Ermak Travel Guide












Hotels, motels and where to sleep

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

Interesting information and useful tips


Description of Vlorë

Vlorë or Vlora is situated on the Albanian coast of the beautiful Adriatic sea. The city officially was found in the 6th century BC by the Greek colonists. Geographically, it has a coastline on the northern shore of the Mediterranean, the Adriatic and Ionian seas, which forms the bay of Vlorë. Officially, the city would have been built in the 6th century before the birth of Christ by immigrants from Greece who founded their colony here. However, the first human settlement existed here for 26 centuries almost non-stop. The city played an important role in the history of the country. Today it is the second largest city in Albania and for some time Vlorë was the capital. It was here that Albania proclaimed its independence from the Turkish Ottoman Empire on November 28, 1912.

Vlorë was established in antiquity as a Greek colony in Illyria. His name was Aulon (Greek Αυλών), which means "channel" and, perhaps, is a translation of another local name. The medieval and modern Greek name is Avlonas (Αυλώνας) and is the source of the Latin Aulona, ​​the Italian name Valona (also used in other languages). At the time of the Ottoman Empire, the city of Vlorë was known in Turkish as Avlonya.




Мечеть Мурадие (Влёра)

The Muradiye Mosque (Xhamia e Muradies) was built at the end of the 16th century by the project of the famous Albanian architect Mimar Sinan. He was one of the most famous architects of the Ottoman Empire. Under his leadership, many mosques were built throughout the country, including the Great Mosque in Istanbul. Today, the Muradiye Mosque is a cultural monument of Albania. Muradiye Mosque is located in the center of Vlora on the central square, surrounded on all sides by roads. It is located to the west of Zadi Sadiq, to ​​the south of LEF Sallaty and to the east of Papa Christo Negovani roads. The building consists of a main temple and a minaret. The temple covers an area of ​​11 square meters, and the minaret reaches 18 meters.


Музей Независимости (Влёра)

Address: L. Pavaresiya, st. Garden Zotay, Vlora
Telephone: 355 33 29419
Open: 8-12 and 16-18 Tuesday-Sunday

Vlorë plays an important role in Albanian history. Here Albania declared independence from the Ottoman Empire. The Museum of Independence (Muzeu Kombëtar i Pavarësisë) marks this significant event in the history of the country. This is the first museum in Albania. The National Museum of Independence was founded in 1936 in the building where the first government of Albania first met in 1913. When it first opened, a collection of important items from Vlorë and surrounding areas was presented at the museum. 50 years later, the Museum of Independence was declared a national museum displaying original documents from the Albanian Renaissance and various works reflecting this period.

As a symbol of the independence of Albania, the museum houses its collection in 2 rooms and 2 halls. All beautifully designed in the style of the 19th century, with original furniture, authentic documents, works of art, relics, proclamation of independence, which was signed in this building, and other valuable items of national interest. Among the most notable items in the museum are the office of the first prime minister of Albania (Ismail Kemali) and the meeting room of the Provisional Government. The Museum of Independence is located in the south of Vlorë, near the port. It can be visited every day except Monday.


Крепость Канин (Влёра)

Kanin Fortress or Kanin Castle is located outside the city of Vlora, 6 km to the South-East. He occupies a strategic position on Mount Shushitsa and reaches a height of 380 meters above sea level. The first human settlements here are dated by the Neolithic. The first military structure was built in the 4th century BC. Gradually the village grew and in the 6th century the Byzantine emperor Justinian I the Great built it here. This castle became an important starting point for the beginning of the seizure of the Apenninsky Peninsula and its liberation from the barbarian tribes. In the Middle Ages, the Kanin fortress was rebuilt and for some time served as the residence of Georgy Arianity, Prince Kanin. However, after the invasion of the Turks, the castle was destroyed, and its inhabitants were taken away by the local residents for their buildings. No large archaeological excavations were carried out here, so people still find coins and household items of those times.






Get in
By bus
Bus stop (Drop off point) (In the city "centre" near the Muradie Mosque, or a couple of blocks west.).
As of September 2014, mini-buses left from Saranda to Vlore at the following time: 05:30, 11:30, 16:30, 18:00.

Bus from Tirana - the journey can be very slow! - furgons from Saranda or Fier), can be faster than bus.

Daily two buses from Athens (over night bus and day long bus, both €30).

Buses to Ohrid, North Macedonia depart at 14:00.

By boat
Vlore Port. From Brindisi with two overnight ferries, arriving in Vlore early in the morning

By train
Vlora train station. A train arriving after 12:00 on the once a day service from Rrogozhinë which connects off again a daily train from Tiranë to Librazhd. The same loco formed the 05:00 Vlorë to Rrogozhinë the next day.(2013)

By car
If you are in Tirana, follow the way: Tirana-Durres-Kavaje-Rrogozhine-Lushnje-Fier-Vlore. The roadway is pretty good. From North Macedonia, you can follow: Qafe Thane-Librazhd-Elbasan-Rrogozhine-Lushnje-Fier-Vlore

From Greece, you can take three ways: (i) Kakavi-Gjirokaster-Tepelene-Vlore; or (ii) Kakavi-Gjirokaster-Qafe e Muzines-Sarande-Vlore; or (iii) Qafe Bote-Sarande-Dhermi-Vlore. The last itinerary is the shortest

Get around
There are three areas you might visit in Vlore - the beaches, the port, and the town centre.

the beaches stretch several Km to the south/east of the port, and there are numerous hotels and apartments in this stretch. There are also good beaches north/west of the port, but these are less easily accessible.
the port area - numerous hotels and restaurants in this area, though the town beach and the sea here are rather dirty
the town centre lies inland, about 2 km north of the port. A long boulevard lined with palm trees joins the two. There are many bars, shops and restaurants along this boulevard, but it is spoiled by fast traffic with no controlled pedestrian crossings. The town centre itself (around Flag Square) has a few 'tourist attractions', though unless you are in Vlore for the beaches there is not much to detain you more than half a day. The main reason for staying in this area is its convenience as a bus/furgon 'hub' serving nearby towns.
There is a small tourist information kiosk in Flag Square, next to the Independence Monument.


Hotels, motels and where to sleep

Accommodation on offer ranges from luxurious to basic with a good choice of hotels in between. Friendly service and good hospitality is usually encountered. Also available are private apartments and homes for longer stays of 10-15 days, B&Bs and hostels. You can camp in some areas.

Town centre area -
Vlore Hotel, Rruga Justin Godar (Near to Flag Square). €30 for a double room with breakfast [Sept 2011].
Vlora Backpackers Hostel, 24 haki isufi kushtrimi vlore (rruga gjergj kastrioti north all way till the end turn left on rruga e paqes and one more left in few buildings and is rruga haki isufi), ☎ +355 696135752, e-mail: Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Vlora backpackers in a old villa located in a city center close to flew market grocery market and many historical museums best for stop by travelers. Bus station is outside of Vlora the port to Italy is 2 km easy with city bus. €10 per bed in dorm room.


Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Vlore's sea products are some of the best in Albania. The Paradisa Beach Restaurant offers great seafood and is 5-10 minutes (depending on traffic) with a car from the center of Vlore. Ask for the right direction. Another great restaurant is "Makareshi", which is less than 5 minutes from the center of the city (with a car). But the most important thing to eat there is the Vlore traditiional food. Vlore (together with Kurvelesh) is the center of Laberia - the most famous and patriotic region of Albania. "Lab" people tend to be very proud of themselves, but also of their food. Try kukurec, qumeshtor and harapash. "Mish ne hell", which is rotisserie lamb, is well-known. Try this around Karaburuni.

Vlore area cuisine is typical of coastal and mountainous areas. The products are taken from dairy animals which are raised in the mountains by the sea. Here are some examples of traditional Albanian dishes:

Byrek is a flaky pastry that is preferred by the people of Vlore to be filled with either field greens or just as a milky pie. The most important ingredients are fresh milk, flour, and field greens.
Grilled meat is characteristic of Vlore, and is found in every restaurant. The nearness of the sea and the quality of pastures give the meat in this area an incomparable taste. Lamb from Karaburun cooked over an open fire is particularly delicious.
Yogurt in Vlore is produced traditionally and is different than the yogurt produced in most of Europe.
Harapash is similar to porridge and is cooked with corn flour, the intestines of lamb, cheese and butter.
Raki is the traditional alcoholic drink of Albania. The drink is typically grape-based, but you can also find raki made from blackberries and plums.
Another typical dish for Vlore cuisine are plates with seafood, fish, mussels, shrimp, and lobster.


By the main beach where the Adriatic meets the Ionian sea, there is a natural mineral water spring that leads into the ocean. Locals fill up empty bottles to take with them to the beach, and larger containers to take home. You can have an aperitif always near the seaside or in the mountain of Llogora, a natural park (protected).


Cultural (and not so cultural) events



Interesting information and useful tips