San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Castle & Palace Tours

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Our most recommended San Lorenzo de El Escorial Castle & Palace Tours

El Escorial & Basilica of the Valley 5-Hour Guided Tour

1. El Escorial & Basilica of the Valley 5-Hour Guided Tour

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’s 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.

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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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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Madrid: Escorial, Valley of the Fallen, Segovia with Lunch

5. Madrid: Escorial, Valley of the Fallen, Segovia with Lunch

Leave Madrid and head to the beautiful Valley of the Fallen, declared a National Heritage Site. Tour the amazing location and discover Spain of the 20th century. Have the special chance to admire the largest Christian cross in the world.  Following, visit El Escorial, the most important architectural monument of the Spanish Renaissance, and learn about Spanish royalty. Immerse yourself in the historic atmosphere of the place before following your expert guide into the heart of Segovia. Visit the aqueduct and the areas of the convents, along the way listening to stories and legends that span back to the centuries before the Muslim conquest. Discover the most emblematic places of the city, its history, its hidden corners and anecdotes, and its main monuments such as Alcazar of Segovia or the Cathedral. Following this cultural pitstop, discover Spanish gastronomy, settling down at a traditional restaurant for a famous Cochinillo Segoviano (suckling pig). The suckling pig has had a constant presence in the culture and cuisine of Segovia. Learn the tastes, recipes, and tradition of preparation across different countries and you may arrive to the conclusion that Segovia's version is the most surprising of them, due to its simplicity and natural cooking approach.

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Ávila: Segovia and El Escorial Tour With Drop-Off In Madrid

6. Ávila: Segovia and El Escorial Tour With Drop-Off In Madrid

Discover two of the main cultural and historical attractions of the Spanish plateau and World Heritage Sites: Segovia, where you can see one of the best preserved Roman aqueducts in the world, and the Monastery of El Escorial and its basilica, the burial place of the kings of Spain. You will leave Avila at around 10:30am for Segovia, where your guide will explain everything about the creation of the aqueduct by the Romans, and you will continue your route through the streets of the city center, passing through the Cathedral, continuing through the Canonjías district, until you reach the famous Alcazar, a symbol of Spanish art and history. There you will have free time to eat, do some shopping or access some of the monuments on your own. Once the break is over, you will go to El Escorial for a guided tour of the interior of the monastery. There, under the guidance of your guide, you will discover this architectural complex that includes a royal palace, a basilica, a pantheon, a library, a school, and a monastery. You will return to Madrid around 6:30pm in the afternoon.

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Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

7. 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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From Madrid: El Escorial, Valley of the Fallen, & City Tour

8. From Madrid: El Escorial, Valley of the Fallen, & City Tour

See the largest Renaissance building in the world at the El Escorial monastery on this tour in Madrid. Go to where the dictator Francisco Franco was once buried at the Valley of the Fallen. Take a drive to the key key sights in Madrid with a local guide. Be picked up from your hotel in Madrid by your driver. Relax on the trip to the El Escorial monastery that was built by King Philip II. Explore this massive complex that is a monastery, hospital, royal palace, pantheon, library, university, museum, and basilica. Next, continue to the Valley of the Fallen that is a catholic basilica and a monument where national figures have been laid to rest. Take a look at the artwork at this site where 40,000 people have been buried. Listen to your guide tell you about the Spanish Civil war. Ride through Madrid and see the top sights before heading back to your accommodation.

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Lorenzo de El Escorial

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What people are saying about San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Exactly what it was about. Efficient, good ride. Important basic information regarding the area you are passing by during the journey. A moment for the toilet before and after. In El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen, the most important information. Time for a museum shop. Nice guide Klara. Her English should be understood even by people with basic knowledge of the language. Return to the Royal Palace in Madrid, so you can continue sightseeing on your own.

Nice half day trip. Great weather and beautiful views :) only had 15 min at the basilica but it was fine for me personally.

Overall interesting tour, guide in perfect English. But an overall timeline that is too short. Requires an additional hour.

It was a great tour. Our guide Jorge explained with details each site and very friendly. We highly recommed.

¡Excelente tour! Muy organizado y con un guía excelente. Lo recomiendo por demás.