In the Regional Section of Chania, south of the town of Kissamos, there is an excellent monument of nature, the Topolian gorge. The canyon actually starts near the village Strovles, at an altitude of 450m, and its exit is near the village of Topolia at an altitude of 150m. The narrowest and most striking part of the canyon is between Katsomatado and Topolia, where the rocks are vertical and tall. Although small in length about 1500 meters, the canyon is imposing and the landscape wild. Its vertical walls reach 300 meters in height and its width in the bed varies from 5 to 50 meters. It is about an hour to cross it, which does not have a particular degree of difficulty. From the gorge, the river flows through the Tyflos river, which originates from Mount Dikaios.
Both the bed and the slopes of the gorge are a small botanical paradise, a typical example of the varied flora that hides the Cretan countryside. The walker will encounter plane trees, oleanders, wild boar, orchids, but the naturalist’s thrills peak when in the spring (April-May) they face the flowering slopes of the gorge from the unique beauty of endemic plumes or “katsouli”, Ebenus cretica, The most beautiful Greek shrub we will meet scattered in the area. Still here we meet the wild sage (Salvia pomifera) with its beautiful white-blue flowers that drink its “boiling kettle” to squeeze the sugar, as well as our familiarity, the thyme (Coridothymus capitatus), the Cistus creticus, , Calicotome villosa, Pistacia lentiscus, Ceratonia siliqua.
Below the canyon, we find the Myrtus communis in large clusters.
But botanical interest is centered on the rare endemics found on the slopes of the gorge, Centaurea argentea, and Centaurea redempta. Even if you have nothing to do with botany, you are sure to be impressed by crossing the gorge in the spring, even by road, from the colors and aromas of this enchanting place.
Also in the cracks and caves of his bare walls he finds a large number of birds. Characteristic of the gorge is the numerous cavernous cavities on its walls, while the small cave of Agia Sophia, next to the provincial road, with its homonymous church inside, is a short walk.
Mythology says that this gorge was inhabited by fairies and the goddess Vritomartis during the Minoan era. In this gorge many times, the mythical Talos stood still to enjoy the songs and the divine music played by the fairies. Talos passed through the Topolian gorge, went to the big cave, drank water and fell asleep. At that time, the fairy and the elves, who had their residence there, were coming near the rocky cliffs with the many caves, and dancing and singing to him. River in the background, wildlife and steep cliffs justified their residence there.