Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the El Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen from Madrid. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Anyone visiting Madrid is making a big mistake if they don't visit these two incredible sites. The price was no more than if we had booked something locally. Viator did their part of the job well.
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El Escorial is one of my favorite sites to visit in Spain. This was my 4th visit, but my husband's first. For 25 years, I've been telling him how incredible the library is, and we did not get to go into the library. We were very disappointed. Otherwise the tour was great. Our guide was knowledgable and presented all the information in English, Italian, and Spanish clearly.
The best part of this tour is El Escorial Monastery. This should be seen by everyone. I could have done without The Valley of the Fallen which is basically a monument a giant cross atop a hill where there are suppose to be thousands of people who were killed in the Spanish Civil War from both sides which you do not see their tombs or burial spot and where General Franco a Spanish dictator of that time is also buriedwhich you see his burial spot. Without the Valley of the Fallen tour, I would have rated this a 5 star.
Very chaotic and crowded at the Julia office. The tour was late.
The guide at Escorial was very informative and made the tour very interesting.
Marta was a great guide to both places. El Escorial is definitely worth seeing. Valley of the Fallen is a nice addition, but I would not see it separately.
My son and I took this tour, and we thought our tour guide was very knowledgable and informative. It would have been nice to have just a little more time in both locations, though.
What a day and what history these places give testament to. Not to be missed!
Big bummer that no pics were allowed inside El Escorial or inside Valley of the Fallen :/ But this was an awesome tour, a must-do if you are staying in Spain for an extended period of time. It was awesome to learn about Spain's history and see the tombs of so many Royals. It was also so amazing to see Franco's grave inside the VOTF Basilica, and know that thousands of soldiers were buried inside the cave. Like most others, I wish there was a bit more time to explore and take in the places, and it was a little bit pricey for my taste. But our tour guide Jorge was very knowledgeable and nice.
Fascinating tour with an excellent guide who was hugely knowledgable and enthusiastic about Spanish history. The only thing was that it was all a little bit too rushed! These two sites need all day to visit them, and not just a morning.
Best guide I had. Nice tour. Should let people know the parking is far from the venue.
This tour was very good, except that it felt very rushed. My husband and I are in good shape, so we kept up, but because they ran late and then had a mix up, (1 group into 2 based on language) one group was misplaced, which then caused out tour guide to say stuff on bus and not real time.
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.
El Escorial was disappointing in not getting to see more of interior.
Valley of the Fallen lived up to expectations. Wonderful setting and very moving inside at the thought of all those that fell in the Civil War, and who are remembered here - thanks to the foresight of General Franco.
Very interesting tour of the El Escorial palace and monastery followed by an equally interesting visit to the Valley of the Fallen. Our guide was very knowledgeable and informative; she spoke in English and Spanish. I would recommend this tour.
Glad we took this excursion. Nice ride through the country. The town of el Escorial was beautiful and the monastery modest. Guide was informative . Valley of the fallen was amazing! A fantastic tribute to those that lost their lives in the name of war. Spain did a great job with this monument.
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.