4 of us, parents and two 30 year old daughters, are hoping to visit Croatia and Slovenia from Oct. 5 to 14. Rick's book says it's shoulder season but some shops\sites\water transportation may have shut down by then. We want to visit some of the islands. Can we expect to get there and is it likely that most shops, etc would still be open? Would you still recommend Croatia at that time? We're not able to go earlier. Also, would you recommend starting the trip in the north or south at that time of year?
I was in Split, Korcula, and Dubrovnik in the third week in Octoboer a few years ago. Split and Dubrovnik were bustling as they are sizeable cities (and the Dubrovnik tourist crush extends through most of the year I gather). The "end of the season" was most noticeable in Korcula; I was the only patron in a couple bars I went to. Very quiet and peaceful there. Most shops and restaurants were still open. The daily catamaran from Split to Hvar and Korcula runs throughout the year I believe, though schedules can change. Weather was still great. A fine time of year there in general. Doesn't really matter what direction you travel in in this small region over 10 days.