We have decided to use the train for our travels. The high speed trains do not seem to have opened up times for our travel dates yet and seem a little hard to figure out because of it. If anyone has some info on how to use the trains and what trains are the best I would really appreciate it. We would like to travel on April 13th to Barcelona from Valencia-what train and now often? Then from Barcelona to Cordoba on April 15. Then from Cordoba to Granada on the 17th. Then from Granada to Malaga on April 19th. There will be 6 of us traveling together.
Just for research purposes, I would recommend using the loco2.com website to look at options for trains - it is a nice, user friendly website. Pick some sample dates to see the times and prices available. For example, I just put in Valencia (any station) to Barcelona (any station) on January 26 (since your April 13 date is also a Saturday) and it came up with many options. Hopefully this will be helpful just to get you started. Good luck!
Check the schedules on the Deutsche Bahn website for the correct day of the week for each of your planned travel legs. It is about the easiest place to find schedule info. Dates in early March should work, but the day of the week does matter.
When you're ready to check fares and/or buy tickets you'll need to use Renfe or one of the companies selling tickets at the normal cost without excessive fees. Those include trainline.eu or loco2.com. Do not buy from RailEurope, which is almost guaranteed to cost you more.
For Cordoba to Granada I think you may have a choice of a rail/bus combo or an all-bus combo. As of the most recent report they were still working on the rail line that will allow express-train service into Granada.
It's worth reading https://www.seat61.com/Spain-trains.htm as a great primer on Spanish trains (& those of other countries)
Renfe load timetables 90 (for high-speed trains) and 60 (for others) days in advance. Well that's the theory. But as seat61 says, the reality is different - in practice when they load the routes you want is anybody's guess. In the meantime, as suggested above, you can see what the timetable will be by checking for the same day of the week, but in January. But you can't purchase until they load.
Unfortunately, even when they get round to loading the timetables, your plans aren't entirely possible. There are currently no direct high speed (AVE) trains between Valencia and Barcelona, nor Cordoba and Granada nor Granada and Malaga.
- For V to B you will take a non-AVE train. But the quickest ones are still quite fast and they're called Euromed, try to avoid the slow MD services (which have no seat reservations either);
- For C to G, the fast railway line isn't finished so you can book a rail ticket which will actually be an AVE to Antequera SA, then you'll transfer to a Renfe provided bus (or slower train) to complete the journey. An alternative is to use the Alsa coach for the whole journey;
- For G to M, there is no direct railway connection. Whilst theoretically possible to go by train via Antequera, I'd strongly recommend taking the Alsa coach which is quicker and more convenient.
If you use trainline.eu they often show Alsa options (loco2 might too), but you can check direct at:
Schedules don't change. For planning purposes, I use renfe.com and choose the day of the week I want to travel. If I want to check prices, I will look as far ahead as trains are offered, knowing that some trains may not be shown. Because you're traveling during Semana Santa, there may be more trains scheduled, certainly not fewer.
I also recommend purchasing your train tickets from loco2.com. It's a very easy site to use; I had no problems with them, and they always responded promptly to any questions I had.
And I recommend ALSA bus to and from Granada. The buses are modern, air-conditioned, clean, and comfortable.