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.

Public transport on the Costa Brava

This post is aimed at helping those who wish to travel to the Costa Brava by public transport from Barcelona and Girona.

Trains on the Costa Brava

AVE is a high speed train line connecting Barcelona and France. Girona and Figueres are stops on the AVE line. It is a fast and easy way to travel between Barcelona and the Girona province. Timetables can be found here; RENFE Timetables However if your final destination is the Costa Brava coast then either bus or a combination of train and bus are your only options.

As well as the fast AVE train linking Barcelona, Girona and Figueres there is the secondary, slower Regional route. Regional trains from Barcelona also pass through Girona and Figueres to the frontier town of Portbou stopping at many smaller stations along the way. Barcelona to Girona on the AVE takes around 35 minutes and around 1 hour 30 minutes on the Regional.  Barcelona Regional train timetable

Buses on the Costa Brava

Teisa bus Besalu
Teisa bus Besalu (image credit )

The bus company Sarfa offer routes directly from Barcelona and Girona airports to most of the main coastal towns on the Costa Brava Sarfa Bus timetable 

Alternatively there is the option of taking the train to Girona and then a bus on to your final destination. As well as Sarfa other local bus companies include: Sagales bus timetable and Teisa bus timetable

Teisa also have a direct route between Barcelona and Olot stopping at Banyoles and Besalu. Barcelona Besalu bus timetable The journey time between Barcelona and Besalu is around 1 hour 40 minutes.

Costa Brava public transport

Here is a quick recap of public transport on the Costa Brava. The Girona province has two main train stations, Girona and Figueres. Both of these stations are stops on the high-speed AVE line connecting Barcelona with France. The slower Regional route from Girona to Portbou stops at Llanca and Colera.

With the exception of Portbou, Colera and Llanca at the very northern tip of the Costa Brava no other coastal towns are reachable by train.

Connecting buses can be taken from Girona and Figueres train stations to the coast. Main bus terminals are to be found at Roses, L’Escala, Palafrugell, Palamos and Sant Feliu de Guixols.