Topolia is a beautiful and traditional village on the road to Elafonissi. The village is located 45 km southeast of the city of Chania and 12 km south of Kissamos at an altitude of 307 meters from the sea level. From Topolia you can enjoy a breathtaking view, from the right to the top to the canyon and to the left of Kissamos bay.
Until 1925, Topolia belonged to the Municipality of Kasteli. In that year, the Municipalities and Topolia were dissolved with the settlements of Agkirianni, Tsourouniana, Kapsianana, Nisi, Katsomatados and later the Tzanianas constituted the Community of Topolia. So the village became a big village with growth until the mid-1970s. With the official censuses, the population in 1928 was 816 inhabitants, 1951 810, 1961 744, and 1981 547. Now there are about 175 people living in the village and 370 people in the community and their main occupation is agriculture.
Today, Topolia (Local Community of Topolia – Municipal Unity of MYTHEMNIS) belongs to the municipality of KISSAMOS of the Regional Unity of Chania located in the Region of Crete, according to the administrative division of Greece as it was formed with the program “Kallikratis”.
It is an ideal destination for nature lovers and visitors looking for peace, much oxygen and a more traditional life.
The Village is mentioned for the first time in a noble document of Candia of 1256 named Volopolia. (source: Tzougarakis “Remarks”) It is almost certain that this is an old settlement, since coins and ceramics of the Roman period were discovered in the cave of Agia Sophia near Topolia. Perhaps this is to say that the place was inhabited even before the second Byzantine period.
The village was to be established after 961 AD. when Crete was liberated by the Byzantine General and later by short-lived emperor of Byzantium Nikiforos Phokas, who expelled the Arab conquerors from Crete after a nine-month siege of Hadaka. Probably the installation of Slavs of the general’s soldiers in the area. It is not by chance that only 3 km there is the village of Vulgaro where it is also speculated that Bulgarian soldiers of Foka settled. The name of the settlement of Topolia is Slavic and denotes a poplar species. The reasons that gave the village this name are not clear. Maybe because he had enough poplar trees. There are quite a few at the entrance to the village. So our village was named “TOPOLIA”.
There is another story about the founding of the village, with many legendary elements: Fokas brought monks and missionaries from the Theological School of Halki to stimulate religious sentiment. Because the Byzantine Empire was a multinational, the School was attended by students from all ethnicities of the Empire. In Topolia, a monk called “Kallistos”, a Greek in origin, came and settled. Two monks of Bulgarian origin settled in Vulgaro, in the monastery ruler. And one of them was called “Kallistos”! Employers in the monastic estates planned for the day that the workers would work. When they were working in the estates of the Bulgarian monks, they said, “We will work for the Bulgarians.” So the village was named Voulgaros with a cut of the final “vi”. The Bulgarian monks, when they did not have a job in Vulgar, sent the workers “to Tolpolis” which means in the language of the Slavs (and Bulgarians of course) poplar. The place where the monk “Kallistos” lived was called “Kallistos” today.