Agios ioannis mamma mia chapel

From time to time a movie comes along that does more to promote a destination than a glossy brochure or TV ad could ever manage. The Greek Islands were already renowned for their natural beauty, but thanks to a bunch of actors who were clearly having the time of their lives belting out a sequence of feel-good songs, the image of Greece that many of us have will never be the same again.

Mamma Mia – The Movie

Rarely has a movie with such a flimsy plot become such a smash hit. While the musical Mamma Mia relied on instantly recognizable ABBA songs that had the audience first humming the songs and before long dancing in the aisles, the movie has a bigger ace up its sleeve. Not only do we get to sing along to ABBA with Meryl Streep and Colin Firth but we can also sit back and enjoy the gorgeous Greek island scenery that serves as a backdrop to the movie.

The scenes flit between impossibly pretty harbours, crystal clear waters and quaint white-washed cottages before the grand finale inside a delightful little church and a picture-perfect hilltop location. Rarely has a place been shown in a better light; the Greek tourist board must have been delighted with Mamma Mia!

Filming on the Greek Islands

Mamma Mia is filmed in three locations in Greece. Most of the scenes take place on the island of Skopelos, a relatively undeveloped island that is popular with those looking to taste a little of the ‘real’  Greece. Nearby Skiathos was also used for a few scenes while the harbor that features in several scenes was actually on the Greek mainland in the tiny village of Damouchari.

In truth the producers of Mamma Mia were spoilt for choice when choosing which Greek island to use as a location for the movie, with countless pretty harbors and secluded coves to choose from. The Greek islands are quite rightly considered one of the world’s most scenic holiday spots and wherever you decide to go you won’t be far from your own Mamma Mia moment. All you need is that ability to sing the Mamma Mia music without warning as you’re enjoying the spectacular views!

Photo | Vangelis Beltzenitis