According to certain sources, Valjevo derives its name from the possessive case of the old Slavic personal noun which stands for a feudal private property. This assumption partly agrees with another old legend that there was once a certain owner of a road tavern, which once stood at the centre of the settlement which is now Valjevo, whose name was Valj. In addition to the linguistic interpretations of Valjevo's name, there are also a number of legends.
One of them states that the first settlers “rolled down” (=(s)valjali) into the valley from the surrounding mountains and founded the town. Another says that Valjevo got its name from its fertile soil and the trustworthy and honest people occupying it. However, the most famous story has it that Valjevo owes its name to , old watermills a large number of which used to lie along the banks of Kolubara River, were once used for the production of a type of fabric called “sukno.”
Valjevo is located at the junction of many roads and is easily accessible from all different directions. It is 96 km away from Belgrade, 134 km from Novi Sad, 77 km from Uzice and 72 km from Loznica. Valjevo can also be accessed via rail links which connects Belgrade to the large Adriatic port in Bar. The nearest commercial airport is found in Belgrade and there is also a small airfield for light aircraft in Divci, some 12 km from the town.
Valjevo is situated at 44°16’ North latitude and 19°53’ East longitude and covers an area of 2,256 hectares, with an average elevation of 185 metres.
Valjevo Mountain range rises above the lowland. Further north, engulfed by a wreath of hills, the rivers Obnica and Jablanica enter the valley from the west. Together, these two rivers form the River Kolubara which flows for just a few miles, only to be joined by yet another river called Gradac. By these four waters, protected by the surrounding hills, nestling in a valley, lies the town of Valjevo. Valjevo is one of Serbia's oldest urban settlements. It rose at the junction of ancient roads and has been the gathering place for merchants and travellers for six hundred years. For many centuries, Valjevo Valley provided enough space to accommodate all of the town's urban features. However, due to the effects of the increasing industrialization in the 1950's, Valjevo today occupies not only the banks of the Kolubara River, but has also gradually expanded into the surrounding hills. Today, Valjevo is not only one of the most prominent Serbian towns, but also the administrative, commercial and cultural centre of its municipality and Kolubara County. Apart from the town itself, Valjevo Municipality covers 77 villages with a total of 100,000 inhabitants. Kolubara County with its six municipalities (Valjevo, Ub, Lajkovac, Mionica, Ose~ina and Ljig) consists of approximately 200 settlements with about 200,000 inhabitants.