Not always possible; almost always better – travelling out of season is an absolute joy
One of the less thought about factors when deciding your next destination is what it will be like at different times of year. We have experienced both the good and the bad in terms of out-of-season travel and, overall, we have to say that travelling at off-peak times of year provides a far better experience.
We drove to Dubrovnik in February and were both amazed at how much there was to do still as well as also being amazed at how much was closed, even though this seems to be impossible. There were a fair few restaurants that had closed entirely for the off-season, but there were still a wide variety open to serve the locals, as well as people who just happened to be passing by.
The best thing, in terms of food, was that we never had to wait to get a seat and we knew that soon after there was going to be some really good food. We had the meal (above) at the foot of the stairs made famous from Game of Thrones, I imagine this is something that is not likely to happen during the busier periods.
Not only were the attractions a lot less crowded, but also the weather was cool enough to allow us to enjoy it. Summer temperatures in places like Croatia and Greece can be far too hot for those of us from cooler climates, especially if you are like me and hate hot weather in the first place and are from the UK.
Walking around the city walls of Dubrovnik was a really pleasurable experience, we could take our time and really see everything that there is. The small drinks and ice cream stop half-way around was quite enough that we could get a seat and enjoy the view and that allowed us to really wonder what it would have been like to do it all in temperatures hovering around 35. Even in February when we were there is was between 20-24 and it was pretty warm – lots of drinks breaks etc.
However, there were no advertised trips, that we could find, that would take you to any of the islands that surround Dubrovnik, which was a real shame. Although, if you are resourceful and have more time than we had then we are certain that you could find someone to take you out on a boat – there were in fact quite a few out and about, we just had no idea where people were managing to find them!
All in all, if you can deal with the mild inconvenience of some things being closed then travelling out of season will bring you a better experience. If you’re going to a big city then this is definitely the case as things will need to remain open for the locals, but if you’re travelling to more of a tourist hotspot then you may have to do some research before you go. From our point of view it seems to be better to swim against the current.