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Which Town?

New England
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1,502 posts
155 reviews
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Which Town?

We are interested in making our first trip to the area, flying into Barcelona. Which town should we case ourselves in if:

1) We will be relying on public transportation.

2) My wife loves a good beach (small is fine).

3) Availability of reasonably priced hotels and/or self catering options.

4) Some access to towns in the mountains.

5) Lots of local flavour.

6) Not overrun by tourists.

7) Some other sights etc in area.

Girona, Spain
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1. Re: Which Town?

Hi Duncan,

If you want to see/experience all of the above, you really NEED transport! There are so many beautiful and interesting places to see on the Costa Brava and towards the Pyrenees, but accessing them by public transport is extremely difficult!

If you decide to hire a car, get back to me and I'll advise on suitable locations.

New England
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2. Re: Which Town?

What if we eliminated 4 and 7 and just settled for a one town stay? Would we be better off looking at someplace like Collioure in France?

MERSEYSIDE
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3. Re: Which Town?

there are plenty of beach resorts along the coast with extremely easy train access to barcelona

you will find lenty of hotels etc

however they do tend to be quite touristy, maybe not overrun by tourist but not quiet either. the beaches are wide with quite a steep slope into the sea. if you are looking for little bays, you would be better off going to llafranc / tamariu for which you may need a car. can't get there by train but i've only ever been in the car so i don't know what the bus situation is like.

by far the most touristy of the ones accessible by train are blanes and lloret (need a bus as well as train for these), malgrat is fairly busy but the local flavour is there if you do a bit of research, at first it looks very touristy, santa susana is mainly hotels so probably not what you're looking for. pineda is a nice mix of touristy and local and calella is a busy resort, again not really what you are looking for. further towards barcelona the resorts are a bit quieter but i haven't been to them so can't say any more than that.

these are technically costa maresme but in the UK brochures they come under costa brava. true costa brava is much prettier but not as easy to get to.

Girona, Spain
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4. Re: Which Town?

Yes, the towns that are better served by public transport are the most touristy (and in my opinion, not as pretty). Llafranc and Tamariu are good locations, as is Begur. There is a bus a day to Barcelona and Girona but more buses to other places from nearby Palafrugell (15 mins in a taxi). A lot will depend on the time of year you are visiting also.

New England
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5. Re: Which Town?

Thanks for your suggestions. We are on a tight budget and that is why we wanted to avoid a car rental, but now we may decide to rent one for part of our stay. One option we are considering is to fly into Girona by Ryanair and take it from there. Any tips on reasonable car rental in or near Girona (especially the airport)?

Girona, Spain
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6. Re: Which Town?

Yes, there are a few car hire companies at the airport. Most of my guests book Sol Mar, but I've noticed a lot of cars around Begur with stickers for Gold???? something! Just look carefully at the conditions as some of them give you a full tank of petrol and ask you to return it empty; this is fine if you can organise it, but I've heard people complain that it's a pain!!!

Girona, Spain
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7. Re: Which Town?

I've just realised that you're coming from New England; if you're coming directly from the US you won't be able to fly into Girona, it will be Barcelona.Yes?

New England
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8. Re: Which Town?

It may be more cost effective for us to fly Aer Lingus to Dublin or Shannon and then connect via Ryanair to Girona and of course Girona itself is worth a visit.

Girona, Spain
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9. Re: Which Town?

Sounds like a good plan! Girona is a beautiful city, definitely worth a visit or overnight stay. Let me know if you decide to do this as I can recommend a couple of small, stylish apartments in the heart of the historic city.

edinburgh
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10. Re: Which Town?

Just to add that car hire is really inexpensive in Spain. Try one of the price comparison sites - I use Travel Jungle and haven't paid over £100 for a week's hire (and your dollar is strengthening by the day!). But if you do decide to go by public transport, SARFA is the bus company and it takes about 2 hours to go to Begur, Pals and Palafrugell.