Topolia is a beautiful and traditional village on the road to Elafonissi. The village is located 45 km southwest of the city of Chania and 12 km south of Kissamos at an altitude of 307 meters from the surface of the sea. From Topolia you can enjoy a spectacular view from the right to the topolian gorge and to the left the Kissamos bay, or walk in its beautiful alleys, thanks to which some characterize the village as Monemvasia of Crete.
Until 1925, Topolia belonged to the Municipality of Kasteli. 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 about the mid-1970s. With official censuses the population in 1928 was 816, 1951 810, 1961 744, and 1981 547. Nowadays 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 tranquility, lots of oxygen and a more traditional life.
The village is mentioned for the first time in a donation 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 have been 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 the year 961 AD. When Crete was liberated from the Byzantine general and later short-lived emperor of Byzantium Nikiforos Phokas, who expelled the Arab conquerors from Crete after a nine-month siege of Hadaka. It’s probably a squad of soldiers of the general in the area. It is not by chance that just 3 km The village of Vulgaro is also believed to have settled Bulgarian soldiers of Foka. The name of the settlement is Slavic and denotes a poplar species. Because they gave the village the name of this tree, we do not know exactly. 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 foundation of the village, with many legendary elements, and it is as follows: Fokas, to stimulate religious sentiment, brought monks and missionaries from the Theological School of Halki. Because the Byzantine Empire was a multinational, the School was attended by students from all the ethnicities of the Empire. In Topolia, a monk named “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 monastery 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 work in Bulgar, sent the workers “to the 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.