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Famous Movies Filmed in Greece

Greece has a reputation for being among the most amazing places on the planet, both for its natural beauty, its Mediterranean climate, and its UNESCO Heritage sites. It’s no wonder that many famous movies – both dramas, romances, and comedies – have been filmed here. In this article, we cover some of the most popular movies that were filmed in Greece.

Skopelos, Filming Location of Mamma Mia

Zorba The Greek

This is perhaps one of the most famous Greek movies ever made, and it was filmed in Crete’s Kokkino Chorio. Interestingly, many of its inhabitants were featured in the movie! The film is based on a novel by Nikos Kazantzakis that centers around the life of Zorba, a Greek worker with a zest for life and a philosophical mind. 

 

The most famous scene is on Stavros Beach in Crete, where, although everything is going wrong in Zorbas’s life, he dances the “Syrtaki” dance on the beach to forget his troubles. Because the film was made in 1964, the beach itself has since been developed for tourists, but the charm of the surrounding area remains.

the beach where Zorba the Greek was filmed
The Beach of Zorba the Greek in Crete

The Big Blue

This amazing movie was filmed in 1988, and it tells the story of two freedivers who push the limits of how deep they can dive without any equipment. It is partly a true story and is based on the lives of two real divers: Enzo and Jacques. Scenes were filmed all over the Mediterranean, and the Greek scenes were shot on the pebble beach of Agia Anna on Amorgos island

 

The shipwreck of Kalotaritissa is also located on Amorgos and is featured in the movie. Some other scenes were also shot at the island bar which is named “Le Grand Bleu,” and other scenes were shot on the island of Ios, another island in the Cyclades group. 

 

Amorgos Shipwreck

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

This movie is based on a novel that depicts the days of the Second World War in Greece. It is set on the Ionian islands and follows the Italian occupation in 1943. Many scenes show the beauty of the island of Kefalonia, with Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz playing lead roles in a plot that takes the viewer all over the island. The love story is made even more compelling by the dramatic scenery and quaint Ionian villages. 

Kefalonia, Filming Location of Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Mamma Mia

This is one of the best-known movies set in Greece, and it is famous for its ABBA sound track. The filmmakers filmed most of the movie on the island of Skopelos in the northern Aegean, which they called “Kalokairi” (in Greek, this means “summer”). After the movie came out, the island of Skopelos saw a big increase in tourism. Some of the most famous scenes were shot in the Skopelos countryside and also at the Church of Saint John Kastri, which is built on top of a rock in the north of the island and has dramatic views.

Before Midnight

This romantic drama was directed by Richard Linklater and was a sequel to Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004). The longtime lovers in this movie meet for an idyllic Greek escape and think back to all the choices that brought them together in life. The filming took place in many areas of Greece, including Kardamyli in the Peloponnese, the Kalamata International Airport, and the Westin Resort in Costa Navarino. 

A Touch of Spice

This Greek movie was an instant classic when it was released in the early 2000’s. It is about a young man of Greek background name Fanis, who grows up in Istanbul and is known even as a child for his fantastic cooking talents. The sweeping shots of Athens, where his family moves after being forced to leave Turkey, highlight the market of Lavrio in the southeastern area of Attica. The outstanding acting, design, and music make it one of the best Greek films of the past 30 years.

For Your Eyes Only

Filmed in 1981, this James Bond film has international appeal. It stars Roger Moore and Carole Bouquet. The film features a British ship that is sunk near Greece while carrying a very precious cargo – the control system of a nuclear submarine. James Bond is tasked with preventing a global disaster on the sunken ship. For Your Eyes Only includes Greek sights like the Agia Triada Monastery near Chania in Crete, the Tower of Saint Spyridon in Corfu, and the Achilleon Palace in Gastouri on Corfu. 

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