We managed to get great frequent flyer miles into London on December 16th and out of Madrid on December 25. Our son wants to go visit Edinburgh and we have to meet up with our daughter in or near Grenoble, France on the 21st. We may need to take an extra day to get her stuff situated (finishing a semester abroad) Other then that our schedule is wide open. Any suggestions on the best places to visit? We've done London and Paris. We've actually never considered Spain before so I'm greatful that Madrid was the only return city for these great tickets.
When I first saw the title of your message, I was really hoping that I would see more than 9 days to do what you are planning. Hopefully, you can transfer planes at Heathrow and fly immediately to Edinburgh. Or, it's 6 hours by train. How long will you be in Edinburgh? You most likely need to fly from Edinburgh to Lyon with a plane change at Heathrow and then take the train to Grenoble. $321 for the flight on British Air. Or, you can fly on Easyjet for 90British Pounds. But, Easyjet only flies this route on Wed and Sat. Flights appear to be non-stop. Then, you need to take a bus to the Lyon Part Dieu train station and take the 90 minute train to Grenoble. How long will you be in Grenoble? The train journey from Grenoble to Madrid takes 12.5hrs - and that's if you take the morning depature back to Lyon to catch the TGV to Perpignan. If you take the later runs, you will have an 8.0hr layover in Barcelona before your train to Madrid. Which brings me to my suggested extra stay. Barcelona. Since you have to go back to Lyon Part Dieu on the train run anyway, make your way back to the airport and fly www.vueling.com. They fly daily non-stops from Lyon to Barcelona for a low as 34.99Euro. Barcelona has an excellent airport bus to Plaza Catalunya. Spend a couple of nights. Then to the train station for the 3.0+hr train ride to Madrid. I'm betting that you won't have much time to see much else.