The Greek Islands have provided the backdrop for some of the most famous films in the world. Arguably the most prominent Hollywood blockbuster to have been filmed there (at least in part) is Mamma Mia.
Meryl Streep and co. pitched up on the island of Skopelos to produce the 2008 smash musical hit, and all these years later the stunning island continues to feature on TV screens around the world.
Films like Mamma Mia can inspire travelers to see different parts of the world they may not otherwise have considered visiting, and Skopelos is one destination that’s certainly made its way onto the radar of global tourists.
Whether you’re planning on a Greek island-hopping adventure or a protracted stay on Skopelos, here are three things you have to see there.
One of the most famous spots to feature in the film is Kastani beach, the backdrop for some of the biggest musical numbers. Sat on the west coast, this cozy sandy stretch is a must-visit for anybody staying on the island. Take one glance and you’ll soon see why it was chosen as a Hollywood movie set. All the natural colors of the surrounding area come together in the kaleidoscope that is Kastani, as the green pine trees almost overflow from the forest into the azure waters.
This enchanting spot is more than just a place of impressive natural beauty. There is a beach bar to keep you hydrated throughout the day, and sun loungers give you the chance to soak up the sun in the Sporades. Though it’s nestled out on the west coast, the beach is easily accessible by car and should feature on your itinerary, no matter where you’re staying on the island.
Agios Ioannis Church
Eagled-eyed Mamma Mia fans will spot that Agios Ioannis Church was the location for Sophie and Sky’s wedding at the end of the film. However, you don’t have to be a Mamma Mia fan to appreciate the jaw-dropping beauty of this place. Perched atop a jagged cliff, you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding coastline, as well as the neighboring island of Alonissos. Whether you decide to take on the 110 steps that lead up to the church or admire the view from below, you certainly won’t be disappointed by the scenery at this emblematic spot.
Skopelos Town is the island’s capital, and will likely be the first settlement you lay eyes on as you enter the port. The romance and beauty of Skopelos are encapsulated in the buildings and streets of its main town, with whitewashed buildings and narrow cobbled streets instantly charming visitors upon their arrival. A day spent simply walking around the town will never be a day wasted, but there are certain notable attractions you should look to tick off during your stay.
One of the biggest attractions is the castle, which sits in the northern part of the town. Though only the outer ruins remain, visitors can appreciate the former glory of this 13th-century Venetian masterpiece, which sits on the highest point in the capital. The castle can be accessed by foot or by car, but do note that there is a steep climb involved if you do choose to walk, so it may not be easily accessible for all members of your party.