Vlora is a magnificent and dynamic city not only during the summer season but through the entire year. Is one of the most visited cities after Tirana capital and is well known as the most preferred destination during the summer season, with pristine beaches, delicious cuisine and a lot of entertaining places and a vibrant night life.
Expect of the beauty of beaches, Vlora offers other opportunities for tourists which put in light the ancient history and culture of the city, its traditions and its European origin.
Here are five enthralling places that you must visit if you ever find yourself in Vlora as a tourist or if you pass by in the city (except the breathtaking coastline).
- Zvernec Monastery
Zvernec Monastery is an old byzantine monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary and situated no more than 20 minutes away from the city center, in one of the small islands of Vlora coastline. If you decide to visit Zverneci Monastery, you can visit the small island as well and can organize a picnic with our friends or family. It represents the ancient culture, architectural characteristics and the belief of Albanians in ancient times.
How to go: The road to Zvernec Monastery passes through Soda forest and after leaving behind the forest the small island is connected with the city by a wooden bridge, from which you may see the monastery in the island in front of the city.
- The Mosque of Muradie
The Mosque of Muradie is an old and beautiful building in the city of Vlora which dates back in 1542 and legends say that it may have been constructed by the then Sultan of Ottoman Empire, Sultan Sulejman when he visited Vlora for purposes of war against Italy and other western European kingdoms of that time. The mosque survived to the mass destruction of cult places in 1967 and was transformed by the then communist regime into the Museum of Architecture of Vlora city.
The mosque is build by red and white stones and was built by the renowned Albanian architect of that time, Sinan Pasha, which had built dozens of important buildings in the territories of the Ottoman Empire.
How to go: The mosque is situated in the crossroad of the main avenue and very close to the Flag Square.
- Flag Square
Flag Square is the most important spot of Vlora city which shows proudly the contribution and the patriotism of Vlora in winning and declaring the independence of Albania in November 28th, 1912.
It is the main plaza in Vlora and a tourist attraction not only to foreign tourists but also for Albanians throughout the country. If you visit the square you will see the Monument of Independence, created by the Albanian sculptor Mumtaz Dhrami as a remembrance of the day Albania was declared independent.
How to go: It is situated in the center of the city.
- Karaburun Peninsula
Karaburun Peninsula is a wonderful tourist attraction situated in Vlora coastline, where the Adriatic Sea meets the Ionian Sea. It has an area of 62 km2 and is a Managed Natural Reservoir and in 2013 was announced as a National Underwater Park. It has served as a military zone, while its surrounding sea waters form part of the Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park.
Visiting Karaburun it is adventurous and you can discover fabulous beaches, mysterious caves, capes, endless magnificent bays, the crystal clear and deep waters and the enviable climate of Vlora, although the tendency of visiting Karaburun is growing year by year.
How to go: You can visit Karaburun with kayaks, small boats, yachts or even with private transportation from the port of Vlora. Just ask for it and you will get some more information.
- Llogara National Park
Llogara National Park is a national park in Albania declared since 1966 by the Albanian Government and covers an area of 1,010 hectares. It is a state protected area and forests on the north side of the Llogara Pass between a height from 470 to 2,018 m (1,540 to 6,621 ft) above sea level. The fauna of the park is very rich as you can find many black pine trees, Bosnian Pines, Bulgarian fir and ash trees. Air currents around the area have caused trees to bend in many interesting shapes, like the Pisha Flamur, which is a quite famous attractions for both tourists and locals.
How to go: Take the National Road Vlore-Sarande for about 43 km by car.
Photo: tripadvisor.com / visitvlora.com