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The vibrant coastal city of Vlora is a requisite stop for every tourist visiting Albania during the summer. Vlora marks the boundary between two seas – the Adriatic and the Ionian – which, in turn, are simultaneously shared between three countries: Albania, Greece, Italy. Boasting an enviably long and beautiful coastline, the ideal exploration of Vlora requires time and leisure. One day does not suffice as the city includes too many beaches, sights and cultural monuments.
Sazan Island and Karaburun Peninsula lie just across the city and are easily reachable by boat. Their wild, virgin beaches, clear turquoise waters and rare landscapes are must-sees. Also, the city’s mountainous highlands include the most panoramic villages of the southern Riviera while the rural lowlands are made up of lagoons and river banks.
If you are going to spend one full day in the city, begin your experience at the Lungomare, or beachside promenade. In one of the numerous coffee places there, you can enjoy breakfast and coffee with the relaxing view of the sea. The famous “Uji i Ftohtë” (Cold Water) area, the meeting point of the Adriatic and Ionian, also includes a rich variety of bars and restaurants. The area which houses “Shtëpia e Pavarësisë” (House of Independence), a livelier and noisier part of Vlora, has many coffeehouses and bars frequented by a younger crowd.
After catching the first early rays or going for a relaxing morning swim, you can walk to the city’s center in order to visit a number of monuments which commemorate both the old and more recent history of Vlora. The Independence Monument, the Monumental Tomb of Ismail Qemali, the first Prime Minister of Albania, the Muradie Mosque, a cult object that is hundreds of years old are all landmarks of the city. Before the onset of the hot afternoon, you could climb Kuzum Baba, the highest point of the city with an amazing view and significant historical value.
Lunch in Vlora always entails the most delicious and fresh seafood. Along the beach-side promenade, you will find the well-known “Bujar Restaurant“. If you opt for the center of town, close to the Independence Monument, you will find the restaurant of national fame “Pulëbardha” (Seagull) restaurant. Kuzum Baba is another wonderful place with traditional Mediterranean food.
For those who want to combine an experience of beautiful nature and fascinating cultural heritage, Zvërnec Island is the ideal place. Along with its breathtaking beach, landscape, and ancient monastery, you’ll find the best local wine! If you are an avid nature lover, return once more to the entrance of Highway Tirana-Vlora. From there, you can easily get to Narta Lagoon, the second largest one in Albania, with a rich aquatic life and unusually high salt content. If you love hiking and exploring, opt for Kanina Castle. a fortress which seems to point at the path followed by the sun. Last but definitely not least, Vlora has some of the most beautiful beaches and caves of the entire southern Riviera. If you’re visiting the city during the summer, perhaps you’ll have to skip all the other names and go directly to one of the beaches of the city. For more click here.
During the evening, Vlora assumes another face. Full of lights, pubs, bars and clubs, the night in this city is vibrant and lively. First you must stroll along the beachside promenade or return to the emptied beach to enjoy one of those incredible southern sunsets. Afterwards, take your pick of the pubs and nightclubs lined up along the promenade. There are so many that you will surely find one for your tastes and preferences.
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