When you think of the Mediterranean, your first connections would most likely be Italy, Spain or Greece. Would you think of Albania? I sincerely doubt. And yet Albania is just as Mediterranean as the ones you have in mind. The picturesque city of Vlora is a great example of how Mediterranean Albania can look like.
Gold sandy beaches, palm trees, lots of sun, good wine, delicious food…. perfect holiday postcard. That’s how you expect the Mediterranean to look like. And that’s how it’s start to look like in Vlora. Finally.
You have to remember that Albania has left the communist period as one of the poorest countries in the world. It is catching up and developing quickly, but it is still a rather poor and a bit chaotic country.
That is exactly why places like Vlora are specially worth writing about. Vlora has the potential to become another great tourist destination on the Mediterranean. It is developing well and in the right direction.
The municipalities of Vlora invested in refurbishment (thanks to EU funds) and modernised it’s waterfront. It has been opened in late 2017 and it is starting to transform the place completely.
New restaurants and cafes are popping up in Vlora. Luxury apartments are being built with the prices going up quickly (still cheap though). I checked the local cuisine and it’s really good. The fresh fish and the seafood are emblematic of Vlora cuisine.
If you want to see something historic in Vlora, don’t forget the Muradie mosque, built in mid 16th century. It was built by Mimar Sinan, the famous Michelangelo of the Ottoman Empire, who was the royal architect of the Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. He was of Albanian origin and thus decided to design something for his home region. The mosque has a beautiful proportional architecture on a human scale. You can see it has been designed by a master.
In front of the mosque you will find a plaque reminding of the need of praying and entering the mosque with your right foot. Peek in and see how it looks like today.
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Vlora is an interesting destination to consider if you are looking for a place to stay for holidays for a reasonable price. The city is planning to build an airport, so charter flights should appear soon. If you are an adventurous person, Albania and especially Vlora is a place for you to discover for sure!
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