Let me start by saying it doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen the Mamma Mia movie. You probably have seen as it was a massive box office hit starring the likes of Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan singing ABBA hits on a Greek Island and really what not’s to like about that? But if you haven’t (you’re missing out!) I promise you will still enjoy the Mamma Mia tour of Skopelos, which pairs visits to the film locations with movie gossip, Skopelos tips and delicious Greek cuisine.
Luckily for me (whose memory is hazy at best) The Mamma Mia Highlights Tour run by Dolphin of Skopelos starts with a little refresher. Highlights from the movie are played on the coach screen as you make your way from the port to the first stop of the day, Ag.Ioannis Chapel. Vicky (my travel blogging, karaoke-loving companion) and I keenly claimed front seats in order to catch sight of Dominic Cooper’s abs (*cough* I mean, the scenery) and also because I’ll admit I was a little bit fearful about the road ahead of us.
You see, we had tried to visit the Mamma Mia chapel on our own steam the previous day. We’d hired a jeep to explore the island and after spotting the signs to the chapel figured we’d give it a shot. Not the brightest idea. The road to the famous chapel on the rock is a twisting beast with blind corners, narrow bends and steep drops galore. We got 9/10th of the way there before poor Vicky who had been tackling those turns like a trooper suggested we turn back and I most certainly didn’t blame her. The coach driver, however, knows the turns like the back of his hand. He honks his way around every bend and does some of the hairier reversing when us passengers are off the coach checking out the sights. (*Round of applause for Dimitris*)
After just a few moments of bated breath we arrived at the chapel and then proceeded to get out of breath climbing the 200-odd steps to the top. Wedding bookings have gone up since Meryl and co shot their Hollywood version here but they are still priced at a reasonable 200 euros – I suspect because you’d need at least 10x that to pay your guests to come up with you!
Despite the hairy journey (and the fact that Skopelos had an unprecedented cloudy 30 mins during or visit) this was probably the highlight of the tour for me. The combination of lonesome craggy rock, emerald water and the fact that man somehow made a chapel up there just fills you with wonder.
Our next stop was at an olive oil press, which as you can imagine has nothing to do with the movie but is something they are proud of in Skopelos. I’ll admit I didn’t fully follow the talk on the olive oil making process but I did enjoy the tasters at the end and Vicky and I were among the first to queue up and buy a bottle to take home.
After that you head to Kastani, known as the Mamma Mia beach as it’s where some of the main songs were shot including the steamy Lay All Your Love On Me. Vicky gamely re-enacted the song for my Insta Story (if you missed it, you missed out!) before we flopped onto a sun lounger and I enjoyed my umpteenth frappe of the holiday.
You’re giving an hour or so here to swim (or use the free wifi if you’re a wimpy blogger who doesn’t like cold water) before heading to the small fishing port of Agnontas for lunch.
I can see why the folk at Dolphin choose Agnontas Mouria for the lunch stop. It’s a quintessential Greek Taverna where you can eat directly on the waterfront, watching boats bob on the water and cats stretch out in the sun. The food (I ordered tzatziki and moussaka – standard!) was sublime but it’s the kindly nature of the staff that makes you want to come back and linger longer.
On the final leg of the trip Christos our guide and the amiable driver Dimitris gave us a Skopelos orientation inter-woven with tidbits of movie gossip. My favourite story of the day involved Colin Firth who I always thought was very stuffy but apparently enjoyed a lot of ouzo on the last day of filming and ended the night shoe-less. (Maybe he is my kind of guy after-all!) As we were sitting near the front Christos did offer Vicky and I the microphone for a little sing-a-long but for the sake of our fellow passengers, the coach windows and every living thing within a 30 mile radius we declined. On that occasion anyway..
I travelled to Greece with Olympic Holidays who are one of the UK’s leading specialists for holidays to the Greek Islands – I’ve booked my Greek holidays with them for many years. Find out more about holidays to Skopelos.
The Mamma Mia Highlights Tour runs every Wednesday and Sunday and is priced at 30 Euros per person (lunch is extra). Speak to your resort rep to make a booking.
My trip to Greece was complimentary but all opinions and bad singing are my own, as always. More information on island hopping between Skopelos, Alonissos and Skiathos with Olympic Holidays will be coming to the blog shortly.