This article has been reviewed by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.
As we move forward in 2024, what could be more delightful than revisiting a beloved duology of films? These films begin with the inspiring words, “I have a dream. A song to sing to help me cope with anything. If you see the wonder of a fairytale, you can take the future – even if you fail…”
Why not wrap yourself in a blanket of hope, fill your pockets with dreams, and perhaps grab a notebook to plan a future vacation? Until that time comes, you can embark on a flight of fancy. Grab your passport and join Wego as we journey around the world, particularly through Donna Sheridan’s world, as depicted in the pages of the diary reflected in these films. Enjoy the ride!
Donna, a wandering soul, embarked on her adventure alone with her first stop in the United Kingdom. She pursued her undergraduate studies at New College, Oxford. It was here that she met two of the greatest loves of her life – her best friends, the Dynamos – Rosie and Tanya. The iconic scene where Donna, the Dynamos, and the rest of her graduating class dance in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! was filmed at the Godstow Bridge in Oxford, United Kingdom.
The Godstow Bridge, originally built in 1692, played a small role during the English Civil War. The bridge, with its two arches – one pointed and one round, underwent two reconstructions, first in 1792 and then again in 1892.
The bridge now exists in two parts. The older part, sometimes referred to as the Little Godstow Bridge, crosses the original course of the river and a cascading stream leading to The Trout Inn, one of the most famous pubs in the area.
Before Donna finds herself basking in the sun along the Merridean Sea, where she discovers her life’s true purpose, she makes a stop in Paris. After all, what better place to start creating memories than the city of lights and love! This is where her real adventure begins.
We believe that the Jardin des Tuileries, or the Tuileries Gardens, is where we see Donna and Harry taking a stroll in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! This beautiful garden, dating back to 1564, was originally the Palais des Tuileries, built by Queen Catherine de Medici to mirror her palace in Florence.
In reality, the scene was actually shot in the Great Fountain Garden at Hampton Court Palace in Molesey, United Kingdom. This could be considered a great alternative if you can’t make it to Paris.
In 1664, the Tuileries Gardens were redesigned into the gardens we know today and caught a glimpse of in the film. Nestled between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, the garden offers tourists a chance to walk amidst history and rich culture, creating their own memories. The garden features two ponds where visitors can sit and relax. If one ventures to the southwest part of the Tuileries, one will find works of Monet at The Musée de l’Orangerie.
Free tours in French are organized from March to December. If you’re a fan of candyfloss and fairground rides, then the Fête des Tuileries, held from June to August, awaits you.
We now find ourselves in Greece, where Donna felt an invisible string pulling her in. From this point onwards, Donna’s entire life takes place on the fictional island of Kalokairi. But don’t worry; we have listed out the places where the iconic scenes took place for you.
One such location is the pier, a place filled with memories for both Donna Sheridan and, later, her daughter Sophie Sheridan. While it may appear as the same pier in Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! they are actually two different locations. In fact, the pier featured in the sequel is located outside of Greece.
Damouchari Beach – Ntamouchari
In Mamma Mia!, the pier where we see everyone arriving in Kalokairi for Donna and Sophie is actually located at Damouchari Beach in Ntamouchari, Greece.
Damouchari, situated on the west coast of Pelion, is nestled close to the beaches of Papa Nero and Agios Ioannis. It’s accessible via the coastal road that links Agios with Ioannis, or from the mountainous village of Mouresi. This picturesque location sets the stage for the memorable arrivals in the film.
Skopelos, the main setting for the fictional island of Kalokairi, first captivates us in Mamma Mia! as Sophie sings I Have a Dream under a night sky overlooking a moonlit, tourmaline sea.
Skopelos is part of the Sporades, a group of four Greek islands in the northwest Aegean Sea, which also includes Alonnisos, Skiathos, and Skyros.
To immerse yourself in the salty air, sunlight, and beautiful beaches of Skopelos, you’ll need to take a ferry from one of the four ports in mainland Greece to Skiathos Island, followed by a water taxi to Skopelos Island. While it might seem like a lengthy journey, anyone who has seen even a single music video from either of the two films knows it’s well worth the trip.
Amrantos Cape Beach
Embarking on a boat tour around the Greek Island of Skopelos, you might feel a sense of déjà vu as each location may seem familiar from the silver screen. One such place is Amrantos Cape Beach, located en route to Katsani Beach. Though its appearance in Mamma Mia! is brief, it plays a significant role in Sophie Sheridan’s journey. It’s here that she spends an entire day with her three fathers, listening to their stories of the “good old days” during the song Our Last Summer.
While the film showcases two pine trees on a limestone rock near Agnondas Beach, a visit to the nearby Amrantos Cape Beach reveals a landscape filled with more pine trees, aquamarine waters (affectionately referred to as the swimming pool by locals), and a sandy beach. This picturesque location awaits your exploration.
Kastani Beach, the backdrop for numerous iconic scenes in both Mamma Mia! and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!, is a location of significant cinematic importance. It’s the very beach where Tanya, resplendent in a stunning red dress, dances with a group of young men to the tune of Does Your Mother Know. It’s also the poignant setting where Sophie bids farewell to her fathers under a shimmering moonlit sky, the ripples in the water reflecting the emotional depth of the scene.
Known as the sandiest beach on the island, Kastani Beach is a sight to behold. Our memories enhance its natural beauty, making it seem like a slice of paradise. The beach also features modern bars, built by the locals to replicate the famous beach bar from “Mamma Mia!”. Although the original bar no longer exists, it remains unforgotten, living on in the hearts of fans and visitors alike.
Agios Ioannis Chapel
The Agios Chapel is where Sophie is supposed to get married in Mamma Mia, or is she? The Chapel is also the very place we get to see perhaps one of the most heartwarming full-circle moments in modern cinema take place here again in Mamma Mia Here We Go Again take place at the very same place.
Perched atop a 100-metre high rock in the northeastern part of the island, the chapel is a sight to behold. In the film, we witness numerous characters gasping for breath as they ascend to the chapel, and for good reason. The journey involves climbing 198 steps, but the breathtaking view at the top is well worth the effort.
From this vantage point, you can see the entire coastline stretching out to nearby Alonissos. On a clear day, the view extends all the way to Mount Pelion. This picturesque location is truly a sight to behold.
“Life is short. The world is wide. I want to make some memories,” says Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! As we journey back to the beginning with Donna, we simultaneously experience the present with Sophie.
While the story unfolds on the fictional Kalokairi Islands, the scenes we see on-screen are actually filmed in Croatia, specifically on Vis, a small island in the Adriatic Sea.
Vis Island, rising from the sea, carries a rich history dating back to the prehistoric era. It was home to one of the first Mediterranean cultures at the dawn of civilization. So, if you find your way to Vis, you’ll be journeying back to the very beginning.
In the films, Kalokairi Island was believed to be the place where if one sailed on from there, they would fall off the face of the Earth. And Donna kind of did, except not in the way people believed they would if they visited there. We are surely not Donna, but all the places mentioned above are still wonderful places to get away to and escape the humdrumness of the world. Take the pen in your hand with the ending unplanned, as the rest is still unwritten.