Preparing for your trip to Greece can include seeing a movie or two shot in Greece or the Greek islands. While Greece will be even more beautiful "in person", these films shot in Greece will give you a glimpse of what is waiting for you.
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Mamma Mia! The Movie
By far the most successful movie shot in Greece, this modern musical based on ABBA songs is silly fun against a backdrop of Skopelos, Skiathos, and the Pelion coast. Singlehandedly, it has probably inspired more trips to Greece than any other film shot there, and its legions of fans continue to grow with each showing.
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Zorba the Greek
This tremendous, life-affirming classic epitomizes the Greek spirit, and was filmed in various locations on the island of Crete, including the villages of Chania and Stavros.
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This light-hearted romantic comedy has an intriguing darker side, but all takes second place to the beautiful Greek island of Rhodes. It stars Jacqueline Bisset and a young Kenneth Branagh has a small role.
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A guilty pleasure, this light-on-substance movie is filled with Darryl Hannah and Peter Gallagher, an irresistibly perky soundtrack ("I'm So Excited!" is the theme song), and glorious shots of Greece. Only problem? They combine several locations in Greece (including Santorini, Mykonos and Crete) into one "super-island".Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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For Your Eyes Only
This lively James Bond 007 flick offers heart-stopping shots of hang gliding at the hanging monasteries of Meteora.
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Only a part of this is shot in Greece, but readers keep writing to find out where it is so they can make their own escape there... (If you're one of them, it's on the Greek island of Mykonos.)
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Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Starring Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz, this loosely fact-based action-romance story depicts Cephalonia during World War II. It prompted a tourist deluge for the island.
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Frustrated housewife Shirley finds romantic adventure - and her own soul - on the island of Mykonos. The "Shirley Valentine" beach is Ai Giannis.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Angelina Jolie returns as Lara Croft in this action-packed movie which features many Greek locations, including the island of Santorini. Your own travel adventures may vary from this fictional depiction!
Greek archaeological authorities are sticklers at preventing the theft of Greece's cultural heritage - but now there is one "tomb raider" that is being welcomed with open arms by Greece and the citizens of Oia (Ia), the heretofore quieter sister of Thira (Fira) on the island of Santorini.
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Opa!Starring Matthew Modine, this independent film had a limited release when it came out in 2009. It's shot on location on the Greek island of Patmos.
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The Big Blue
A fascinating movie shot in part near the Greek island of Alonissos, it's the fictionalized story of a determined deep-water free diver.
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Two Faces of JanuaryBased on the Patricia Highsmith novel, this movie was shot in Athens and Crete and stars Viggo Mortensen. It enjoyed just a limited release but is available on DVD.Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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"D'Agostino" was shot overlooking the caldera of Santorini, with the volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Paleo Kameni visible below and the partial crescent island of Thirassia in the distance. From the angle, it looks like the balcony we see in the film is located in Imerovigli, between Fira and Oia. Some scenes were shot beachside on the cliffs below. The script is minimalist so there are many pretty shots of Santorini, showing scenic vistas, chickens, donkeys, shops, markets, and the iconic 'on the balcony with a glass of wine' shots. These montages sometimes last for minutes at a time as we watch the hero walk through the winding lanes of Fira, hike in ancient Thira, and wander elsewhere on the island.
Listed as "producers" on the film are the cheerful and bright Santorini eatery Mama's House, located in Fira (Thira) and the Kavalari Hotel, a TripAdvisor Award of Excellence winner. Despite the "producer" credit on a film can mean almost... anything, I suspect Mama's House provided the catering and and the hotel provided the location and lodging - don't expect them to have approved the disturbing script.