I liked the balance... probably would have liked a little more time in the Valley of the Fallen.
Erickson M Philippines
I absolutely loved this tour! El Escorial Monastery houses the tombs of most of Spain's Royal Family. While the Valley of the Fallen had a Basilica carved inside a mountain. Reminds you of the statues of Gondor in Lord of the Rings. It's quite mind-blowing what people can build. Highly recommended!
The guide was very good and informative in giving out information. I wish I had the stamina to follow her up to various corner of El Escorial and the monument. But I have no complain. She was very accommodating.
FANTASTIC!! Loved the tour and the guide was one of the best we had in Spain. She was very nice, well informed and her english was perfect. She managed to go back and forth in a timely basis in both languages so no one missed any sights or information on the tour. The El Escorial Monastery was one of the highlights of the trip. The Crypt is incredible and worth seeing as is the Fallen. I also opted for the additional afternoon sightseeing tour and got the same guide again. Such good luck! It was a quick but compehensive tour of Madrid which gave me great ideas on what to see during my visit. We also were able to get off and take photos which was great. Our guide even gave us tips on what to do during the "Austerity Strike" which worked out wonderfully so I didn't lose a day of sightseeing. This tour was money well spent!! Go, you won't be dissappointed!!
Maurizio C Canada
Great trip. Great guides. Panoramic Madrid sightseeing a must to include.
The morning tour to El Escorial and Valley of Fallen was excellent and the guide did a wonderful job of getting us through to see everything possible within the allotted time. Her English was very good and she spoke clearly and informatively. I was not impressed by the afternoon Madrid panoramic tour because the guide spoke far too quickly in a Spanish style and was difficult to understand. Also the journey was confusing because one couldn't see much out of the windows of a coach. I would have preferred an open top bus tour which would not only have made the 'sights' visible but would have provided a much better orientation of the City.
Handy dandy drive to the Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen.
Practical, they buy the tickets and you enter through the group entrance which is faster.
Good explanations- bit rushed though.
Good tour !. Bus went to bus station in El Escorial and had a walk with many stairs up and down to the monastery. Guide covered high spots. Walked back to bus station and had time for coffee. Then to Valley of the Fallen. Had limited input from guide as she did not go inside the church part to give commentary. Walking needed here too. City tour was good. Guide had a new driver and did a good job of directing and commentary was good too. Guides spoke in English and Spanish - so sometimes you were not sure if what you were looking at was what was being described.
Our morning tour of the Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen was amazing. Our guide was very knowledgeable and gave everyone lots of information. Very good. Our afternoon guide was too soft-spoken and it was frustrating because there were too many people saying "what did he say?". The tour was nice but the guide fell short. Would recommend this tour!
Dennis S USA
Another very good tour. The Escorial and Valley of the Fallen were in the morning. Escorial was beautiful and Valley of the Fallen was something to see in person. Afternoon tour of Madrid gave me a some good ideas of what to see and where to go on my own.
The morning tour to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen was fascinating and well presented.
The afternoon tour of Madrid was too rushed to be presented in two languages. We could never tell if the site being described was coming up or had just been passed. And a map handout showing the the route would have helped to identify what part of town we were in.
Pick up was good - the Monastery was very cold inside and we were not that impressed with it. However the Valley of the Fallen was fantastic. This was well presented and we had enough time to get pics and walk around. The city tour was very well presented. We enjoyed this tour but we felt we could have skipped the monastery. Its very nice but not that impressive for us.
The trip was well worth it and Carmen the guide was excellent
The Monastery and the Civil War Memorial tour was good, if a bit rushed.
The Madrid tour should have been done on an open bus permitting panoramic wiew or/and more stops.
It is a quick tour. Decided to change the afternoon city tour to a Toledo tour. The guide was also good.
I had a full day tour. The morning part to El Escorial was grate, but when we have tour around Madrid it was horrible. When I booked this trip it was Spanish / English , but it was also French . It was impossible for the guide and for us. We got completely lost in three languages and the guide had no time to tell us what we are seeng. Waste of money and time. It will be more cheaper and and informative on "hop on hop off". We were very disappointed!!!
El Escorial Monastery is definitely a must-see and what a monstrosity of a building and it sometimes makes one wonder how the holy fathers used to live in those days! It was a bi-lingual tour and the tour guide for us that morning was not very informative, but regardless, we enjoyed the day.
I was a little disappointed with this tour as far as the Escorial. There is no access to the public. Valley of the Fallen was a very nice tour
El Escorial was very interesting!
Valley of the Fallen isn't worthwhile the visit if it were just for itself.
The guide for Madrid Sightseeing could have been a better English speaker.
Valley of the fallen was very good and the tour guide was very knowledgeable ...the monastery part of the tour was not as interesting . The tour lets you off at the bus station in town . From there it's a 1 mile walk mostly up hill this is a problem. Unless you are in Olympic shape you should not take this tour. Inside the monastery there is many, many steps. Think about this before you book
A very high potential tour taht could use quite a bit of improvement. There don't seem to be many tourists taking it (the bus was empty, there were maybe 10-12 people all in all) but it was still in Spanish and English (with only two people being non-English speakers). The bus was comfortable, the ride on a Saturday morning was quick (a bit of delay on the way back but nothing unmanageable). I understand it's more economical to have bilingual tours, but it really takes away from the experience.
Both sites are very impressive, Valley of the Fallen being my son's and my favourite. Timing was bad though - we had 45 minutes total left for the Valley of the Fallen, which deserves A LOT more - both from the architectural and natural points of view. This is a real pity, time should have been distributed differently.
As to the Madrid sightseeing tour, we really couldn't figure out much of what was said in English and eventually gave up. If you don't need a full-blown bus and have time, I think hop-on hop-off option would be a much better option with pre-recorded information available and freedom to explore areas of Madrid at your own pace.
The monastery and the Valley of the Fallen are truelly worth seeing although I was disappointed in the tour guide. I paid for an English tour, not a bi-lingual tour of which most of the time was Spanish. In additional, a couple of our tourist had to go to the security station to pick up some belonging while we waited. Our guide didn't wait for their return and we left, leaving the couple stranded an hour away from Madrid
We had a long walk to our boat and the boatman travelled so quickly over bumpy water that some passengers were actually frightened. We were then dumped on a pier near to the Rialto bridge, whereas we were under the impression that there would be a few stops, as our hotel, the Santa Marina, actually had a pier approximately 60 metres away. We would not use this service again.