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Mamma Mia! Islands

Thursday, August 20, 2009
The Greek Islands are known for their beauty and many of them are well-known on the tourist trail. However, one little island, Skopelos, recently shot to fame. Dermott Brereton packed his dancing shoes and went to the delightfully underdeveloped island to see just what happened to put it on the world stage. The trip also gave him the chance to unleash his singing prowess.

It all began with the smash stage musical Mamma Mia! It was so successful that it was turned into a film, with the Greek Islands as its location. It was a great financial decision.

The film showcases the music of the ever-popular Swedish group, ABBA. In fact Benny Andersson, a member of the group, was executive producer (shared with Tom Hanks) and wrote the music score. Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski and Colin Firth were the stars, but maybe little Skopelos was the real star. Even though it was called "Kalokairi" in the film, Skopelos was the main location.

Skopelos is part of the northern Sporades and lies between Skiathos and Alonissos. It's around 300km from Athens and is just 17km long and 8km wide. It has beautiful beaches with clean waters, pine forests, orchards, whitewashed houses in narrow alleys and a charming capital, built amphitheatrically in the heart of a bay. Cycling is the best way to get around. The entire island is dotted with monasteries and the domes of chapels. There is said to be one for every day of the year.

Not far from town is Glysteri Beach. The pebble beach is in a small cove with taverns and emerald waters. The hotel set "Anatoli" is still there. The beach is reached by car or boat, and a visit to the beautiful Cave of Tripiti is recommended.

Amarantos is a little tricky to find, but the stunning location is well worth the walk.

After the walking and singing, Dermott was ready for lunch and found Pavlo's on the beach at Agnondas. It's said to be the best fish tavern around. While it didn't appear in the film, the crew frequented it to eat and chill out. Agnondas is Skopelos' third port and ships and ferries take refuge there when winds prevent them from reaching other ports. It has hotels, rooms for rent and taverns.

Kastani was used for all of the beach scenes. A pier and beach bar were built, but they were dismantled and removed when filming was over.

From the town of Glossa, it's a 40-minute ferry ride to the island of Skiathos which also features in the film. The Agios Nikolaos Church and belltower overlooks the new port and is where the film begins and where Sophie posts letters to her three possible fathers.

Dermott linked up with Cherry Tamouridou, a local guide and an extra in the film. She is proud of her island. It is very green, covered with thick pine forest and has long and golden beaches. Because it is one of the most well-organised of the Greek Islands and has everything tourists need, it is very crowded during July and August. It is a centre of nightlife, cafes and nightclubs.


The locations of the film Mamma Mia! in the Greek Islands.


Greece and Mediterranean Travel has a six-day "Mamma Mia" package for $849 per person twin share. It includes transfers from Athens, bus and ferry tickets, accommodation on Skiathos and Skopelos and "Mamma Mia" excursion including guide, boat tickets, hotel transfers and lunch.

Mamma Mia! fans can catch the 10th anniversary tour of Mamma Mia!, the stage musical, playing around the country.

Sydney from October 23, 2009
Melbourne from February 13, 2010
Perth from June 5, 2010
Brisbane from August 10, 2010

For more information, visit

Emirates has flights to Athens.

Fare from:

  • Perth $2013
  • Melbourne $2014
  • Sydney $2031
  • Brisbane $2037

On sale until August 24, 2009, and for travel between October 4 and November 11, 2009, and January 17 and February 24, 2010.

Prices correct August 20, 2009.

For further information

Greece and Mediterranean Travel
Suite 2, 644 Botany Road
Alexandria 2015
Ph: (02) 9313 4633 or 1300 661 666
Fax: (02) 9313 4475

Visas: Australian passport holders do not require a visa to enter Greece.

Electricity: 220V at 50Hz using two- and three-point plugs.

Time zone: GMT +3.

Currency: The euro.

International dialling code: +30.

User comments
Colin Firth actually says '***' - not what you were thinking. perhaps have a closer listen before you get carried away and become 'appaulled'
wow I just read the comment by **** sydney about the F word being used in the clip shown.....are you serious??? I have watched this movie 7 times and never heard one swear word in it! I think someone needs to get their hearing checked and issue and apology.
Dermott, You were BRILLIANT..., I just read the other comments and I say not true, they are probably just miserable people anyway . With all the violence and murders ... and that's just in Melbourne. ha ha. Everynight on the news , and people are sick of all the rubbish... I say bring on more singing and joy . You were marvellous. How about you following some other Movie themes. Could be a new angle for the show. Anyway I hope you have lots of great comments as you deserve them. good on you. Sandi
we all loved the movie and i loved my own travels to the Greek Islands, but for you to be allowed to show a shot of the movie Mamma Mia at 7.35pm, with the one swear word that i cannot tolerate, should not be allowed. my 3 young children were watching and enjoying your segment when you showed the shot from the movie where two of the main characters had just missed the ferry, with their sentiment - F***. Of course the kids all picked up on this so i felt compelled to write and complain about this matter. how dare you do this? how can this be right for this timeslot? i am appalled. i do not believe that you should be allowed to do this and will complain to the appropriate people as well.
If there was ever a way to turn people off going to any destination then have brereton host the segment. So many talented australian presenters out there, obviously it's who you know.
Dermy you lost it!

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