The smash camp film sensation Mamma Mia! made the Greek island of Skiathos – where it was shot along with nearby Skopelos – the world’s third most beautiful film location by Big 7 Travel.
A lush green setting unlike many arid Greek islands, Skiathos came in behind only Angkor Thom in Cambodia, where Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was shot, and Salzburg in Austria, the setting of “The Sound of Music.”
“It’s over 10 years since Meryl Streep told us it’s a rich man’s world and Amanda Seyfried got to run around the beach with Dominic Cooper, but we’re all still harboring fantasies about moving to a Greek island,” commented the agency that compiled the list, the report said.
It was a bittersweet success though because Mamma Mia 2!was moved to the Croatian island of Vis after the government in that country reportedly offered big tax breaks to convince the filmmakers to go there.
Most of the outdoor scenes of the first film were filmed on location on Skopelos, and the seaside hamlet of Damouchari in the Pelion area of Greece while Kastani Beach on Skiathos was the main location.
Universal Pictures hasn't officially commented on why it picked Croatia – identified in the film as Greece – but the United Kingdom newspaper The Daily Mail said the decision was made on the grounds of cost and bureaucracy when Greece was under the then anti-business and film-unfriendly Radial Left SYRIZA.
“It was most disappointing for us that filming didn’t take place here,” Mayor Christos Vasiloudis told the Mirror. “We were very sad. When the second part of a drama takes place it should surely be in the same place,” he said.
After routing SYRIZA in July 7, 2019 snap elections, the New Democracy government has offered big subsides and offers to attract filmmakers which has made Greece hot spot for films, added jobs and attracting tourists.