This is more of a guide for those independent visitors and tourists to Girona who arrive at its airport and have to find their way to other places like Barcelona or coastal resorts without the benefit of a car.
You can of course choose a taxi, convenient and quicker but that can get pricey. There’s always a long line of taxis waiting outside the arrivals hall and there’s usually information visible that shows the cost to popular destinations. Forget about getting an Uber or similar, none of these rideshare companies operate here.
For Barcelona bound people who want to take a coach you need to take a right turn as you exit arrivals. Walk a short distance down to a large parking area where you’ll see parked coaches with Barcelona Bus or Sagales, and a small stand-alone ticket office.
For anyone wanting to get to the many Costa Brava resorts and towns by bus you’d need to get to Girona’s bus station first. Most of the major towns are reachable e.g. L’Escala, Estartit, Playa d’Aro, St Feliu de Guixols, Blanes and Lloret de Mar (bus No.660).
LIke above, turn right out of airport arrivals, walk down about 50 metres to the bus waiting area. There’s a small ticket office where you can buy a single ticket 2.75€ for the airport bus, from bay 1, that will take you straight to Girona’s bus & train station. It’s underground so when you step off, walk towards the main waiting area at the far end,where you’ll see various ticket booths and the large departure information board. You’ll see the available destinations and departure times.
Try to plan ahead as bus timetables vary according to the season and are less frequent at weekends. Be mindful that the station does close at night. If you need to exit the bus station for any reason, follow the exit signs (sortida/salida) using the lift, stairs or escalator. Most signs are in fact shown in 3 languages, Catalan, Spanish and English. On reaching ground level and outside the building you’ll see the train station just across from you. The platforms are raised above street level, and the ticket office and ticket machines are inside.
Girona train station has the following amenities: toilets, atm, tobacconists (tabac), cafeteria, general store with drinks, snacks etc, left luggage, lottery sales, gift store (ale hop) and car rental offices. Whichever side you exit there are always taxis here. One side has free short-term parking, or longer term paid parking which can be found on the other side (of the above photo, facing C/Barcelona).
As far as trains from Girona to the Costa Brava coast the destinations are very limited. That’s a shame as there used to be a narrow gauge track that ran all the way down to St Feliu de Guixols, that was ripped up in the 1970’s. It’s now a popular cycle route with an occasional reference to its former usage.
Going in a northerly direction towards the French border there’s really only two coastal destinations, Llanca and Colera. Heading south the main line is inland and only touches the coast when it reaches Barcelona.
For the resort of Blanes you’d need to change at Macanet-Massanes and take the R1 service towards L’Hospitalet De Llobregat.
Llanca is 62km by car from Girona, travel time about 50 min. or one hour by train. It’s a fair size town with the usual tourist amenities and an important fishing port. www.visitllanca.cat
Colera on the other hand is far smaller with a darker, hard sand beach, holiday apartments, tiny marina and not a lot more. On my one and only visit, we took the slow train from Girona and for some reason had to change at Figueres. Arriving in Colera the miserable excuse for a station was reminiscent of a Spaghetti Western movie set. What must have been the station at one time was now a boarded up graffiti strewn building.
The bare bones platforms on either side of the tracks were equally uninspiring and had seen better days. The walk to the resort is short and I have to admit there are better looking Costa Brava resorts. On our way back to the Girona bound platform we observed groups of teenagers gleefully jumping into the pools of unoccupied properties.
One last thing to add is that if you’re travelling with a dog then train travel is fine (costs may apply), but banned on bus travel.
www.sagales.com Bus timetables
www.renfe.es Spain’s rail operator