Vlorë (also known as Vlora) is the third largest city in Albania, located at the head of the Bay of Vlorë on the Adriatic Sea. Thanks to its beautiful coastline, ancient monasteries, castles, and archaeological parks, it is one of the most popular Albanian holiday destinations.
On Ferryhopper, you can find lots of useful information about Vlorë, its beaches, must-see attractions and the ferries to get there. Browse all available routes and book your ferry tickets to Albania easily and quickly!
The beachfront of Vlorë on a windy day
Holidays in Vlorë
If you want to explore Albania's coast, the lovely seaside town of Vlorë should be at the top of your list.
Vlorë is in a stunning location, in front of the Karaburun peninsula and Sazan Island, surrounded by virgin beaches, olive trees and impressive hills.
It is known for its culture, traditions and food, and is considered the gateway to the Albanian Riviera. After spending a few days in the center of Vlorë, exploring its Old Town and soaking up the sun on the waterfront, it's worth visiting its surrounding areas and heading to the beaches in the south.
How to get to Vlorë
You can reach Vlorë by ferry, plane, car or public transport, depending on your point of departure.
The port of Vlorë is the second largest in Albania and thanks to its strategic position makes traveling by ferry from Italy to Albania a breeze! From the ports of Bari and Brindisi, it is possible to travel by ferry to Vlorë year-round. Learn more about ferries to Vlorë below.
The nearest international airport to Vlorë is in Tirana, which is about 2 hours away by car. There are flight connections from both Italy and abroad. Once you land, there are various shuttle services that take you to the center of Vlorë .
If, on the other hand, you intend to reach Vlorë by car, you should know that the city is crossed by the Pan-European Corridor VIII, so it is not only connected to other cities in Albania, but also to Bulgaria and Kosovo.
The ruins of Kanina Castle and its stunning view
What to do in Vlorë
No trip to Vlorë is complete without visiting its beautiful coastline but Vlorë offers much more: visit the Zvernec Island and explore the stunning natural scenery of the Vjosa-Narta Protected Area, take a dip in the clear waters or stroll along the sandy beaches, and enjoy the local cuisine at one of the many traditional restaurants.
If you enjoy cultural sightseeing, go to Kanina Castle, a 4th-century fortress with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Then, visit the city's museums and galleries, such as the Vlora Museum and the Ethnographic Museum. And of course, do not leave Vlorë without seeing the bustling Pavaresia Square and experiencing the city's vibrant nightlife.
If you spend more than 2-3 days in Vlorë, you can continue your journey around Albania and visit the surrounding areas, such as the nearby village of Dhërmi or the ancient city of Apollonia.
Beaches in Vlorë
Thanks to its long sandy coastline, Vlorë is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters.
Here are 7 beaches in and around Vlorë that we highly recommend:
- Grama bay: a small cove almost completely surrounded by high, rocky cliffs. This semi-secret little beach is one of the real gems of the Albanian coast, and it has remained largely unspoiled by mass tourism.
- Radhime beach: this beach is about 10 kilometers north of Vlore and is a popular destination. It is well-known for its calm waters and sandy beach, and there are numerous restaurants and bars nearby.
- Karaburun beach: known for its rocky coastline and crystal clear waters, it is located on the Karaburun peninsula. It's ideal for swimming, snorkeling and discovering the seabed.
- Orikum beach: About 20 kilometers north of Vlore, this beach is known for its long sandy beach and shallow waters. It's a popular choice for families with children.
- Dhermi beach: located in the village of Dhermi, it is known for its white sand and turquoise waters. It is a popular tourist destination and there are numerous restaurants and bars in the area.
- Jale beach: located about 15 kilometers south of Dhermi, this secluded beach is known for its crystal clear waters and breathtaking views. It is an excellent location for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing.
- Gjipe beach: this hidden gem is about 30 kilometers south of Dhermi and can only be reached by foot or boat. It is known for its crystal clear waters and secluded atmosphere and is surrounded by high cliffs.
The crystal clear waters of the Dhermi beach
Sightseeing in Vlorë
Among the various options for historical and cultural sightseeing in Vlorë, we recommend the following:
- The Independence Monument, a symbol of national pride and is a must-see for visitors to the city.
- The Muradie Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Albania and is known for its beautiful architecture.
- The Kanina Castle, an ancient castle located on a hill just outside of Vlore offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- The Lungomare promenade, a great place for a leisurely stroll or bike ride.
- The Vlore Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts and exhibits, including archaeological finds, traditional costumes and artwork.
- The Llogara National Park, known for its stunning natural beauty and wildlife.
- The Apollonia Archaeological Park, an ancient Greek colony city 30 minutes away from Vlorë.
The famous archaeological site of Apollonia near Vlorë
Nightlife in Vlorë
Vlorë is a vibrant city with numerous options for visitors to enjoy. There are great bars and clubs along the promenade and in the city center. Many beach bars host parties with DJ sets and live concerts during the summer months.
There are also many live music venues where you can listen to traditional music or simply have a drink on one of the bar's terraces with a panoramic view of the city.
Food in Vlorë
Albania is Europe's most unexpected foodie destination, and Vlorë with its rich culinary heritage is no exception.
Here are some of our favorite delicacies in Vlorë:
- Byrek (a savory pie)
- Tavë Kosi (a traditional dish made with lamb, rice and yogurt)
- Grilled fish and seafood dishes
- Le qofte (veal meatballs)
- Fërgesë (based on tomatoes, peppers and cheese)
- Qebapa (grilled sausages made with a mix of beef and lamb, served with bread and a red pepper spread)
- Pite me Mish (a savory pie filled with ground beef or lamb, onions and spices)
- Bakllava me Mjaltë (a sweet made with filo pastry, honey, cinnamon, sugar, and melted butter)
Servings of the delicious bakllava in Vlorë
Places to visit around Vlorë
If you plan to spend a few more days in Vlorë, consider visiting some neighboring attractions and urban hotspots, such as:
- The Albanian Riviera, which stretches along the coast from Vlore to Saranda and is known for its stunning beaches and picturesque villages.
- The Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park, located on the Karaburun Peninsula and the island of Sazan. The park is home to a diverse range of marine life.
- The Zvërnec Island, located just off the coast of Vlore. The island is home to a 13th-century Byzantine monastery, which is surrounded by a lagoon and a dense forest.
Tips for your trip to Vlorë
Here are 3 travel tips for your trip to Vlorë:
- When visiting Albania, you must have a passport valid for at least three months after your scheduled day of return.
- August is perhaps not the best month to enjoy Vlorë and Albania given the crowds and increased prices. Instead, we recommend visiting Vlorë in June and September!
- Albania is not a member of the European Union, so if you want to access the internet from your phone without resetting your credit, we suggest that you always connect to a Wi-Fi network or sign up for a subscription plan with your operator before leaving.
Useful information about Vlorë
Vlor is one of Albania's most welcoming cities, with tourist services to suit every need. There is a wide range of accommodation options from budget hostels to luxury hotels.
We suggest that you stay in the Old Town of Vlorë or along the seafront if you wish to fully experience the location’s atmosphere.
The official Albanian currency is the lek, though you can sometimes pay in euros as well. Either way, there are plenty of places for exchanging currencies in the city and at some ATMs close to petrol stations.
The public hospital (Spitali Rajonal Vlore) is located just 3.5 km from the city center. Make sure to bring your European Health Insurance Card with you.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Vlorë
Here are some numbers that could prove useful during your stay in Vlorë:
- Vlorë Hospital: +35533222631
- Vlorë Port Authority: +35533409700
- Local police office: +35533223910
- European emergency phone number: 112
Transportation in Vlorë
Vlorë is a relatively small city and many of its attractions are within walking distance of each other. Exploring the city on foot is always a great idea.
The city has also a well-developed cycling infrastacture and you can rent a bike from various locations along the promenade.
If you intend to travel to other surrounding areas, it is best to move around by car, even if the traffic is somewhat intense in the high season.
The capital of Albania, Tirana, is 150 km from Vlorë and can also be reached by bus. The city's main bus station is located near the port area and buses connect Vlorë with other cities in Albania.
A monastery from the 13th century on the Zvërnec Island
Ports in Vlorë
Vlorë is the second largest port in Albania, as well as a significantly important port of call in the Adriatic Sea. It is an important seaport for passenger and cargo transport and the port area has undergone significant improvents in recent years.
Vlorë's port is close to the city center and only 3 km from the Old Town. Many of Vlorë's popular attractions, such as the Muradie Mosque, are also nearby.
There are a variety of amenities in the port area, including car rental services, hotels, bars, restaurants, shops, groceries, and a petrol station.
Vlorë ferry: schedules and tickets
You can reach Vlorë from Italy by taking the ferry from Bari or Brindisi.
The Brindisi to Vlorë ferry route is active from Monday to Sunday with several daily trips, with increased frequency in the high season. The duration of the journey varies between 6 hours and 8 hours, depending on the chosen operator.
Regarding the ferries from Bari to Vlorë, there are usually 2 weekly trips, lasting around 11 hours.
If you want to know more about the Italian ferry schedules, check out our dedicated article!
Useful info: you can travel with your pet on all ships from Italy to Albania. You can opt for kennels and cat shelters on board, or even book a pet-friendly cabin.
Relaxing on Vlorë's promenade
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