Hiking in Crete

Topolia
Gorge

Chania

Topolia Gorge
(22 votes)

The gorge of Topolia (Topoliano) is located at west Crete and it runs along the road leading to Elafonissi via Elos. The canyon actually starts near the village Strovles at an altitude of 450m, and exits near the village Topolia, at an altitude of 150m. However, the narrowest and most impressive hiking part of the gorge is located between Katsomatados and Topolia, where the side rocks are very high and steep. The canyon is crossed by the River Tyflos, which originates from Mount Dikeos. At the beginning of the narrow part, it is worth visiting the Cave of Agia Sofia, located just above the main road.

The canyon and the wider area hosts rare and endemic plants of Crete, while the Cave of St. Sophia houses a species of cave spider that lives only there (Pholcus creticus). According to local traditions, Topolia Gorge hosted fairies and the Minoan godess Vritomartis. Here, the legendary Talos used to stop and enjoy the divine music of the fairies. When Talos arrived in the place, rested inside a big cave, drank water and fell asleep. Then, the fairies and elves of the river arrived, singing and dancing.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Hiking gorge
  • Water: Water till spring
  • Length (km): 3
  • Altitude difference (m): 100
  • Difficulty (0-10): 2
  • Hiking Hours: 1.5
  • Accessibility: Paved road
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