The trail from Kamari to Veneto is the first and the very northernmost section of Long Pelion Trail (LPT). It meanders on the most least-known area of Pelion which providing much less facilities and services than those the visitors can find in the other, more popular, villages.
The path starts from Kamari, passes through the traditional village of Keramidi and ends at Veneto. These three settlements are the most remote places among all the inhabited areas of Northern Pelion. However, they are of great interest concerning their natural beauty and architectural value. Their special geographical aspect, their well-preserved buildings and the unique relief make them perfect places for relaxation but also exploration. The first part of LPT crosses landscapes of different morphology and features, where the visitor can find grasslands, forests, wet meadows and rocky gaps.
The hiker follows the obvious direction, going from north to south Pelion, facing the uphill side of the trail. Similar to all the 12 parts of LPT, this section requires high fitness level and experience with long-distance hiking. Nevertheless, beginner hikers can stay overnight at the traditional and cozy guesthouses and shorten the duration of the activity. Moreover, there are numerous places along the trail, such as beautiful chapels and streams, where one can rest under the shade of the trees and regain strength.
Kamari is the starting point of the first part of LPT. It is a seaside hamlet located at 30m above sea level. As a seaport for the greater village of Keramidi, Kamari provides many tourism-related services during the summer months.
Keramidi is located at an altitude of 350m. The residential complex is picturesque and of special architectural features. The village is also characterized as “Traditional Settlement”, built is 16th century, in this hidden, isolated area in order for the first citizens to be protected from the pirates and other invaders. It’s the main village of the broader area and it has 700 inhabitants. They’re almost double during the warm summer months, due to the pleasantly cold climate and the close distance to the beautiful beaches. The view to the Aegean Sea and Kassandra peninsula of Chalkidiki can inspire and move even the most demanding travelers.
In the past, Keramidi used to be the commercial and administrative hub of Northern Pelion. Today, Keramidi along with Veneto, form one of the four communities which are not incorporated with any other municipalities. The other three communities are are Anavra, Makrinitsa and Trikeri.
The center of the settlement of Keramidi extends evenly around the church of St. George, which is a great temple of 1787, built according to the basilica style and of local schist stone layers. Around the church, the visitor can admire the remarkable tiled town square, knows as Alonaki, very close to the old school.
In the charming stone alleys one can find many small local businesses with traditional products, as well as taverns and kafeneia (coffee houses) while it’s worth visiting the Folklore museum of Keramidi, very close to the town square. The core of the settlement is formed by square and two-storey houses. Built around the end of the 19th century, they still keep their traditional features of the traditional architecture of Pelion.
There are three options for those who want to spend time at the seaside: the beach of Kamari, Agrielia, where there is also a small fishing spot and the more famous beach Ai Giannis.
At the northeastern side of Keramidi, at an altitude of 320m, there is one more remote but still very attractable village. Veneto is well-hidden under the shade of a dense forest of walnut, chestnut and oak trees. It’s an architectural jewelry located literally on the rocks of a wild coast with karst caves and other interesting formations.
The trail follows three different terrains: trails above the old cobbled alleys which are covered with earth today, quiet forest tracks and main roads from asphalt with almost no traffic.
We can buy drinking water from the shops at the villages. The water at the fountain of Mpourvoukoniko, just between Keramidi and Veneto, is not potable, especially when the flow rate is low.
We ascend from the sea level to the altitude of 550m. Then we descend to 220m. Although the total elevation difference is not significant, the trail is almost uphill along its entire length.
There are only very few parts of this first section which are under the shade of trees. The largest part of the route Kamari – Veneto is covered with very low bushy vegetation. The activity can be very demanding if we choose to hike during the summer months and especially around noon. A large quantity of water is required (around 2lt), which makes our rucksack much heavier.