This historical residence of Spanish royalty makes for an amazing one day trip choice, guaranteeing to educate you in Spanish culture as well as give you an enjoyable time. First, you'll see the royal monastery, a striking sight that outwardly resembles a fortress with its imposing towers and grey granite facade while holding numerous treasures on the inside.
Walk through the labyrinth of charming porticos connecting courtyards open to the sky while observing some of the most famous art masterpieces from Titian, Tintoretto, El Greco and others. The crossing pathways and hidden chambers will transport you to a different time while you learn about the long history of El Escorial. For example, the site holds not one but three libraries that were built to maintain numerous priceless manuscripts and also for discovering and preserving new volumes.
You'll walk through the chambers of the Palace of Philip II and the long Hall of Battles corridor famous for colorful fresco paintings depicting Spanish war quests. Visit Pantheon of the Kings where the last remains of kings and queens are being kept and learn about their lives and how they were connected to El Escorial itself.
If you want to know even more, you can see what riches are being held in the Architectural Museum on site, or simply walk through Gardens of the Friars and relax enjoying the beauty of nature. The monastery isn't the only part of El Escorial as few kilometres away lies a royal lodge that the king used as a retreat on his hunting trips.
Good news is that your one day trip can also include other historical sites like Valley of the Fallen and Royal Site of Aranjuez or towns like Segovia and Toledo. All these places hold significant cultural value and make for an excellent addition to your excursion.
El Escorial is visited by half a million people each year – join them on this trip and learn what makes it an opportunity not worth missing out on.