A new stable unstructured finite volume method is presented for parallel large-scale simulation of viscoelastic fluid flows. The numerical method is based on the side-centered finite volume method where the velocity vector components are defined at the mid-point of each cell face, while the pressure term and the extra stress tensor are defined at element centroids. The present arrangement of the primitive variables leads to a stable numerical scheme and it does not require any ad-hoc modifications in order to enhance the pressure-velocity-stress coupling. The log-conformation representation proposed in [R. Fattal, R. Kupferman, Constitutive laws for the matrix-logarithm of the conformation tensor, J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 123 (2004) 281-285] has been implemented in order improve the limiting Weissenberg numbers in the proposed finite volume method. The time stepping algorithm used decouples the calculation of the polymeric stress by solution of a hyperbolic constitutive equation from the evolution of the velocity and pressure fields by solution of a generalized Stokes problem. The resulting algebraic linear systems are solved using the FGMRES(m) Krylov iterative method with the restricted additive Schwarz preconditioner for the extra stress tensor and the geometric non-nested multilevel preconditioner for the Stokes system. The implementation of the preconditioned iterative solvers is based on the PETSc library for improving the efficiency of the parallel code. The present numerical algorithm is validated for the Kovasznay flow, the flow of an Oldroyd-B fluid past a confined circular cylinder in a channel and the three-dimensional flow of an Oldroyd-B fluid around a rigid sphere falling in a cylindrical tube. Parallel large-scale calculations are presented up to 523,094 quadrilateral elements in two-dimension and 1,190,376 hexahedral elements in three-dimension. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.