"Mamma Mia the Movie" may be the best movie to inspire Greek travel since "Summer Lovers" way, way back in the early 1980s. The movie built around ABBA songs about a daughter's quest to figure out just who her father is hadn't even come out yet in many countries when questions about just where Mamma Mia was shot in Greece were pouring in based on the trailer. If you're wondering where Mamma Mia was shot so you can plan your own trip to Greece, here's help.
Check out some of the locations where the Mamma Mia film was shot in Greece.
Pelion Region - Damouchari Here's a brief account, with pictures but in Greek, of the Mamma Mia shoot in Damouchari with some candid photos from the Mamma Mia set. Some of the Damouchari footage was used at the beginning of Mamma Mia when Christine Baranski and Julie Walters arrive on the island and are met by Meryl Streep. It was combined with images shot on Skopelos. The article below shows a shot of the beach at Damouchari, which leads to where the scenes in Mamma Mia were shot. The beach is sometimes called "Blue Beach". The Daily Mail covered Damouchari and its Mamma Mia connections in detail: "The Greek Jewel Where ABBA Meets a Donkey Named Boy George" and includes information on the crew hotel, Hotel Damouchari.
On Skopelos - Mamma Mia was shot at:
- Kastani Bay and beach, where "Does Your Mother Know" was performed
- Agios Ioannis Prodromos Monastery for the wedding chapel
- The beach and cliffs above Glisteri (Glysteri).
The producers say a "mountainous peninsula" near Glisteri was used as the filming location where Sophie leaves for her wedding. A cliff on this same peninsula was used for the cliff jumping scene with Sophie and her potential fathers.
They picnicked on a beach south of Agnondas off of the Stafylos road.
The official Mamma Mia Movie website reports that the movie cast and crew stayed at the Skopelos Village Hotel, the Prince Stafylos Hotel, the Adrina Hotel, and the Aeolia Hotel. Some of the stars rented villas nearby instead. Restaurants used by the cast and crew included Agioli, Tis Annas, To Perivoli, The Garden, and Agnanti.
Skiathos - Some fine-sand beaches on Skiathos were used for scenes in Mamma Mia. The port where the three fathers meet for the first time is the Old Port on Skiathos. The area around the St. Nikolaos Bell Tower was where Sophie mailed her letters though that shot was a composite and you won't find exactly the same view. It is reported that the cast and crew stayed at the Skiathos Princess Hotel, the Skiathos Palace Hotel, and the Mandraki, and dined at Skiathos restaurants including Asprolithos, Polikratis, Sophia's Place, and the Windmill.
Villa Donna was placed on the cliffs above Glysteri Beach on Skopelos. But most of the Villa Donna scenes were shot back at the studio and married to Greek backgrounds later - only the stone gateway survives. But when the dancers go through olive groves, those groves are a long way off - they were shot at Douchari in the Mouresi area of Greece, along the Pelion Coast outside of Volos.
Corfu (Kerkyra) - Agios Ioannis Chapel. This Mamma Mia location has been reported in several sources, but I didn't see any Corfu in the film. The chapel seen in the movie is definitely on Skopelos. See below for more on the absence of Corfu in the film.
Mamma Mia Movie Locations Pictures - See the stars on location in Greece.
Yiannis Chatzitrakosas at Skopelos Web has provided me with some more details on Mamma Mia film locations:
"Kalokairi is Skopelos! The opening "Mailbox Scene" in Mamma Mia is a composite shot. It's shot at the entrance of Skiathos village. The post letter box on the bottom half of the screen with the white stone and the back view is from Skopelos village and the sea view is from Skiathos! The island at the back is the beautiful small island of Tsougrias which has great beaches accessible from Skiathos, which is the island that the Beatles wanted to buy in the 1970s."
Yiannis goes on to say "The three actors' first appearance in Mamma Mia is from the Nisi area near Glisteri beach and in back you can see Sarres beach Area on Skopelos, Ai Giorgis, and Alonissos island."
Belinda "Bill" Farmer, who lives and blogs on Corfu says that the Mamma Mia producers scouted locations on Corfu, but no Corfu locations were filmed. She also has an inside source: Julie Walters, who plays Rosie in the movie, is a friend. Julie told Belinda that no Corfu locations were used in Mamma Mia.
And if you're interested in the aftermath of Mamma Mia on Skopelos - especially if you are planning a trip there - be sure to read this Mamma Mia article from the Daily Mail.
More details on the film locations of Mamma Mia! can be found at the Internet Movie Data Base Mamma Mia Page.
This article has some entertaining details about the locations on Skopelos, including where Meryl Streep should have had an ouzo: Telegraph: Unfazed by the Fuss in Skopelos
Want more great movies shot in Greece? My suggestion is to rent or buy Summer Lovers and High Season, two personal favorites, or other movies shot in Greece. You may also want to see the upcoming romantic film "Before Midnight", which was also shot in Greece.
By the way, Kalokairi, the island's fictional name in the movie, means "Summer" in Greek.
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