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Once just a sleepy little resort town 28 mi (45 km) northwest of Madrid, San Lorenzo de El Escorial now hosts thousands of tourists coming in throngs to see the famous royal monastery. In addition to being home to an order of monks, this attraction ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2014

Thoroughly enjoyed this tour.It was pouring with rain but it didn't dampen our spirits too much.The monastery was the first stop and on the way we were able to see the huge cross that dominates the Valley of the Fallen.The. Monastery is a huge beautiful building.One third is a working monastery and another third is a private school.The guide explained the main features of the main rooms of the former palace.The bus parks in the main bus station so you can have a quick pit stop on the way back as there is a bakery nearby if you need to grab a snack.On to the valley of the Fallen.
Cross shrouded in cloud-it was an awful day like I said.
Awesome building.Definitelty makes you think, but so glad to see it.Ive read about it in books and novels but to see it in the flesh was amazing.
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Doing what: El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2014

Recommended, but with some caveats. Two world class sights, very important in understanding Spanish history. El Escorial is huge, but you really only see the key sights, and there is not time to wander on your own. Regardless of your opinions on Franco, how and why it was built etc, the Valley of the Fallen Basilica and monument is extraordinary sight; Tour guide was doing it in three languages - Spanish, English, Italian - with a big group, so the actual communication side of it was a little weak - quite often the group did not really know where to go and what to do. It's an efficient way of seeing these two sights, which I think is difficult by public transport (Valley of the Fallen especially).

We picked a foul late March day - raining hard at El Escorial, snowing at the Valley of Fallen - but I am glad we went, whatever reservations I may have had about the tour.

Doing what: El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2014

Good Transportation, Good Guide. Short time to enjoy the Places.

Doing what: El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
April 2014

Some places the kids visited like museums were free anyway. The restaurant Botin did not give a free item per person. Just one bottle of wine for table. The flamenco show cardmomo no longer accepted card. Overall did not get my money's worth out of it the lines were never long so bypass pointless.

Doing what: Madrid Card

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

This was wonderful - the tour guide Sofia was excellent - would highly recommend.

Doing what: El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

Well worthwhile. All went like clockwork. Franco's tomb was chillingly awesome and the valley had the same dark presence that pervades Glencoe.

Doing what: El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

Worth it if planning to go to different museums, Santiago Bernabeu, Royal Palace and other sites, with skip the line access

Doing what: Madrid Card

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

Partly due to me not reading the information properly and partly due to the way the information was presented, this tour is not in fact an all day tour. There is a large break in the middle of the day - 1 1/2 hours - designed I'm told so we can all have lunch. Fellow travellers from the morning were none the wiser. The tour states an English guide all the way however I was dropped at a restaurant, given a Spanish menu - which I cant read - and no one spoke English at the restaurant - disappointing as the two tours themselves were very good - particularly Toledo. Staff at the office not very helpful but tours are fine. The morning one didn't leave until 20 minutes late. Wouldn't bother with the lunch again - it wasn't worth it apart from the language issue but the two tours worthwhile.

Doing what: Madrid Super Saver: El Escorial Monastery and Toledo Day Trip from Madrid

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

Toledo is a beautiful destination.

Doing what: Madrid Super Saver: El Escorial Monastery and Toledo Day Trip from Madrid

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

a good 1/2 day tour to do. interesting places to visit.

Doing what: El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

We blew right past the long lines in the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum when we showed our Madrid card. It was very useful.

Doing what: Madrid Card

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
March 2014

Nothing great to see in this trip. If you have extra time, make a visit.

Doing what: El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

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