18 July 2018
The next instalment of Mamma Mia!, the smash-hit jukebox movie starring a host of Hollywood royalty including Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, hits the big screen this week. With most of the filming for Mamma Mia! – Here We Go Again taking place on location in Croatia, while the first movie was filmed around the stunning Pelion area of Greece, we look at the best things to see and do and the places to dine and stay in, whether you’re an ABBA enthusiast or not.
Renamed as fictional island Kalokairi in the first movie, Skopelos is one of several Greek islands that makes up the northern Sporades island group, just east of the Pelion peninsula. Enjoy unspoiled scenery of olive groves, pine woods, golden sandy bays, and of course the famous church from the movie.
Eat and drink: Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the seafront you’ll find Olivio, situated opposite the old olive press factory. Here you can enjoy melt-in-the-mouth Greek dishes including lamb shank, moussaka and tomatoes stuffed with seafood, all served with fantastic Greek wines. For sundowners, Mercurius Bar offers gorgeous views of Skopelos harbour from the terrace and has an art gallery showcasing works by local artists. Head here and enjoy a long cooling cocktail while the sun sets.
Discover: Take a walk through the village’s narrow streets up to the ruined Venetian fortress and allow yourself to be awed by the incredible views of the port and rolling hillside.
Stay: For your stay try Skopelos Village Hotel. This family-run hotel is perfect if you’re looking for tranquillity and relaxation, with an excellent wellness studio and an inviting pool overlooking the pretty town and the Aegean Sea where you can while away the days.
Damouchari on the Greek mainland is where the iconic jetty scenes of the original film were filmed. The area is shrouded in lush forest, with Mount Pelion itself over on the east coast. With an authentic and ambient vibe, Damouchari is essentially untouched by tourism, and so offers an authentic Greek experience.
Eat and drink: Just 3km from the beach is O Galeos, a traditional fish taverna serving seafood cooked to perfection. Expect generous portions of seabass, huge shell-on prawns, grilled octopus and Greek salad at very reasonable prices.
Discover: Head out on a guided sea-kayaking trip to the remote beaches and coves of the region. Snorkel in the emerald waters and relax on the golden beaches. If you’re lucky, you may even spot dolphins and seals along the way.
Stay: Hotel Ghermaniko is one of the oldest hotels in the region, and this comes out in its ambience and decor of hand-made furnishings and wooden furniture. This simple, romantic hideaway also has its own vineyard.
The lush island of Skiathos played residence to the actors and production team during the filming of the first movie and is home to an abundance of gorgeous beaches as well as fascinating history in the form of traditional Greek monasteries and churches to discover. It’s the perfect location for walking, relaxing and exploring, fragrant with fig, plum and olive trees.
Eat and drink: For traditional Greek food done well, try Infinity Blue, decorated in pretty blue hues against whitewashed walls and offering incomparable views of the Aegean Sea from its terrace. Highlights are the fresh fish and lobster pasta. As the evening draws in, head to cosy Tesla Bar in Skiathos town to dance the night away to live music from the resident band and sip creative cocktails.
Discover: Visit Papadiamantis House, a museum once home to celebrated writer and poet Alexandros Papadiamantis. The house is still laid out exactly how it was while he lived there in the late 1800s and has many of his works on display.
Stay: Skiathos Palace Hotel on a small hill overlooking the bay has plenty to keep you occupied during a stay, from tennis to canoeing, plus a terrace for drinks and dinner.
The latest movie was filmed on the remote Croatian island of Vis, just two and a half hours from Split by boat. With rugged coastline and sparkling seas, it’s clear to see why this charming destination was chosen as the next location for the film.
Eat and drink: Sample Croatian cuisine at its finest at Pojoda, widely regarded as the best restaurant in Vis. Try the different traditional stews on the intimate terrace, where you can dine under a canopy of lemon trees. For evening drinks head to Lambik, a cosy courtyard bar with al fresco seating and acoustic live acts on some evenings.
Discover: Explore the island by bike and take in the region’s spectacular coastal scenery, vineyards and olive groves in the fresh air.
Stay: The idyllic Hotel San Giorgio just a short stroll from the glittering Dalmatian Sea has some suites and rooms with Jacuzzis and balconies. Unwind with a massage and enjoy an easy-going stay.
Ready to book your Mamma Mia inspired getaway? Get in touch with your Travel Counsellor today to find out more about holidays to Greece and Croatia.