thanks jeff for that real cool map of train prices. and yes Ivar, it would be necessary to check about the AVE included. So for right now, seems overnight in madrid, AVE in the morning and then flight back from Santiago to Madrid.
Ivar, do you have an office as yet in town.??(santiago)
Hi Dawn, glad to see you'll soon be on your way again.
Train passes usually work well on long distance travel, but trains in Spain are cheap compared to the rest of Europe, and I don't think a pass is really worthwhile. Point-to-point could be cheaper, and with a pass you will still need to pay a reservation supplement. Before you make a decision, check out prices on the English pages of RENFE and compare to the cost of a pass: http://www.renfe.es/horarios/english/index.html