Vlora (alb. Vlorë), known also as Valona, is located in south-western Albania where the two seas, Adriatic and Ionian, meet. Vlora enjoys a beautiful position because it is the gateway to the Albanian Riviera, which is the gem of Albanian Tourist places. The town with its wide boulevards decorated by huge palm trees has a real southern Mediterranean feel to it. It is located in front of Karaburuni peninsula and Sazani Island, close to various sandy and rocky beaches and the scenic nearby mountains. Vlora is Albania’s second-largest port, having regular ferry boat connections with Italian ports of Bari and Brindisi.
The oldest traces of civilization in the area of Vlora date back to the 6th century B.C. In ancient times the city started as a port and was known under the name of Aulona, famous for its olive groves and vineyards. During the 4th century AD was frequently mentioned as a landing port for ships of goods from the ports of Otranto and Brindisi, as well as an important stopover between the prosperous ancient cities of Apollonia and Butrint. After the fall of Apollonia and Orichum, it became the principal port of Illyria. In the fifth century, Aulona was the centre of the diocese. The emigrations of barbarians damaged it badly and brought the withdrawal of the city deeper inland.
During the Middle Ages, the city was fused into one with the fortress of Kanina, which is situated a few kilometres to the south-east. At the fourteenth century, Vlora became an important trading and handicraft centre noted apart from wines and salt, for its swords, its ships and its silk.
The Turks invasion took place in 1417. In 1531 Sultan Sulejmani built a fortress, which is believed to have been designed by the architect Sinani. By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Vlora had again become an important economic centre and port it was taken by Ali Pasha Tepelena in 1812.
Although an important town throughout history its claim to fame came on November 28th, 1912, when the National Assembly of Albania declared the independence of Albania in Vlora, to end a five-century Ottoman rule. The town was the first capital of independent Albania.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Hotel Pick Up & Drop Off, Tirane, Albania|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Multiple departures times & locations available from Monday to Sunday|
|RETURN TIME||4-6 Hours Daily Tour|