Barcelona day trips using Public transport

Planning day trips from Barcelona

Staying in Barcelona and interested taking a day trip to explore what else Catalonia has to offer? There’s three ways how to take a day trip from Barcelona:

  1. Hire a car and drive wherever takes your fancy
  2. Sign up for an organised day out with a local tour operator
  3. Hop on a bus or train

In this blog post we are focusing on Barcelona day trips using public transport.

Day trips from Barcelona on public transport

There’s many blog posts out there with suggestions of day trips from Barcelona. Among the usual suspects which often crop up are Montserrat, Sitges, Girona and the Dali museum at Figueres. All these are wonderful and certainly worth a visit. However the aim of this post is to focus on a few perhaps lesser known “off the beaten track” itineraries.

Costa Brava Cami de Ronda – Colera to Llanca

The Cami de Ronda is a series of coastal paths stretching the whole length of the Costa Brava. Hiking the 150+ kilometers of the Cami de Ronda in its entirety will take around 10 days but for a day trip we suggest this one short stretch. Public transport from Barcelona to the Costa Brava is not great but for this particular trip the train works well.

Day trips from Barcelona
Port de Joan, Garbet. On the Cami de Ronda between Colera and Llanca

From Barcelona El Clot – Arago train station take the R11 train to Colera. This can take between two and three hours depending on which train you get. For example the 07.25 train takes two and a half hours and arrives in Colera at 09.55. Barcelona to Colera timetable here. An alternative option would be to take the high speed AVE train from Barcelona to Girona. The 08.15 train from Barcelona Sants station arrives in Girona at 08.53. This would give you 5 minutes to catch the R11 train which departs Girona at 08.55 and arrives in Colera at 09.55.Barcelona to Girona AVE timetable here.

This northern stretch of the Costa Brava is among the least populated and has some of the most stunning scenery.

Day trips from Barcelona using public transport
Colera to Llanca along the Cami de Ronda

The walk from Colera to Llanca takes around three hours. Perfect timing to arrive in Llanca for a nice lunch before taking the train back to Barcelona in the afternoon. A longer walk would be to stay on the train until the last stop at Portbou and walk to Llanca from there. This would increase walking time to around five or six hours. More information about the Costa Brava Cami de Ronda can be found here.

Barcelona day trip to Banyoles and Besalu

Wednesday is a good day to take this trip because it is market day in Banyoles. Even if you have no intention of buying anything it is still enjoyable to wander the streets taking in the sights and sounds of the busy market. The main draw of Banyoles is undoubtedly its lake. With a circumference of around 7 kilometres and great for a mid-morning stroll.

A view of Banyoles lake along a jetty
Banyoles lake just after sunrise

After a morning stroll around Banyoles lake and market it is time to continue the journey to the Medieval village of Besalu.

The bus company Teisa operate the route between Barcelona and Besalu and the timetable can be found here. The first bus leaves Barcelona at 09.30 arriving in Banyoles at 11.11am. Buses from Banyoles to Besalu are every hour at 45 minutes past the hour. The last bus back to Barcelona departs Besalu at 16.55 arriving in Barcelona 18.55. (Limited service at time of writing due to Covid-19).

More to follow.

Day trips from Barcelona

A selection of some of the best day trips from Barcelona

Spending some time in Barcelona but would also like to explore what Catalonia has to offer away the capitol city? Here we share a selection of our favorite places and things to do outside of the city. Please note that these suggestions are based on using a car. If you are using public transport please refer to our Barcelona day trips by public transport post.

Day trips to the Costa Brava

Located to the North of Barcelona the Costa Brava contains some wonderful beaches and fishing villages. There’s loads of different sections of the Costa Brava to choose from and all offer different facets to the traveler.

Cala Guillola
Cala Guillola, Cap de Creus, Cadaques

If i were to list all the places to visit on the Costa Brava this would turn in to a long essay so i will give just two suggestions here. Cadaques at the end of the Cap de Creus peninsula is one of our favourite places in the whole of Catalonia. Two hours by car from Barcelona the town is a wonderful place to spend a day. More details about what to do in Cadaques and surrounding area can be found here.

The second part of the Costa Brava is the area around Begur and Palafrugell, around 90 minutes from Barcelona. Here there’s a whole host of beaches to choose from many of which have restaurants where to dine on or close to the beach. More information about what to do in Begur can be found here.

Costa Brava Medieval villages

The province of Girona is not only about the beaches of the Costa Brava. There’s many interesting medieval villages in the region to explore. If history, interesting architecture and wandering around ancient cobbled streets is your thing then read more in our Costa Brava Medieval villages blog post.

Medieval bridge of Besalu
The medieval bridge of Besalu

Visit a Vineyard

Probably not the best idea of a day trip if you are driving however there’s a wide range of Barcelona based tour agencies offering wine tours close to Barcelona. Another option would be to hire a driver for the day and this is something Charming Villas can help arrange.

Catalonia contains no less than 10 distinct wine growing regions each offering its own unique growing conditions and varieties of grape. I don’t have enough space here to list each region in detail but more information on the Emporda wine growing region can be found here.

Day trip to Montserrat

A classic day trip from Barcelona and one which is advertised online by many Barcelona based tour agencies such as Montserrat is a beautiful and oddly shaped mountain range which reaches a height of 1236m above sea level. Among the hills is a famous Abbey which was founded in the year 1025. If driving to Montserrat please do not leave any valuables inside the car when you park up. We once had some clients whose hire car was broken in to and valuables were stolen.

Barcelona day trip Montserrat
The Montserrat mountain range close to Barcelona (image credit )

Visit Girona and Figueres

This is a trip which can also be made by train from Barcelona. The high speed AVE train connects to Girona in 35 minutes and Figueres in just under an hour. The main draw of Figueres is without doubt the Dali museum. This world class museum could fill up a whole day just by itself. When i am helping my clients plan day trips i always stress that if the museum is on the list of things to do then this should be the main focus of the day. Unless you are planning a very early start and late finish then i do not advise multiple destinations in the same day.

Day trips from Barcelona
Dali painting the Face of War 1941 (photo credit

Girona, bigger than Figueres, is arguably a more interesting and picturesque city to spend a day. Whereas Figueres is all about the Dali museum Girona has more variety of things to see and do. The Cathedral has been made famous since it was chosen as a filming location for the HBO series “Games of Thrones”. A number of locally based tour operators offer guided visits of the city exploring the various filming locations within the city.

Girona also has a wide range of shops and artisan markets to browse as well as its very own Las Ramblas. Not as big or famous as Barcelona’s Ramblas nonetheless it is a pleasant place to stroll or sit and watch the world pass by.

Barcelona day trip ideas
The Eiffel bridge Girona (photo credit

Vacation homes on the Costa Brava and Barcelona

Charming Villas Catalonia offer a hand-picked selection of high standard vacation rentals on the Costa Brava and Barcelona. We offer our clients a free Costa Brava concierge service and help plan activities, day trips and extra services. Let us guide you through the villa selection process helping you choose the best property for your needs.

Costa Brava Farmers Markets

Weekly food markets on the Costa Brava

Costa Brava farmers markets is a tradition which has been going on for centuries. Almost every town and village on the Costa Brava has a weekly farmers market selling fresh local produce. In the smaller villages this may be just a few stalls selling fruit and vegetables and perhaps some cheeses and charcuterie. Bigger towns will also have stalls selling clothing, kitchen and household items and much more.

We like to buy our fruit and vegetables from markets as often as possible. Not only do we find the freshest produce at the best prices but we also think it is important to support our local commerce and businesses.

Costa Brava farmers markets
Costa Brava farmers markets photo credit:

Where to find farmers markets on the Costa Brava?

I have listed the days of the weeks and where to find markets on each day.

Monday: Olot, Cadaques, Blanes, Colera, Torroella de Montgrí

Tuesday: Besalu, Castelló d’Empúries, Girona, Lloret de Mar, Verges, Palamos,

Wednesday: Banyoles, Sant Pere Pescador, Begur, Cassa de La Selva, Llanca,

Thursday: Calonge, Figueres, L’Estartit, Tossa de Mar

Friday: Platja d’Aro, Portbou, La Bisbal d’Empordà, El Port de la Selva

Saturday: Figueres

Sunday: Bàscara, L’Escala, Palafrugell, Roses

Other markets in the region

As well as the weekly farmers markets there’s also other speciality markets in the region such as:

Girona flower market. Saturday mornings at Rambla de la Llibertat

Girona collectables market. Sunday mornings at Plaça de Catalunya

Girona collectables and curiosities market. Saturday mornings at Plaça de Sant Feliu i carrer de Jaume Pons Martí

More information about the markets and fares of Girona can be found here.

Vacation homes on the Costa Brava

Charming Villas Catalonia offer a selection of luxury Costa Brava villas and Barcelona vacation rentals. We offer our clients a free Costa Brava concierge service where we can arrange activities and extra services such as a table with the Port Lligat fisherman for lunch or dinner. We can help create a bespoke day trip to Cadaques combining the fisherman lunch with other activities. Check out our earlier blog post, What to do in Cadaques.

Palafrugell supermarkets

Palafrugell and Tamariu supermarkets

Here is a list of the main supermarkets in Palafrugell. Including usual chains of Carrefour, Esclat/Bon Preu, Aldi and Mercadona. These are the biggest supermarkets close to Tamariu, Llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell.

Mercadona avda. Espanya, 236-240 17200 Palafrugell. Opening times 09.15 – 21.15 Monday – Saturday. Tel 972 657 646

Aldi Avinguda Espanya 141 17200 Palafrugell. Opening times 09.00 – 22.00 Monday – Saturday, 09.15 – 15.15 Sunday.

Carrefour Avda. del Mar, 1 17200 Palafrugell. Opening times 09.00 – 22.00 Monday – Saturday.

Esclat/Bon Preu Costa Brava Boulevard (La Fanga) 17200 – Palafrugell.Opening times 09.00 – 21.30 Monday – Friday and 09.00 – 14.30 Sundays.

Vegetarian, Vegan and organic Palafrugell supermarkets

For vegetarians, vegans and people looking for high quality organic produce we recommend the Veritas supermarket. This is located at Avinguda de Josep Vergés i Mata, 28 in Palafrugell. There’s also a charging point for Electric cars outside.

Palafrugell weekly market

There is also a weekly market in Palafrugell on Sunday mornings from 08.00 around the Street Pi Margall where you can buy fruit, vegetables, meat, fish as well as clothing and shoes etc. More information can be found at the Palafrugell town hall website.

A daily market (Tuesday to Sunday) at the same location of Pi Margall sells fruit and vegetables with a covered indoor section that sells fresh fish and meat.

Palafrugell Sunday market
Sunday market in Palafrugell (image credit:

Tamariu supermarket

Tamariu also has a medium sized Spar supermarket in the center of town which opens during the summer months. This is okay for getting the odd bits and pieces but would recommend our clients to do their main shopping at one of the larger stores in Palafrugell.

Map of locations of Palafrugell supermarkets:

Guided tours in Barcelona

The Catalan city of Barcelona is without doubt one of the most loved and visited cities within Europe. Over seven million visitors are welcomed to the capitol of Catalonia each year, many taking guided tours in Barcelona.
Sagrada Familia, The Ramblas, Park Güell, Casa Battlo are some of the better know attractions of the city. Although they are a “must do” there’s so much more that the city has to offer the seasoned traveler.

Parc Guell Barcelona
Parc Guell Barcelona – image credit

Tour guides in Barcelona

There’s countless guide books you can read about the city which will give you some great pointers. But to find those off the beaten track gems you really need an insider’s help to get the most out of your time in the city. Again, there’s lots of guides out there to choose from but we highly recommend getting in touch with the official Visit Barcelona website.

The website lists many ideas of places to visit and things to see and do. There’s the option of joining an arranged tour with other people. Another possibility is to arrange a bespoke itinerary best suited to your interests and schedule.

Guided tours in Barcelona

Let your tour guide create your own unique itinerary to cover your own interests. You may wish to have a Foodie related tour with Tapas in La Boqueria market perhaps? If architecture is your thing maybe a tour of Gaudi’s most iconic buildings should be on the list? History lovers? There’s loads of history for you to uncover in Barcelona! The remarkable restored former market of El Born with it’s excavated city ruins from 1700s on display should be on your list.

Barcelona vacation rentals

At Charming Villas Catalonia we specialize in high standard apartments in Barcelona. We have a selection for all occasions including large farmhouses close to Barcelona and on the Costa Brava. Locally based we offer a free concierge service to all of our clients and can help with suggestions of activities and day trip itineraries.

Supermarkets in Figueres

Figueres supermarkets

We have quite a few houses available for rent in the Figueres region and and we are often asked by clients where are the best places to do their shopping. Below is a Google map where a number of supermarkets are highlighted. Bascara also has a couple of small supermarkets and a good quality butchers which are open on Sunday mornings. Bascara also has a small Sunday market selling fruit and vegetables among other items.

Figueres supermarkets
Sunday market at Bascara

A list of supermarkets in Figueres

When deciding where to do your supermarket shopping in Figueres there’s two Bonpreu Esclat supermarkets. This is where we normally shop as we find Esclat to have the best quality fresh local produce.

Esclat 1. Carrer Nou s/n

Esclat 2. Av. Paisos Catalans, 2

Other Figueres supermarkets include;

Mercadona Carrer de Met Miravitlles, s/n

Aldi, Avinguda de Roses, 30, 32

BonArea Carrer Nou, 77

Carrefour, Carretera de Figueres a, Avinguda de Roses, km. 29

Figueres weekly market

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday there’s a fruit and vegetable market in Figueres. It opens at 07.00am and finishing at 2.00pm. Location; Plaça del Gra i Plaça Catalunya. Also every Thursday in Figueres there’s a large clothing street market held at Passeig Nou, Plaça del Sol i Riera Galligants.

Delicatessens in Figueres

Figueres also has a number of local delicatessens and charcuterie to choose from including the following:

El Graner specializing in local charcuterie. Av. Marignane 22, Figueres

Figueres delicatessen
Figueres charcuterie – photo credit El Graner

Ibericus sell high quality hams and charcuterie. Carrer de Peralada, 22

Carnisseria Xarcuteria F.LLADO Carrer de González de Soto, 24, 17600 Figueres

Dalícatessen Carrer de Sant Pere, 19, 17600 Figueres

Iberian Wines and Food Passeig del Cementiri, 17, Nau 1, 17600 Figueres

Casa Ribas – El Bon Beure Pujada del Castell, 17, 17600 Figueres

Carnisseria xarcuteria marcel puigmal Av. Marignane, 22, 17600 Figueres

Banyoles lake and market

The lake of Banyoles

Banyoles, a medium sized town close to Girona is famed for its lake. Scene of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic rowing events the lake serves as the central hub and focus of the town.

A view of Banyoles lake along a jetty
A view of Banyoles lake just after sunrise

With the increased popularity of triathlons, Banyoles is also becoming one of the main locations for triathlon training in Europe. The triathlon world cup is being held here in 2012. The town is also a popular training location for rowing teams from around Europe.

The Banyoles lake and market

However one does not need to be an Olympic rower or triathlete to enjoy the charms of the lake. At around 2 kms long and with a perimeter of just over  7 kms the lake makes for the perfect mid morning or afternoon stroll. It is also possible to hire canoes and bikes.

Banyoles lake
Sunrise over Banyoles lake

If you are planning a day trip to Banyoles a good idea would be to do this on a Wednesday when the weekly market is spread out between “Placa Major” and the large “Placa de Rodes” which is close to the lake. The market mainly consists of fruit and vegetables, cured meats and cheeses with many of the stalls offering local and organic products. The market starts early at around 08.00am and starts closing up around 13.00


Some recommended restaurants in Banyoles include;

Famed for its seafood Gils Banyoles restaurant is a popular lunchtime destination for locals. Located close to the lake.

La Magrana (The Pomegranate) is a small family run restaurant in the old quarter of the town offering a modern twist on traditional Catalan dishes using fresh seasonal produce.

Can Xabanet is another family ran restaurant located just between Placa de Rodes and the lake. Traditional flavorsome dishes in a friendly atmospheric setting.

Charming Villas Catalonia

At Charming villas Catalonia we offer our clients a varied selection of high standard Barcelona vacation rentals. From Barcelona beachfront apartments to large farmhouses close to Barcelona.

Locally based we offer a free concierge service to all of our clients. Our goal is to make sure that our clients make the most out of their time while in Catalonia. We can help plan fun day-trips to the Costa Brava and all kinds of activities and extra services. From tables at the number one restaurant in Spain, El Celler de Can Roca to dining on a pier with fishermen. Let us know how we can help plan the perfect vacation and we will do the rest.

Bascara Sunday market

The village of Bascara is perhaps better known as that village which the NII dissects between Figueres and Girona on the way to the Costa Brava beaches.

Bascara market
Sunday market at Bascara

The majority of people just drive through on the NII and never get to see the real village. We think it is certainly worth a stop to take a look.

Bascara Sunday market

Although there may be more picturesque and historical villages around, Bascara does have some great positives. There is a busy weekly fruit and vegetable market on Sunday mornings in the main square next to a great authentic bar where you can soak up the local atmosphere. The first Sunday of every month sees the market expand with the incorporation of local antiques and bric-a-brac stalls.

Bascara on a Sunday morning also has two small supermarkets and great butchers which are open until 13.00.

If you are looking for a good quality restaurant look no further than Can Carles in Bascara. Their lunch speciality of “arros” or paella is definitely worth the visit.


Butchers. Giro Burset. Ctra, Girona, 26 17483 BASCARA Tel 972 560 021

Bar/Restaurant Bar Fluvia. Next door to Giro-Burset butchers. Very economical and good value 9€ lunch during the week. Closed Mondays.

Bascara Living Nativity

Bascara is also famous for it’s annual live Nativity held in the village. More information can be found about the Bascara Nativity here.

Charming Villas Catalonia

At Charming villas Catalonia we offer our clients a varied selection of high standard Barcelona vacation rentals. From Barcelona beachfront apartments to large farmhouses close to Barcelona.

Locally based we offer a free concierge service to all of our clients. Our goal is to make sure that our clients make the most out of their time while in Catalonia. We can help plan fun day-trips to the Costa Brava and all kinds of activities and extra services. From tables at the number one restaurant in Spain, El Celler de Can Roca to dining on a pier with fishermen. Let us know how we can help plan the perfect vacation and we will do the rest.