"Vlorë/Valona" Rrethi i Vlores by JLBG

Rrethi i Vlores Travel Guide: 160 reviews and 414 photos

This page is based on my 1988 travel. I have built a new Vlora page, based on my May 2007 and 2009 visits.

Vlorë (in Albanian), Valona (in Italian) stands mid distance between Tiranë and Sarandë. Vlora, 61,300 inhabitants, is the second largest port of Albania after Durrës. It is also a fishing port and holiday resort. It is also the starting point for the coastal road to Sarandë, along the “Albanian Riviera”.

The city was founded by the Illyrians under the name of Aulon. The Roman poet Martial, in the 1st and 2nd century AD, wrote it was famous for its olive groves and vineyards.

Aulon was badly damaged by the Barbarians, seized by the Normans in 1081 and later by the German Hohenstaufens. In 1272, it was incorporated into the kingdom of Arberia. In the 14th century, after the Byzantine took the city, the Balshai, a powerful family from Ulqin/Ulcinj (visit my Ulcinj page) took power and made of Vlorë an important trading and handicraft centre for ship building, silk weaving, swords forging, wines and salt producing.

In 1417, it was the turn of the Turks to seize the city. Sultan Sulejman the Magnificent, built a fortress by the sea in 1531 and a mosque in 1542. They both have been designed by the Albanian architect Sinan.

It was in Vlorë that an Assembly was convened, which proclaimed Albania as an independent state, forming the first national government headed by Ismail Qemali on the 28th of November, 1912. At this time Vlora became the capital of the country. The government remained there until January, 1914.

  • Last visit to Rrethi i Vlores: May 1988
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (7)

Comments (4)

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Jan 6, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    Nice little page on Rrethi i Vlores.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2006 at 7:14 AM

    Interesting details on the long history of Vlore as waves of invaders washed over it! I had not realized that city centres were some times shut down for pedestrian-only use. More importantly, good luck to France against Brazil today!

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2006 at 12:11 AM

    Great and unique page. Haha, Organizim, Disiplin, Emulacion - I know it from not so old past in my country, no comments either. Kids in school uniforms in 21th c.? Unique, indeed!

  • Mikebond's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2006 at 8:31 AM

    Bonne page! En Italie on connait Valona et Durazzo comme les points de départ des bateaux qui transportaient les clandestins chez nous jusqu'à il y a 5-6 ans.


“I believe that tourists are very valuable to the modern world. It is very difficult to hate people you know. (Steinbeck)”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 0 3
Forum Rank:
0 0 3 0 7

Badges & Stats in Rrethi i Vlores

  • 96 Reviews
  • 244 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 7,273PageViews
  • 5 Cities

Have you been to Rrethi i Vlores?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Rrethi i Vlores

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)