This Month … celebrate Halloween in New York State, track wolves in Spain and enjoy the last of the sun in Cyprus
Dubrovnik, Croatia – After the Crowds
Endlessly photogenic Dubrovnik (above) has spearheaded Croatia’s return to tourist favour in the past two decades. It has played its role so well that authorities are now considering a limit on the number of visitors entering its historic walled centre. One way to avoid the crush is by visiting in the low season. October sees fewer swimmers and cruise ships in the Adriatic Sea, late-autumn temperatures remaining in the mid-teens, and the white stones as resplendent in the sun as ever. Take the cable car to the top of Mount Srd for one of Europe’s most memorable views, encompassing the Old Town and island-dotted coast, before heading back to explore the city’s less-thronged streets at leisure.
In Washington Irving’s 1820 tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a headless horseman terrifies the inhabitants of Tarrytown in upstate New York. In later retellings, he sometimes hurls a blazing pumpkin, in a defining piece of American Halloween lore. New York City stages its own ghoulish parades around 31 October, but follow the wide Hudson River north to the villages of Westchester County and you’ll get the last of the leaf-peeping season providing a colourful backdrop to all those jack o’lanterns. More than 7,000 of them can be seen lit up at the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, held in the grounds of the 300-year-old Van Cortlandt Manor. And on the outskirts of Tarrytown is Sleepy Hollow itself, home to the Old Dutch Burying Ground, before which Irving’s headless horseman would disappear ‘in a flash of fire and brimstone’.