The Royal Palace of El Escorial lies 45km north-west of Madrid and is one of Spain’s most famous sights. Felipe II ordered the construction of the palace to commemorate Spain’s victory of France at the Battle of Saint Quentin in 1557 during the Franco-Habsburg War. With practically unlimited funds available from the “New World” it took over 20 years to build El Escorial and at the time was the world’s largest building. Spanish monarchs as far back as Carlos V are buried here in the Panteón de Reyes and this will be the current monarch’s final resting place. The palace as a whole is testament to the wealth and power of the 16th century Spanish Empire.
Just 9km north of El Escorial is El Valle De Los Caídos which is a monument built by prisoners from both sides during the Spanish Civil War under orders from General Franco. In theory it was built in memory of all those who died in that terrible war yet many Spanish people refuse to visit the site as they believe that in reality it is a memorial to fascism and Franco himself. It is no coincidence that Los Caidos was chosen so close to Royal El Escorial as Franco attempted to glorify his regime. Franco is buried here alongside José Antonio Prima De Vera, his right hand man.
There are daily group excursions to El Escorial travelling by luxury coach or you can hire a driver and guide to take you on private excursion.
Group Excursion to El Escorial
This excursion departs from the centre of Madrid at 8.45am. Transport is by luxury, air-conditioned coach and the services of a local tour guide. Dating back to the reign of Felipe II in the 16th century this Royal Palace is one of Spain’s most visited tourist attractions. It is located in the small town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and its ‘Panteón de los Reyes’ serves as a mausoleum for the Spanish monarchy. The excursion also includes a visit to ‘Valle De Los Caídos’ (Valley of the Fallen) which is a monument to those who died in the Spanish Civil War and the burial place of General Franco.
Private Excursion to El Escorial
This private tour begins at your hotel in Madrid where you will be collected by your English speaking guide and driver before heading off to visit El Escorial to the north-west of Madrid. You will then enjoy a fascinating private tour of the Palaces. After El Escorial you’ll head for ‘Valle de los Caidos’ (Valley of the Fallen) which officially is a monument to all those who lost their lives in the Spanish Civil War. Many Spanish people refuse to visit this controversial site believing that it is more of a glorification of the Franco regime.
Book Madrid to El Escorial Private Excursion (Tour Ref: 1063)