From the Library to the palace, walk through and find the Basilica, erected in 1574, and ponder the artwork that took years to complete.

From Madrid: Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen

3. From Madrid: Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen

Embark on a guided tour to the Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial and enjoy skip-the-line entry. Explore the Basilica of the Valley of the Fallen and hear the history behind each turn from your guide. Leave Madrid 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 kilometers away.

From Madrid: El Escorial and Valley's Basilica Half Day Tour

4. From Madrid: El Escorial and Valley's Basilica Half Day Tour

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.

From Madrid: El Escorial and Basilica of the Valley Day Trip

5. From Madrid: El Escorial and Basilica of the Valley Day Trip

After meeting with your guide, get away from the bustle of the city on a comfortable air-conditioned coach. At the first stop, 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 and the story behind the 21 years of construction time. Marvel at the symmetry of the Renaissance-style building. Listen to your guide's commentaries as you explore the Habsburg Palace, the Chapter House, the Basilica, and the remarkable library.  Then, board your bus again for a short drive to the Valley of the Fallen. The site is located 9 kilometers away from El Escorial, in Sierra de Guadarrama. This enormous monument, built between 1940 and 1959, is carved into the mountain, 1,350 meters up. An impressive 150-meter-high cross stands over the magnificent nature reserve of Madrid’s mountain range, which can be seen from miles away.

From Madrid: El Escorial and Valley of the Fallen Day Trip

6. From Madrid: El Escorial and Valley of the Fallen Day Trip

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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What people are saying about San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Me parece que es una visita obligada si visitas Madrid. El Escorial y el Valle de los Caídos esta a menos de una hora de camino y vale toda la pena. El pueblito es mágico, limpio, ordenado, lleno de vegetación. Las vistas son muy lindas. El Escorial te transporta en el tiempo. El Valle de los Caídos es también muy bello, desde el autobús se vislumbra la imponente cruz que yace en una roca en medio del bosque de pinos. La guía fue excelente, Christina se llama. Lo redimiendo sin duda !

Well organised from the meeting point, the drive, tour guide and time at both venues. There are a lot of steps in the monastery which need consideration for those less mobile. Otherwise a great trip we would recommend.

Excellent Tour and worth the money. Christina (our tour leader) provided valuable information on-site and during travelling.

Beautiful monastery and scenery. Valley of the fallen very poignant.

Knowledgeable guide. Close to Madrid. Beautiful places