Passengers who travel by the ferry to Vlora, arrive in one of the most popular destinations for tourism in Albanian Riviera, thanks to the archaeological parks!
Vlora is one of the largest towns and the second largest port city of Albania, after Durres, with a population of 79,948. It is the city where the Albanian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed on November 28, 1912. The city was for a short time the capital of Albania. Founded as an ancient Greek colony in the 6th century BC by the name of Aulon and continuously inhabited for about 26 centuries, Vlora is home to the Port of Vlora and the University of Vlora as the most important economical and cultural city in southwestern Albania. Vlora remains a major seaport and commercial centre, with a significant fishing and industrial sector. The surrounding region produces petroleum, natural gas, bitumen and salt. The city is also the location of important installations of the Albanian Navy.
Its shores present a unique mixture of rocky and sand beaches, and the gorgeous vistas of the Karaburun Peninsula and Sazan Islands stretch in front of the city.
Vlora is surely one of the most visited cities in Albania, so examine the possibility of booking your ferry tickets in advance in order to ensure your holidays!
Ferry connections to Vlora
Tourists wishing to discover the Albanian coastline typically arrive in Vlora from Italy by boat.
Ferries from Vlora to Brindisi take 7 hours to reach the city and carry both passengers and cars. The journey, as they travel overnight, leaving you with the entire day to traverse upon arrival in Vlora.
If already within Albania, Vlora is connected by road with the capital Tirana, roughly 100km away. You can also take a 12-hour bus journey from Athens to reach Vlora that includes a changeover at Trikala City.
Port of Vlora
The Port of Vlora has more of a commercial disposition with a separate dry cargo port and a fishing harbor in addition to a ferry terminal. A naturally deep-water port, it is the second-largest in Albania and does see much activity, which is a reason why the city continues to prosper with each passing year. The ferry port is centrally located, with boats from Brindisi bringing travelers wanting to explore the Albanian Riviera. The terminal is accessible by taxi and bus, but depending on your hotel’s location, you might even be able to reach there on foot.
Transportation in Vlora
Vlora isn’t a large city, but you still need some form of transportation to move around.
- Buses are the cheapest option with a couple of routes covering most of the town. The main bus station is located in the address Rruga Enver Jaho. For further details, please visit Vlora Bus.
- Taxis are faster, comfortable, from one point to another within the city. If you plan to stay longer or use Vlora as a base to travel the coast, consider renting a car. In order to book a taxi, please check Vlora Bus.
The palm-lined Boulevard Ismail Qimali connects the Port of Vlora with its center. Along the way, on both sides, are restaurants and shops primarily catering to tourists. The center itself consists of Flag Square and the Independence Monument. You’ll also cross the 16th-century Muradie Mosque en route to the park where it’s interesting to see a few wall ruins of the old city.
Holidays in Vlora
The city offers high-quality style for its citizens and to foreigners. VIP vacations, multicultural and multilingual population give us a plus to enjoy the city and it’s beautiful beachside, furthermore a great Mediterranean diet food, with olive oil, organic food and a rich variety of seafood to the most exigent people.
Things to do in Vlora
Vlore is a harbour city that holds special meaning for Albanians, as this is where the country declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire at the start of the 20th century. So you can take a whistle-stop tour of monuments and museums celebrating the statesman Ismail Qemali’s first government, and in doing so get to know a little more about what it means to be Albanian. If you’d like ideas for days trips the wider region is both untamed and beautiful. Relaxing tourist beaches with clear waters are just a handful of kilometres away, and if you follow the coastal road south there’s a string of charming little resorts punctuated by the vast mountainscapes of the Llogora National Park.
Check below the list of some of the most exciting places to visit while in Vlora:
- Independence Monument
- Muradie Mosque
- Zvernec Monastery
- Kanine Castle
- Museum of Historic Relics
- Museum of National Independence
- Vlore's Cuisine
- Llogara National Park
- Ethnographic Museum
- Local Caves
- Kuzum Baba
- Sazan Island
Best Beaches in Vlora
Beaches of Vlora are the city’s main attraction during the summer months. While the water is swimmable from May to September, the best time to hit the sand is from June to August during daytime temperatures. Ideal for sun worshippers, water sport enthusiasts, and families, spending a day on a lively beach is a must-do activity in Vlora.
Most of them are well organized for visitors, but you can find more secluded places to relax under the sun. Some of the best beaches in Vlora are:
Plazhi i Ri
One of Vlora’s two main city beaches, Plazhi i Ri is a lengthy stretch of sweeping sand with ample space to sunbathe, play, and swim. Lifeguards watch over the water during the summer season. On-site facilities at the beach include toilets, open showers, and small kiosks that serve refreshments at nominal prices. You can rent parasols and loungers for the day and enjoy a meal at one of the cafes nearby. The beach is easy to reach on foot or through a 10-minute bus ride from the city center.
If the promise of clean blue waters, soft sand, and vast shoreline doesn’t attract you at first, maybe the free parking will. Narta Beach, located next to the fishing port of Peshkimit, is a quick 15-minute drive from Vlora. The sea stays shallow for miles here, making it perfect for small children. Besides a few bars and restaurants, the beach also has swings, volleyball nets, and football goals for visitors to enjoy.
While heading south from Vlora towards the town of Orikum, you are likely to come across several small beaches such as Bora Bora and Vega Beach. However, one of the must-visit beaches along this coast is Radhimë, a short pebbly spot to relax famous for its cafes. In particular, the water of the Ionian Sea here has beautiful clarity with shades of blue and green that makes it an unmatched hidden gem of the region.
An excellent half-day excursion from Vlora is a trip to Orikum, situated 30-minute away from the city. A town in Vlora County, the beach here might be small, rocky in parts, and crowded, but the panoramic bay views are unquestionably astounding. The hills almost form a complete circle, giving the beach a cozy atmosphere, one where the sea lures everyone for a refreshing dip with its magical aquatic colors. Popular with tourists and locals, you’ll find plentiful amenities at Orikum for a relaxing time with the family.
Plazhi i Vjeter
Sometimes referred to as Old Beach, Plazhi i Vjeter is situated next to the ferry port and is roughly 3km from Independence Square. While the beach remains crowded during the summer, it’s quiet for the rest of the year. Not the cleanest of beaches, you can still swim in the water, and it’s expansive enough to be family-friendly. A stroll along Plazhi i Vjeter is quite romantic, especially during sunset.
Hotels in Vlora
In Vlora, there is a long list of hotels that can satisfy the visitors' high expectations and ensure them a pleasant stay. There are luxury resorts and 5-star hotels with grandiose interiors, elegant and uniquely decorated rooms, lush gardens, panoramic views, huge swimming pools and spas, but also mid-range hotels with many amenities and budget hotels with basic rooms with good value for money and services.
Check out some of the hotels in Vlora:
- Aler Luxury
- Hotel Regina
- Real Hotel
- Marina Bay
- Inn Hotel
- Kraal Hotel
- Hotel Royal
- New York Hotel