We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Car Rental/Costa Brava Itinerary

Level Contributor
4 posts
3 reviews
Car Rental/Costa Brava Itinerary


My husband and I are planning a quick trip, flying into Barcelona to stay for a couple days and then driving to a small town in France outside of Perpignan to meet up with family. It will be our first time to Spain.

Itinerary-wise, I was thinking it would be best to take a train to Girona and rent a car from there, since we want to check out the city and also because we think it would be best not to deal with driving in Barcelona. Even though it's not too far of a drive to Perpignan from Girona, we would love to check out a town on the coast along the way so were thinking of spending one night somewhere along the Costa Brava. So I have two questions:

1) Is it better to rent a car in Barcelona or take the train to Girona and rent a car from there? We will be flying out of Barcelona so will be returning wherever we end up renting.

2) Can anyone recommend a hotel along the Costa Brava where we can stay one night on the way to France? Somewhere mid-priced in a quiet town with access to the water (we don't mind hiking to it either) and great food would be amazing.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Girona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Girona
Level Contributor
747 posts
63 reviews
1. Re: Car Rental/Costa Brava Itinerary

I think renting from Girona is a very good idea. Train will be less stressful and quicker and there are 3 car hire companies based at the station. Points to note though;

Hiring from Girona will be more expensive;

There will probably be a drop off fee for returning it to Barcelona airport rather than Girona;

Car hire at train stations work Spanish hours unlike airport which is open all day and most of the night;

Make sure your insurance on the car covers cross border travel, will probably have to pay extra but clarify this before you book.

There are lots of places to stay on the coast although not many allow 1 night bookings during high season. Good resorts with nice countryside between them and Girona are St Marti D'Empuries/Old L'Escala, Llafranc and Cadaques. That is where I would be looking to stay.

Destination Expert
for Barcelona
Level Contributor
14,163 posts
24 reviews
2. Re: Car Rental/Costa Brava Itinerary

I don't know about Girona station but driving from Barcelona airport, especially if you rent from one of the on-airport providers, is quite simple. The airport roads are all on- way so you have a chance to get used to the controls of the vehicle for a couple of kilometres before getting into any traffic and driving is typically conservative there (lots of police and cameras) and also fairly quiet most of the time. I like starting rentals from BCN. Also, you can access the major road network immediately from the airport and the destinations are very well signposted. We normally head south, but I am convinced that you reach a sign for Girona very soon after leaving the airport.

There are certainly some busy roads around Barcelona, but I always find driving in Catalunya to be fairly straightforward. Using trains to get to Girona is definitely not a bad option but if you have a lot of luggage it can be a bit of a drag.

3. Re: Car Rental/Costa Brava Itinerary

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 22 July 2018, 13:17