Skopelos

Skopelos town is one of the most captivating in the Sporades. Built around a semi-circular bay, it scrambles up the hillside to a ruined fortress. Churches are interspersed amongst the dazzling white houses, with brightly-painted shutters and vibrant bougainvillea.

Like many Greek islands, Skopelos has a gently sloping side – in this case the south – where most of the beaches are, and a steep side – the north – with spectacular cliffs plunging down to isolated coves, many of them accessible only by boat.

Approaching the island of Skopelos from the sea, you are immediately struck by how green everything is – even in the height of summer. The upper slopes of the island are covered in pine forests, and the lower slopes are swathed in the gentle greys of the olive groves. Originally famous for its plums and almonds, it is now better known as the location for the Hollywood Film Mamma Mia.

 

 

 

 

When Hollywood Came to Town

mamma_mia_church

The village of Damouchari on the Pelion Peninsula and the island of Skopelos were the location for the film, Mamma Mia, chosen not only for the extraordinary turquoise of the seas but also because of the lushness of the landscape, with trees cascading down the hillsides right to the water's edge.  

Everyone, of course, remembers the wedding scene with the bride going up the steep cobbled path to the spectacular chapel on the cliff. This is the church of Agios Iannis (St John)  on the north eastern coast of the island.

Don't expect everything on Skopelos to look just like the film, though. Everyone locally has their own, "When Hollywood came to town" story - including the fact that they imported "Greek Island Blue" windows, rather than nipping down the local hardware store for a can of paint!

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