Mamma Mia! Celebrating all things Greek... or maybe not?
My, my! Here we go again... but it's not all Greek to me!
Mamma Mia 2 is upon us, and everyone's going garishly camp, Abba-influenced and Greece-mad once more.
The Greek Islands are a must-experience: picture-perfect tranquility, and steeped in astonishing history and mythical tales to ignite the imagination, and a sense of wanderlust (or cruiserlust?). And to celebrate the film's release, we've got a weekend of some of our best Greece-related sun-soaked, crystal clear blue-watered travel deals and competitions for you to ponder. So you really could be "having the time of your life" on a fab Greek holiday!
About the film and location
Titled Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the follow-up to the 2008 original is being billed as both a prequel and a sequel - set after the events of the first film but also featuring flashbacks to 1979 to tell the story of how Donna came to be on the island of Kalokairi and trying to figure out who fathered her daughter, Sophie.
But in spite of the movie's heavy Greece-influenced theme - and supposedly set on the same fictional island as the original - did you know that none of the second movie was actually filmed in Greece? 😱 ...Yep, it both shocked and slightly disappointed me too! In the first installation of the film musical the stunningly beautiful western Aegean island of Skopelos was used as the setting for "Kalokairi". But due to "hefty government tax breaks", the new follow-up film was mostly shot on the Croatian island of Vis, on the Dalmatian Coast. And it understandably upset some of the inhabitants of the film's original location who liked their unique link to the movie - and also the tourism it brings in.
Some of the song and dance numbers were also filmed at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England.
What's Vis like?
Vis is a sparsely populated island of just 35 square miles, requiring a two-and-a-half-hour ferry to get there from the main island. It had been a base for the Yugoslav army until 1989. Fortunately, the island still retains the same ambience as Skopelos, dotted with rocky shores and filled with 17th-century Venetian architecture of creamy white houses and balconies, so the difference in location won't really be very obvious. Phew!
If the movie has inspired you to Vis-it (😏), most of the filming on the Croatian island took place in the fishing village of Komiza and Stiniva beach. There are a couple of hotels on the island, but mostly villas and apartments - or alternatively you can take day trips from Split by boat. Vis Town is where most of the island action is, and head to Stiniva Bay for crystal clear waters and fine sands - or ascend Mount Hum path for amazing panoramas of the entire island.
Don't forget to save enough room in your suitcase for those platform boots!
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was released on July 20, 2018 by Universal Pictures in the UK, USA and other selected countries. The film premiered on July 16, 2018 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London.
Have you seen the film yet? If so, tell us what you think of it. And did you spot any differences in the locations?
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