Go walking in Greece on the beautiful island of Skopelos. The island was the setting for the hit musical ‘Mamma Mia’ and on a walking break you too can sing and dance your way around the island.
Skopelos, located in the Sporades, is one of the best islands for walking in Greece. The cragged landscape and white washed buildings make the scenery among some of the most magnificent in Greece, and it was for perhaps this reason that the island was chosen, as the backdrop for the hit film ‘Mamma Mia’.
When you arrive on the white sand beaches of Kastani Bay, you might be tempted to grab your friends and launch into an all singing, all dancing rendition of ‘Does Your Mother Know?’ as the cast of ‘Mamma Mia’ did on this fantastic beach. The majority of all beach scenes were shot on this bay, and surprisingly the beach is quite hard to reach. Kastani Bay can only be accessed through a steep, pine clad and heavily rutted dirt track. However, the difficult approach is easily worth the splendid views that you’ll be rewarded with when you reach the bottom. Avid viewers of the film will be surprised to see the absence of a wooden jetty. This is because the jetty was only built for the film and, like all the stars, has now disappeared from the island.
Sky and Sophie’s wedding chapel was created on the same site as the monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, near the town of Glossa. The chapel, built for the movie, still stands and a visit can be arranged when walking in Greece. Its location on a rugged 100 metre high rock formation is extremely picturesque. At night flambeaus lighting leads from the pathway up to the entrance, via 105 stone carved steps.
Villa Donna is located on the north side of the island, in the village of Nisa, near the area of Glisteri. Unfortunately the hotel doesn’t exist in real life, but when walking in Greece there are a number of traditional taverns and guesthouses that you can choose to stay in. You may remember a scene, from Mamma Mia, where dancers skip around olive groves surrounding Villa Donna. These olive groves are not actually located on Skopelos, but belong to one of the other islands on the Pelion Coast, Volos.Although you won’t find a villa or olive groves surrounding the Glisteri region, you can spend a leisurely afternoon sunbathing on Glisteri Beach. This closed cove is easily accessible by bus route and, unlike the other beaches in Skopelos, it has large round pebbles instead of fine sand.
When walking in Greece, tourists often stop at Glisteri for the beachfront tavern, which serves traditional local dishes such as moussaka and spanakopita. Whilst eating at this tavern you’ll notice a small mountainous peninsula in the distance. This is where Sophie leaves from to attend her wedding. The very same peninsula was also used for the famous cliff jumping scene with all Sophie’s fathers.
From the distinctive post box used in the opening credits to the island of Amarantos, you’ll be surprised at the number of locations you recognise when walking in Greece’s Mamma Mia Island. We can guarantee that after spending a week on Skopelos, like the cast of Mamma Mia you too will be singing and dancing like a Super Trouper.
By : Tony Maniscalco