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Vlotho is located along the Weser river, south of the Wiehengebirge, bordering on the Ravensberger Hügelland in the west, Lipperland in the south, and the Weserbergland in the east. The Weser river runs through the city east to north and thus separates the northeast part of the town, Uffeln, from the rest of the city. The highest point is the Bonstapel at 342 m in the south-east.
In 1969, the old city of Vlotho was unified with the communities of Exter and Valdorf. In 1973, Uffeln (formerly part of Minden) joined Vlotho.