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What would be the best route for Rotterdam - Malaga?

  • 4 October 2022
  • 12 replies
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I am planning to go from Rotterdam to Malaga and do not have any requirements for staying in certain cities. Now I am wondering what the best (fastest) route would be to travel. Any tips ? 

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Best answer by Yorkie 4 October 2022, 19:21

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Userlevel 7
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Have you tried the DB planner?

Yeah planning the trip from city to city is doable, I am more wondering about which cities would be a good route for fast travels. For example would it be better to do Rotterdam-Lyon-Barcelona-Malaga or is Paris a better hub for trains towards Madrid for example. Wondering what the best cities would be along the way for the journey Rotterdam - Malaga if that makes sense

Userlevel 7
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One thought is to head for Lille, take the direct TGV to Marseilles and then the local trains via Port Bou to Barcelona. Once in Barcelona you can reach Malaga via Madrid.

Worth a stop is Cordoba, but that would break the AVE from Madrid to Malaga. 

This avoids passing through Paris (although you can do Lille - Paris Nord and then the expensive Paris - Barcelona service (also difficult to get pass reservations.

Once you have a routing in mind go back to the planners and search each leg individually. This will show many more options for each leg and all the stations the train stops at.

One planner to keep in mind is the OEBB.at one which allows you to choose your interrail pass as a discount option and make reservations for many train operators.

You will not be able to reserve trains in Spain until you get to the first station with a ticket office. Not quite true, you can order from Renfe by phone but you have to pick up your reservation within 3 days.

Userlevel 7
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One planner to keep in mind is the OEBB.at one which allows you to choose your interrail pass as a discount option and make reservations for many train operators.

Though not in France and Spain, unfortunately.

You will not be able to reserve trains in Spain until you get to the first station with a ticket office. Not quite true, you can order from Renfe by phone but you have to pick up your reservation within 3 days.

You can also order from DB (or a DB agent):

 

Thanks a lot for the info ! This helps me a lot. Did not expect this forum to be so amazing, you guys rock. 

 

With your help I want to share my planning which will be : (Brackets are transfers, each line is a travel day.)

Rotterdam - (Paris) - Lyon

Lyon - (Valence) - Barcelona

Barcelona - (Madrid) - Cordoba

Cordoba - Algeciras

 

In the end Algeciras is closer to where I want to get to (Tarifa). 

Maybe others who want to take the same journey are helped by this thread. For now; thanks a lot :) 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

If you want a day in Lyon, you can transfer in Brussels to a TGV bypassing Paris, directly to Lyon. There are about 7 direct TGV’s Brussels-Lyon a day. This will save you a lot of hassle and stress in Paris. since you wouldn’t need to switch stations with the metro or RER. I think it would also be cheaper in the reservation costs, avoiding Thalys.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

If you want a day in Lyon, you can transfer in Brussels to a TGV bypassing Paris, directly to Lyon. There are about 7 direct TGV’s Brussels-Lyon a day. This will save you a lot of hassle and stress in Paris. since you wouldn’t need to switch stations with the metro or RER. I think it would also be cheaper in the reservation costs, avoiding Thalys.

Indeed, reservation fee is 20€ in 2nd and 30€ in 1st class. You need to book such a TGV early though because pass holder seats on those are very limited and they often sell out weeks in advance.

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

If you want a day in Lyon, you can transfer in Brussels to a TGV bypassing Paris, directly to Lyon. There are about 7 direct TGV’s Brussels-Lyon a day. This will save you a lot of hassle and stress in Paris. since you wouldn’t need to switch stations with the metro or RER. I think it would also be cheaper in the reservation costs, avoiding Thalys.

Indeed, reservation fee is 20€ in 2nd and 30€ in 1st class. You need to book such a TGV early though because pass holder seats on those are very limited and they often sell out weeks in advance.

Does this service have the same arrangement as domestic TGVs of 10 euro until pass quota reached then 20 euro till filled?

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

If you want a day in Lyon, you can transfer in Brussels to a TGV bypassing Paris, directly to Lyon. There are about 7 direct TGV’s Brussels-Lyon a day. This will save you a lot of hassle and stress in Paris. since you wouldn’t need to switch stations with the metro or RER. I think it would also be cheaper in the reservation costs, avoiding Thalys.

Indeed, reservation fee is 20€ in 2nd and 30€ in 1st class. You need to book such a TGV early though because pass holder seats on those are very limited and they often sell out weeks in advance.

Does this service have the same arrangement as domestic TGVs of 10 euro until pass quota reached then 20 euro till filled?

That would have been nice… but no. SNCF have difference fare systems for almost each of their international TGVs, even if they're just an extension of domestic services, like the ones to Brussels.

The TGVs from Brussels to southern France have limited pass holder seats for the prices I mentioned and if they're gone, you have to buy a normal ticket or look for another train.

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

If you want a day in Lyon, you can transfer in Brussels to a TGV bypassing Paris, directly to Lyon. There are about 7 direct TGV’s Brussels-Lyon a day. This will save you a lot of hassle and stress in Paris. since you wouldn’t need to switch stations with the metro or RER. I think it would also be cheaper in the reservation costs, avoiding Thalys.

Indeed, reservation fee is 20€ in 2nd and 30€ in 1st class. You need to book such a TGV early though because pass holder seats on those are very limited and they often sell out weeks in advance.

Does this service have the same arrangement as domestic TGVs of 10 euro until pass quota reached then 20 euro till filled?

That would have been nice… but no. SNCF have difference fare systems for almost each of their international TGVs, even if they're just an extension of domestic services, like the ones to Brussels.

The TGVs from Brussels to southern France have limited pass holder seats for the prices I mentioned and if they're gone, you have to buy a normal ticket or look for another train.

Thanks for the quick reply, I am planning 2023 and all these little things are useful to know.

Also useful to see it goes via Lille and Paris CDG airport on the way. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

That would have been nice… but no. SNCF have difference fare systems for almost each of their international TGVs, even if they're just an extension of domestic services, like the ones to Brussels.

The TGVs from Brussels to southern France have limited pass holder seats for the prices I mentioned and if they're gone, you have to buy a normal ticket or look for another train.

Thanks for the quick reply, I am planning 2023 and all these little things are useful to know.

Also useful to see it goes via Lille and Paris CDG airport on the way. 

However, from Lille further to the south, they're just normal domestic TGVs so the usual €10/20 reservations are available.

Userlevel 7
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Got myself via the SNCF machine in LUXembourg a RES for what I aimed for the direct TGV BOrdeaux-Lille (end of this month, so about 4 weeks ahead, on a FRI): it would not give a price for that, but I got a double TGV -change via Paris for only 10€ (total for the 2). With 2 fast TGV and >1 hr to cross P it was even a few mins quicker as the direct train. NO paper ticket anymore spewn out-now you had to give all details (tel.nr, @mail) and it was sent to @mail-happily it did not differ between small/capital letters.

In above route; THE very often reported here bottleneck to get RES for are the 2 direct long-dist AVE Barca-Andalucia. You can go via Madrid-nearly ev. hour-with change and pay double, but this will lengthen the triptime. Surcharge for the direct Thalys NL-Paris is quite high-nearly as high as the lowest price normal ticket.

An ALT to cross FRance is the overnight train Paris-along Mediterranee coast-in hi-summer also to Cerbere/Port Bou-oherwise Narbonne or Perpignan.

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