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Offsetting pricey airfare to Spain..

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I've been planning a trip to southern Spain - for 2 weeks in mid-June - since last September. I already have apt. rentals booked and an itinerary set.

I've been waitiing to buy airfare, hoping the fares would come down, but they haven't. Ugh. On the bright side, I have some c.c. points I can use to offset the cost of one ticket (we're a party of 3.)
Any tips on saving money on flights into southern Spain from Chicago?
Our itinerary is: 1 week in Seville, 2 nights in Ronda, then 5 nights in Granada (yes I know that's a long time in Granada, but we're slow movers and not used to heat - we need that extra time. It also allows us to fly home on a Tuesday.; (see below)
We've already booked our lodging to start on Tuesday and end on Tuesday, at the end of 2 weeks, as I know already that's the cheapest days to fly... or is it?

I'm finding it's the same price, more or less, to fly straight to Seville and out of Granada, as it is fly r/t to Madrid, from Chicago.
However, I'm willing to fly to Malaga, if train fare is priced reasonably from there to Seville and from Granada to Malaga... and it turns out to be cheaper than flying directly into Seville...

And - Aside from renting apts and having our own kitchen, which we're already planning, what are some ways we can save money on the trip to offset the high cost of getting there?
I was going to book a bus tour to Cordoba from Seville, but I think we can probably take the train there on our own.. (I do have a tour booked for the Alhambra but I'm not willing to cancel that, as I hear it's a PITA to get tickets to Alhambra, and it's probably past due to get them now on our own, so that stays.. )
We're also not renting a car, but training/busing it between destinations.

Thank you!

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