With its history, culture and many crystal beaches, the city of Vlora is widely recognized as the ‘City of the Flag’, as it is there that Albania’s independence was ultimately declared on November 28th 1912.
Vlora is found around 155 m southwest of Tirana. The name of the city in antiquity was Aulona, mentioned by many travelers and chroniclers from all other the world, as one of the foundational cities of Southern Illyria that flourished after the fall of Apollonia and Orik.
Vlora stands out for its history and traditions conserved through the ages. There’s a total of 3 museums here, where tourists can find out more about its history from antiquity to present times.
The Museum of National Independence is one that should be on your go-to list. Keep in mind that after the Declaration of Independence, this became the headquarters for the Temporary Government of our renown renaissance statesman, Ismail Qemali.
The museum hosts a variety of important documents and photos of personalities like Ismail Qemali or Isa Boletini, who united their country from north to south and fought for it sovereignty.
The Museum of History, as well as the Archeological Museum, should also be visited whilst in Vlora. Built at the end of the second world war, they bring together ancient elements as well as more recent historical events like the riots of 1997.
If you want to learn more about the traditions, costumes and way of life of the Vlonjats or residents of the entire southern region known as Laberia, you should visit the Museum of Ethnography. Separated into odas or pavilions, it showcases elements of agricultural life handcrafted from stone and wood, as well as the folk attires of men and women of Vlora.
And without further ado, the beaches…
Vlora is known for its beautiful beaches and many untouched bays that can be especially enjoyed by renting a boat ride or water taxi.
The Island of Sazan was the first pit stop for the team of ‘Traverllers’, – an island, which during the Cold War served as a military base, where artillery, ships and other border security structures were settled.
Without a doubt, you should definitely not leave Vlora without having a first-hand experience with the cave of Haxhi Aliu, which used to be the ‘kingdom’ of seaman Haxhi Aliu at the bay of St. Vasili.
Vlora is the first coastal city of the Albanian southern Riviera, so when heading down south definitely don’t hesitate to stop here and get to know the city before going up the high peaks of the Llogara mountain and into the depths of the Albanian coast.
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