More Speakers Announced for TBEX Europe

 

Girona Conference Center, Spain

We’ve got a few more speakers to announce and this group all represents the Travel and Tourism industry perspective.  We’re very excited to have them joining ed sessions in the Industry Track and look forward to hearing what they have to say about the travel industry, how bloggers fit into the industry, and to get their perspective on what the future holds.

Please join me in welcoming:

  • Jessica Parker – Jessica is joining us from the New York office Weber Shandwick, the world’s largest public relations firm.  She’ll be co-presenting with blogger Amy Moore on what makes a good pitch.
  • Joantxo Llantada – Joantxo was born Bilbao, works in Valencia, and rests in the Canary Islands.  He’ll be joining a session on how to organize blogger trips.  (P.S., Industry attendees, if you’re interested in learning how to get your boss to buy off on a blogger trip, you won’t want to miss this panel.)
  • Nicholas Montemaggi – Joining us from the Emilia Romagna Region Tourist Board, Nicholas will be co-presenting on the topic of How to Form Creative Tourism-Blogger Partnerships.  He’s had a rather cutting edge blogger program and will be sharing what it takes to be ahead of the curve when working with bloggers.

We continue to update the speakers and our program, so check back often to get the most up-to-date information.

Sound Off
Which speaker are you most looking forward to meeting?

Photo credit:

Join TBEX on Instagram

A picture, as we all have heard, is worth a thousand words. In today’s web world, it often seems like a picture is worth even more – which is why we’re excited to announce that TBEX is now on Instagram.

We just started the account, and so far we’re posting photos from the last TBEX conference at Keystone, but we look forward to using Instagram to share photos of upcoming events with you – in Costa Brava, Toronto, and beyond. We will also be keeping track of the #TBEX hashtag on Instagram so we can re-share photos conference attendees take, either at TBEX or elsewhere, so tag your Instagram shots with #TBEX if you’d like to share them with us.

You’ll find us on Instagram as TBEXevents, and you can also check out our profile (including all our photos) on the TBEX Statigram page – handy for those of you who don’t use Instagram. Please connect with us on Instagram – we look forward to seeing TBEX through your eyes (and, naturally, those funky Instagram filters).

How People Can Bring Your Blog Posts to Life

 

Today we have a guest post from Michael Turtle, one of our speakers for TBEX Europe.  Michael has a journalism background, and will be joining with fellow journalist Chris Gray Faust, in a session titled Travel Writing 101:  Writing the Creative Service Piece.

Here’s what Michael has to say about why you should incorporate interviews and interviewing techniques into your travel writing.

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“Today I went to see the pyramids. I’d always wanted to visit them, ever since I first saw a picture of them as a child. They were much bigger than I expected and it was a really great experience.”

Ok, pretty boring, right? But sadly this is how too many travel stories online sound. As a writer, it’s much easier to say what’s on the top of your mind, rather than consider what a reader wants to hear. Making the extra effort to write engaging content will be better for your blog in the long run, though.

Often it helps to think like a journalist. Not in the sense of where you’re going to get a beer after your story is filed (although that’s not necessarily a bad thing) but about the elements and structure that will best illustrate the point you’re trying to make.

We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves, though (not a good thing to do as a writer) because one of the most important things to work out first is what your point is. In the journalism game, this is called your angle or your hook and basically it’s a matter of answering the question “what will interest someone enough to read this story?”  Once you know that, the hardest part is done. During my years writing stories for television and radio stations, the easiest assignments were always the ones where I knew what I wanted to say.

It’s then a matter of collecting the elements of your story and putting them together in a compelling way. I just want to talk about one of those elements now – interviews. This will be one of the main focuses of the session I’m co-presenting with Chris Gray Faust at TBEX in Girona, Spain, in September.

Look at it this way: the world as we know it is made up of people. It’s their creations, their interactions, their opinions, and their traditions which are such an important part of the fabric of society. And it’s from people that the best stories of humankind have been told. Can you think of a good novel that had no people and was just about a landscape or a building? No… didn’t think so.

New_OrleansSo injecting some characters into your stories is a really straightforward way to bring them to life. While you’re travelling you could do quick and easy interviews with people you meet along the way – or you could arrange some more formal ones in advance or once you’re at a location. It doesn’t really matter how you do it, as long as it helps you with your angle.

I’m not going to go into the best techniques for interviews right now (because it would be really embarrassing if you didn’t come to my session because you thought you’d learnt enough) except to say that it’s actually quite easy once you know the basics. The key is tailoring your interviewing style to the situation. In my former job (back when I actually had an income) I would interview a movie star one day, homeless drug addicts the next, and the Prime Minister the next. As you’d expect, each required a slightly different approach… but also had plenty of common elements.

The best thing about interviews is that the quotes you get from people are quite malleable – if you’ve done well with the chat then you can use them in any type of story to achieve a wide range of effects. Not that I want to force you read my own site (heaven knows that travel bloggers NEVER want to do that), I thought it would be helpful if I pointed to a couple of examples.

  • If you get a great interview with a really interesting character, often that’s enough for a story in itself. Readers are fascinated with the lives of other people – especially if they come from a foreign culture or have led a unique lifestyle. That’s just what I found when I interviewed the world’s oldest backpacker.
  • Often you can leave the best storytelling to the characters in your post by choosing good quotes from their interviews. They usually know the topic better than you so it’s a nice idea to let them explain the information and you can fill in the context and the details needed to link everything together. As you’ll see in this story about the destruction of Paraguay’s forests, it can also add a personal touch to a potentially dry issue.
  • Sometimes you’ll do interviews with representatives of organisations or with individuals who are central to your story. But a useful technique to create a sense of place is to get quotes from people on the streets who can speak for a whole community – or give you a range of differing views on one topic. This story about the state of the Greek economic crisis used tourism workers to paint a picture of the effects on the industry.

ParaguayAs I mentioned, there are a few elements you can use to spice up the writing on your blog. Why not just start with one, though. Perhaps try putting some interviews into some future posts and see how your regular readers respond. Remember: it’s all about people, not you.

Author bio: Michael Turtle used to spend his days as a journalist interviewing people and telling their stories on Australian radio and television. Now he’s travelling the globe indefinitely, sharing the things he finds on his blog Time Travel Turtle.

Photo credits:  Courtesy of the author

TBEX Europe Speaker: Will Peach

 

In the fun and excitement of TBEX 12 in Keystone we heard rumblings of someone trash talking us.  We heard this travel bloggers had made a list of 5 things he’d rather be doing than be at TBEX.  We heard he was blasting travel bloggers, poking fun at people he thought were getting too big for their britches, and saying that he’d rather be traveling than sitting in a conference room.  It seemed like travel bloggers were afraid to mention him to us – hey, we are not that thin skinned.  If you don’t like what we’re doing we want to hear why.  It’s how we change, and grow, and continue to provide a quality conference to travel bloggers and the travel industry.

So who was this smack-talking travel blogger?  We had to find out.  Turns out it’s the Gonzo Traveler, Will Peach.  We read his post about TBEX and started clicking through to read more.  We weren’t offended – how can you be offended by someone who says, “I’m poor and have no friends”  and “I’d rather be at a conference than read what I have to say” – we laughed and were entertained by his original writing, strong voice, and edgy irreverent nature.  We decided we needed to get this guy to be a speaker at the next TBEX.

And we did.

It turns out that Will has writing cred behind his edgy persona.  And we like that.  So we paired him up with an equally strong writing voice, albeit of a different nature, Pam Mandel.  The two of them are creating a workshop designed to help travel bloggers tell a better travel story.  Regardless of your voice, style, or travel blogging niche, we think How to Tell a Creative Travel Story will help you create better work.

And hey – let’s talk to Will after the conference and see if he still “has no friends.”

Photo credit:  Provided by Will Peach

Extend your Time in Catalonia: Barcelona’s Beckoning

 

Today we have a guest post from one of our sponsors, Go with Oh.  They were actually the very first sponsor to sign up for our TBEX Europe conference and we’re very excited about the support they’ve shown to travel bloggers.

They have a great offer for any TBEX attendees who are planning on staying in Catalonia, whether it’s extending the TBEX stay or planning a return visit.  You can count on quality from Go with Oh.  They only work with fully licensed and hand-picked apartments, so you are assured that they are well maintained and exactly as represented.

Here’s what Go with Oh has to say about your visit to Catalonia.

 

Barcelona at night

As a host city for TBEX Europe, Girona’s pretty original.  As Catalan as they come, this Costa Brava enclave remains an undiscovered part of Spain, straddling one hill, several cultures and countless centuries’ worth of history with aplomb. If you’re staying in the city itself you’re in for a treat.

Once TBEX is over, you might be planning on taking in the rest of what Catalonia has to offer. The good news is that a mere hour from Girona by train lies Barcelona – city of Gothic backstreets, Gaudí and gallons of Cava. Not to mention the biggest carnival in the Catalan’s capital’s calendar takes place September 21st-24th, 2013.  La Mercè is as feisty a fiesta as Barcelona hosts all year – complete with fireworks, sky-high towers of daredevil children and parades of friendly fire-breathing dragons. If you’ll be flying out right after TBEX, you might be able to take in a few of the festivities.

If you’re tempted by the prospect of killing two cities in one trip, we have a special invitation for you. We’re giving everyone attending TBEX Europe a 15% discount on apartment rentals in Barcelona – and the discount is valid through the end of 2012. Picture it:  acres of space in which to hang out, total flexibility over your schedule, and the option to get more for your budget by making meals in. Why not invite some fellow TBEXers over and make a proper party of it?

Hope you have a productive TBEX and looking forward to meeting you in September!

Photo credit:  Baikonur via wikimedia commons

4 Tips to Keeping a Travel Blog Going While Traveling

 

One of the ironies of being a travel blogger is that the time when it’s hardest to keep up with the blog is when you’re actually, y’know, traveling. When we stay put for awhile, either at home or whatever we call a homebase, we can edit photos, decipher notes, write blog posts, respond to emails, and tweet our little hearts out. When we’re traveling, most of those things are more challenging – if not downright impossible.

If your blog is primarily about travel and you travel on a regular basis, you need to come up with a system for making sure your blog still looks alive even when you’re not checking it every day. And really, even if your blog is only partly about your travels, keeping the blog lively while you’re jetsetting (so your readers don’t go wandering off in search of newer and shinier things) is still a good idea.

Here are four tips to help make sure your blog doesn’t gather cobwebs while you’re on the move.

1. Remember paper?

 


Take a step back in time with me, kids, to an era when travel blogs were written by hand. With pens. On paper. I know, right? Nevermind that they weren’t actually called blogs then – the point is that the absence of WiFi and electricity doesn’t keep you from writing.

Make sure you always have a small notebook you can carry with you wherever you go (oh HAI, yummy Moleskines) and a pen you genuinely like (seriously, if you don’t like the way it writes, you won’t enjoy using it). Get them out on long bus or train rides, or while you’re sitting in a restaurant or public square. Take notes on what you’re seeing, smelling, eating, doing – on everything. Write down stuff even if you think you’ll remember it later (I promise you won’t). Describe things in detail in your notes as much as you can, and at the very least jot down quick snippets that will trigger memories later on.

Turning those notes into blog posts later will be a (relative) piece of cake compared to what it would be like if you had to recreate everything from your inadequate memory banks.

2. Take. Pictures. Of. Everything.

 


Of course you want to capture the views you’re seeing and the foods you’re eating with the prowess of a National Geographic photographer, but that’s not the only thing your camera is good for. In fact, I’d argue that for most of us (the ones who are mediocre amateur photographers at best – and who also suffer from a serious case of laziness), the cameras we tote around are more useful as note-taking tools.

The plaque on the side of an historic building in the old town center? Sure, you could get out that Moleskine you’re carrying around and write down details for later reference… Or you could just snap a quick photo of the doggone thing and read it later. I regularly get quick photos of signs declaring entry hours/ticket prices, historic plaques, road signs, etc. If you’re pressed for space on your camera’s memory card, make time later in the day to write down details from those photos and then delete the files.

Again, like point #1 above, this tip helps make the post-writing process much faster when you eventually have time for it, because you don’t have to go hunting down all the information you need.

3. Short Updates > No Updates

 


This isn’t about the fact that your blog posts don’t need to be novellas (although that’s true, too) – this is about using other non-blog tools to keep your readers engaged during your trip, without you needing to sit down at a keyboard for a half-hour entering something into WordPress. In particular, I’m talking about Twitter.

Posting quick updates to Twitter while you’re actually traveling is an excellent way to let your readers know you’re still alive (hi Mom!), you’re doing/seeing/eating wonderful things, and you’ll have plenty to share with them in greater detail later. Let your readers know ahead of time that you’ll be posting updates to Twitter (but not the blog) during your trip, and invite them to follow along. Make sure your Twitter feed shows up on your blog, so even those who aren’t Twitter-holics can check in when they visit your site. And Twitter has “ShortCodes” for you to send updates via SMS from all over the globe, if you’ve got a local SIM card, so you don’t even need to be at your computer to send updates throughout your trip (here’s the growing list of Twitter’s supported mobile carriers around the world and their ShortCodes).

The same kinds of short updates and photos can be posted to your blog’s Facebook page, too, when you have WiFi. It’s all about letting your readers know you’re still thinking of them – without feeling like you’re a slave to them.

4. Advance Publishing is Your Friend

 


This is the part where you get to use the awesome notes you’ve been gathering (#1 above) and the images you’ve captured (#2 above) to write a whole bunch of posts. Because you’ve taken good notes and have some of your research taken care of thanks to your photos, you can take advantage of long travel days or even stay-put days with no WiFi to get quite a bit of writing done. And because you don’t want to inundate your readers with seven posts in 24 hours, you also get to take advantage of the advance publishing feature.

Sure, write seven posts during that long train ride if you can – but spread out the publication of those posts over the next week or two. That way your readers get a steady trickle of lengthier updates (combined with the shorter in-the-moment updates from #3 above), but you don’t need to be chained to your laptop in order to deliver them. If your readers are accustomed to getting something new every single day about what you did that very day, you’ll have to learn to let go of that schedule – and as long as you let them know what’s going on, they’ll be fine. The promise of great tales of adventure when you do get back to posting regularly (combined with quick updates via Twitter or Facebook) should keep your readership intact and hungry for more.

Having said all of that…

 


Here’s the thing. Yes, I’m going to advocate that travel bloggers keep up their blogs (to an extent) when they travel. It’s what we do, after all. It’s why we have blogs. But y’know what? I’m also going to tell you to step away from the computer now and then.

Being able to travel is an incredible privilege, and if you’re presented with the choice between having an actual travel experience or sitting at your laptop travel blogging, I sincerely hope you’ll choose the former. You can always make time later to write about your adventures – but it’s impossible to write about something you haven’t experienced in the first place.

Turn off the laptop, put down the smartphone, and enjoy the moment. Your blog posts, when you get back to them, will be richer for it.

(But don’t forget the Moleskine. Just in case.)

What do you think?
What tools do you employ to keep your blog going when you travel? What’s your favorite tip for bloggers who ask how you manage blogging while on the road? Share in the comments below!

Photo credits, top to bottom: San Sharma, garryknight, whatleydude, Ben30, jbhthescots (all via flickr)

NEWS: FREE Accommodations Offered to 50 Next Bloggers Registering For TBEX Costa Brava

 

We have another way to entice you to TBEX Europe in Costa Brava.  Well, 50 more ways actually.

The Costa Brava Tourism Board, along with dozens of partner properties, will be offering post-TBEX accommodations free of charge to our attendees.  We have 50 additional  rooms that have been made available, some for as long as a week, that will allow you to add on to your stay in the Costa Brava area.  The selection of accommodations is amazing – ranging from bungalows at beach camp sites to 4 star luxury hotels – something to appeal to everyone, regardless of your personal travel interests and style.

These rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to the next 50 people who register for TBEX Costa Brava. There are limited units available, held open for a limited time, so it is important to act quickly.

Here’s how it works:

  • Register to attend TBEX Europe
  • Review the selection of properties and make your reservation.  We’ll check your reservation against the attendee list to make sure you’re registered.  The system works like most reservations systems, select the date(s) you wish to stay and what is available will be brought up.  There are tabs for Hotels, Apartments, Rural Tourism, and Camp Site, so toggle between them to find what will be a good fit.  Not all properties for all dates, so be sure to click on the DETAILS button to see the exact availability before you book.
  • The properties are located all over the Costa Brava area, so be sure to check the location closely.  Ground transportation is not included and will need to be independently arranged.
  • Your information is forwarded to TBEX and we will collect your reservation request and deliver the information to the appropriate lodging property.
  • The verification and finalization of these reservations will be handled by the individual properties, and you will receive a confirmation from them.
  • Any changes or questions specific to the property should be directed to them.

To show our appreciation of the tremendous amount of work that was put into this program by the independent companies and properties, we ask that you do the following:

  • Include a mention and link to the property in a blog post (if you stay long enough to provide a full review, that would be even better). Be sure to disclose that this was a sponsored stay in accordance with FTC Guidelines and best blogging practices.
  • Share your experience at the property and in the surrounding area with your social media network as appropriate.
  • Provide links to the Costa Brava Girona Tourism Board of all blog posts published as a result of your stay

So who wants to go TBEX in Costa Brava now?

Photo credit:  Courtesy of Costa Brava Girona Tourism Board.

Welcome TBEX Community Manager, Jessica Spiegel

 

Who has the best travel community around?  TBEX!  I’d even hazard a guess to say that it’s the best darned community around period, regardless of niche.

Jessica Spiegel TBEX Community ManagerSo when it came time to find a community manager, we went looking for the best darned community manager around.  She was easy to find, because we already knew her, she was already well known and respected in the travel space, and she was ready for a new challenge.  So – we’re very happy to officially announce (yeah, we’ve been teasing it a bit in social media) that we’ve added Jessica Spiegel to the TBEX team as our new Community Manager.

We were impressed with Jessica’s community ethos:  “I believe awesome people should be connected with other awesome people, which, in practical terms, means I am an excellent cocktail party host as well as eager community builder.”  See what I mean?  Jessica is perfect for the TBEX community – we’ve got tons of awesome people that we need to connect, and we’ve been known to bring them together at a cocktail party!

Okay, enough of the fun stuff, Jessica has serious community cred, too.

While her passion with community goes back to the late 1990s – before there was even much talk about blogging or community – Jessica is probably best known for creating the content and community on the WhyGo Italy site, a position that established her as an expert and the go-to person for information and discussions about travel in Italy.    She formerly worked at BootsnAll as a travel writer and community manager, managing the community message boards and the company’s social media, and has recently has been freelancing.

Jessica has officially taken the reins of the TBEX social media accounts, and you may already have had a chance to chat with her on Twitter (@TBEXEvents) or on the TBEX Facebook page.  She’ll also be helping out with the TBEX blog.

Jessica lives in Portland, Oregon, and when she’s not immersed in the TBEX community, she blogs at Jessica Travels, maintains a freelance business, and dreams of Italy.

Welcome Jessica!  We’re so excited to have you on the TBEX team!

Photo credit:  Jessica Spiegel

Five Foodie Reasons To Visit Girona

 

Today we have a guest post from travel blogger Matt Long.  Matt was a speaker at TBEX 2012 on the topic of social media.  He will be a speaker again at TBEX Europe in Girona, Spain.

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So you signed up for TBEX EU in Girona for the great speakers, interesting sessions and the chance to meet colleagues from around the world, right? What you didn’t know is that you will have the chance to try some of the best food in the world during your visit to Spain’s Costa Brava. There are countless amazing dishes and culinary treasures in and around Girona, from the super high end to the simplest of meals. After my visit to the region though these five are the ones I remember the most.

1. Pa Amb Tomaquet – When I first saw this at breakfast I thought someone had made a mistake. I’m used to a variation of this bread and tomato small dish with or before dinner and lunch, but a morning equivalent was new to me. The perfect tomaquet should include: Olive oil, fresh bread, ripe tomatoes and salt. Then you cut the tomato in half and rub the cut side into the bread until it is well moistened with pulp. Drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle some salt and your perfect Pa Amb Tomaquet has been created. At first it’s a little strange to enjoy the tomaquet with your breakfast, but by the end of the week you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

2. Seafood – While I personally may not be a big fan of seafood, I know that this culinary treat is what brings thousands of people to the Costa Brava every year. In and around Girona you will be presented with a sumptuous variety of watery treasures, from gigantic prawns to savory fish stews and everything in between. For the best Catalan experience, head towards a local fish shack for a home made feast featuring the popular dish Catxoflino. It’s a simple assemblage of langoustines, sausage or meatballs, mushrooms, onion and of course olive oil, but like any classic dish the magic of it rests with the individual flair added by the chef. When our group enjoyed this classic meal the chef was especially inspired and the table was soon in seafood ecstasy. Whatever you try though, it’s guaranteed to be fresh and delicious.

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3. Aioli If there’s one thing I learned in Girona, it’s that what I used to think of as aioli is merely flavored mayonnaise. In Spain they take their aioli (spelled “allioli” in Catalan) seriously, very seriously, and there’s a very particular and labor-intensive way of producing this spicy condiment. Garlic cloves are crushed using a mortar and pestle and gradually, over the span of thirty minutes or more, olive oil is added until the perfect thick aioli is created. For the novice, you should be careful when sampling this delicacy – a little bit goes a long way. The garlic condiment is spicy and adds a definite kick to just about any dish, from meats and cheese to seafood and it’s even a great snack on its own with fresh bread.

Photo Stream-963 4. Charcuterie – Spain is famous for its fine meats, especially the rich variety of hams. Years are spent cultivating the perfect ham, which is then thinly sliced and assembled in a heap of meaty grandeur. But ham isn’t the only form of charcuterie in Girona; you’ll find a carnivorous panoply of sausages, thin sliced meats and mystery portions that may be unknown, but are nonetheless delicious. With a little bread, tomatoes and olive oil this makes the perfect start to any meal.

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5. The Porrón – You can’t visit Girona without trying some of the delicious wines found in this part of Spain. Wine is enjoyed at almost every meal, throughout the day and for no particular reason. Wine consumption is just a part of normal life, and indeed has been turned into an art form. One of the more unique ways of enjoying and sharing wine is through the porrón. A porrón (“porró” in Catalan) is a traditional Catalan glass wine pitcher and resembles a cross between a wine bottle and watering can. This unique vessel originated in the middle ages and was used when there weren’t enough glasses for the guests. Because, you see, this strange little glass tankard is meant to enjoy wine without your lips touching the bottle in any way. I wasn’t sure what to make of the odd serving vessel when I first saw it, and was completely taken aback when someone lifted it up and poured the red liquid into their gullets. The trick, it seemed, was to hold the porrón far enough away so that wine doesn’t cover one’s chest but close enough so that, you know, you can drink it. You may not become a porrón drinking expert during your time in Girona, but it’s a lot of fun trying.

Photo credits:  Courtesy of the author

Author Bio:  A luxury adventure traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his adventures with more than 16,000 Twitter followers and runs one of the top travel blogs, LandLopers.com. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Matt is a Lonely Planet Featured Blogger and has been featured on many other web sites and publications including BBC Travel, CNN GO, Huffington Post and National Geographic Intelligent Travel. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

How to Travel From Barcelona to Girona for TBEX Europe

 

There are many ways to get to Costa Brava for TBEX Europe, whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile.  Or bus.  Here’s a brief overview to help you make your plans:

By Plane

Terminal 1 at Barcelona Airport BCNMost travelers coming from North America, or anywhere else not on the continent, will likely arrive at El Prat de Llobregat Airport (BCN) in Barcelona.  The airport has two terminals, and generally speaking Terminal 1 (the larger terminal, in photo at right) is home to major international and domestic carriers, while Terminal 2 is home to EasyJet and many of the smaller carriers and seasonal operations.

The airport is located eight miles southwest of the city.  If you’re planning on a stay in Barcelona before or after your time at TBEX, you can catch the Aerobus into the city.  The bus departs on a frequent schedule from each terminal stop (right outside the arrival lobby) and takes about 30 minutes to get into the city center.  The price is approximately $7.25 one way, $11.25 round trip (price estimated based on current Euro/Dollar exchange rate).  A taxi into the Barcelona City Center will run approximately $37.

You can also opt to fly into Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRO).  Ryanair flies into this airport as well as other carriers and charters offering seasonal service.

This airport is located a little over seven and a half miles southwest of Girona.  You can get into Girona on a Sagales bus.  They leave hourly, take about half an hour, and costs about $3.  A taxi into the city center will cost approximately $31.

By Train

If you are in coming into the area via train, you will most likely arrive at Santa Estació (Sants Station), the main rail station in Barcelona.  It’s located northwest of the city center in the Sants-Montjuic district.  It’s easily accessible from around the city and the airport, and this will be your departure spot for taking the train from Barcelona to Girona.  You can purchase tickets in advance online, at automated machines located in the station, or from a teller.  Windows 1-10 sell tickets for local trains.  If you have questions, there are information booths located by windows 1 and 21.  The train will cost approximately $9.50; there is a surcharge for using the teller booths.  The end stop on the route is Figueres, so look for that destination when locating your departure track or following the reader board.

If you’re starting your train journey at the airport (BCN), your train journey will be slightly different.  There is no direct drain from BCN to Girona and you’ll need to make a transfer.  You can make a transfer at Sants and then follow the recommendations above.  However, the Passeig de Gracia station (the second stop from the airport) is smaller and less crowded and may be less intimidating and confusing.   Other stations where you can make a transfer include El Clot-Aragó and Sant Andreu Comta.

Once you arrive at the Girona station you can take the #2 bus into the city center.  Cost is about $1.50.  It’s also walkable, and depending on how many bags you’re traveling shouldn’t take more than 20-30 minutes.

You can get information, ticket prices, and find the train schedule here.

By Bus

You can catch a bus from either of the BCN terminals that will take you to Girona.  Three buses a day run on this route so you will need to make sure your travel times match up.  The bus trip takes about an hour and half at a cost of approximately $27 one way, $49 round trip.  Information regarding the bus schedule from Terminal 1, general bus information, and online ticketing is available.

By Car

Rental cars are available in the usual locations – airports, near train stations, and in various city center locations.  Shop for competitive prices and consider booking in advance for deeper discounts.  Parking and driving in Girona may be difficult, as it is apt to be in many old, historic cities.  A few of the city hotels have parking places for their customers (check with yours); a couple of public parking options include Copa’s Parking , the Devesa area (near the park), and the Palau de Congressos.

Do you have any special tips for getting to Girona?  Please share them with the comments as we’ll be updating this information and creating a transportation page for easy reference.

Photo credit:  Airport photo via wikimedia commons, Aitor Agirregabiria photographer.