Villages of Western Kissamos – Part 2
Topolia is a nice big village 16km away from Kissamos. Its villagers are mainly farmers and stock breeders. In Topolia is the well known ‘’Topolia gorge’’. It is a very beautiful scenery with overgrown olive trees and plane trees. Wild and imposing with sheer walls and height that reaches 300 meters with many cavities in different places. After crossing the tunnel you will reach the cave of Saint Sofia and her church at the entrance. In Topolia you will find many Byzantine churches with murals like Saint John the Theologist, Saint Paraskevi and Triumphal Cross.
One of the mountainous ‘’nine villages’’, Elos is a lush, picturesque and full of plane and chestnut trees village. You will find it on your way to Elafonisi and it constitutes a very beautiful station for traditional food and local taverns.
Elos is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in the province of Kissamos with running waters in many parts of the village. At the center of the village there are some cafes where you can enjoy a cool drink under the shade of towering trees.
Vlatos is a lush mountainous village. On your way there you can admire a perennial olive tree with colossal trunk which reveals its age. Vlatos is also known for the village of Milia located a few kilometers north. Milia is a village with no electricity, among chestnut trees, built with private initiative and has stony guest houses, traditional food and welcomes visitors all year around.
It’s a small settlement 45km southwest of Kissamos. Named after its homonymous monastery where its located there and you have the possibility to visit it, while it’s definitely worth visiting at 15 of August where the celebration of the church takes place.
The monastery of Chrisoslaitissa is built upon a rock of 35m height and offers an amazing view of the Libyan sea. It is named after a tradition that says that among the 90 stairs that you need to climb in order to reach the monastery, one of them is made of gold and cannot be seen by sinners. It is believed that where the monastery is located today used to be a priory.
Nowadays the monastery of Chrisoskalitissa is devoted to the Assumption of Mary and Holy Triad. It is also said that the icon of the Assumption which is kept there is 1000 years old. It is also worth saying that the village of Chrisoskalitissa is only 5km away from the beach of Elafonisi.
Lousakies is a small village 10km Kissamos. It has a big folklore and cultural tradition because it’s the birthplace of Syrtos of Kissamos. Also every 15 of August in the church of Astratigos a big feast with music and dance takes place while traditional dishes are served.
If you find yourselves there you should not miss the gorge of Maganistra which starts south of Lousakies, it is 5km long and ends up to the establishment of Pateriana and the churches of Saint Polykarpos, Saint Barbara and Mary in Zachariana.
It is expected to be opened soon a folklore museum in Lousakies which will be housed in the old Elementary school and will host exhibits from the broader area of Kissamos.
Polyrinia is a mountainous traditional village 6km from Kissamos. Named after the homonymous archaeological site which is located there and to which some of the materials found for the building of the village belong to.
It has preserved its traditional character with houses and alleys which lead to the village’s square. In the temple of Assumption of Mary which is built within a rock and used as a hidden school during the Turkish domination, you have the chance to admire some notable icons.
Historically, Polyrinia used to be a great and mighty city, it was amphitheatrically built and surrounded by high walls. It is said that the city found great prosperity during the Roman period and was a ‘’rival’’ of Kydonia