If the island of Skopelos looks familiar to you, then the chances are you’re either a movie-buff or a dyed-in-the-wool Abba fan. With its sun-bleached beaches, jasmine-scented forests, abandoned monasteries and picture-perfect harbours, it’s no wonder that Skopelos was chosen as the location to film scenes from the 2008 movie, Mamma Mia! A romantic comedy, with plenty of Abba songs thrown in to cement its place as a sure-fire cult classic, Mamma Mia! has left an indelible stamp on Skopelos, which is now also known as ‘Mamma Mia Island’. While there are tours available for those who want to recreate their favourite movie moments, you can be a real Super Trouper and create your own Abba-tastic experience.
Recast as ‘Kalokairi’, for the film, Skopelos has some fantastic locations where you can soak up some sun and walk in the footsteps of Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Julie Walters. Head to Kastani Beach and you’ll find yourself in the spot where Sophie and Sky broke into ‘Lay All You Love on Me’.
It’s also where we waved goodbye to Sophie and Donna’s fathers and where we heard the disco classics, Does Your Mother Know and I Have a Dream. Unfortunately, the pier and the bar from these scenes were purpose-built for the film and were removed once shooting was completed, but the beach is instantly recognisable.
The Winner Takes It All at Glisteri
Glisteri is the location on the Mamma Mia Greek island where Dancing Queen was sung. From the beach, you’ll see a small headland, where Sophie left to get to her wedding. For something more substantial, make your way to the Church of Agios Ioannis Sto Kastri, set on the northeast of the island. You’ll need to climb 100 stone steps to get to this Catholic orthodox church, but the views alone are worth the effort.
This is where the exterior shots for the wedding were filmed and the church has become a popular destination for marriages. Try not to burst into The Winner Takes It All, as tempting as it might be. For the interiors, you’ll need to head to the southwest of the island to Skopelos’ harbour, where you’ll find the tiny, unassuming Church of Agion Panton.
Agnontas acted as the backdrop for the scene in which Money, Money, Money took the spotlight. You’ll recognise the harbour as the mooring spot for the boat that Meryl and her mates had their ‘Titanic’ moments and disco-inspired singalong. About 20 minutes from there is the stunning Millia Beach, which also acted as a backdrop in the movie.
Live like an A-lister
However, no holiday to Mamma Mia Island would be complete without having a chance to live like a Hollywood A-lister. If you want to live it up like Meryl, Pierce or Colin, then book a room in the Aeolia Hotel, Skopelos Village Hotel, the Adrena Hotel or the Price Stafylos Hotel, which is where many of the cast and crew stayed, while working on the Mamma Mia Greek island. While you’re at it, hunt out the To Perivoli, Agnanti, Tis Annas, Agioli or The Garden restaurants, which is where the film’s leading actors were said to have dined on their days off.