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8 Must See Movies set in Greece

With its stunning beaches, charming islands, and captivating culture, Greece has been a favorite place to film movies for decades–and as a result, there are plenty of wonderful movies set in Greece to choose from.

Whether you’re gearing up for a future trip to Greece and hope to get inspired or just want to make the most of some armchair travel and stay at home, here are some of our best movies that take place in Greece!

1. Zorba the Greek

Is there a more classic movie filmed in Greece than Zorba the Greek? Anthony Quinn became unforgettable in one of his most defining roles. The film is shot around Chania in Crete, on the north-west coast, and we see the town, its harbor and its picturesque lighthouse. It also includes the village of Kokkino Chorio, where we see actress Irene Papas. Just to the north is the film’s most famous location, Stavros beach, where the famous folk dancing scene was filmed.

2. Mamma Mia!

Filmed in the Greek archipelago of the Sporades, this is a real feel-good movie. The green islands of Skopelos and Skiathos, as well as the Pelion region on the mainland, are featured in this film. This movie gives you that real Greece summer feeling with the uplifting music of ABBA that you can probably sing along. Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan play the leading roles in this modern classic.

3. The Bourne Identity

This 2002 action movie starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne is partly shot on the Greek island of Mykonos in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea. Mykonos is known for its vibrant party atmosphere and the number of bars and (beach) clubs. Mykonos is also known for the 16th-century windmills which sit on a hill above the town of Mykonos.

4. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The adaptation of Louis de Bernière’s novel Captains Corelli’s Mandolin, is shot on the Ionian island of Kefalonia. Created in 2001, it has become a real classic. The war drama stars Nicolas Cage and Pelope Cruz in the lead roles. A recreation of the island’s capital of Argostoli was necessary since it was devastated by the island-wide earthquake of 1953. The production rebuilt it in Sami, on the east of the island. The movie also features the Antisamos Beach nearby and Myrtos Beach in the north-west of the island.

5. The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu) 

In The Big Blue we see lots of Amorgos, an amazing island to the south-east of Naxos in the Cyclades. There’s the whitewashed town called Chora and the famous Panagia Hozoviotissa monastery built into the cliffside in the 11th century. We also see Agia Anna beach and the wreck of the Olympia off Liverio Bay. Amorgos island is relatively undiscovered and feels like it exists in its own time zone.

6. The guns of Navarone

Another all-time classic with Anthony Quinny. The Greek island of Navarone does not exist and the plot is fictional; however, the story takes place within the real historical context of the Dodecanese Campaign, the Allies’ campaign to capture the Italian-held Greek islands in the Aegean Sea in 1943. The movie is filmed on the Greek island of Rhodes. Quinn was so taken with the area that he shot the movie at that he bought land there. This is still called the Anthony Quinn Bay!

7. For Your Eyes Only

A James Bond classic that dates back to 1981 with Roger Moore as the 007 agent. The story is partly shot on the green Ionian island of Corfu and also in Meteora on mainland Greece. In Corfu Town, Bond and leading lady Melina (Carole Bouquet) walk past the church of Agios Spyridon, which has the tallest spire in the Ionian Islands and proceed to the Venetian Old Fortress to the east. The casino is at Achilleion palace in Gastouri, once owned by Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Bouas-Danilia village is also featured. This purpose-built heritage village north of Corfu Town was recently featured in TV favourite The Durrells.

8. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

This young-adult romance takes place on the most famous of all Greek islands: Santorini. One segment is set in the town of Oia, where one of the stars (Alexis Bledel) holidays with her grandparents. Besides Oia, we also see lots of Amoudi, including the little island just offshore and the chapel of St Nicholas.

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