MONASTERIES - VILLAGES
Veneto is located northeast of Keramidi, at an elevation of 320m. It’s also one of the most picturesque villages of Northern Pelion. The settlement expands across a bright and leafy gap, covered with dense oak, walnut and chestnut forests. At the rocky slopes of its nearest beach one can explore the numerous caves and other unique karst formations of limestone. There are also many organized adventure sea-trips starting from the area of Agiokampos. In order to reach the sea we need to travel from Veneto to the cove of Koulouri, the seaport of Veneto, or visit the beach of Petromelisso.
The monastery was founded in the second half of 16th century and today it’s fully renovated. Inside its high walls the visitor can see the three-aisled basilica, dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Saviour. The area has many natural springs and the surrounding plain is very fertile. Today, there are four monks living in the monastery. However it’s one of the very few monasteries which is open even though there is no electricity and access to the main road. Following the tradition of Mt Athos, the access to women is forbidden. However, it can host a few male visitors for a few days. The monastery celebrates on the 6th of August.
It’s a historical monastery built in the 16th century and it’s dedicated to the Holy Trinity. It’s the place where the first great battle between Thessalians and the Turks was given, in January 1878. After an epic fight and exodus of the rebels, the monastery was set on fire. During the Turkish Occupation, the monks run a print house serving the greek rebellions. Nowadays, the monastery belongs to the greater monastery of Flamouri and its renovation is under process.
Makrinitsa is called “the balcony of Pelion”. The marvelous architectural style and the stunning view to the city of Volos and to the bay of Pagasitikos make it almost the first most popular destination in Pelion.
Well-built cobbled alleys, called kalderimia, starting from the town square, go across the entire settlement. Manor houses, stone rooftops and sculpted wooden doors decorate the village, which is literally hidden among the rich vegetation. At the grand town square, the visitor can find the traditional coffee house, or kafeneio, named Theofilos after the popular painter and see his famous painting with the title “Machi stin Kria Vrisi”.
Depending on the physical abilities and courage of the group, the daily hike can stop in Sourvia monastery area and the hikers can camp overnight, next to the spring and very close to the monastery. Alternatively, a more experienced and well-prepared team can go on towards Makrinitsa. Then, the long, demanding connection, from Veneto to Makrinitsa is complete and it’s definitely worth trying.
Most of the forest where the trail goes belongs to the monastery Flamouriou.
There is drinking water at three different places along the trail: at Flamouri monastery, at the point where the trails to Stavros and Sourvia meet (the large spring which provides the monastery with water is found a few meters further) and at Sourvia monastery (in a tank, on the east side of the monastery’s yard and at a trough, uoutside the fenced area).
Even though the most strikingly beautiful grasslands are inside the fenced area of Sourvia, there are still many places to rest or camping close to the trough.
The trail from Veneto to Flamouri monastery crosses a dense Mediterranean bush land. This type of vegetation is characterized by its rapid natural vegetation in springtime, a process which is triggered by the favorable weather conditions of Pelion. Therefore, it’s very likely that in early Summer, thorny bushes or vines may block our way.
On the contrary, on higher elevations the soft foliage of beech trees doesn’t create similar problems.