Yes it was cheesy and hardly the most complex of movies. But if you’re looking for a feel-good film where all the actors clearly had a great time in putting the film together it’s hard to question the virtues of Mamma Mia! Filmed in the summer of 2007 the movie was a public relations coup for the Greek Islands as a whole, with such a major movie showcasing them in all their beauty.
So where was Mamma Mia! filmed? Let’s take a little look at the three main locations used for the film. Each is a popular holiday choice for those looking for a little of that same ‘fun in the sun’ fantasy that the film portrayed so well.
The small fishing harbour at Damouchari was used for filming on the Greek mainland region of Pelion. This is an area of secluded coves and mountain villages where little has changed in recent generations.
Tourism is still in its infacy here, which is great for those looking for a place not over-run by other international visitors. On the other hand it’s probably wise to hire a car as public transport is not great. The nearest airport to the region is Volos, although more flights go via Skiathos, from where a transfer will take around 2 hours.
A popular choice for UK holidaymakers for many years, Skiathos is only 8 miles long and thickly forested. It is an exceptionally pretty island and a place where visitors can wander between villages and the many sandy beaches on the south side of the island.
Buses do connect the different parts of the island, although these are very popular so be prepared for the crowds.
Skiathos is considered as close to a perfect Greek island as you can get; pretty villages, great beaches and nightlife that is varied and popular but that does not detract from the peaceful feel of the natural enviroment.
This is perhaps the no.1 spot on the Mamma Mia! trail; most of the filming did take place on Skopelos. It was probably quite normal for those months to run into Mr Brosnan or Ms Streep in the narrow streets of Skopelos.
The picturesque Kastani Bay and Beach was used extensively for different parts of the film while the wedding itself was filmed in the island’s Agios Ioannis Chapel.
Skopelos is much larger than neighbouring Skiathos but is less developed as a tourist destination, perhaps helping it to retain its ‘Greek’ feel. It’s a great place for walking and within the island’s countryside there are many places to stop along the way to refresh and to explore. The island’s fame as a result of Mamma Mia! has thankfully not changed its pleasant under-stated character.
If you’re looking to relive a bit of that movie magic, it’s easy to visit these glorious spots and soak up the atmosphere and relaxed vibe that created such an infectious happiness in Mamma Mia!
by Andy Jarosz