Vlora, with a population of 80,000, is the capital of the municipality of Vlora and the prefecture of the district of the same name (195,000 inhabitants). Vlora (Valona in Italian) is a bustling town located only 72 km from the Italian coast and marks the crossing point between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Second port after Durrës, Vlora was the first capital of Albania from 1912 to 1914. It gives its name to the gulf which shelters it and to the administrative region of which it is the capital. Vlora was much talked about after the fall of communism when it became the operational base of the Albanian mafia. Until the state decided to solve the problem in 2007-2009, the city was in the hands of the scafists, the pirates operating between Albania and Italy. Vlora is now a safe and airy town with wide avenues. Along the bay, the waterfront is being rehabilitated with the creation of a promenade ("Vlora Waterfront" project). Although the city has a large and beautiful public beach of fine sand (Palzhi i Ri), bathing is not recommended due to the shallow water depth and the pollution caused by the proximity of the commercial port .
Let's go. The city has three "bus stations". The main one is located in the Place du Drapeau with minibus services to the surroundings of Vlora, Gjirokastra and the Riviera as far as Saranda. A second, off-centre one is located at the railway station (rruga Gjergj Kastrioti - 2 km north-east of Pavarësia Square - 1 km south-west of Flag Square), from where buses from Tirana depart (about 3 hours - 600 lek). The third one, Pavarësia Square (near the port), allows you to find minibuses to Orikum and Radhima.