Hello friends! My husband and I will be arriving in Madrid early the morning of December 15 (taking a direct flight from Boston). We need to get to Dublin for a flight home to Seattle on December 27 (we're making the most of direct flights and ability to book using points). We'd like to experience Christmas Eve/Day in Dublin, so tentatively planning to fly there on the 23rd but that isn't booked yet. That leaves us with 8 nights in Spain.
We were originally considering just splitting the time between Madrid and Barcelona, especially since we could easily fly to Dublin from either city. This plan is still on the table, but we're also drawn to smaller cities, slightly less touristy, places we can just relax and explore and enjoy the food and the vibe, especially because this will be a holiday season trip for us. We aren't big museum people at all--like, probably won't visit a single one. We're well-versed in travel to Europe in general but this will be our first time in Spain and I am doing research but would love some input from you experts as well. What would you do with 8 nights in December? We'd prefer not to rent a car, so sticking to places accessible by train would be ideal.