Excellent tours with great guides. These are really two half-day tours to sites in different directions from Madrid. So, first tour ends in Madrid with a quick hour (or less) for lunch and then the next tour leaves. This makes for a VERY strenuous and long day. Even though there is an escalator most of the way from the drop off point to upper Old Town Toledo, there is still a lot of hill left as well as stairs within the buildings visited. In addition, the Aranjuez Palace is multi-story. Even though I sat out and enjoyed a bench in the palace gardens after interior tour, I still had a wonderful time and would recommend the tour (but maybe split into two days).
A wonderful experience, our guide was very knowledgeable, kind, and to the point. Both places are very pretty. In my opinion Aranjuez was more impressive than el Palacio Real in Madrid.
The best thing about this tour for me was that it was short and started at 3pm so I could do other things that day. The Royal palace at Aranjuez was really quite impressive. In fact, I enjoyed this tour much more than the Royal Palace in Madrid. Less people, almost equally as impressive (as the Royal Palace in Madrid) and slower paced as we got to enjoy the sun in the Royal Garden and took a walk around whilst enjoying the lovely spring blooms. Our guide, Manolo, was also very patient, nice and knowledgable. There was one lady in wheelchairs and I observed that Manolo looked after her really well, whilst keeping the rest of us going happily. He mixed facts with jokes and was interested in what he was saying, not just merely stating basic facts. Overall, a highly recommended tour.
Doing what: Aranjuez Royal Palace Tour from Madrid
The guides were both every informative and friendly. They showed us a lot of the interesting sites and told us the important information. It would be better if it was a combined tour, as the trip back to Madrid was a bit unnecessary. I also wouldn't recommend the Aranjuez tour, only because the site itself is unorganised and inaccurate in terms of their flow of rooms, time periods and representation of rooms.
The tour to Toledo was nice but a little too hard for my 87 years and my heart condition and I was not in shape to make the Aranjuez one the same day, so I asked Julia Travel to give me anothar date and they said it was not possible but they could cancel the Aranjuez part and Viator would reimbourse me, so I surrender my tickets to them. Ever since I have been asking you for such reimboursement on my credit card to no avail. So I trust this time you will acknowledge and comply.Thanks
The tour to Aranjuez is great, both the programm and the guid are very good. But tour to Toledo can be better, there are significant places in Toledo which do not included in the tour.
This trip actually is a two-part excursion provided by two different guides in two different buses. El Escorial itself is impressive but they take straight into the building. The scale of the building is so immense that it can be viewed only from some distance. The tour operator should adjust this visit to give tourists full impression this grandiose monument. Aranjuez is a jewel for those into baroque and palace architecture although the premises of the palace are run down.
Great idea for a double tour,two beautiful towns with loads of history and interesting facts-well worth the money. But I was disappointed that we visited a boat museum in Aranjuez instead of the advertised Casino. But a very good double tour nonetheless. Recommended.
Toledo was very interesting though but I think it would be great if they would a lot some time to purchase souvenirs in the old town of Toledo as well. The gardens in Aranjuez were beautiful. Our tour guide did not however appear knowledgeable enough or perhaps was not articulate enough to give more facts and interesting information about the Palace and its inhabitants in English. I felt I got more info from reading the placards provided by the palace at each point.
Unfortunately out of all of the tours we took in Madrid and Barcelona, this one was our biggest disappointment. The grounds of the palace were pretty basic and all of the individuals on the tour were Spanish speaking except us so the tour was mostly given in Spanish with a sentence here and there in English. It was difficult to pick up much information. The guide tried to engage us but it just didn't work out very well. The ship museum was good. The boats were interesting to see and read about. I guess I expected more from this tour. If I had it to do over, I guess I might just purchase a train ticket to Aranjuez and get the English headphone tour of the palace that I saw walking in if I bothered to go at all. The city just didn't impress me very much.
Doing what: Aranjuez Royal Palace Tour from Madrid
Nice places to visit, with some drawbacks
1. This is a combination of two different tours, so you will spend two extra hour getting back to Julia's office in Downtown Madrid, waiting for the next departure and leaving again the congestion of Downtown
2. The departure to Escorial was a bit disorganized and we left 20 minutes late (not because any passenger was missing)
3. The driver had no idea where to go, he was constantly getting lost, taking wrong entrances...he almost took a wrong way when we exit Valle de los Caidos
4. The guide was a very unpleasant woman. She was shouting to the driver all the time, in front of all of us. Actually she was so mean that all the passengers were laughing.
5. She said she could not do the guide tour inside the Basilica at Valle de los Caidos for some political prescription, but there were another guide tour inside.
6. They did not give us time to walk around the gardens of El Escorial, which seems to be beautiful
7. The visit inside El Escorial was too fast, we were almost running. She kept repeating that we needed to be back in MAdrid because some passengers needed to go to some lunch before their tour to Toledo.
The Aranjuez tour was much better, the guide was a nice laid back guy, with better attitude and a lot of humor.
One piece of advice: take a bus from Madrid and go there by your own means, the Toledo tour was too short, couldn't visit what we wanted and couldn't take pictures of what we visited. It was very upsetting!! Then the Aranjuez Royal Palace is TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT! After visiting Toledo, you go back to Madrid only to take another bus to go to the palace and spend the day on the road to see... nothing that's worth it!
Two problems. First, I booked a full day tour that was supposed to included lunch, only to discover at noon that my wife and I were not to be given lunch and would have to find a place to eat by ourselves. Second, the guide at Aranjuez was bored and boring, and responded with dismissive and annoyed arrogance to a very simple question (I looked up the answer myself after our return home, and found that I was right and the guide was wrong.)
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