Located in the center of the country Veles has been always place where many things were happening. As a person born here and raise in this lovely city I know lot for the cities history and present… In this article I will share all good things about my lovely city.
History of Veles
Veles exist with more than 1 000 years , first mention of this city was back in the Paionian time (bc) when was named Bylazora. There is still a excavation and lot of things were found pointing on what Bylazora was . One of the most famous finding from that period is geoglyph in a shape of M letter that can be seen only from the air on a small hill in middle of the Bylazora area.
After this was Stobi build ( around 2100 years ago) Stobi is located on the south near the todays highway from Europe to Athens. Back in that time was a center of the traders and culture. Famous via Ignatia was passing near by so Stobi was very important as a cultural point. Lot of trade and cultural event were held there. Even if you visit the city today still youll see many signs of cultural development.
Than Slavs come build their settlements and put the name Veles , which is their god of underworld, earth, waters, forests, fertility, cattle, pasture, snakes, wolves, medicine, music, and magic . My personal opinion is that they might be associated with how was Veles look when they arrive . Lot of forest , hills, rivers, caves… all this gave them a impression that Veles the god live here .
When the ottomans come they change the name in Kuopurli Köprülü.
That was because they saw lot of bridges so the named city of bridges. This name was functional till they were in charge here. After the balkan wars Veles name was bring back by the Serbs who got the city according to the Bucharest agreement .
In Yugoslavia city was named Titov Veles and this name was official till early 90s when Veles name was bring back and is still official till today.
What to see and do in Veles
Veles as a city is nice and has a interesting architecture. Narrow streets with specific build house can be seen all around the old city. This area is located around the river Vardar. Many hills surrounded Veles . You can easy reach them if you want . They offer a nice view of the city.
On 7 km from the city center you can visit artificial lake Mladost (Youth) often refer as a Veles lake . Not sure when was build but I think was build in the 60s. Lake have all you need for a great relaxation. Two hotels, one motel . Nice little beaches and walking hiking trail around the lake. During the summer is full with people , and rest of the year is full only for the weekend. I will recommend as a great place to enjoy in the nature not far from the city.
6km away from the city center but in a different direction is the Babuna River. This area is famous for its shaded places cold river and ancient sacred caves . Whole area is 3 km long so you can walk and also you can enjoy in the shaded places next to this small river. River is not deep at all so is great for kids and those who just want to chill a bit without much swimming.
On 30 km from Veles you can visit Azot region , Bogomila , Nezilovo, Papradiste. This area is home of one of the highest peaks in Macedonia – Solunska Glava.
Its perfect place for climbing , hiking. There is some hotels and mountain lodge that can accommodate you . This area is rich with water , many springs among them spring of river Babuna. In the summer is great escape place from the heat in Veles, in winter for those who love snow is idyllic place. Ib the villages around you can find lot of good authentic food and dresses. Older people will be happy to host you and explain you about the local village in details.
In this part of Veles municipality you can always find a good spot to relax in the nature , taste organic food and move on. Roads are considerably good. Between Veles and Skopje there is also another mountain that is great for hiking . Long time ago was a mountain lodge there but now is ruin.
Thats what you can see from the nature , in the city you can see lot of museum houses like Kasapovi house, birth place of the legendary macedonian poet Koco Racin, Jordan Hadzi Konstantinov Dzinot and many others. In the center of the city is the museum of the city Veles. Veles also have a nice library when you can read and enjoy and gallery where often we have exhibitions.
Veles is also city of buzzing night life , city where coffee culture is MUST. People love to go out and have a drinks and talk with friends. Coffee bars work from 9 am till 01 am in the most of the year and till 2 am in summer.
Clubs work from 11 pm till 4 am , restaurants work from 9 am till 01 am . Also and tavernas (kafana) When weather is good many people you can see on the street sitting on the benches.
Prices are really cheap, drinks range from 1-5 euro for alcohol drinks and from 80cents to 1 euro for non alcohol. Dinner or lunch for two in mid range restaurant will cost you around 20 euros including drinks
Accommodation in Veles
In Veles there is a some hotels , also airbnb is possible and many place to camp if you want. Romantique hotel and Gardenia spa and hotel are one of the best in my city. Prices in Romantique range from 30-50 euros a room (4 star hotel) and Gardenia is bit more expensive – 50-70 euro (5 star hotel) . If you want to do Airbnb than there Is a few members there ( including me 🙂 ) that can host you for price of 10-25 euros a day, one is 52 euro a day ( whole apartment ) .
Transportation to and from Veles
Best option if you ask me is to took a rent -a -car in Skopje airport and drive to Veles ( will cost you 9-11 euros a day without petrol) . Veles is on 55 km from Skopje and 30 km from the airport in Skopje.
Veles as a center of the country have fantastic connection with all cities in the country. All roads pass through my city so public transport is good to be used.