Learn About Kalokairi, the Greek Island From 'Mama Mia'

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Kalokairi, the island in the "Mamma Mia" movie starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, is actually really named Skopelos. The island is in the Aegean Sea off the coast of mainland Greece. Skopelos is part of the Sporades island group of Greece.

Kalokairi is a made-up island name just used in the "Mamma Mia" movie and has nothing to do with Skopelos itself. In Greek, Kalokairi means "summer," so just about any Greek island could be called a "summer island."

For more information on the "Mamma Mia" movie locations, including where some of the stars lived and dined on Skopelos, check out Mamma Mia Movie Locations.

Why You Should Go to Skopelos

Even if you don't love "Mamma Mia," Skopelos is a relatively unspoiled island catering to British and Greek tourists. It's considered an expensive island by Greek standards, definitely not catering to the backpacker crowd. Since the "Mamma Mia" movie, the island has seen a bit of a surge in tourists. Before it "became" Kalokairi, it was a favorite island for Greeks to visit for vacations. There are many small hotels on Skopelos, and you can also rent villas or apartments.

Where to Eat in Skopelos

Food on Skopelos tends to feature plenty of fresh seafood traditionally prepared, but chicken pie is also popular. Don't expect it to be quite what you would get back in the states, however. On islands, it's hard to abandon the idea of eating fresh fish along the quay.

Orea Ellas is one typical seaside taverna.

Events in Skopelos

The patron saint of Skopelos, Agios Reginos, has a feast day on February 25. The Loizia Festival in August is a popular cultural event, with concerts, the music of Loizos, theater, dance, storytelling, food and more. 

In the past, Skopelos has also held a photographic exhibit in July; the Prune Festival in August; and a free, fall wine event on the town of Glossa.

How to Get to Skopelos

Skopelos has no airport, so visitors need to fly to Skiathos, where some other scenes in "Mamma Mia" were shot, and then take about an hour-long ferry ride to Skopelos. That's the quickest route. 

You can also drive up the coast from Athens on the fast, good National Highway. Or cruise down the coast from Thessaloniki and then take a ferry to Skiathos from Agios Constatinos, and then go on to Skopelos. There are other ferry options available, especially in summer.

Plan Your Trip to Greece

Here are some resources to help you plan your next trip to Greece:

  • Find and compare flights to and from Greece: Athens and Other Greece Flights. The Greek airport code for Athens International Airport is ATH.
  • Find and compare prices on hotels in Greece and the Greek Islands. 
  • Book your own day trips around Athens.