• 3 Km Length

  • Difficulty (0-10): 2

  • Time needed: 1,5 H

  • Altitude difference: 100m

Important update: 

Winter weather caused a number of landslides and the gorge is now almost inaccessible. A lot of damage done, we will update the post if the gorge will be back to it’s normal situation. Ask a local guide or a travel agent before going to Topolia gorge.

The wild gorge of Topolia (Topoliano gorge for the locals) runs along the road leading to Elafonissi. 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 the villages Katsomatados and Topolia, where the side rocks are very high and steep (300m).

The canyon is crossed by the River Tyflos (means ”blind” in Greek), which originates from Mount Dikeos (near village Elos). 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.

Near attractions – Topolia tunel

The tunel that goes through the mountain. Topolia tunel is the only tunnel in Crete that is dug by hands! It is a 4 meters wide and 100 meters long tunnel. It fits only one car and it’s construction, according to the inhabitants of the village that lived then and some of them participated in its construction, must have begun around 1920.

Near attractions – The Cave of St. Sophia

A cave with a small church dedicated to Hagia Sophia (Wisdom of God). A ”must see” unique place.