Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Spain and Amsterdam in April-A Few Questions

Spain and Amsterdam in April-A Few Questions

Old Sep 27th, 2023, 11:30 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Spain and Amsterdam in April-A Few Questions

So, we decided to forgo our annual spring fling to Mexico in favor of some quality time in S Spain. Thanks to recent posts on Fodor's I became nostalgic for some beautiful sights and wonderful tapas. When a sale came up on Air France/KLM for business class seats, I booked round trip tickets to Amsterdam, as it was the only destination I could find with non-stop flights from the west coast. Probably because I wasn't aware of the sale until the day before it ended

In any case, Amsterdam I'm sure will be an exciting finish to our time in Spain, especially as we will be back there half way through April, so a good time to see the tulips, I hope.

I was hoping that we could catch an onward flight to Seville or Malaga on KLM, but the timing is terrible, the flights go through Paris or Barcelona, and the price is very high. I have found some very reasonably priced flights on Transavia, which leave AMS 3 hours after our arrival from Canada. Has anyone ever flown Transavia? I had never heard of them before. Are they dependable?

My plan at this point is to fly into Malaga and out of Seville.
Arrive Malaga late afternoon at the beginning of April 3 nights 2 days
Train to Granada stay 4 nights
Train to Cordoba stay 2 nights
Train to Seville stay 4 nights
Return to Amsterdam, stay 4 nights.

We want this to be a relaxing tour, and we have visited both Malaga, Grenada and Seville before, but not since 2014. Will we find Spain to be busy at this time of the year? Holy Week I believe is the end of March in 2024, and we are hoping to bypass the mass of tourists who are there to see those celebrations.

After reading Maribel's summary of Jerez on another thread, it sounds like the kind of place my husband and I really enjoy, but it also seems off the beaten path if we want to keep the pace slow. We love driving in Spain though, so the plan to train everywhere could easily be derailed.

Any thoughts?
natylou is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2023, 12:50 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,389
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
natylou,
Unfortunately I can't answer your question about Transavia since I haven't flown them.
But...I can tell you about your planned itinerary. I think it's a good idea to arrive in Málaga late afternoon and stay 2 days, or is that 2 nights? Although it's a large city, the center core is wonderfully pedestrianized and will be a relaxing "get over jet lag" stay for you.

You will miss the busy-ness and the steeper prices of Holy Week, as Spaniards will be back to work in April. The April Fair takes place next year in Sevilla from April 14-20, so it appears you'll miss the equally busy and pricey Feria de Abril.

From Málaga you can either train or bus to Granada, depending on what schedule suits you best. The buses in Spain, as KarenWoo and many others can tell you, are comfortable, efficient, inexpensive, prompt and have a/c (which you will need in April). Alsa serves this bus route. www.alsa.es
And Renfe serves the Málaga to Granada route. www.renfe.es.

One note about the 4 nights in Granada, although I do understand that you want to keep the pace slow, as I like to do, you might consider just 3 nights in Granada (with an early bus or train departure from Málaga) and add that 4th night to Sevilla, making it a stay of 5 nights.
Why? Because the sights in Sevilla are even more encompassing, with so very much to take in. That is, of course, unless you've already spent considerable time in Sevilla on a prior trip and feel you've covered the major sights well. I don't know at what hour (early?) the Transavia flight leaves Seville for Amsterdam. Just a thought.

I think that with the itinerary you have planned, to keep it simple and maximize your time in each of your 4 locations, the train is best (or bus from Málaga to Granada). For these cities you don't need a car, in fact, it would be a handicap.
Maribel is online now  
Old Sep 28th, 2023, 11:45 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Maribel
natylou,
Unfortunately I can't answer your question about Transavia since I haven't flown them.
But...I can tell you about your planned itinerary. I think it's a good idea to arrive in Málaga late afternoon and stay 2 days, or is that 2 nights? Although it's a large city, the center core is wonderfully pedestrianized and will be a relaxing "get over jet lag" stay for you.

You will miss the busy-ness and the steeper prices of Holy Week, as Spaniards will be back to work in April. The April Fair takes place next year in Sevilla from April 14-20, so it appears you'll miss the equally busy and pricey Feria de Abril.

From Málaga you can either train or bus to Granada, depending on what schedule suits you best. The buses in Spain, as KarenWoo and many others can tell you, are comfortable, efficient, inexpensive, prompt and have a/c (which you will need in April). Alsa serves this bus route. www.alsa.es
And Renfe serves the Málaga to Granada route. www.renfe.es.

One note about the 4 nights in Granada, although I do understand that you want to keep the pace slow, as I like to do, you might consider just 3 nights in Granada (with an early bus or train departure from Málaga) and add that 4th night to Sevilla, making it a stay of 5 nights.
Why? Because the sights in Sevilla are even more encompassing, with so very much to take in. That is, of course, unless you've already spent considerable time in Sevilla on a prior trip and feel you've covered the major sights well. I don't know at what hour (early?) the Transavia flight leaves Seville for Amsterdam. Just a thought.

I think that with the itinerary you have planned, to keep it simple and maximize your time in each of your 4 locations, the train is best (or bus from Málaga to Granada). For these cities you don't need a car, in fact, it would be a handicap.
Thanks for that input Maribel. It seems our timing will be perfect, for us at least. We have 3 nights in Malaga, but will arrive late and jet lagged, so really we will have 2 days on the ground following arrival day.

I think your suggestion of 3 nights in Granada is a good one, although we did enjoy the city when we visited last time. We will be just the two of us in Seville for the first time, so will have more flexibility to plan what we want to see. And I see that we could also do a day trip to Jerez if by some chance we run out of things to do in Seville. But that is highly unlikely.

I do think that we might rent a car to drive between Granada and Cordoba, and dip in to visit Antequera. We happened on a good restaurant there just outside the Alcazaba. I found later that it was highly recommended by kimhe I believe, but I can't seem to find it now...I wonder if anyone knows of this restaurant, and if it is still in operation? We had the most delicious plate (or two) of thinly sliced and flash fried eggplant, with dark honey drizzled over. I have tried to recreate that at home to no avail.

natylou is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2023, 01:50 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,389
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That sounds like a good plan. I love berenjenas con miel (eggplant drizzled with honey, a typical Andalusian dish and a specialty of Córdoba). Could the restaurant have been Mesón Adarve? Does this ring a bell?
https://www.mesonadarve.com/carta-meson-adarve/
Maribel is online now  
Old Sep 28th, 2023, 02:13 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,294
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Transavia is a low-cost carrier, but it is part of the KLM/AirFrance group. They do have some integrated schedules with KLM, that allow you to connect from KLM/Delta to Transavia aircraft on the same ticket and transfer bags through. Particularly if you are travelling with separate tickets you should first check with your overseas airline whether they will allow you to interline bags to Transavia (if indeed you are checking bags through at AMS) so that you do not have to pick them up, which can take a long time at AMS, and then recheck them upstairs, which can also take a long time.

Although Transavia is integrated to some extent with KLM, and hopefully you can interline your bags by having your overseas airline reflect your Transavia flight in their PNR (you have to contact your airline, then give them all the specifics of the Transavia flight - - though it's likely you can do this at the airport if you are sure you can interline your bags), Transavia does not give people with KLM/Delta status any bennies - - everyone gets the same iffy customer service - - and it really is a step down in level of service from KLM, though it may be a step up from Ryanair. Also, be sure to get your Transavia boarding pass online starting at 30 hours before the flight departs so you can go straight to the gate, as I do not believe they have any post-security service centers and KLM may refuse to help (though it MAY be possible through the self-service kiosks once you leave your incoming flight, I'm not sure), and (as in the case you have bags that won't interline) if worst comes to worst you would have to exit through baggage claim, then go up to the Departures 1 area, then pass through security again (all time-consuming) if you do not already have your boarding pass. It will also be good to have that boarding pass before transiting through passport control from the non-Schengen area where you arrive to the Schengen area where the Transavia flight departs, as at immigration they sometimes ask for evidence of your ongoing travels.
dfourh is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2023, 09:40 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dfourh
Transavia is a low-cost carrier, but it is part of the KLM/AirFrance group. They do have some integrated schedules with KLM, that allow you to connect from KLM/Delta to Transavia aircraft on the same ticket and transfer bags through. Particularly if you are travelling with separate tickets you should first check with your overseas airline whether they will allow you to interline bags to Transavia (if indeed you are checking bags through at AMS) so that you do not have to pick them up, which can take a long time at AMS, and then recheck them upstairs, which can also take a long time.

Although Transavia is integrated to some extent with KLM, and hopefully you can interline your bags by having your overseas airline reflect your Transavia flight in their PNR (you have to contact your airline, then give them all the specifics of the Transavia flight - - though it's likely you can do this at the airport if you are sure you can interline your bags), Transavia does not give people with KLM/Delta status any bennies - - everyone gets the same iffy customer service - - and it really is a step down in level of service from KLM, though it may be a step up from Ryanair. Also, be sure to get your Transavia boarding pass online starting at 30 hours before the flight departs so you can go straight to the gate, as I do not believe they have any post-security service centers and KLM may refuse to help (though it MAY be possible through the self-service kiosks once you leave your incoming flight, I'm not sure), and (as in the case you have bags that won't interline) if worst comes to worst you would have to exit through baggage claim, then go up to the Departures 1 area, then pass through security again (all time-consuming) if you do not already have your boarding pass. It will also be good to have that boarding pass before transiting through passport control from the non-Schengen area where you arrive to the Schengen area where the Transavia flight departs, as at immigration they sometimes ask for evidence of your ongoing travels.
dfourh Thanks for that valuable information. I bought tix through Air France, but the flight is on KLM, so I will contact them and see if it is possible to interline our bags. Having a 30 hour window to download our boarding passes is helpful, but after reading your post, I am a little worried now about only having 3 hours between arriving from Canada and the departure on Transavia to Spain. There is another Transavia flight 2 hours or so after the flight I booked, but if our KLM flight is delayed, I'm not sure I could switch at that late hour. I don't have a lot of experience with this because we usually take a night after the transatlantic flight before moving on to wherever we are bound.
natylou is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2023, 09:48 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Maribel
That sounds like a good plan. I love berenjenas con miel (eggplant drizzled with honey, a typical Andalusian dish and a specialty of Córdoba). Could the restaurant have been Mesón Adarve? Does this ring a bell?
https://www.mesonadarve.com/carta-meson-adarve/
Maribel, I don't think that is the one, although the menu looks delicious. But after looking at the calendar, we would be traveling on a Monday, so that plan doesn't look like it would work, unfortunately. But with your recs on another thread for Cordoba eating, we shouldn't have a problem finding wonderful tapas right in Cordoba.

That also means that we will arrive in Cordoba on Monday, with many things closed, but it does appear the Mezquita is open on Mondays, so possibly we can see the Soul of Cordoba light show in the evening, or even tour the Mezquita if we arrive early enough. At least Monday won't be a complete loss.
natylou is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2023, 10:03 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,389
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes the Mezquita will be open.
I check this tourism site to see the Córdoba monuments’ opening hours each month.
https://www.turismodecordoba.org/#
Maribel is online now  
Old Sep 29th, 2023, 01:18 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 133
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We flew Transavia in May from Dubrovnik to Paris Orly. It was on a one-way separate ticket. If you do fly with them, I recommend taking the fast track option through security if available on your routing. I was a bit unnerved that the aircraft used must have been leased, I can’t remember what the name was, but I expect that’s not uncommon on the routes that are not to and from Amsterdam. We were assured upon boarding that yes, the air craft was going to Paris. It was fine, however, nothing special, but got us there. And they weren’t especially fussy about our size or weight of carry-on.
francebound is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2023, 01:55 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,294
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by natylou
I bought tix through Air France, but the flight is on KLM, so I will contact them and see if it is possible to interline our bags. Having a 30 hour window to download our boarding passes is helpful, but after reading your post, I am a little worried now about only having 3 hours between arriving from Canada and the departure on Transavia to Spain. .
I think the odds are in your favor. I went to the Delta website and they say they interline with Transavia, so it should be the same with KLM. You just need confirmation that by providing your ongoing Transavia information to KLM and them entering it manually into your record that the flight is reflected, so that when you check in they generate a bag tag that routes through to Spain. Even if worst came to worst, I think if your flights are close to being on time you will manage it because 3 hours should really be plenty, but it's nicest if the bags go through, you get your boarding pass, and you progress through immigration easily.
dfourh is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2023, 01:58 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,294
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
By the way, the easiest way to contact KLM I've found over time has been Twitter (X), and the customer service there is super exact and competent. You send them a really concise, minimal Tweet, and they respond fairly quickly.
dfourh is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2023, 12:49 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Maribel, thanks so much for all your input on everyone's Andalucia questions. I have found many good ideas, including the suggestion for H10 Casas de la Plata. I have booked there, with a request for a quiet room. I do remember lots of street noise in previous hotel rooms in Seville, but Casas de la Plata looks well rated in every way.

dfourh Thanks for the reassurance. I will definitely contact KLM about interlining our luggage. That will make our transfer in AMS so much easier. Your help is really appreciated.

And also francebound, thanks for that info.
natylou is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Artsfan2
Europe
24
Nov 25th, 2011 10:05 AM
Beejie
Europe
10
May 20th, 2009 12:32 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -