4 star rating: Recommended 376 Reviews

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  • Location:Madrid, Spain
  • Duration:5 hours (approx.)

El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

Experience the grandeur of Spain on a guided half-day visit to El Escorial monastery and the Valley of the Fallen monument from Madrid. Discover why the Baroque-style El Escorial complex was considered the eighth wonder of the world, and admire the poignant sculptures of the Valley of the Fallen monument, erected in memory of the millions who died in the Spanish Civil War. You’ll gain insights into Spain's intriguing history at these symbolic monuments, reflecting the Spanish monarchy, church and 20th-century conflict, and have the option to include a half-day city tour of the highlights of Madrid.


  • Morning tour of El Escorial monastery and Valley of the Fallen from Madrid
  • See royal tombs and ornate artworks on a guided tour of El Escorial monastery
  • Tour the Pantheon of Kings and basilica
  • Visit the poignant Valley of the Fallen monument to those who perished in the Spanish Civil War
  • See cultural treasures and learn interesting details about Spain’s often turbulent history
  • Option to include a half-day Madrid sightseeing tour

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid

Visit the Valley of the Fallen

Departing Madrid by air-conditioned coach, travel to the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the Spanish monarchs’ historical residence and royal monastery, 28 miles (45 kilometers) northwest of Madrid. Your guided tour reveals the history behind this massive, regal complex of buildings, celebrated for their architectural perfection and a striking symbol of 16th-century Spanish power.

Your tour of the World Heritage-listed royal complex takes you to the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real, built by King Philip II to house the remains of his parents, Charles I and Isabella of Portugal. The tour guides you through the monastery’s basilica, with its important religious relics, highly decorated altar and Baroque dome inspired by St Peter’s in Rome.

Your guided tour of El Escorial also takes you to the austere but grand palace and the royal mausoleum known as the Pantheon of Kings, home to the marble tomb of Charles V, the first king of Spain. For insights into the construction of El Escorial, browse the Architecture Room’s collection of architects’ and builders’ equipment dating back hundreds of years. Visit the Weapons Room to see ornate armaments, and admire painted frescoes in the highly decorated library.

Your tour continues from El Escorial to the Valley of the fallen, 6 miles (9.5 kilometers) to the north. Admire the vast basilica built into the side of a mountain, topped by a gigantic granite cross that towers 150 meters (500 feet) high and dominates the landscape. The monument was built by the Spanish dictator General Franco to commemorate the dead of Spain's Civil War.

Take a guided tour inside the austerely modern basilica, with its vaulted crypt and sculpted angels, then look out from the surrounding esplanade of arches to admire the spectacular valley countryside surrounding the complex.

Relax on the scenic return journey to Madrid, where your tour ends in the early afternoon, or where you'll continue your day of sightseeing on a guided 2.5 hour city tour highlighting Madrid’s famous monuments and landmarks (if upgrade option selected).

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Excellent tour of both sites. Guide very informative and approachable. Tour well organised.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

A great experience.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and would highly recommend.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Wonderful tour. Valley of the Fallen was exceptional.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Everything was great the guide was pleasant and professional. The tour left on time and came back on time. The bus transportation was clean and comfortable. Terrific and interesting tour well worth the visit.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The drive was narreted and at el escorial de group was split in english or spanish speakers. Be reminded no photos inside, the same goes for valley of the fallen. The sights are worth of a daytrip

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Excellent organisation, transport and guide. Trip represents good value for money. Happy to use aviator again.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Interesting learning about my Spanish background.Our guide spoke great English and was very friendly and informatative.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

The trip and tour guide were very good. The landscape is very picturesque and both the monastery and the tomb of Franco are well worth visiting.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

The tour was excellent. The location was convenient and easy to find. The bus was very comfortable. The tour guide was excellent. Well educated, friendly, helpful. We had a wonderful time. Hard to imagine visiting Madrid without experiencing this monument. No better way to do it.

From USD $ 74.05

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Tour code: 2140JTEMA09


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