Where Was Mamma Mia Filmed? Where to Find the Filming Locations in Greece

Where was Mamma Mia Filmed? The hit Hollywood movie that shon a spotlight on Pierce Brosnan’s terrible singing was set on the fictional Greek island of “Kalokairi”. 

Various places in Greece were used as a backdrop for the movie. However, it was the little island of Skopelos in the Sporades that featured as the main filming location. 

The Movie Directors scouted more than 20 Greek islands in their quest for the perfect setting for Mamma Mia. Eventually, they settled on the sleepy pine-filled island of Skopelos. 

“Mamma Mia!” The Movie 

The dramatic scenery surrounding Agios Ioannis Kastri
The dramatic scenery surrounding Agios Ioannis Kastri

Mamma Mia was the first movie interpretation of the Broadway musical of the same name. The movie features songs by Swedish pop group “Abba”, as performed by a glittering Hollywood cast. 

The likes of Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Julie Walters starred in the movie. They made renditions of Abba classics that became just as popular as the originals!

Where Was Mamma Mia Filmed?
Shooting Locations in Skopelos 

Where was Mamma Mia Filmed? View from Agios Ioannis Kastri Church, Skopelos
Where was Mamma Mia Filmed? View from Agios Ioannis Kastri Church, Skopelos

The main Mamma Mia filming locations in Skopelos are detailed below. The little island in the Sporades is often missed off most people’s Greece travel itineraries. However it is very deserved of at least a week, or more, of exploration.  

Kastani Beach

Ask Skopelos locals what their favourite beach is and many of them will tell you “Kastani”. The translucent, cerulean waters here are so clear that you can see straight to the bottom. 

Idyllic Kastani beach is encompassed by pine trees, and is one of the few white-sand beaches on the entire island of Skopelos. In Mamma Mia, the scenes for “Lay All Your Love on Me” and “Does Your Mother Know?” were filmed here. 

Kastani beach was also the setting for the scene where Donna (Meryl Streep) and Sophie’s Dads wave goodbye to the other cast members. There is one small difference in how the beach usually looks versus how it looks in Mamma Mia. The wooden pier was created specifically for the movie. 

The eastern edge of Kastani Beach boasts a serviced beach bar where you can rent sunbeds, beach equipment, and enjoy drinks and light snacks. Between June and early September, beach parties and live music DJs are often hosted here. 

The western side of Kastani Beach is not serviced. The rock formations that sit just away from the coastline here are the perfect place for snorkeling and observing signs of marine life. 

Getting to Kastani Beach 

Where was Mamma Mia Filmed? Kastani Beach, Skopelos
Where was Mamma Mia Filmed? Kastani Beach, Skopelos

Kastani Beach is situated on the western coast of Skopelos. It is approximately 15km, and a 25 minute drive away from Skopelos town. 

If you are staying on the island of Skopelos, you can take the island bus which will drop you right outside the beach entrance. Alternatively, dedicated Mamma Mia tours like this one take you to Kastani Beach, Agios Ioannis Kastri, and other island highlights.  

The Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri 

Where was Mamma Mia filmed? The church of Agios Ioannis Kastri
Where was Mamma Mia filmed? The church of Agios Ioannis Kastri

The Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri (now affectionately referred to as “The Mamma Mia Church”) is a clifftop church in Northeastern Skopelos. The church is perched, almost precariously on a craggy rock that juts out from the sea. 

Agios Ioannis Kastri was the setting for Sophie’s wedding at the end of Mamma Mia. However, the interior is tiny. So, the actual indoors scenes were filmed at a movie studio. 

The name of the church  means “St John on the Castle”. It is believed that a defensive castle once stood on this clifftop, centuries ago – presumably to protect Skopelos islanders from pirates and invaders.  

The climb to the top of the church is a hair-raising one. The weathered, tiny stone steps that twist and turn around the cliff offer views down to waves crashing violently against the rocks below. 

The views from Agios Ioannis Kastri are breathtaking. There are also some interesting religious icons within the church. 

Getting to Agios Ioannis Kastri 

The Tiny Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri
The Tiny Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri

There is no public transport that runs to Agios Ioannis Kastri. Arguably the most convenient, and budget-friendly option is to either rent a car and drive there yourself (if you are staying in Skopelos), or to take an organised boat tour from Skopelos or Skiathos. 

Tours like this one can take a lot of hassle out of the logistics of planning your trip. 

Travel from Glossa to Agios Ioannis Kastri
Glossa, Skopelos
Glossa, Skopelos

You can also take a cab from Glossa to the church. Your driver will wait for you while you venture inside. This should cost no more than around 25-30 euros. 

If hiking interests you, you could consider walking from Glossa to Agios Ioannis Kastri. Doing so takes about 90 minutes in each direction. 

There is not a specific hiking trail – you mostly need to follow the roadway. However, there are several stunning trails that veer off from the main route – for instance, the trek down to bare rock coast. Not to mention, walking enables you to enjoy views and photo opportunities that you would not be able to stop and admire when driving.  

Glysteri Beach & Surroundings 

The Mamma Mia Directors have hinted at Glysteri Beach, and the lush green area behind it, as being additional filming locations for Mamma Mia. Some of the beach scenes are believed to have been shot at Glysteri. The steep cliff behind the beach is where Sophie and her dads sang before jumping into the sea. 

The slopes of Mount Delphi, close to Glysteri are supposedly where the scenes were filmed where Sophie is about to leave for her wedding. Mamma Mia links aside, these are also very rewarding places to incorporate into a Skopelos vacation. 

Glysteri is the closest serviced beach to Skopelos town. It is just 4km away from the port area. 

Meanwhile, Mount Delphi boasts some incredible hikes through nature. One of the most notable trails is the short trek to the pirate graveyards of Sendoukia. 

Where Was Mamma Mia Filmed?
Shooting Locations in Skiathos 

Several scenes of Mamma Mia were filmed in and around Skiathos. For instance, many scenes shot on boats were filmed while sailing around the island. One such example is the scene for the song “Our Last Summer”. 

Skiathos Town 

Mamma Mia Filming Locations: Skiathos town
Mamma Mia Filming Locations: Skiathos town

Skiathos town, specifically the port area, was the place where Sophie met her three fathers for the first time. She is also seen mailing her letters from the area around the bell tower. 

Skiathos town and its surrounding beaches are worthy of several days’ exploration. From there you can venture onwards to Skopelos. The convenient Skiathos bus runs a circuit around the island, making it easy to explore it in depth even without your own transport.

Where Was Mamma Mia Filmed?
Shooting Locations in Mainland Greece 

The quaint Pelion village of Damouchari was used for a number of beach scenes in Mamma Mia. Footage of the village’s “Blue Beach” was then combined with shots captured in Skiathos and Skopelos. 

The olive groves that encompass Donna’s home and hotel can be found at Douchari, just outside of Volos. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Damouchari from Volos. 

Volos and the Pelion Region

Where was Mamma Mia Filmed? The village of Amouchari featured in the movie
Where was Mamma Mia Filmed? The village of Amouchari featured in the movie

If your schedule permits, you should spend a couple of days in Volos, and then rent a car to explore the nearby Pelion villages. The Mamma Mia village of Damouchari is scenically beautiful, as are the villages of Afissos and Makrinitsa.  

Volos itself, may well be one of the most underrated places in Greece. During the summer months, laze on the dreamy beaches of Agios Dimitrios, Anchialos, Pigadia, and Alykes. 

Within Greece, Volos is famous for its tsipouradiko restaurants. In these places, if you order some tsipouro, you will be served free meze dishes to accompany this strong Greek beverage. 

The more tsipouro you order, the better and better your mezes get! However arguably you may not even be able to see your meze plates by the end of this! 

Where Did the Mamma Mia Cast Stay?  

The Mamma Mia cast and crew stayed at various hotels on the islands of Skopelos and Skiathos while shooting the movie. Other cast members rented villas across Skopelos island. 

The Skiathos Palace Hotel, the Skiathos Princess Hotel, and the Mandraki housed many of the cast members during filming. The Mamma Mia crew were also seen dining at a number of Skiathos town restaurants – including the Windmill, Polikratis, and Asprolithos. 

Where Was Mamma Mia Filmed?
Getting to the Mamma Mia Filming Locations 

If you are planning a trip to Greece around visiting Mamma Mia filming locations, your best option is to fly into Skiathos. There is no airport on the island of Skopelos. 

Flying into Skiathos 

Various international airlines fly from a variety of destinations across Europe to Skiathos. If you are travelling from farther afield, you can fly to Athens, and then take a domestic flight to Skiathos.

It takes just 20 minutes to sail from Skiathos to Skopelos. Boats depart regularly, especially during the summer season. 

To get to Damouchari, in the Pelion region, you need to first get to Volos.  

Where Was Mamma Mia Filmed?
Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again 

It should be noted that although the original “Mamma Mia” movie was filmed in Greece. The sequel was shot in Croatia.

Parting Words 

Do you have any additional questions about planning a trip to Greece, or finding Mamma Mia filming locations? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. 

I have lived in Greece for the last three years and spent two months living on the island of Skopelos. I am happy to assist with any queries you may have. Safe travels! Geia sou! Melissa xo

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

3 thoughts on “Where Was Mamma Mia Filmed? Where to Find the Filming Locations in Greece”

  1. There is also a location in Skopelos at Amarandos (Three Trees) where Sophie is having a barbecue with her fathers. It is just before Agnondas. Unfortunately in July 2018 someone probably trying to imitate the scene started a barbecue fire that got out of control and burned a part of the forest. Luckily the three trees remained intact.

      • Glad I was able to help. It was during the “Our last summer” song.

        My first ever visit to Skopelos was in mid July 2008 and the whole island was into a “Mamma mia” mode. “Mamma mia” cafeterias, posters all over the place, “see Pierce Brosnan’s flip flops over here” (for real!) and Abba music playing everywhere. In the afternoons there where screenings of the film at the local summer cinema. I thought that Skopelos would be quiet and secluded but no, that summer was crazy because of the “Mamma mia” thing!

        I was probably one of the few people that watched the film because I had already visited (and loved) the island and not vice versa. Good times, the film is still a guilty pleasure of mine!

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