The modern name for Vlorë is the Albanian form Vlorë or Vlora, pronounced, while in the Gheg Albanian dialect it is known as Vlonë. Vlorë was created in antiquity as a Greek colony in the territory of Illyria. Its first name, still used today in
Greece, is Aulón (Greek: Αυλών), which means valley and may have been a reinterpretation of a pre-Greek name. In early 20th century, Vlorë was referred to in English as Avlona or by the Italian name Valona. During the Ottoman era, the Turkish name Avlonya was also used.
In antiquity the region was inhabited by the Greek tribe of the Chaonians. The Ancient Greeks developed the town of Sarandë which they referred to as Onchesmos (or Anchiasmos) Onchesmos flourished as the port of the Chaonian capital of Phoenice (modern-day Finiq). Further north another Chaonian settlement was founded, Himarë, while the Corinthians found the colony of Aulon at the bay of Vlorë. Additional ancient settlements in the region included Thronium, Amantia, Oricum.
In the Middle Ages, the region was part of the Byzantine Empire, while during the Slavic invasion there is evidence the Byzantine rule was maintained in the area. In 1204 the region became part of the Despotate of Epirus but returned to the Byzantine Empire. In 1335 Albanian tribes descended south and were in possession of the area between Berat and the bay of Vlore, while in 1345 after the Serbian invasion an independent principality was formed in Vlorë.
In the middle of the 14th century the aristocratic Delvina family ruled Delvinë and in 1354, Mehmet Ali Pasha Delvina was testified as the owner of the castle and the city.
Vlorë County is located in the south of Albania and forms the Albanian Riviera. The southeastern part of the county borders Greece. The county has a total area of 2,706 km2 (1,044.8 sq mi). The three main cities are Vlorë, Sarandë and Delvinë.
The following villages are situated in the county:
Akërni, Aliban, Aliko, Amonicë, Ardhasovë, Armen, Babicë e Madhe, Babicë e Vogël, Bajkaj, Bamatat, Bashaj, Beshisht, Bestrovë, Bishan, Bistricë, Blerimas, Bolenë, Borsh, Brajlat, Brataj, Bregas, Bunavi, Buronjë, Çaush, Çeprat, Cerkovinë, Çiflik, Çlirim, Çorraj, Çukë, Delisuf Dëllenjë Dermish Dhërmi Dhivër Dhrovjan Dishat, Drashovicë, Dritas, Drithas, Dukat, Dukat Fshat, Dushkarak Finiq, Fitore, Fterrë ,Fushë Vërri, Gërnec Gjashtë, Gjilekë, Gjorm, Golimbas, Grabian, Gravë, Grazhdan, Gumenicë, Hadëraj, Halo, Horë–Vranisht, Hoshtimë Hysoverdhë, Iliaz Janicat, Janjar, Jermë Kakodhiq, Kalasë Kalcat Kallarat, Kaninë, Karahaxhë, Karbunarë, Kardhikaq, Karroq, Kërkovë, Kocul, Kodër, Koma,t Kopaçez, Kostar, Kotë, Krane Krongj Kropisht Ksamil, Kuç, Kudhës, Kulluricë, Lapardha, Lefter, Talo, Lefterhor, Lepenicë, Leshnicë e Poshtme, Leshnicë e Sipërme, Lezhan, Livinë, Llakatund, Llazat, Llupsat, Lubonjë, Lukovë, Malas, Malçan, Mallkeq, Markat, Matogjin, Mavrovë, Mazhar, Mazhar, Mekat, Memoraq, Mërtiraj, Mesaplik, Mesarak, Mesopotam, Metoq, Mifol, Mursi, Muzinë, Nartë, Navaricë, Neohor, Ninat, Nivicë, Novoselë, Palasë, Panaja, Pandalejmon, Pecë, Penkovë, Peshkëpi, Petë, Picar, Pilur, Piqeras, Pllakë, Ploçë ,Poro, Qafë Dardhë, Qazim, Pali, Qendër Vlorë, Qeparo, Fshat Qeparo, Fushë, Qesarat, Radhimë, Rahullë, Ramicë, Rexhepaj, Risili, Rromës, Rumanxë, Rusan, Sasaj, Sazan, Senicë, Sevaster, Shalës, Shelegar, Shëndëlli, Shëndre, Shënvasil, Sherishtë, Shkallë, Shkallë, Mavrovë, Shkozë, Shushicë, Sirakat, Skrofotinë, Sopik, Sopot, Stjar, Tatzat, Tërbaç, Tragjas, Treblovë, Tremul, Trevllazër, Vagalat, Vajzë, Vanë, Velahovë, Velçë, Vergo, Vërmik, Vërvë, Vezhdanisht, Vllahat, Vllahinë, Vodicë, Vrinë, Vrion, Vuno, Vurgu i Ri, Xarrë, Xhyherinë, Zminec, Zvërnec
According to the last national census from 2011 this county has 175,640 inhabitants. Ethnic groups in the county include:
Albanians = 120,637 (68.68%)
Greeks = 12,079 (6.88%)
Macedonians = 7 (0.00%)
Montenegrins = 1 (0.00%)
Aromanians = 876 (0.50%)
Romani = 282 (0.16%)
Egyptians = 15 (0.01%)
Others = 55 (0.03%)
No answer = 41,688 (23.73%)
The city of Vlorë remains a major seaport and commercial centre, with a significant fishing and industrial sector. The county produces petroleum, natural gas, bitumen and salt.
Vlorë County has grown in importance in agriculture with very large-scale planting of olive and fruit trees, and the city has become center of the food processing, oil and bitumen export industries. The county is mainly agricultural and pastoral, producing oats, maize, cotton, olive oil, cattle, sheep, skins, hides and butter. These commodities are exported.
Tourism has become a major industry in recent years, with many hotels, recreational centers, and vast beaches.