Hi. I'm traveling to Croatia/Slovenia/Bosnia/Montenegro from October 2 to October 25. I'm flying in and out of either Zagreb or Dubrovnik. I'm looking at either starting in Zagreb and going south (checking out Slovenia, the Dalmation Coast, Mostar and maybe Sarajevo in Bosnia, Dubrovnik, and Kotor, Montenegro before returning to Dubrovnik and flying to Zagreb) or flying in to Dubrovnik and going north (essentially everything in reverse with a flight from Zagreb to Dubrovnik at the end). Which route makes more sense for October? My main considerations right now are the weather and the timing (shoulder season/off season). The weather will get a bit colder and the days a bit shorter as the month progresses. Should I spend the earlier part of the month in Ljubljana and the Julian Alps etc. or in Dubrovnik, Montenegro etc. Also of importance is the tourist season. I've read that a lot of restaurants, shops, and attractions close for the off season starting mid-October. Also, public transport and ferries reduce the frequency they operate. With either route I'll be on the Dalmation Coast roughly the second week and first half of the third week of October. Is it better and/or easier to be in the South or the North during the tail end of the tourist season? Thanks for any advice! I'll start work on the itinerary once I've decided which direction to travel. In addition, If there are any itinerary suggestions out there I'd love to hear them! Rob
I would probably go north-to-south, simply because the weather is more likely to be colder/wetter at the end of October than at the beginning. There's no certainty to that, but you'll have slightly better odds. I would not be surprised if mountain passes in Slovenia close due to snow in late October. It's true that some public transit (ferries, and maybe busses) have limited schedules "off season" - and some routes don't run at all. Be sure the routes you're relying on actually run when you'll need them.
I would agree with north-south, especially if you want to go hiking in the mountains. Otherwise it doesn't matter that much. I was in Dubrovnik right around Oct. 25 a few years ago- the weather was great, and tourism was still in full swing. Dubrovnik does make a good "crowning jewel" destination to work towards. The Split-Hvar-Korcula catamaran I took changes to its "off-season" schedule on Oct. 1. It still runs daily to those three locations throughout the year. Korcula was very quiet when I was there (around Oct. 20), but everything was still open. It couldn't have been much different a week or two earlier.