From the royal blue and white trimmings to the sparkling sea fit for any beach frolic fantasy, Greece is made for a captivating experience like no other.
From peaceful everyday life to the soft sounds of waves and laughter at night, your favorite blockbuster movies set in Greece will provide a slice of authenticity.
Unsure where to find the jewels of cinema that capture the best of Greece in all its beauty? In this movie guide, you’ll be able to unearth the splendors of the beautiful islands of Greece by watching the best movies set in Greece.
26 Best Movies Set in Greece
Table of Contents
- 26 Best Movies Set in Greece
- 1. Before Midnight (2013) – The Melancholy Romantic Pick
- 2. Boy on a Dolphin (1957) – The Romance Pick
- 3. Mamma Mia! – The Karaoke Pick
- 4. My Life in Ruins (2009) – The Feel-Good Pick
- 5. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2005) – The Teen Pick
- 6. Shirley Valentine (1989) – The Self-Discovery Pick
- 7. The Lost Daughter (2021) – The Phycological Thriller Pick
- 8. The Greek Tycoon (1978) – The Biography Pick
- 9. Greed (2019) – The Satire Pick
- 10. Mediterraneo (1991) – The War & Love Pick
- 11. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001) – The Forbidden Love Pick
- 12. The Two Faces of January (2014) – The Hustler Pick
- 13. Arcadia Lost (2010) – The Adventurous Pick
- 14. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 (2008) – The Friendship Pick
- 15. Phaedra (1962) – The Greek Tragedy Pick
- 16. Bourne Identity (2002) – The Spy Adventure Pick
- 17. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) – The Action Pick
- 18. My Family and Other Animals (2005) – The Family Life Pick
- 19. Summer Holiday (1963) – The Musical Pick
- 20. The Big Blue (1988) – The Visual Journey Pick
- 21. Eternity and a Day (1998) – The Drama Pick
- 22. Monday (2020) – The Sensual Pick
- 23. Bleat (2022) – The Short Pick
- 24. A Touch of Spice (2003) – The Foodie Pick
- 25. The Trip to Greece (2020) – The LOL Pick
- 26. Never on Sunday (1960) – A Unique Pick
- Final Thoughts on Films Set in GR
From explosion-packed action movies to tear-jerking rom-coms, there is a wide variety of films to choose from to see Greece at its finest. Get your popcorn ready as I transport you to the wonderful world of movies set in the Hellenic Republic:
1. Before Midnight (2013) – The Melancholy Romantic Pick
The third film in a trilogy (following Before Sunrise and Before Sunset) directed by Richard Linklater, Before Midnight, is an in-depth exploration of a couple and their choices.
While the film focuses on various serious conversations about their past mistakes and “what-ifs,” you’ll be distracted by the sheer beauty of their surroundings.
In the explosive fight between Jesse and Celine, the protagonists stay in the magnificent The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino. With its idyllic ocean views and harmonious hillside vistas, you’ll be sure to have a better time than this couple.
2. Boy on a Dolphin (1957) – The Romance Pick
As Sophia Loren’s remarkable English film debut, Boy in a Dolphin is a must-watch if you enjoy a slice of Old Hollywood every now and then. Loren plays a sponge diver in Hydra who discovers a treasure that two eligible bachelors desperately seek.
Later, they want much more than the bounty of underwater riches; her heart and favour. The film is predominantly shot in the Greek Saronic Islands. So you’ll be able to catch glimpses of a kaleidoscope of blue hues from the sea.
3. Mamma Mia! – The Karaoke Pick
With sing-along favorites, a star-studded cast list, and a mosaic of Greece scenery, this film is one of the most recognizable films with Greece as its prime location. From a dancing queen to a Waterloo moment, you’ll Voulez-Vous your way through the movie with pure joy.
4. My Life in Ruins (2009) – The Feel-Good Pick
If you’re a fan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding you’ll love this pick, as this film brings the zany energy of a vibrant Greek family and transports you to the country of their origin. The story follows an unfulfilled tour guide in Greece who learns to let loose and live life to the fullest. It’s an excellent pick for the entire family!
This comedy film is the first movie that gained access to shooting a scene on the monumental Acropolis in Athens. This famous Greek landmark is the remnants of an ancient citadel and a wonderful location to tour through if you have the time.
5. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2005) – The Teen Pick
From blossoming friendship, romance, and a heavy supply of girl troubles – Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants is the perfect movie to watch if you love a coming-of-age story. The film follows four friends on their journey through very different lives — accompanied by a magical set of seemingly size-adaptable pants they share.
In the Lena portion of the story, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the iconic blue and white swirl of buildings Santorini is known for.
6. Shirley Valentine (1989) – The Self-Discovery Pick
A suppressed housewife who travels to Greece to find herself, Shirley Valentine is a classic for people who enjoy a strong, independent female lead and British humor. From gorgeous sunsets to vibrant depictions of Greek culture, this film will prepare you for your trip to this island paradise.
Due to the film’s success, the Agios Ioannis beach in Mykonos (where the end scene is filmed) is nicknamed the ‘Shirley Valentine’ beach.
7. The Lost Daughter (2021) – The Phycological Thriller Pick
Based on the renowned writer Elena Ferrante’s book, The Lost Daughter depicts a woman on a solo travel experience to focus on work in Greece.
Her interest in an American family, specifically between the mother and young daughter staying on the same island, foreshadows the dark complexity of the protagonist. Amongst the ominous tones of the film, you’ll be able to spot ever-green palms swaying, and the crystal clear water Greece is known for.
8. The Greek Tycoon (1978) – The Biography Pick
A film shot in a biographical tone while being a fictitious depiction, The Greek Tycoon follows the life of a mogul and his relationship with the widow Jacqueline Kennedy. With themes such as love and power, you’ll soon be transfixed by the story and its stunning filming locations.
This movie was filmed in various Greece locations, including Athens and Mykonos. The historical Acropolis also makes a brief cameo in the film.
9. Greed (2019) – The Satire Pick
A peep into the life of the rich, this comedy movie is great to watch if you want to see Greece while enjoying a chuckle or two. Greed captures the abysmal capital inequality of billionaires with a funny twist. It depicts a wealthy man about to throw an absurdly extravagant party on Mykonos.
10. Mediterraneo (1991) – The War & Love Pick
As Italian soldiers during WWII risk their lives on a mission, they ultimately become stranded on a Greek island. While the war rages on, the men learn to forget the bloodshed of battle and how to live, love, and laugh again with the island locals.
11. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001) – The Forbidden Love Pick
A movie filled with war, love, and the idyllic landscape of Greece, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin provides something for every film buff. Following a budding romance between Captain Antonio Corelli (Nicolas Cage) and Pelagia (Penelope Cruz), you’ll be sure to swoon at the love story and majestic scenery.
The beautiful beach scene with Captain Antonio Corelli and Pelagia was shot on Horgota Beach, Cephalonia.
12. The Two Faces of January (2014) – The Hustler Pick
Set in the 1960s in the belly of Athens, The Two Faces of January is a great pick if you enjoy a film filled with intrigue. A con artist posing as a tour guide meets a couple involved in some shady business. Together, they go on the run and discover bits of each other’s past along the way.
13. Arcadia Lost (2010) – The Adventurous Pick
A movie that embodies the definition of “getting lost to be found,” Arcadia Lost follows two teenagers’ adventures through Greece as stranded individuals. This road to self-discovery movie was mainly filmed in the rural town of Poulithra in Greece.
14. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 (2008) – The Friendship Pick
This stunning sequel starts in the magical realm of Santorini and is a beautiful addition to the first installment. While the film has many trials and errors in keeping the fires of friendship alive, you’ll find an abundance of Greek landscape scenery to enjoy along the way.
15. Phaedra (1962) – The Greek Tragedy Pick
A story of forbidden love resulting in tragedy, Phaedra follows the tale of a woman marrying rich only to fall head over heels for her husband’s son.
This American-Greek drama might be in black and white, but you’ll be sure to color the picture yourself when you see snapshots of Greece’s island life. The nautical town depicted in the movie is none other than the island of Hydra in Greece.
16. Bourne Identity (2002) – The Spy Adventure Pick
Following a man hunting for his lost memory while being hunted by assassins, this heart-pumping pick is an excellent choice for travel and action lovers. While the film is shot in various countries, such as France and Italy, the tranquil end scene takes place in Greece.
In a rustic tavern and an atmosphere of complete Mediterranean vacation bliss, the movie’s final scene was filmed in Mykonos.
17. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) – The Action Pick
A film packed with adventure and thrill-seeking scenes, this movie will have you see Greece while your heart races from the action. A female adventurer (played by Angelina Jolie) goes on a quest to secure the tempting Pandora’s box from evil forces.
The opening scene pans over the beautiful city of Santorini during a festive Greek wedding (soon to be hit by an earthquake).
18. My Family and Other Animals (2005) – The Family Life Pick
My Family and Other Animals is about a family in the 1930s relocating to the island of Corfu from England. This feel-good movie is wonderful to see Greece’s domestic island-living side.
As this film is about life in Corfu, you’ll have to be asleep through the entire movie to miss the sublime scenery of this Greek island.
19. Summer Holiday (1963) – The Musical Pick
A double-decker London bus making its way through various European countries picks up a few singers on their way to Athens for a job. With songs, love, and a sense of adventure, this movie will surely put a shimmy in your step.
The film shows the narrow cliff roads of Greece, which is perfect if you’re thinking of road tripping in this country.
20. The Big Blue (1988) – The Visual Journey Pick
This movie is a French film about two freediving friends and competitive rivals (based on actual events) and is a visual dream to watch. The film has plenty of shooting locations in its repertoire, but nothing compares to the depiction of the luminous blue waters of the Greek islands.
If you’re planning to travel to the hidden gem of Amorgos, you’ll soon discover the ever-blue backdrop of the film. With the various diving scenes in the movie, you’ll be able to see how a Greece dive tour would make your trip unforgettable.
Don’t miss my article on the top attractions in Athens.
21. Eternity and a Day (1998) – The Drama Pick
This Greek film shows the life and tragedy of a terminally ill protagonist and a child from Albania who travels together on a journey of self-discovery and hope. Be ready to shed some tears, as this tale has been said to be a haunting tale of life itself.
While the film is predominantly set in Greece, this foreign film is a superb pick if you wish to hear the melodic sound of the Greek language.
22. Monday (2020) – The Sensual Pick
A weekend romance of two people meeting in Greece with immediate chemistry between them, Monday follows a whirlwind relationship and passionate experience. Beware; this might not be a film to watch with the kiddies or parents, as the PDA is quite steamy in this movie.
From the busy city scenes in Athens to the peaceful waters of the Paros island scenes, you’ll be able to see Greece throughout the film.
23. Bleat (2022) – The Short Pick
A silent short film starring Emma Stone, Bleat was released in May 2022. The movie tells the story of a professional concert cellist that encounters strange occurrences with goats, among other weird instances. The entire film was shot in Tinos, a Greek island town.
24. A Touch of Spice (2003) – The Foodie Pick
A Greek movie set in Lavrio, A Touch of Spice is a story about a boy and his family leaving Istanbul and moving to Athens during political unrest. The boy discovers the wonderful world of cooking with fragrant spices along the way.
25. The Trip to Greece (2020) – The LOL Pick
With a mission to follow in the steps of the hero Odysseus, the comedic pair of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon travel through Greece. Between the side-splitting scenes, you’ll find remarkable Greece scenery sprinkled throughout the film.
26. Never on Sunday (1960) – A Unique Pick
Never on Sunday, directed by Dassin, is about a Greek sex worker meeting an American man who intends to reform her from her “immoral” ways. Set in Greece and covering many complex questions of life, this film is a real think-piece when it comes to unfolding the “right” way of living.
Final Thoughts on Films Set in GR
While it’s always a pleasure to peruse an ocean of guidebook descriptions or photographs, films capture the essence of a place like no other media.
Whether you plan on drinking in the sublime scenery, interesting Greek mythology, or the endless supply of beverages at small seaside taverns, you’re in for a treat in Greece.
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