For the perfect European beach vacation, look no further than Vlorë Albania. Located at the start of the Albanian Riviera, this seaside destination has all the conveniences of a modern city as well as some gorgeous sandy beaches. A great selection of shops, restaurants and cafes line the wide boulevard that runs down the centre of the city. The old town area is compact and is also an extremely charming area to explore. The city is surrounded by hills which offer expansive views of the area. This Vlorë Destination Guide has everything you need to know to plan your next trip to Vlorë Albania.
What is Vlorë Albania known for?
Vlorë is a popular Albanian tourist destination that marks the start of the Albanian Riviera. The city boasts plenty of beaches and restaurants as well as a charming old town area. It is also Albania’s third most populous city and second seaport.
Why you should visit Vlorë Albania
If you can’t decide between a beach escape and a city break, why not have the best of both worlds in the beautiful city of Vlorë Albania. We found this Albanian holiday destination to be an extremely livable city. It has a relaxed atmosphere as well as a great range of restaurants, attractions and accommodation. Moreover, it has a low cost of living, which makes it a choice for an affordable European vacation. The food scene is excellent and the beaches have long stretches of sand along the gentle waters of the Bay of Vlorë.
Vlorë Destination Guide: Know before you go
Basic info about Vlorë Albania
- City name in Albanian – Vlorë. It is also known as Vlora or Vlore in English.
- Language – Albanian. There are two dialects in the Albanian language – Tosk, which is spoken to the south as well as Gheg which is spoken in the north. The subdialect Northern Tosk is spoken in northern Vlorë. Conversely, the Tosk subdialect of Lab (or Labërisht) is spoken in southern Vlorë. English is becoming more widely spoken in the country, particularly amongst younger people. However not everyone you meet will be able to speak English.
- Currency – Albanian lek (ALL). This has been the currency of the country since 1926. Currency exchanges are in most cities and ATMs are also available widely throughout the country.
- Population – 188,000 (2021)
- Area – 29 km2 (11 sq mi)
- County – Vlorë. Vlorë is the capital of this county.
- Region – Southern Albania (also known as Toskëria).
- Emergency number – 112
- Police number – 112
Utilities in Vlorë Albania
- Electricity – Albania uses Type C as well as Type F power plugs. The country operates on a 230v supply voltage at 50Hz. Power outages are common in Albania.
- Water – the tap water in Albania is not safe to drink. However as the water is chlorinated, tap water is safe to use for brushing your teeth. We recommend bringing a water purifier such as a life straw on your trip. Alternatively you can buy bottled water.
- Toilets – sit-down flushing toilets are the most common type of toilet in Albania, although Turkish style squat toilets can be found in some places. Don’t flush your toilet paper – use the bins provided. Bidets are in many bathrooms in Albania. Public toilets are common in the larger cities in Albania. Public toilets are also free to use.
- Telephone country code: +355
Where is Vlorë Albania?
Vlorë is in the county of Vlorë in the Southern Region of Albania.
The closest major Albanian towns to Vlorë are Berat, Gjirokaster, Durrës, Elbasan, Tirana as well as Sarandë. Vlorë is around 2 hours by bus from Berat and Gjirokaster, 2.5 hours by bus from Durrës and Elbasan, 3 hours by bus from Tirana and Sarandë.
How to get to Vlorë Albania
Vlorë destination guide: Arriving by land
Vlorë Albania intercity land transport
The main transport options for travelling overland to Vlorë Albania are:
- Private vehicle
- Private transport operator
Driving to Vlorë from within Albania
If you are driving to Vlorë from within Albania, here are the travel times and distances:
- Berat – 1 hour 35 minutes (83km, 52miles) without tolls
- Elbasan – 1 hour 49 minutes (133km, 83miles) without tolls
- Tirana – 2 hours 13 minutes (154km, 96miles) without tolls
- Durrës – 1 hour 31 minutes (123km, 76miles) without tolls
- Shkodër – 2 hours 58 minutes (225km, 140miles) without tolls
- Gjirokaster – 1 hour 47 minutes (131km, 81miles) without tolls
- Himarë – 1 hour 40 minutes (72km, 45miles) without tolls
- Sarandë – 2 hours 44 minutes (181km, 112miles) without tolls
Intercity trains to Vlorë Albania
Vlorë is the southernmost train station in Albania. One train service a day operates in each direction between Vlorë and Kashar. However our understanding is that passenger trains are not currently operational.
The Albanian national railway company is called Hekurudha Shqiptare (HSH). This is also known as Albanian Railways.
Intercity buses to Vlorë Albania
A common way to get around Albania is by using intercity buses. The bus system in Albania is a less structured than other parts of Europe and it is hard to find reliable information online. We recommend asking your accommodation host for information on buses or going to the bus stop and asking a local. We found 2 locations for buses in Vlorë:
- The Intracity Bus Station on Rruga Enver Jaho
- The Bus Station on Rruga Kosova near the roundabout (we caught a bus to Himarë from here)
Popular bus destinations from Vlorë include:
- Berat Albania – travel time 2 hours. Tickets cost 300 lek one way.
- Himarë Albania – travel time 2 hours. Tickets cost approximately 400 lek one way.
- Gjirokaster Albania – travel time 2 hours. Tickets cost 1000 lek one way.
- Durrës Albania – travel time 2.5 hours. Tickets cost 400 lek one way.
- Elbasan Albania – travel time 2.5 hours. Tickets cost 500 lek one way.
- Tirana Albania – travel time 3 hours. Tickets cost 500 lek one way.
- Sarandë Albania – travel time 3 hours. Ticket cost 11 euro one way.
- Shkodër Albania – travel time 3.5 hours. Tickets cost 1000 lek one way.
Bus prices have risen recently for some destinations, so please use these prices as a guide only.
Vlorë destination guide: Arriving by air
The nearest major airport to Vlorë is Corfu International Airport, Greece (Airport code CFU). This international airport is also known as Ioannis Kapodistrias (Capodistrias) International Airport. It is 103km (64miles) from the city.
Other nearby airports include:
- Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza, Albania (Airport code TIA). This airport is 107km (67miles) away.
- Ohrid St Paul the Apostle Airport, North Macedonia (Airport code OHD). This airport is 132km (82miles) away.
- Brindisi Airport, Italy (Airport code BDS). This airport is 132km (82miles) away.
The national airline of Albania is Air Albania.
Vlorë destination guide: Arriving by boat
The city of Vlorë is in the Bay of Vlorë on the Adriatic Sea. Additionally, the Adriatic Sea is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea. The Port of Vlorë is the second largest seaport in Albania. It currently comprises a dry cargo port, a petroleum port as well as a fishing harbour. However there are plans to add a yacht port.
The closest port with passenger facilities is the Port of Durrës.
Vlorë destination guide: How to get around Vlorë Albania
Walking in Vlorë Albania
By far the easiest as well as the cheapest way to get around Vlorë is to walk. Most of the main attractions in the city area are within easy walking distance.
Local buses in Vlorë Albania
Local buses operate in Vlorë. The cost of a one way bus ticket is 30 lek for adults (as at 2022). For more information see this website: http://albaniatourism.info/transportation-vlora/
Mini buses (furgons) in Vlorë Albania
Mini buses known as furgons operate in Vlorë. Furgons are also a popular public transport option in Albania as an alternative to buses.
Vlorë Cable Car
There are no cable cars in Vlorë.
Vlorë Sightseeing Bus
Vlorë does not have a Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus.
Trams in Vlorë Albania
Vlorë does not currently have a tram system. However around 100 years ago it used to have a horse-drawn tram.
Local trains in Vlorë Albania
Vlorë does not have a local train service.
Metro trains (subway or underground) in Vlorë Albania
Vlorë does not have an underground train line.
Vehicle hire in Vlorë Albania
A wide variety of vehicles can be rented in Albania. This includes:
- Bicycles – you can hire a bike from a bike hire shop such as Go Green Vlora & Biçikleta Me Qira/Rent Bikes.
- Electric scooters
In Albania, you drive on the right side of the road.
Taxis in Albania
Taxis are common in Albania. Both official taxis with metered pricing as well as more informal taxis where a fixed fare is agreed beforehand are available. Official taxis will generally have prices displayed inside the vehicle. For longer journeys you can agree on a fixed price before you commence your trip. However in general your fare will include the following costs:
- The pickup fee or minimum fee – this is charged as soon as you get into the vehicle. This is generally around 300 lek.
- Price per kilometre.
- Price per hour – this is a price that gets charged when the taxi is stuck in heavy traffic.
Ride-share services in Vlorë Albania
Uber, Lyft and Grab as well as other rider-share services do not operate in Albania.
Vlorë Albania destination guide: Is Vlorë Albania worth visiting?
Vlorë is definitely worth visiting. It has the perfect blend of city escape and beach holiday. The city has a relaxed atmosphere, a Mediterranean climate and delicious food. There are also a number of beaches surrounding the city with calm water that’s perfect for swimming. The city has a great range of accommodation, nice local shops and markets and all of the conveniences of being a larger city whilst still retaining a small town feel. Moreover, it has a low cost of living, which makes it an affordable destination to visit. All of this combined makes Vlorë an ideal spot for an Albanian getaway.
Vlorë destination guide: How long to spend in Vlorë Albania
Vlorë is a great place to come for a couple of days or even more. This port city has plenty of great food and a number of attractions. We spent 2 days in Vlorë and enjoyed taking time to enjoy the various activities available in this vibrant city.
Vlorë destination guide: What to do in Vlorë Albania
Vlorë is a beautiful Albanian city with many activities on offer. It has a range of great free activities as well as paid activities.
Vlorë destination guide: Free things to do in Vlorë Albania
There are enough free activities in and around Vlorë Albania to keep you entertained for a weekend or even a leisurely week:
- Vlora Old Town
- Boulevard Ismail Qemali
- Zvernec Monastery
- Independence Monument
- Muradie Mosque
- Plazhi i Ri
- Plazhi i Vjeter
- Kuzum Baba
- War Cemetary Partisans (Varreza e Babice-Varrezat e Vlores)
For more details, see our Vlorë travel guide on the 10 Best Free Things To Do in Vlorë Albania.
Vlorë destination guide: Paid activities in Vlorë Albania
A number of attractions in Vlorë Albania charge an entry fee:
- The Blue Eye – entry fee is 100 lek per car plus 50 lek per person (as at 2023)
- Ali Pasha Castle – entry fee is 300 lek for adults (as at 2022)
- Kaninë Castle – entry fee is 400 lek for adults (as at 2022). However there may not be anyone there collecting the entry fee.
- Sazan Island
- National Museum of Independence – entry fee is 300 lek for adults (as at 2023)
- Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park – tours cost around 2000 lek per person (as at 2022)
- Ethnographic Museum, Vlore (Muzeu Etnografik i Vlorës)
Weather in Vlorë Albania
Vlorë enjoys a warm temperate climate. Its climate is heavily influenced by the Mediterranean sea. It has cold winters, with average temperature range between 6°C and 12°C in the coldest month of January. Summers last from June to September and are hot and sunny, with the average temperature range between 20°C and 30°C in the hottest month of July. The month with the most rainfall is November with 10.7 days of rain on average and the driest month is July with an average of 2.2 rainy days.
Best time to visit Vlorë Albania
The best time to visit Vlorë for a beach vacation is from May to October when the weather is warm and sunny. However, keep in mind that Vlorë gets crowded and accommodation is more expensive during the peak tourist season of July and August. Therefore, for fewer crowds and better prices, we recommend visiting Vlorë during the shoulder season of May-June and September-October.
Internet and mobile phones in Albania
There are four major internet and phone companies in Albania – Vodafone Albania, One Telecommunications Albania (formerly Telekom Albania), ALBTelekom (formerly Eagle Mobile Albania) and Plus.
Albania is yet to get 5G. 2G is expected to be switched off in Albania in December 2025, however no date has been set for when 3G will be switched off.
Albania is ranked 47th fastest in the world for mobile internet speeds and 92nd fastest for fixed broadband. For Fixed Broadband the average download speed is 48mbps and upload is 24mbps (as at June 2023).
Cell phone SIM cards can be bought in a numbers of places throughout Albania. These include phone stores as well as at Vlorë International Airport.
How much to budget for Vlorë Albania?
Is Vlorë Albania expensive?
Vlorë is a very inexpensive city with a low cost of living. In fact, it is ranked in the top 9% of the least expensive cities in the world according to livingcost.org. The combination of affordable accommodation, low food costs and cheap or free activities makes it the perfect place for a budget friendly holiday.
Vlorë destination guide: Daily spend for a couple travelling in Vlorë Albania
As a rough guide, we recommend the following budgets for a couple:
- Low-budget daily spend – 60 euro per day for a couple will get you hostel accommodation, meals from bakeries and markets, local transport and free or cheap activities such as visiting museums and parks
- Mid-range daily spend – 250 euro per day for a couple will get you mid-range accommodation, local transport, restaurant meals and a few paid activities
- Luxury spend – 600 euro per day for a couple will get you a premium experience in Albania, staying at luxury resorts, travelling by private transport, doing a range of paid activities and eating at high end restaurants
Vlorë destination guide: Accommodation in Vlorë Albania
There is a good range of accommodation to suit most budgets in Vlorë Albania. Airbnb operates in Albania and we were impressed with the range of options available in Vlorë.
Where to stay in Vlorë Albania
We recommend the following accommodation in Vlorë Albania:
- Best hostel in Vlorë Albania – Pinegroove Hostel is a great value hostel a short walk from the beach. This hostel has a relaxed vibe, comfortable beds and helpful staff. It also has a nice rooftop area.
- Best budget hotel in Vlorë Albania – Solea Hotel is a brand new hotel in Vlorë which is clean, comfortable and quiet. It is conveniently positioned close to the port.
- Best mid-range hotel in Vlorë Albania – Yacht Hotel is a stunning hotel just across the road from the beach in Vlorë with amazing sea views and great bars and restaurants nearby. The hotel is modern and stylish with bright airy rooms that are very comfortable. The breakfasts are also very nice and the staff are fantastic.
- Best luxury hotel in Vlorë Albania – Priam Hotel Luxury Resort is an exceptional hotel in a fantastic location overlooking the beach. This new hotel offers stunning views, excellent facilities, delicious breakfasts and first class service.
How much is accommodation in Vlorë Albania?
For short-term accommodation, a general price per night is as follows:
- Budget accommodation – 10-20 euro for a dorm
- Mid-range accommodation – 30-100 euro for a private room
- Luxury accommodation – 180-230 euro a night for a luxury hotel
- Rental property – 60-350 euro a night for a fully furnished 3-4 bedroom home
Vlorë destination guide: Food in Vlorë Albania
Being on the water, seafood is very popular in Vlorë.
How much does food cost in Vlorë Albania?
Our price guide for your food budget in Vlorë Albania is as follows (prices as at 2022):
- Restaurant meal – 600-2000 lek for a main dish
- Local eatery – 600-1200 lek for a main dish
- Bakery food – 100-240 lek euro for byrek, a slice of pizza as well as other bakery items
- Glass of wine – 300 lek
- Shot of Raki – 70-100 lek
- Coffee – 50-150 lek
Regional dishes in Vlorë Albania
- Kukurec – a lamb dish made with knitted lamb intestines, strips of lamb tripe, and sometimes lamb sweetbreads. This is also eaten in North Macedonia.
- Qumështor is a simple and traditional Albanian baked custard, made with eggs, milk, flour, butter, and sugar. It is typically eaten by the Orthodox population of southeastern Albania before the beginning of Lent.
- Harapash – similar to porridge and is cooked with corn flour, the intestines of lamb, cheese and butter.
- Grilled meat such as “Mish ne hell” (which is rotisserie lamb) as well as lamb from Karaburun cooked over an open fire.
- Locally produced yogurt. Yogurt in Vlore is produced traditionally and is different than the yogurt produced in most of Europe: it’s called “Kos” and is usually made without sugar. It is often used in a savoury sauce (with cucumber and garlic) or in a drink called “Dhalle” (similar to turkish “Ayran”: kos yoghurt, water and salt).
- Seafood, including fish, mussels, shrimp, and lobster.
Other Albanian dishes that are not specific to Vlorë
- Byrek – popular in the Balkans, byrek is a filo pastry stuffed with items such as spinach, cheese, meat and potatoes.
- Pollo alla Cotoletta – similar to chicken parmigiana.
- Qofte te ferguara – Albanian meatball
- Flija – this dough based dish is popular in Albania as well as Kosovo.
- Shapkat – this is a casserol that is made with cornmeal and greens.
- Tave Mishi – grilled meat.
- Perime në Zgarë – grilled vegetables.
- Speça me gjize – stuffed bell peppers.
- Kaçkavall – breaded and fried cheese. This is served as an apetiser.
- Jani me Fasule – bean soup.
- Tarator soup – a cold cucumber soup that is popular in many eastern European countries.
- Qumështor – baked custard.
- Baklava – a sweet pastry.
- Shëndetli – a dessert made from walnuts, honey and cinnamon.
- Trilece – a dough based dessert commonly made in Albania.
- Petulla – fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Cheap Eats in Vlorë Albania
- Bakeries are a great place to get cheap and delicious food. Byrek are typically around 100-240 lek. Other common bakery food include pizzas and cakes.
Vlorë Albania culture
Albania national holidays
- New Year’s Day – 1-3 January
- Dita e Verës – 14 March
- Nowruz – Spring equinox, March 19, 20 or 21
- Easter Sunday – typically in March or April.
- Easter Monday – the Monday after Easter Day, typically in March or April.
- Orthodox Easter Day – typically in April or May.
- Orthodox Easter Monday – the Monday after Easter Day, typically in April or May.
- Eid al-Fitr – first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar
- Labour Day – 1 May (public holiday the following Monday if it falls on a weekend)
- Eid al-Adha – 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic calendar
- Saint Teresa Canonisation Day – 5 September
- Flag Day or Independence Day – 28 November
- Liberation Day – 29 November
- National Youth Day – 8 December
- Christmas Day – 25 December (public holiday the following Monday if it falls on a weekend)
National symbols of Albania
- Albania flag – a red flag with a black double headed eagle in the centre.
- Albania coat of arms – a black two-headed eagle with a golden crown. Its wings are raised in flight. It is on a red background with a gold border.
- National flower – red poppy
- National bird – eagle
- National dish – Tavë kosi
- Popular drinks – rakija, coffee, beer, Albanian wine
- National sport – football
- Religion – 59% Islam, 17% Christianity (as at 2020)
Famous people from Vlorë Albania
- Famous people born in Vlorë Albania – businessperson Sinan Idrizi, former prime minister Ismail Qemali, poet Ali Asllani, military officer Kemankeş Kara Mustafa Pasha, statesman Mehmed Ferid Pasha, politician Skënder Gjinushi, singer-songwriter Aurela Gaçe, actress Drita Pelingu, singer-songwriter Alban Skënderaj
- Sports stars from Vlorë Albania – footballer Sokol Kushta, Olympic weightlifter Viktor Mitrou, footballer Perlat Musta, footballer Geri Çipi, footballer Igli Tare, Olympic alpine skiier Suela Mëhilli
Is Vlorë Albania Safe?
Albania travel guide: Safety in Albania
We travelled through Albania for three weeks and found the country to be extremely safe. Albania ranks 48th safest country on the 41st safest country on the Global Peace Index (as at 2022). As with any country, there are good areas and bad areas. Watch out for pickpockets particularly at crowded tourist attractions. Make sure no-one is watching whenever you are entering pin codes and never lose sight of your credit card when making a purchase.
A particular risk around the Albania and Kosovo border are unexploded landmines and ordinances. These are a dangerous remnant from the 1999 conflict. Don’t stray from designated hiking paths and take any warning signs very seriously.
General safety considerations in Albania
Other general safety considerations for travel in Albania:
- Drinking water – Tap water is safe to drink almost everywhere in the country.
- Mosquitoes – the tiger mosquito has been found in Albania. This type of mosquito spreads diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikunguya. After being eradicated in 1967, malaria returned to Albania in 1994 and is a re-emerging disease in the country.
- Altitude sickness – Albania has areas of high altitude. This also comes with the risk of altitude sickness. Therefore if you are planning to visit any high altitude areas in Albania, be sure to allow sufficient time to acclimatise. If you experience any signs of altitude sickness, such as headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite or shortness of breath, get help immediately.
- Road safety – Road accidents are a significant risk on Albania. Road conditions are an issue, particularly in rural areas as well as in winter.
- Water safety – If you visit any of the coastal areas or lakes, take care when swimming as currents and waves may be stronger than you expect.
- Earthquakes – Albania experiences earthquake activity. If you experience an earthquake, stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls as well as anything that could fall. If you are inside get under a table, desk or solid furniture and hang onto it. Cover your head as well as your torso to protect from falling objects. If you are outside, stay outside and go to an open area away from buildings.
- Sun safety – Exposure to the sun can have adverse short-term and long-term effects on the skin, eyes and also the immune system. Sun protection such as sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses is very important to ensure you don’t get burnt.
As with any destination, take all of your normal safety precautions.
You can find our Albania travel blogs below.
This website contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission on any purchases at no additional cost to you. Your support helps us continue our travels and make more travel blogs and travel videos, thank you!