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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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Certified reviews by travelers like you.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

The tour guide was very well prepared and the places visited were excellent, the only problem was that the bus was too small for the amount of people and the seats uncomfortable for the long trip.

Doing what: Skip the Line: Segovia, Ávila and El Escorial Monastery Day Trip from Madrid

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

We had an excellent guide who gave the tour in both English and Spanish. We felt as though we got so much out of this tour since we had a guide showing us where to go, with both admission fees and transportation included. Such a great value for a wonderful tour!

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

Excellent benefits to skip the line on the attractions and the hop-on hop-off.

Doing what: Madrid Card

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

Jorge was an excellent guide. Very patient with his English-speaking visitors such as us. Thank you! He did a wonderful job addressing the very delicate and sensitive subject of the Civil War, during our visit to Valley of the Fallen - respectful, informative. Escorial was magnificent, we learned a great while simply enjoying this incredible place. A visitor to Madrid really should see these places, and Viator did a great job for us. I hope we get to visit Spain again.

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

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

Unfortunately you take a gamble on how many languages are going to be given on each bus trip.Morning half day Monastery very good.(Only 2) Toledo half day afternoon had 3 languages, too many. Poor guide!! (And us!!) Time she finished 3 times explaining everything we had to move on. OK for first language to have a look around afterwards!! Also some people had to taxi back from last stop to bus, as they could not make it back. A rating of moderate or extreme walking should appear on every trip description to give people an idea. The use of earphone system would also improve your tours greatly.

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

Javier D
Australia

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

I'm glad that my husband and I decided to join this tour instead of doing it ourselves. There were so many things to learn about the monastery and the valley of the fallen, which both our tour guides explained very well. Having heard the explanations, stories and trivia made us appreciate the place more. The tour itself was very organised and punctual. Our guide was bilingual and spoke good English.

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

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

Good deals, but don't purchase it unless you have plenty of time in the city. For us, 4 days wasn't enough to take full advantage of the card. We wanted to do other things that weren't covered by the card.

Doing what: Madrid Card

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

It will be hard for me to separate the tour from what happened following.... Marta , our guide, was pleasant , shared lots of information, and spoke good English. Both El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen were very interesting to visit and Marta prepared us with history and details about the specific site. They were amazing and I would recommend that people interested in the history of the area visit these sites. I was traveling alone so thought that taking a tour would be the best way for me to get to these places.
When we arrived at the Valley of the Fallen ( our 2nd stop), I walked with Marta to the monolith and discussed it's history and that of Franco. I say that so that you know that I made myself visible. I sat on the bus in the 2nd seat. We were told to meet at the bus at 12:55 p.m. I went to the gift store which took longer than hoped and arrived at the bus parking area at 12:57 p.m. The bus was gone!!! They left without me. Fortunately for me, there were other buses there and the bus from VPT Tours kindly and generously took me back to Madrid. Amelia , the guide from VPT made no comment about the fact that I had been left behind and just escorted me onto the bus for the trip.
The owner of the B and B where I was staying (Artistic B and B) called the tour operator to let them know that they had left me behind. They did not take her name or mine and just said that nothing was amiss upon the arrival of the bus in Madrid.
So....I was disappointed in the treatment I received from the tour operator, their total lack of concern that a client had been abandoned at the Valley of the Fallen.....many miles outside Madrid !! I certainly will not travel with them again and will not recommend them.
My son and daughter in law are traveling to Europe in September and will be taking tours. I will be concerned about recommending Viator for tours for them.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

excellent value for money. I spent lots of time in the Prado and also in the thyssen.

Doing what: Madrid Card

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Escorial and the Valley of the fallen were amazing. I highly recommend this tour.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Way to beat the crowd in certain attractions.

Doing what: Madrid Card

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

So happy I did these tours. Each was a significant addition to understanding the Spanish culture and history.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

It was very moving! The tour guide was very professional and informative. Highly reccomended!

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Mainly we wish we had more time, particularly at the Valley of the Fallen. We happened to visit on Sunday of Corpus Christi so enjoyed part of the mass, but it limited the time inside the basilica.

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

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