Vlora or Vlore is a city of 94,000 inhabitants and is the second largest port in Albania after Durres. It is known for it’s proximity to a number of great beaches as well as being the spiritual home of Albanian independence.


  • Located in the district and county of the same name, Vlore, in southwestern Albania
  • Situated on the Bay of Vlore, where the Adriatic and Ionian seas meet
  • 70 nautical miles from the coast of Italy


  • Major seaport, fishing industry
  • Surrounding region produces petroleum, natural gas, bitumen, salt
  • Agriculture – olive and fruit trees
  • Oats, maize, cotton, olive oil, cattle, sheep
  • Tourism


  • Typical Mediterranean climate with cool wet winters and hot dry summers.
  • Temperatures in June, July, August, and September can exceed 40 degrees(average high between 27-30)


  • One of the oldest cities in Albania, Founded by the Ancient Greeks in 6th century BC, then known as Aulon
  • First Adriatic port to fall to the Ottomans in 1417
  • Independence declared in 1912 during the First Balkan War after centuries under Ottoman rule
  • Occupied by Italian troops in 1914 during WWI
  • Communist rule from 1946. In 1968 communist leader built tens of thousands of bunkers, which still litter the cities and countryside today.
  • March 22, 1992 fall from Communist Party, lost to Democrats during elections


  • Vlora has two Football teams – KS Flamurtati Vlore(Albanian Superliga) and Vlora City(Albania second division)


Fier is a city of 85,000 inhabitants located in the county of Fier in southwestern Albania.


  • Centre for oil, bitumen, and agriculture
  • Large deposits of petroleum and natural gas
  • Produces 2800 barrels of oil per day and 5 Million cubic metres of natural gas per year
  • Major sectors include oil extracting and refining, construction, food processing, import-export, retail, textile and apparel manufacturing
  • Agriculture – Wheat, corn, olives, tomatoes, potatoes, grapes, apples, watermelon
  • Largest producer of natural / organic products


  • Name Fier comes from the Italian word, Fiera, meaning fair trade
  • Founded in 1864
  • In 1991, the political system changed and there was an economic collapse, which lead to many people from Fier migrating to Greece and Italy
  • Near ancient city of Apollonia, which is named after the Greek God Apollo

General Information

A few months ago we didn’t know anything about the country of Albania. We have done some research and would like to provide you with some further information.

  • Area: 28, 748 sq km
  • Population: 3, 582, 205
  • Currency: Lek
  • Language: Albanian
  • Capital City: Tirana
  • Location: Balkan peninsula, on the Adriatic/Ionian Sea, borders Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece
  • Climate: Mediterranean
  • Government: Parliamentary democracy
  • National Flag: Black double-headed eagle on red background

You may also be interested to know that it made number 1 of Lonely Planet’s top 10 countries to visit in 2011. Not so long ago, when the Balkans were considered an ‘only for the brave’ travel destination, only the bravest of the brave trickled into Albania. Since backpackers started coming to elusive Albania in the 1990s, tales have been told in ‘keep it to yourself’ whispers of azure beaches, confrontingly good cuisine, heritage sites, nightlife, affordable adventures and the possibility of old-style unplanned journeys complete with open-armed locals for whom travellers are still a novelty. Sick to death of being dismissed with blinged-up crime-boss clichés, Albania has announced ‘A New Mediterranean Love’ via its tourist board. The jig is almost up – Albania won’t be off the beaten track for much longer.

3 Responses to Albania

  1. Neil Stark says:

    The more I read about Albania, the more excited I am for you and Dan. Please keep up the posts so we can continue to live vicariously through you. 🙂

  2. Glad you found a place you like!
    Heard the food is good but not to drink the tap water?

    Don’t think I will get to go on a field tour when our boys start work there but Deb and I were planning on visiting family in Scotland and Germany… so we might be able to sneak down further south???

    Work hard play hard
    Karli & Debbie

    • rrettenmier says:

      Mr Von Bauer,
      Well I think you should be able to expense the Albania leg of your trip. You and Deb are always welcome to stay with us. We would definitely show you guys a great time.

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