Less than 30km north of both archaeological site at Stobi and the recommended winery of the same name, the sadly often overlooked city of Veles is a typically chaotic jumble of historical buildings mixed in with some truly awful Yugoslav-era monstrosities whose failings are more than made up for by the friendliness of the locals. An important city during Ottoman rule and until 1996 officially known as Titov Veles in honour of the man who united the region under the banner of Communism, as well as being a rich cultural centre, today’s Veles is making a name for itself in the IT industry and was the place where—unfortunately to say the least—a group of teenagers were arrested on charges of feeding fake news websites with pro-Trump propaganda in 2016. A visit’s well worth it if you’re in the area, with sights including a well preserved clock tower dating from the 18th century and the Kosturnica Memorial, a huge white concrete monument in the shape of a broken German soldier’s helmet, built in 1979 and commemorating the victory over fascism. As well as holding the last remains of several partisans, the site also features an interesting museum of mosaics featuring the work of the late Kavadarci-born artist Petar Mazev (1927-1993) that’s definitely worth further investigation. Located more or less in the middle of the country, Veles offers a base for adventures further afield and features one or two decent hotels at bargain prices nearby.