Leaving Derveni behind, an interesting trip is towards the plain of Pheneus, visiting the villages of Rozena, Ano Aigialos, Evrostini or Zacholi, Helydori, Pyrgos, Ano Kallithea and Elliniko that still retain many examples of traditional village life, with the fountains, threshing floors and outlying churches where crowds gather during the summer months to celebrate the traditional festivals.
Rozena is built on a steep slope of the mountain and is 63 km. from the city of Corinth. At the entrance of the village a large, domed church stands, built in 1928, while there are also the outlying picturesque churches of Ag. Tryphonas and Ag. Haralambos. Its history is firmly tied to the history of Zacholi as the Rozenites have two dwellings; during the winter they live in Pozena and during the summer many of them live in Zacholi.
After a drive through olive groves and pine forests the plateau of Evrostini or Zacholi appears where the village of Evrostini is to be found. Two mountains tower above the village, Mavro Oros or Mt Mavrioros and Mt Evrostina, the first has a direct mythological link with Mt Cyllene, as it was there that Hermes made the first lyre after his birth on Mt Cyllene.
There is a magical view of the Gulf of Corinth, while a walk around the torrent of Mili, a natural torrent with pools full of trout, cataracts and small wooden bridges, or the plateau of Zacholi with its thick forest of Black Pine, offer visitors unique moments of peacefulness and enjoyment. The entrance of the village is dominated by the magnificent church of Ag Georgios, the pride of the area, with its seventeen domes, the traditional fountains and the seven cypress trees that adorn the churchyard. A beautifully sculpted marble plaque on the churchyard wall tells the story of the seven cypress trees, written in the years prior to the revolution of 1821.
The recently renovated churches of Panagia of Kataphigia and Agia Paraskevi, are of impressing, Byzantine style architecture and have excellently crafted, stone built bell towers.
Evrostini embraces nature lovers and romantic explorers. From here the journey continues towards Helydori or Sarandapicho.
Leaving Evrostini and taking the left-hand fork towards the north the road brings us to Chelydori with the renowned monastery farm of the Prophet Elias, of Byzantine style, which was rebuilt after its ruin in1740. The monastery is a basilica with a wood carved temple and icons painted by a Cretan deacon in 1758. Also in the area are many outlying churches such as The Holy Virgin, Agios Dimitrios, Agios Ioannis and Agios Prokopios.
The next stop on the journey is Pyrgos, a principal village standing at an altitude of 600 mts. It owes its name to the tower of the Mamonas’ family and known as the Kordi tower. On many occasions it was used as the headquarters of Kolokotronis and has been characterized as a historical monument. It is a uniquely imposing building, with its courtyard adorned by centuries old walnut trees and a stone built fountain.
Kallithea is a small village with few permanent residents, built at an altitude of 850 mts., and with stone built houses on both sides of the road. The stone built church of Agios Haralambos and Agia Marina is the point of interest.
The soft white rocks, Mt. Pitsadeiko and its narrow cobbled streets characterize the village. To the south of the village is the church of Agios Theodoros, built in 1817, while also of interest is the church of The Holy Virgin that has a bell tower built from columns of an ancient temple.
Starting from Zacholi and ascending towards its high mountains, the road passes through a wonderful forest, of very tall spruce and Black Pine trees before arriving at the village. The area has one of the richest and rarest ecosystems in the Peloponnese. In the past, mountaineers claimed to have sighted lynx in the thick forest, while it was known to be the last refuge of wolves in the Peloponnese. Since then times have changed the area but the forest is still home to partridges, wildcats, owls, weasels, foxes, hares and martens. In the spring wild flowers grow in the sunny parts of the forest, some of them quite rare, while the air is filled with an intoxicating aroma of honeysuckle and wild roses. Springs well up throughout this small paradise the most important of, which is the one close to the Monastery of the Apostles.