Skopelos will forever be known to me as the Mamma Mia Island since this is where the famous movie was filmed – well at least most of it. Although I must admit that I liked the movie just because the setting was in Greece – I’m not a big fan of Abba and I’m not really a fan of movies which originally is a theater play. That’s just me though as I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who love this movie and I can’t really blame them.
We didn’t have a concrete itinerary for this 3-week Greek holiday of ours – we’ve only planned until Alonissos and the rest of the days were free for us. To be very honest, I never really did my own research about this holiday so when I realized that Skopelos is just a few minutes away from Alonissos by boat, I begged the Greek Mister to make that as our next stop. He agreed. I jumped for joy! Yay!
I immediately researched about the island and listed down all of the settings where Mamma Mia was filmed as my to-see list while there. Of course I wasn’t able to visit everything as we only stayed for 4 days but the ones we’ve visited are the ones that I truly wanted to see. We took the Hellenic Seaways ferry from Alonissos which departed at 1320hrs and arrived Skopelos at 1350hrs.
We met The Greek Mister’s friend who would be joining us for this part of our trip at the port of Skopelos on our first day. He, together with The Greek Mister suffered for 4 days for having to hear me sing the Mamma Mia theme song over and over again. I couldn’t help it! I bet you can’t control yourself too from singing the song once you’re in this island. 🙂
Where We Stayed in Skopelos:
As it was a last-minute decision, most of the properties in Skopelos were already giving us their peak season rate so choosing a property within our range was quite hard. Luckily, we found a decent-looking hotel apartment called Sea View Studios which had great reviews so we immediately booked it. Upon our arrival, we were met by the owner Alexandros to guide us to his hotel. He gave us some tips and advice to make our stay highly enjoyable. He also gave us a map of Skopelos and narrowed down the choices of the beaches that we must see during our short stay. He was very accommodating and kind. On our first night, we called him up to ask for guidance as to where we can find a great seafood restaurant and his advice turned out to be the best place we have ever had our meal during our stay in Skopelos. He was that accommodating and knowledgeable of the island.
True to its name, Sea View Studios offers a panoramic view of Agios Konstantinos beach – it was breathtaking and definitely a great sight to see as you wake up in the morning. The rooms were basic – with a small fully-equipped kitchenette and balcony. The location isn’t very friendly for those who are visiting Skopelos without a mode of transportation though so you have to have either a car or a moped with you. There’s also a scarcity of hot water specially during the afternoon when most of the customers have arrived back from a whole day of beach lounging. It’s not the perfect accommodation but it’s good enough for us, besides – you get what you pay for. It’s EUR30 per night, one can’t expect a 5-star facility with that amount.
Where We Ate in Skopelos:
Alexandros from Sea View Studios advised us to go to the beach called Agnontas for a seafood dinner which is probably the cutest beach there is in Skopelos. It was lined up with a lot of tavernas right by the water’s edge but it was only Ouzeri Agnontas which has tables right on the pebbled shore of the beach so we chose to have our dinner there instead. We of course had a seafood feast, staying there up to 3 hours of drinking, eating and generally having a great time. On top of the food being fresh and cooked perfectly, it was the friendliness of the staff which made our dinner more enjoyable.
I’ve had enough sun when we went to Panormos as our second beach of our second day in Skopelos so I decided to hang out with the boys (The Greek Mister, his friend and the brother-in-law) instead at a taverna in front of Panormos Beach called Nikos Taverna. Initially, none of them wanted to eat but I was craving for some calamari so I ordered it together with my Mythos beer. I think they got jealous so they ordered some more appetizers as well so we ended up having an unscheduled meal for the day. Try their gavros marinatos, it was too salty for me but the Greeks loved it.
Kantina is the Greek version of a streetfood. It’s what you might call as a food truck if you’re from the US. These food trucks are dotted everywhere in Greece and in Skopelos, we found one at the parking lot near the port. For me though, being a Filipina – it’s too posh to be considered as a streetfood. I’m used to seeing a pushcart or a bicycle with a sidecar as the mode of transportation of those selling streetfood – not a food truck like that of a Kantina in Greece. The Greek Mister’s friend is a huge fan of Kantinas, having known this – I knew we’d get along really well as I too am a huge fan of all kinds of streetfood.
I didn’t know what to order so I just followed along the lead of The Greek Mister’s friend. He ordered pork souvlaki, knowing that it’s pork – it’s good enough for me. In fact, it’s the best choice for me as I have been craving for this haram dish since I live in Doha where pork is banned. I loooooooOOOOOVVVVEEEEEDDDDDD the pork souvlaki. The charcoal-y taste of the grilled pork meat was something I have missed so very much! Although the Kantina which we ordered it from was surprisingly pristine clean (even the Greeks were quite disappointed by how clean this streetfood truck was), it was probably the fact that we were eating it from a parking lot with nothing but plastic chairs around which made me feel like I’m eating something forbidden and very dirty which of course made it taste even more better. Am I the only weird one who thinks that way? I didn’t have a photo of the place, the Kantina nor the pork souvlaki itself so I posted a video of The Greek Mister’s friend eating his souvlaki. He’ll probably kill me if he finds out I posted this video – that’s one way to find out if he’s reading my blog or not. Lol.
The Greek Mister’s friend is also very single so just in case someone out there would like to get in touch with him, please do let me know. Of course, I’m kidding (but half serious about it). Lol.
If having a great view while you dine is your cup of tea or maybe even witnessing the sunset (which we unfortunately didn’t get to do as we came here quite late in the evening), then you must go to Anatolia if you ever find yourself in Skopelos. As it was the brother-in-law’s last day with us, he wanted to have a special dinner for us. Anatolia was one of the many places recommended to us by Alexandros (the owner of our hotel) to visit so we went there for our last day. It definitely didn’t disappoint, apart from the sweeping views of Skopelos – a live bouzouki player serenaded us as we enjoyed our meal. It was truly one of a kind.
After our meal in Anatolia, we decided to walk off the calories consumed towards our hotel. It definitely is walking distance but for not-so-athletic people like us, the inclined roads was quite hard to navigate. We were short of breathe as we arrived back in our hotel. We promised ourselves to never do it again – the walking bit.
We had our last breakfast in Skopelos with the brother-in-law and his wife at Mixalis – a small cafe situated in one of the small alleys of Skopelos town. I highly recommend their mpougatsa, it was the best one I’ve ever tasted. The Greeks agreed with me.
Plaza To Louki
For our last dinner in Skopelos, I was craving for an authentic Greek gyros. It has been weeks now since I’ve arrived in Greece and yet it was the first time I was going to have my gyros. Shame on me! Ever since I had a taste of the pork souvlaki from the Kantina, I had this nudging feeling inside of me that it is now time for me to have the famous Greek gyros. The good thing was, I had it in one of the best places which served it – Plaza To Louki in Glossa. It’s quite hard to miss if you’re going to Glossa as it’s the first restaurant you’ll see upon entering this village which offers an incredible view of the sea. Gyros was so good that the Greek Mister had two.
There were also quite a few places to go to for a drink in the evenings in Skopelos. It may not be as crazy as some other islands but it does have a few options for you to choose from specially around the port area.
Things To Do in Skopelos:
The first thing we did as soon as we arrived in Skopelos was to walk around its Old Town. Famous for its whitewashed houses with a touch of blue – it’s the Greek ambiance all tourists are looking for specially me. It’s easy to get lost in the numerous small alleyways of the old town but for every turn at every corner, there’s always something pretty that will surprise you. I probably took about a hundred photos during my first day in Skopelos and that too is only in the town.
The most popular beach in Skopelos I suppose is Kastani beach as it was the most crowded we’ve seen. A sandy beach surrounded by olive groves and pine trees, it is very fitting to be a setting of a movie which of course it is. Mamma Mia, what else? Two songs from the movie were filmed here (Does your mother know and Lay all your love on me). Although I think that beyond the filming of Mamma Mia here, Kastani beach itself has a charm of its own that will make anyone want to visit. A very organized beach with lots of sunbeds and a beach lounge which looks like a prime place to be in for an active nightlife.
We hopped over to Panormos beach when we have had enough of the crowded Kastani beach. It is a pebbled beach and very well organized. The greenery surrounding it adds up to the already picturesque beauty of this beach.
Agios Ioannis Sto Kastri
Among all the places where Mamma Mia was filmed, it is Agios Ioannis Sto Kastri which I’m very inclined to seeing. I thought that the place was spectacular from the movie itself which I just had to see with my own eyes. To see if it’s as beautiful as portrayed in the movie or a lot of retouch has been made. It is where the Mamma Mia wedding happened and where the song The Winner Takes It All was sang. I have to say after seeing it myself that it is actually more beautiful than how it was portrayed in the movie. It was simply breathtaking – figuratively and quite literally. The movie showed a running Merryl Streep to go up the church, that is just extremely impossible because the real stairs leading up to the top of the church was very steep, narrow and let’s just say – you can’t simply run up to it without being scared of falling to your death towards the big rocks beneath this rock mountain. The view from the top was worth it all, trust me! The church however was much revamped in the movie so I wasn’t expecting to see such a tiny church on top of it. Nevertheless, it was beautiful!
Agios Ioannis Beach
After climbing the hundred or so steps to reach Agios Ioannis Sto Kastri, we walked down the Agios Ioannis beach which I consider as the best beach I’ve ever been to during this 3-week Greek holiday. The turquoise waters, the incredible landscape which of course includes the Agios Ioannis church and the calmness of the sea – all these in one place makes this beach a dream for me. The sea was so calm that it felt like you’re in your oversized bathtub, you can float and swim without struggling with the waves.
Perched on top of a hill, Glossa is a village which gives you a commanding view of the turquoise sea surrounding Skopelos. It is considered to be one of the beautiful villages that you can find in Skopelos which is not yet overtaken by the mass-tourism boom – this probably is the reason as to why I loved this place. There were a lot more residential areas in this little village than hotels, restaurants or cafes unlike the more tourist-oriented town of Skopelos.
Skopelos is definitely one of the must-see islands of Greece. I’m sure they are getting a lot more hype now after the movie Mamma Mia but then it’s beauty is truly worth the hype – with or without a Hollywood film. Considered as the greenest island of Greece, it definitely offers quite a unique beauty that you can’t find in any other islands around the country.
Related Blog Posts:
Skopelos Old Town – White, Blue and Everything Greek
The Picture Perfect Agnontas Beach, Skopelos, Greece.
Kastani Beach, Skopelos – The Mamma Mia Beach!
Ending Our Day At Panormos Beach, Skopelos, Greece.
A View That Will Take Your Breathe Away From Anatolia Restaurant, Skopelos, Greece
Greece | Overcoming My Fear Of Heights At Agios Ioannis, Skopelos
Greece: An Afternoon In The Picturesque Agios Ioannis Beach, Skopelos
Greece | Glossa, Skopelos – The Village on A Hill.