Why to Visit Vlora
Vlora is an old city founded in the sixth century B.C., originally known by the name Aulona. Vlora is situated in a beautiful location, in the front of the Karaburun peninsula and Sazan Island and surrounded by beaches and rocky sand.
The city carries historical importance to Albania as it hosted the First National Assembly, which declared the country’s independence from Ottoman rule on November 28th, 1912. The Museum of Independence is dedicated to this historic event. Other museums include the ethnographic and historic ones.
Highly recommended is the Muradije Mosque, the only work remaining in Albania from the famous architect Sinan the Great, built in 1542. On the top of the hill overlooking the city is the religious point of Kuzum Baba. Vlora is the starting point of the Albanian Riviera and is one of the most frequented areas of Albanian “Sun and Sea” tourism. Located in this region are the Orikum and Amantia archaeological parks, and the Llogara National Park.
Beaches to Visit
Ports and Marinas
Himara is the center of the Albanian Riviera and is one of the most visited areas in the summer. It is a small sunny town located in southern Albania and 72.2 km (1h 42 min) from Vlora. The region has several Orthodox churches and monasteries, built in the traditional Byzantine architecture, like the Monastery of the Cross, Athaliotissa, Saint Theodore, etc.
Dhërmi is located 56.7 km (1 h 18 min) from Vlora and is one of the most frequented and important tourist places along the Albanian coast. The crystal-clear waters, isolated beaches, water sports and diving make this the preferred beach of younger generation. The different beaches that are part of Dhërmi are Jaliksari, Shkambo and Gjipea.
Dhraleos Beach (Palase)
When speaking about beautiful beaches, Dhraleos beach is one of the most exotic and tranquil beaches of the Albanian coastal zone complete with rich blue waters. This beach is popular for water sports. In addition, it is the destination for the parachutes that launch from Llogara Pass. A fun fact about Dhraleos is that Julius Cesar actually landed on this beach with his troops.
Jale beach is one of the most beautiful on the Ionian coast. As soon as you leave the village of Vuno for Himara, on a path that turns right to the sea, through the stones that go downhill, this natural beauty appears. The coastline is also suitable for those who do not like stony beaches, as fine stones do not cause annoyance upon exiting or entering the sea.
The sea is clear enough that at a depth of more than 4 meters, it is very easy to distinguish and something very small.
Perivolo beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Drymades. It is surrounded by large rocks that create small and wondrous bays.
At the southern end of Dhermi you will find one of the most special beaches of the Ionian coast. Unique water colors, clarity of turquoise deep blue and burning orange sunset over the sea create an amazing show before which everyone should surrender. Alevra beach is definitely one of the must see if you are traveling the Ioanian coast.
The beach of Gjipe, the most remotely accessed beach of the region, is created in a very special way. Its shore it’s formed by a creek and on both sides of the beach there is a magnificent canyon. It has quite a picturesque view and here you will find what it might be Albania’s most beautiful beach.
Zverneci is a tourist area located northwest of Vlora, mainly known for the Monastery of Saint Mary. Situated 11.6 km (21 min) from the city is a sandy beach rehabilitated in recent years, suitable for family tourism, being favored by the pure Adriatic sand.
PORTS AND MARINAS
The port of Vlora is located about 5 km from the center of Vlora. The main town is a commercial port of entry, busy with ferries and other traffic. It is the second largest port city of Albania, after Durrës. Vlora remains a major seaport and commercial center, with a significant fishing and industrial sector. The best beaches are located between Vlora and Saranda, often surrounded by pine forests and olive groves, and are characterized by very fine golden sand.
Himara is a coastal town in southern Albania, 72 km from Vlora. Himara has a small fishing port, which doesn’t offer good wind or swell protection but you can stay in good weather and enjoy visiting the bilingual town.
It is located at the south end of Vlora Bay. The Marina has all the usual facilities, and it is pretty safe to leave the boat. There is water and electricity to all berths. Nice sandy anchorage.
The island of Sazan is nearby, strategically located at the entrance to the Bay of Vlora. Once a military base, Sazan Island’s beauty has swiftly turned it into one of the most attractive summer destinations in the country.
Karaburun Peninsula, is the largest peninsula of Albania. The peninsula is a Managed Nature Reserve, and contains the Pasha Liman military base. The surrounding sea waters form part of the Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park. The western coast of Karaburun peninsula consists of small bays and rocky beaches. One of them is Gramma Bay.