11 idyllic movies to get you inspired for your next trip to Greece

Dreaming of Greece? We don’t blame you! This impressive land of sandy beaches, turquoise seas and ancient ruins is so beautiful, it’s the star of dozens of movies. So if you’re fantasising about lounging on an idyllic Greek island in the sunny Mediterranean, look no further. We’ve rounded up 11 of the most picturesque movies set and filmed in Greece that are sure to inspire your next holiday. Grab some popcorn and discover all the wonders that are waiting for you on your very own trip to Greece.

1. Mamma Mia (2008)

blue ocean green mountains Skopelos Greek island

As the most famous movie set and filmed in Greece, you can’t miss watching this amazing musical before your trip to Greece. You’ll love the star-studded cast including Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth. They tell the story of Sophie, who is on a mission to find out who her father is and invites the three most likely dads to her wedding. You’ll also love the reimagined soundtrack of ABBA’s greatest hits, not to mention the idyllic Greek locations filmed around the spectacular islands of Skopelos, Skiathos and the Pelion Coast. It’s the ultimate summer dreaming movie and the perfect inspiration for your trip to Greece. 

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2. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)

sandy beach blue ocean Kefalonia trip to Greece

Based on Louis de Bernières’ 1994 novel and starring Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz, this movie is filmed in the stunning Greek island of Cephalonia (or Kefalonia). The island is famed for its golden sandy beaches and rugged hills. Set during the Italian occupation of Greece during World War II, the movie tells the love story of the Italian Captain Antonio Corelli and Pelagia, the daughter of the village doctor. Their beautiful love story set against the beauty of Cephalonia inspired thousands of tourists to flock to the island and is sure to inspire your trip to Greece too.

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3. Shirley Valentine (1989)

whitewashed buildings Mykonos trip to Greece

Filmed on the gorgeous Greek island of Mykonos, this Oscar-nominated movie tells the story of a frustrated housewife, Shirley. She goes on a soul-searching trip to Mykonos where she falls into a new romance. You can even visit the famous “Shirley Valentine beach”, or Ai Giannis, known for its summer parties and beach bars. So what are you waiting for? Why not head to Mykonos on your own romantic adventure just like Shirley, and discover all the wonders of the Greek Islands.

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4. Arcadia Lost (2010)

crystal blue sea stone houses Peloponnese trip to Greece

This movie was filmed entirely in Greece. You won’t want to blink as you’re taken on a journey through the spectacular Arcadian mountains and the Peloponnesian coast. The movie tells the story of two American teenagers who travel around the Peloponnese and become stranded in rural Greece. They meet an American expat who takes them to the mystic Mount Parnassus, where they embark on a life-changing journey. The scenery is gorgeous the whole way, but we especially love the scenes shot in the peaceful, coastal village of Poulithra. It’s one of the last remaining traditional villages in the Arcadia region.

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5. Boy on a Dolphin (1957)

castle beach Lindos village Rhodes island Greece

This classic 1957 movie was set and filmed in Greece in the beautiful Saronic Islands, with lovely shots of Athens and the islands of Hydra and Rhodes along the way. The movie tells the story of a poor Greek sponge diver Phaedra (Sophia Loren), who finds a sunken ship filled with treasures, including a priceless gold statue of a boy on a dolphin that has been lost for 2,000 years. She attempts to sell it to the highest bidder, with both an American archaeologist and an art collector competing for the prize. As you watch the action unfold, you’ll bask in the sunny Mediterranean scenery throughout the movie.

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6. My Life in Ruins (2009)

ancient ruins Delphi trip to Greece

If you loved My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you’ll love this Greek-inspired comedy by the same writer. The film tells the story of the Greek-American tour guide, Georgia, who is tired of her job but then finds new friends and romance with a unique tour group. It’s all shot in iconic Greek locations like Athens, Delphi and Olympia, and you’ll spot a few legendary landmarks of Ancient Greece that will definitely inspire your trip to Greece.

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7. Zorba the Greek (1964)

blue seas rugged hills Crete trip to Greece

This renowned Greek movie was both a smash with the box office and the critics, snagging three Academy Awards. Based on the novel ‘Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas’ by Nikos Kazantzakis, the movie is set on the island of Crete. It’s a black and white film, yet it truly captures the beauty and magic of the island and the Greek spirit, as it tells the story of an English author who travels to Crete to join his parent’s business. There he meets the dazzling local, Zorba, who shows him how to fall in love with life. From the scenes showing off the village of Stavros to the gorgeous beaches surrounded by mountains, this movie will have you racing to plan your trip to Greece.

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8. The Big Blue (1988)

The Big Blue is one of the most cinematically breathtaking films, with stunning underwater scenes ranging from Peru and Sicily to France and the Greek Islands. The movie tells the fictionalised story of the friendship and rivalry between two champion deep-water free divers. It’s a moving and emotional film, made all the more beautiful by the scenes shot in the Greek island of Alonissos, in the Aegean Sea. The island is so remote, you can only reach it by ferry from the nearby islands of Skiathos and Skopelos.

9. The Bourne Identity (2002)

pink flowers covering whitewashed walls Mykonos Greek islands

Matt Damon stars in this famous action film that’s all about a secret agent who wakes up riddled with bullets but with no memory. He begins a dangerous journey to discover his identity. The Greek Islands come into play when he finds his long-lost love Marie on the island of Mykonos. After admiring the gorgeous landscapes, you’ll surely want to pack your bags for your own adventurous trip to Greece. 

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10. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

blue domes whitewashed buildings blue ocean Santorini Greek islands

This 2005 film tells the story of four best friends who are about to spend their summer apart. They decide to pass around a pair of denim jeans to stay connected with each other. The Greek Islands become the star of the film when one of the girls, Lena, visits her grandparents in Greece, where she finds a new romance. You’ll get to admire the scenery from the island of Santorini, including shots of the village of Oia, Ammoudi Harbour and other lovely locations around the famous island.

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11. Before Midnight (2013)

sandy beach lush trees Peloponnesian peninsula Greece

This widely acclaimed film is the 2013 sequel to Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004). This time, you’ll follow Jesse and Celine as they head off on a family holiday to the Greek Peloponnesian peninsula. Now in their early forties and parents, Jesse and Celine face the realities of juggling parenting, careers and dreams. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy give a fantastic performance, and it’s made even better with the blissful scenery of Greece. 

What are your favourite movies set in Greece? Let us know in the comments below!

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