The town is located below the Šariš castle hill, only a few kilometres from Prešov.
Veľký Šariš (German: Groß-Scharosch, Hungarian: Nagysáros) borders on the villages of Gregorovce and Šarišské Michaľany, in the east on Fintice, in the west on the villages of Medzany, Malý Šariš, and in the south on the city of Prešov. Its area is 25.73 km2 (2,573 ha). The Torysa River flows through the town.
Based on the current knowledge, we place the beginnings of settlement of the Middle Šariš region in the younger period of the Middle Palaeolithic. We rely on the obtained stone tools from the Bikoš V. site, which are 60,000 to 80,000 years old. These are the first evidence of the presence of a Neanderthal man in the Šariš region.
The first written record about the town dates from1217. Veľký Šariš has been proven to exist even before the first written reports at municipal level, probably with separate parishes. (Košice was founded in 1230, Bardejov in 1241, Prešov in 1247, Sabinov in 1248, Levoča in 1249). In 2017, the town celebrated 800 years.
On 28 January 1299, King Andrew III of Hungary granted the Saxons (Germans), who settled in Veľký Šariš, Prešov and Sabinov some rights of royal free towns. This meant that all the inhabitants of Veľký Šariš (not only the Saxons, but also Hungarian and Slovak inhabitants) were exempt from fees and charges handed over to the Šariš district governor and Šariš caste manager, and were no longer subject to their jurisdiction. They were also no longer subject to the obligation to participate in the military service. The town’s only obligation was to pay the monarch 150 marks of silver a year. This moment demonstrates the important position and economic strength the town had already exhibited in this period. In 2019, the town celebrated 720 years.
For the emergence of settlement, the decisive factor was the intersection of trade routes, connecting the Balkan with the Polish Baltic (Salt Road) and in the direction from the east to the west it was the road connecting Halič with Spiš. Veľký Šariš developed as a typical around-the-castle settlement.
Veľký Šariš with its closest surroundings is situated in the south-eastern part of the geomorphological complex of Spiš-Šariš Intermontane in its sub-complex Šariš flat land with Šariš Mountain. In the area of Veľký Šariš the even more important mountains are still Šariš hill (419 m above sea level), Dúbrava Mountain (493.1 m above sea level), Bikoš hill (Bukovina 378.6 m above sea level) and Okruhliak hill (390.6 m above sea level). In the broader surroundings (already outside the area) of Veľký Šariš is Stráž hill (739 m above sea level) and Lysá Stráž hill (696.4 m above sea level) the highest point.
The axis of the territory is the Torysa River, creating a wide valley, with more branching arms. One of the more significant tributary from the right side is Pajtov and Šariš brooks. From the left side one should not fail to mention Dzikov tributary.