Vlore lies in the southwestern coastal region of Albania, at the southern end of the Adriatic Sea and the northern part the Ionian Sea. The Vlore coastline accounts for about 30% of the entire coast of Albania. The Albanian Riviera is nearby. It is 135 km from the capital city, Tirana, separated by only 72 km from Italy (Channel of Otranto) and 123 km from Greece (the island of Corfu).
The surface area of Vlore is 1609 km² and includes 4 cities; Vlore, Selenica, Himara and Orikum.
It has a climate typical of Mediterranean Sea, with mild winters that are generally wet, and summers that are dry. The Vlore region has three basic climatic zones: The coast has moderate temperatures, as the other countries of the Mediterranean, and does not suffer the cold winds like the western side of Albania.
The inland, hilly areas in the region have a cool climate with rains and similar to that of Central Europe with a relatively mild climate. The mountainous region, such as Llogara, possesses a dry continental climate. In winter it can be quite cold (though snow is relatively uncommon) and has fresh, cool air all summer long.
Vlore receives more hours of sunshine per year than any other region of Albania – averaging over 2000 “sunny” hours annually. Vlore has the only peninsula in Albania, which is named Karaburun. It is roughly 16 km by 4 km in size, and an area of 62 km². The peninsula of Karaburun is rich in natural resources (famous for marble), woodlands, and archeological remains. It is also home to a reserve for wild pigs. The only island in Albania, named Sazan, is 17 km from the port of Vlore and 9 km from Triport (Three Gates) in the Vlore region. The highest point of the island is 342 m. Sazan has a surface area of 5.7 km² and 12 km of coast. A rocky cliff breaks the beach.
Vlore, long known for its olive production, at last count had approximately 280,000 olive trees. The olive trademark ” Vlonjak” is one of the oldest in Europe and is known for its great oil production. The territory around Vlore comes from thriving ancient cities such as Amantia-Ploce, Olympe-Mavrova, Orikos-Orikum, Himera-Himare, Kionina-Kanine, Nymfeum-Selenica and Aulona-Vlora.
A lot of famous people in Albania were born in Vlore, including 6 former ministers (Xhafaj, Malaj, Angjeli, Gjinushi, Leskaj, Pango), a lot of famous singers (including Aurela Gace and Poni), and several other VIPs.
Vlore is also known for being the head city for the 1997 revolution in Albania. Zani Caushi was one of the local leaders, although he later started to trade drugs. If possible, do not get in a discussion about 1997 while being in Vlore.
The dialect of Vlore is difficult to learn, as it includes a special kind of speaking (slower than the rest of Albania), difficult “r” and “l” (“r”, especially when the first letter of a word, is severe, while “l” is something between “l” and “ll”, similar to the Greek “l”) and a lot of special phrases. Vlore people almost always use “motra” and “vlla” (sister and brother) when addressing at each other, even if its the first time you meet with them. A famous funny phrase in Vlore is “me ler rehat o vlla se i thash vllait” (“Get off brother, or I’ll tell my brother”, when a girl grows tired of a boy’s flirting).
- Bus stop (Drop off point) (In the city “centre” near the Muradie Mosque, or a couple of blocks west.).
As of September 2014, mini-buses left from Saranda to Vlore at the following time: 05:30, 11:30, 16:30, 18:00.
Daily two buses from Athens (over night bus and day long bus, both €30).