Those arriving by plane to hike the GR 92 have the choice, depending on their point of departure, of flying to Barcelona (south of the GR 92) or to the smaller airport in Girona (in the hinterland of the GR 92). At present, however, Girona is only served by RyanAir from Germany (Information on public transport connections to Girona Airport).
So if you are travelling via Barcelona anyway, you can combine the coastal hike on the GR 92 with a subsequent city trip to one of the most interesting cities in Europe.
From Barcelona Airport to the city centre
If you arrive via Barcelona Airport and want to go directly to the starting point of the GR 92 in Portbou, you must first go to the city centre to get to one of the train stations. The best way to do this is with the airport shuttle "Aerobus", which serves both airport terminals (line A1 to Terminal 1, line A2 to Terminal 2, link: aerobusbarcelona.es). To change trains for Portbou, it is ideal to take the Aerobus to the end of the line at Plaça de Catalunya (see location on Google-Maps). From there it is only a few hundred metres to the underground station Passeig de Gracia (see location on Google-Maps). The luggage lockers of "LockerBarcelona" can also be found there nearby (www.lockerbarcelona.com).
Depending on the flight time, it may be advisable to plan an overnight stopover in Barcelona (see also Arrival: Accommodation in Barcelona). Since the first stage of the GR 92 from Portbou to Llançà is only a half-day hike, there is nothing to stop you from taking the train to the French border the next day.
By train to the starting point
Regional trains usually run every two hours between Barcelona and Portbou (direct connection without changing trains, journey time approx. 2:30 h). In addition to the main station ("Barcelona Sants" station), these trains also call at the much more centrally located "Passeig de Gracia" station. This underground train station is also only a few hundred metres away from the terminus of the airport buses.
Attention: The regional train station "Passeig de Gracia" (marked R) should not be confused with the metro station of the same name (marked M). The safest way to get to the platform of the regional trains without getting lost in the maze of underground connecting tubes is the way above ground: The entrance to the regional train station "Passeig de Gracia" is directly opposite the world-famous "Casa Battló", a house designed by the architect Gaudí - see also this view of the Passeig de Gracia Station on Google Streetview.
The train timetable is normally also available via the page of the German Railways (Enter: Barcelona P.Gracia departure station, Port Bou destination station):
However, it sometimes happens that Deutsche Bahn only displays the expensive long-distance connections, which also mean a diversion via France (change trains in Perpignan). As of 22.03.2019, the above-mentioned regional trains have unfortunately been omitted. As of 26.04.2019, they are displayed again. If this problem occurs again, you should check the page of the Spanish railway at www.renfe.com for information on current train connections or, alternatively, on the Catalan local transport website. https://mou-te.gencat.cat/itinerary (each also available in English).
The following is an exemplary overview of connections (timetable as of 22.03.2019, without guarantee). Prices start at €13.50:
Bus connections back to Barcelona
Very few places on the Costa Brava are accessible by train, so there is a bus station in almost every major town, from where comfortable buses run regularly.
- Possibility 1: Direct bus connection without changing to Barcelona (depending on the departure point, sometimes only 1x to 2x daily).
- Possibility 2: Transfer to one of the stations along the outward journey's rail route - as a rule, transfer to the train in Figueres or Girona. Buses run much more frequently here, sometimes there is even a bus every 30 minutes.
Please note: Bus tickets must be purchased in advance, the seats on the bus are numbered and must be reserved. The bus timetable can be found at: https://compras.moventis.es/online/. Online tickets are also available there. In Barcelona, the bus station "Estacio del Nord" is usually the first stop, followed by the airport.
If the bus operator's timetable information is too complicated for you, you can also look it up on Moovitapp.com and get an overview there (link: Moovitapp.com). Transfer connections from bus to train across different providers are also displayed there. However, tickets for bus and train must usually be purchased separately for each provider!
Tip: If you plan to get on the bus in Lloret de Mar in the afternoon at the end of stage 10, you should already buy a bus ticket for the afternoon in the morning at the bus station in Tossa de Mar!