Vlora is one of the largest towns and the second largest port city of Albania, after Durrës, with a population of 79,948. It is the city where the Albanian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed on November 28, 1912. The city was for a short time the capital of Albania. Founded as an ancient Greek colony in the 6th century BC by the name of Aulon and continuously inhabited for about 26 centuries, Vlorë is home to the Port of Vlorë and University of Vlorë as the most important economical and cultural city of southwestern Albania. Vlorë remains a major seaport and commercial centre, with a significant fishing and industrial sector. The surrounding region produces petroleum, natural gas, bitumen and salt. The city is also the location of important installations of the Albanian Navy. Vlorë has grown in importance as an agricultural center with very large-scale planting of olive and fruit trees, and as a center of the food processing, oil and bitumen export industries.

Jala_Beach_Vlora_Albania
Jala beach, Vlorë
Photo credits: Wikimedia / wstuppert

The surrounding district is mainly agricultural and pastoral, producing oats, maize, cotton, olive oil, cattle, sheep, skins, hides and butter. These commodities are exported. Tourism has become a major industry in recent years, with many hotels, recreational centers, and vast beaches. It is a pleasant place to relax, to have a coffee and admire the beautiful view over the Bay of Vlorë.

Vlora_Boulevard
Photo credits: Wikimedia

Vlora is home of the second largest university in Albania. The University of Juxhino Ismail Qemali (UV) was created in 1994 as a Technological University. It started with a few hundred students and today is the second biggest university in Albania with nearly 15 000 students. It retains a focus on technology, but has expanded in the areas of economics and finance, education, medicine, and law. UV is the leading research university in Albania. It is the most productive university in Albania in organizing research conferences, inviting researchers from leading institutions, and sending its own researchers abroad. Some of the more important areas of research are mathematics, computer science, and engineering. It has also active groups in Albanian literature, economics and finance, folk music and dance, education, etc. Vlora Conference Center is a leader in organizing conferences in Albania and has organized conferences yearly at the University of Vlora. Its board is composed of internationally known scientists.

Vlora_Cemetery_of_the_Partisans
Photo credits: Wikimedia

There are three internationally known journals based in the University of Vlora . They are the highest quality journals of any Albanian speaking university.Albanian Journal of Mathematics, Albanian Journal of Mechanical Engineering There is also a scientific journal published quarterly in Albanian: Buletini Shkencor i Universitetit te Vlorës Since 2008 it gives home to the Academicus International Scientific Journal, a scientific publication in English language, peer-reviewed, founded by Arta Musaraj .[9] Many summer schools and training sessions are organized at the University. Vlora is a popular tourist destination and this makes it very attractive for organizing international conferences. In addition, University of Vlora has excellent programs in naval engineering and navigation. Studying the Bay of Vlora has been one of the main projects of the navigation department in the last few years. The Bay of Vlora is an important place in world history with important events such as Caesar’s battles, medieval times, World War I, and World War II, etc. In the bay is one of the oldest military naval bases in the world which continues to be used to this day. The Naval Base of Pashaliman was the only Russian base in the Mediterranean in the 1950s, and was the hot spot of conflict between the Russians and the Albanians in 1961 when Albania pulled out of the Warsaw Treaty. The Department of Navigation is mapping all the ships sunk in the bay area, and is doing research in the area of marine archeology in the ancient town of Orikum (Oricum).

VLORA THE EUROPEAN PARADISE high quality style for it’s citizens and to foreigners. VIP vacations, multicultural and multilingual population give us a plus to enjoy the city and it’s beautiful beach side, furthermore a great Mediterranean diet food, with olive oil, organic food and a rich variety of seafood to the most exigent people. This city offers excelent locations and low taxes conditions to grow your manufacturing and/or commercial business. Made in Vlora is offshoring production, High Quality, Safety, Low cost, International sales support, Low Taxes, Ideal Business Locations, Bank credit support, Immigration Help, High life Style… to meet and exceed your business goals. Business recolation in Vlora offers the most exciting aspects of running your own company, consequently it is not to be taken lightly.

Vlorë_shoreline
Photo credits: Wikimedia / Dori

Nightlife

Vlora is known for its vibrant nightlife. Because of the development of tourism in recent years, pubs, nightclubs, restaurants and bars have sprung up, especially in the area of ‘Cold Water’ (Uji i Ftohte), around 3 km (2 mi) distant from the center. The citizens of Vlorë enjoy many kinds of sports. The most popular is football. Vlorë has two professional teams: KS Flamurtari Vlorë and Vlora City FC. Other sports played in Vlorë include basketball, volleyball, handball, athletics and swimming.

Saranda or Sarandë (Greek: Άγιοι Σαράντα, Agioi Saranda) is the capital of the District of Sarandë, Albania, and is one of the most important tourist attractions of the Albanian Riviera. It is situated on an open sea gulf of the Ionian Sea in the central Mediterranean, about 14 km (8.7 mi) east of the north end of the Greek island of Corfu. The city of Saranda has a population of about 30,000 (2001 estimate). Near Sarandë are the remains of the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Saranda_view
Photo credits: Wikimedia / znz (myclctn)

Given its coastal access and Mediterranean climate, Sarandë has become an important tourist attraction since the fall of communism in Albania, although visitors are almost exclusively Albanians and Greeks. Saranda as well as the rest of the Albanian Riviera, according to The Guardian, “is set to become the new ‘undiscovered gem’ of the overcrowded Med.”

Ag.Saranta.
Photo credits: Wikimedia / ZNZ

saranda at night
Saranda at night
Photo credits: Flickr / Antti T. Nissinen 

Tourism is thus the major economic resource, while other resources include services, fisheries and construction. The unemployment rate according to the population census of 2008 was 8.32%. It has been suggested that family tourism and seasonal work during the summer period help mitigate the real unemployment rate. Recently, the town has experienced an uncontrolled construction boom which may hamper the city’s future tourism potential. Since 2012, the Port of Saranda is undergoing an expansion to accommodate cruise ships at its terminal.

Delvinë is a small town in Vlorë County in southern Albania, 16 kilometres (10 miles) northeast of Saranda. Delvinë is the seat of the Delvinë District. Delvinë has lost over a third of its citizens since 1990, having a population of 4,200 (2004 estimate).

Delvina2
Photo credits: Wikimedia

The city is built on a mountain slope. It has a mosque, a Catholic church, a Protestant church, and an Orthodox church. Nearby are the remainders of a medieval castle. To the south west of the city is the site of ancient Phoenice, which was declared an Archaeological Park in 2005. There is little local employment apart from that provided by the State, and Delvinë benefits little from the tourist boom in Saranda.