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We are planning an October trip to Croatia, Oct 6 - 20, due to work, dates are not too flexible. Looking for advice on visiting islands this time of year, or skip it until next time. Will the vineyards be harvesting and open for business, will cafes and shops be open on the islands? We're Just starting to plan our route and can fit more mainland things in if we cut out the islands. Thanks in advance for all advice.

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Many places on the islands close for winter at the end of September, as that is when the weather often breaks.

The catamaran linking Split, Korcula etc with Dubrovnik is daily until the middle of October, when it reverts to 4 days a week.

I was on Hvar a couple of years ago and the grape harvest started mid September, but this will vary each year depending on the weather. Much of the harvesting had finished when I left on the 23rd September. By the time I left, it had a very end of season feel. We stopped for a morning coffee at a small coastal resort on the mainland near Makarska and found that only one cafe was open and that was 23rd September!

Most of the vineyards on Hvar seemed to be small scale growers and they were not commercial enterprises that would welcome visitors walking through their vines. There are a few wineries, but these are nothing like the scale of those I have visited in the Napa Valley or even in the UK!

Given your travel dates, I would stick to the mainland, as there is plenty to keep you occupied there and if the weather permits, take a day trip or two to an island.