I have 3 options and trying to figure out the simplest return after 2 nights in Granada. Would be traveling on a Thursday morning in mid October:
1) keep my car rental (parking lot - despite the additional expense) and drive back to Cordoba after breakfast (to drop off car rental there) and pre-book (if necessary) a fast speed train (around noon-1pm) back to Madrid? I believe there should be hourly options once the schedules are available at that time of the year? I read the drive up to Cordoba is nice. Note: I will be spending a 1-1/2 days in Cordoba at the start of my trip.
2) Alternatively, do the 4.5 hour drive directly to Madrid and drop car at train station in Madrid (downtown hotel).
3) drop car rental at train in Granada on the afternoon we arrive. Taxi to hotel (old city). Then train back to Madrid (direct or does it goes through Cordoba?). I read it was not the high speed train. OR book a flight back to Madrid late morning (and then taxi back into city for my last night in Spain before International flight early Friday a.m.).
I don't want to consider a bus. We don't mind driving...I guess I want a easy option unless the drive/train option is interesting. Do I need to be concerned with train/plane strikes (which is why I am looking the option of keeping the car). After all, I am only giving myself one day / night to ensure I am back in Madrid for my flight on Friday morning.