Skopelos Island is a popular tourist destination and is known for its beaches and nightlife. It is located at east of continental Greece, northeast of the island of Euboea.
I confess that I wanted to visit it since the premiere of the famous film Mamma Mia in 2008, based on the songs of the Swedish group ABBA, in which some of the paradisiacal corners of this island are shown. The film was shot mainly on the Sporades islands (mainly Skiathos and Skopelos) and the Mount Pelion region (Damouchari village) on continental Greece.
And I arrived, very excited, humming “The winner takes it all”, to this small island of only 96 square kilometers and less than 5,000 inhabitants. The town has a traditional architecture, with white houses and is full of churches. The blue beaches surround the entire area, making it the typical Greek postcard.
This town is home to small hotels - there are no large and luxurious ones - and country houses in the middle of nature. These are known as kalivia and are old stone constructions where humble families who worked in the fields and did not have time to go to town and return home every day used to stay.
With my itinerary in hand, I began the tour singing Abba at the top of my lungs:
Walking through the picturesque and narrow streets, with their white houses and balconies full of flowers, going up the steps and the slopes, I arrived at the Skopelos Pier, a place that has memorable scenes, from the arrival of Donna's best friends, to the complete ball of Dancing Queen.
My second stop was the Glysteri Cliff, where Sophie reads her diary to her two best friends. The song Honey, honey plays and the camera follows the protagonist, Sophie, running through a forest covered with pine trees. Below you can see the blue and calm water of the sea. This movie-like pine forest is located next to Glysteri beach, on the west coast of Skopelos. And going through it made me feel part of those three inseparable friends.
I spent my first night in the traditional hotel "Damouchari" located on the Damouchari coast, a small town with some rural hotels and wonderful taverns. A fantastic and really hidden place. In the morning, after the classic Greek breakfast with cereals, nuts, toasted bread with cheese and olives, accompanied with black tea, fruits and traditional yogurts, I resumed my town tour.
Damouchari was the setting where the choreographies took shape and built the most emblematic images of the film.
One of the best scenes, where the whole town dances and goes down the hillside to the sea. They walk along a wooden footbridge and jump into the water. The white sand beach and the intense blue of the sea make the perfect location for spending a few days off.
My visit came to an end with a tour of the small hermitage of Agios Ioannis Prodromos.
One of the most iconic scenes in the film is the wedding between Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried), daughter of Donna (Meryl Streep), and her Greek boyfriend Sky (Dominic Cooper), when the actors climb a long flight of steep stairs on a hill surrounded by sea until they reach the small chapel at the top. Its particular location made it the ideal place for this shot. It is located in the village of Glossa, near the north port.
To climb you have to walk 198 steps carved into the rock, but it is really worth the effort.
Once at the top I was able to admire an incomparable view of the Aegean Sea in all its splendor. Inside the small temple there is also an interesting collection of Byzantine icons.
After a delicious lunch with Taramosalata - a salad prepared with fish eggs- Mousakás - the traditional cake made in the oven with layers of aubergines, potatoes, minced meat and béchamel - and for dessert the Baclavá - made with puff pastry, honey, walnuts and almonds - I took the ferry back.
Those who decide to travel to this island - which became a popular place for tourists after the movie was released - will find tranquility, bright sun, starry nights, a calm and super blue sea with crystal clear waters, taverns with fish at the grill, and very good people. A movie destination to live a dream vacation!