Sightseeing in Vlora

1043 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

October, 2019

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

Vlora is a large seaside town in southwest Albania and is where the country’s independence was declared in 1912. There is naturally therefore a “National Museum of Independence”: as well as a “Historical and Archaeological Museum”: However, there are a few other sights, all within a walk of the “Hotel Partner”:, where we stayed for three nights.

A wide, flat pavement on Boulevard Ismael Qemali, took us to the historic centre. The walk took around 20 minutes, but after the slopes and steps in “Saranda”:, it was easy going. We passed the theatre Petro Marko, and Park of Hope, with its bust of Marigo Posio, a nationalist born in 1878, who taught women’s literacy under the guise of embroidery classes.

Towards the end, a central path separating the traffic, had been recently planted with new trees which were moored with ropes, and huge freshly dug flower beds ready for planting.

Many of the small shops and buildings were from the communist era, but attempts had been made to improve the look of the area with wall art. However, bearing in mind it was a Saturday afternoon, it was all eerily quiet.

We looked up and saw on high, the regional headquarters of the Bektashi faith which contained the tomb of Kuzum Baba, a spiritual leader. We walked up a dozen or so steps to a statue of Dede Ahmed Mytfar, leader of the world Bektashi community from 1947 to 1980, but decided against heading for the top. Continuing, we came to what was effectively a roundabout and in the centre was the attractive Muradie Mosque, built in 1537 and now a cultural monument.

Behind, we found a large open area, Independence or Flag square, with a large bronze statue, known as the Independence Monument. It depicts various key figures who played a role in the independence movement and above them on a rock, was a flag bearer ready to hoist the double headed eagle of Albania.

On the edge of the square, the Albanian flag flew from the top of a column. Whilst buried nearby was Ismael Qemali, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the country’s first Prime and Foreign Minister from 1912 to 1914.

We also found a short stretch of wall, whose foundations are said to date back to the 4th century AD. The ancient fortifications were rebuilt in the 16th century with eight towers forming an octagon.

On our second day, we headed out in the opposite direction towards the coast. Whilst walking on the incredibly wide pedestrianised promenade, we noticed a couple of smaller trees that had not been battened down with guy ropes. Seeing how they bent considerably, we realised what they are up against – strong coastal winds.

The weather was just right for walking, sunny but with a light breeze, and as the walking was flat, we continued for around 30 minutes until we reached a car park, short jetty and restaurant where we turned around. The sand looked reasonable but in early October, there was no signs of life on the beach or in the sea and there appeared to be few facilities. On the opposite side of the road, there were so many huge hotels and we both agreed, it would be interesting to see it in high summer.

Another option is a boat trip from Vlora to Sazani Island, but although this was included on our itinerary, because it was October, the boats no longer ran. It had once been a military base where you could still see traces of island life from that time. It had also only recently become accessible and so we were really disappointed to miss it.

Helen Jackson

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.