Madrid and Granada are separated by 260 miles (418 km), and as these two destinations are fairly close, there are many convenient ways to make the journey, but the best option is a direct one and a half hour flight.
As Spain's rail system is easy to navigate, and you can also opt to take a direct three and a half hour train ride from Madrid's Atoche Station.
For those who would prefer more flexibility, hiring a private driver or renting a car could be great option as there are a few stops for wine enthusiasts on the way. Direct buses are also available, but these will be the most time-consuming option.
If you'd like to make sure you see the best of Madrid's architecture and museums along with the Andalucian flare found in Granada and Seville, consider this 10-day itinerary.
Duration: 1.5 hours
There are three to four direct flights that depart from the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD) for the Federico García Lorca Granada Airport (GRX) each day. You'll have to take a train ride or a taxi to the airport as it's 11 miles (18 km) from the center of Madrid, and you'll also need to plan to take a taxi or bus to the center of Granada when you land.
Duration: 3.5 hours
A train ride will take 3.5 hours and runs three times a day from Madrid's Atoche Station. The main train company is Renfe, and their high-speed trains are called “Ave.” The ticket prices are reasonable, and you can purchase tickets online (and print them out), via the Renfe app, or at the train station.
You may have the option to select a "flexible" fare, which allows you to modify your trip if needed. Make sure to be seated on the train at least 5-10 minutes prior to departure.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 4 hours, more with stops
If you prefer to do some sightseeing in Andalucia your own, renting a car is a great choice. There are many rental car services in Madrid, and be sure to choose a small rental car since the streets are often very narrow and parking can be hard to find.
Begin your journey on the A-4, and within 2 hours you will arrive in Valdepeñas, a city within La Mancha that's known for its wine. You can pop into the Museo del Vino to learn more about the wine from the region, or grab a bite and a glass of wine at La Bodega de las Estrellas, a family winery that offers tours and lunch.
Once you have had your fill, hop back onto the A-4 until you see the sign to merge onto A-44, and follow this along until you reach your destination.
Duration: 5 hours
A bus journey will take 5 hours, and there are several direct buses to Granada available each day. The main bus station is Estación del Sur close to Méndez Alvaro metro station. If you decide to book your ticket online, make sure you check your station of departure as there are two additional bus stations around the city. All buses will be equipped with air conditioning, and some will have free wifi available.