It is no secret that Greece is one of the world’s most important touristic destinations. With its unparalleled natural beauty and its profound historic heritage, it has been long attracting not only tourists, but also filmmakers, actors and producers from all over the world. Already from the 1950s, many movies filmed in Greece have contributed to place it as a popular destination in the world tourism map; at the same time, they were able to build and consolidate various romantic stereotypes and perceptions about Greek’s ancient history and mythology, culture, traditions and modern way of life.

If you are stuck in the city, not being able to take a break, never mind! Take this cinematic tour to Greece, admire its natural and cultural wealth through the lens of the world’s largest film studios.… And who knows? Maybe after watching these films you will get inspired to see Greece by yourself!

1) PELOPONNESE: Before Midnight (2013)

Movies in Greece Before Midnight

Stroll in the narrow roads of Pylos and Kardamyli, eat in famous Lela’s taverna, visit the house of sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, and should you want more glamour, spend a night at Costa Navarino Hotel, while you follow the steps of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in the bittersweet third part of Lindlaker’s marvellous “Before…” trilogy. Read more on the film here.

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Before midnightMovies in Greece Costa Navarino

2) SKOPELOS AND SKIATHOS: Mamma Mia! (2008)

Movies in Greece Mamma Mia

These two super green Sporades islands serve as background for this feel-good musical comedy, a must-see for the fans of Swedish group Abba. Don’t miss the lovely Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri in Skopelos, where the wedding’s scenes were filmed -and many couples followed since them. From there you can enjoy breathtaking views of -equally beautiful- islands of Skiathos and Alonissos.

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Movies in Greece Skopelos Movies in Greece Skopelos Agios Ioannis Church

3) CEPHALONIA: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)

This time the emerald-like waters of the Ionian Sea are the setting for this classic love story, based on Louis de Bernières’ book. During WWII, Italian Captain Antonio Corelli (Nicholas Cage) falls in love with Cephalonian Pelagia (Penelope Cruz). The island of Cephalonia saw a spectacular touristic increase after the film… It’s actually hard to resist a visit to the island once you see its magnificent beauty! The amazing beaches of Antisamos and Chorgota, and the lovely villages of Sami and Komitata feature in the film.

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Movies in Greece Sami

4) AMORGOS: Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue, 1988)

Movies in Greece Le Grand Bleu cr

Luc Besson directed this beautiful hymn to nature, freedom and friendship that takes place in the deep blue waters of Amorgos island. Famous Agia Anna’s beach and the monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa can be seen in the film, which has remained as a cult, all-time classic.

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Movies in Greece Amorgos Panagia Hozoviotisa Movies in Greece Agia-Anna-Beach-Amorgos-island

5) KASTELLORIZO: Mediterraneo (1991)

Movies in Greece Mediterraneo

This beautiful Oscar-winning Italian comedy was filmed in the island of Kastellorizo, one of the Dodecanese islands. During WW2, a group of Italian soldiers serve in a small Greek island; while in the beginning the locals face them with reticence, little by little they all realize how much they have in common… The colorful, neoclassical houses in the seafront will captivate you.

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Movies in Greece Kastellorizo Grotto

6) METEORA, CORFU ISLAND: For your eyes only (1981)

Movies in Greece For Your Eyes Only

In the twelfth of James Bond’s film series, phlegmatic 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device, which leads him to beautiful Corfu island. Achillion Palace in  Gastouri, atmospheric Agion Spyridon tower in Corfu town and Kanoni Island all appear in the film. In one of the most adrenaline-packed scenes, 007 faces the enemy literally hanging from the rocks of imposing Meteora! In spite of the negative reactions of Meteora’s monastic community, who tried to boycott the film, “For your eyes only” became a massive box office success.

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Movies in Greece For your eyes only Corfu r Movies in Greece Meteora

7) ATHENS, OLYMPIA, DELPHI: My Life in Ruins (2009)

Movies in Greece My Life In Ruins

Although not as successful as “My Big Fat Greek Wedding“, Nia Vardalos’ second comedy features an American academic who travels to Greece to find her mojo (or “kefi” in Greek). With background the beauty of ancient Greek monuments -the Acropolis, ancient Olympia, Delphi– she also discovers the charm of Greek men.

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 The Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

8) SANTORINI: Summer lovers (1982)

Movies in Greece summer lovers

When a conservative American couple goes on summer vacations to Santorini island, the amazing beauty of the place, and their acquaintance with a bohemian French archaeologist will lead them to develop a particular relationship between the three -and to have the vacations of their lifetime. It is certain that if you see this movie you will want to visit this magnificent island -not necessarily to engage in a threesome 😉 – but just to walk its narrow, atmospheric streets and dive into the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea.

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Movies in Greece Santorini 2 Movies in Geece Santorini

9) HYDRA: Boy on a Dolphin (1957)

Movies in Greece Boy on a Dolphin

This was the first American film shot in Greece. Sophia Loren is a poor diver who collects sponges in picturesque Hydra island. While diving, one day she discovers a gold statue of  a boy riding a dolphin, which is said that can fulfill your every desire. The film is considered still to these days one of Hollywood’s classics.

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Movies in Greece Hydra

10) MYKONOS: Shirley Valentine (1989)

Movies in Greece Shirley ValentineThis award-winning British romantic comedy- drama is based on a play of the same title. An English middle-age woman, bored with her life, has the opportunity to travel to Greece. Inspired by the beauty of the island of Mykonos, her meaningless life changes forever… It is rumored that the play is actually based on a real life story, and that has inspired many middle-aged women to move to Greece following Shirley Valentine’s steps…

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Movies in Greece Little-Venice-Mykonos-Greece-house_1920x1200_DxOo1 Movies in Greece Mykonos11) RHODES: The Guns of Navarone (1961)

Movies in Greece Guns of NavaroneInspired by the Battle of Leros during the World War II, this classic film describes a fictional battle between the Germans and the Allied for the domination of Navarone island. It stars Gregory Peck, David Niven, Irini Papas and Anthony Quinn. The movie was filmed in the island of Rhodes, which after the film became world famous. Even Anthony Quinn was so impressed by Rhodes that decided to buy a beach in the island. Unfortunately, he was not able to do so due to the infamous greek bureaucracy, but the beach has kept his name: Anthony Quinn Beach.

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Movies in Greece Rhodes old town Movies in Greece Rhodes Saint Paul Beach

12) CRETE: Zorba the Greek (1964)

Movies in Greece Zorba the GreekNo list on films in Greece would be complete without mentioning this quintessential film, which certainly contributed to place Greece among the world’s top tourism destinations, and made syrtaki a mainstream dance. This Oscar-winning movie is based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ book and features music by legendary Mikis Theodorakis. It was filmed in the island of Crete; among the places seen in the movie are the city of Chania, the Akrotiri Peninsula, Apokoronas region and the Beach of Stavros Town, where the famous syrtaki scene was filmed.

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Movies in Greece Chania


Photo Credits


When traveling to Argentina, it’s really worth a detour to Corrientes province, to visit its well-hidden natural wonder: Esteros del Iberá.

This impressive natural reserve of over 2.000.000 square kilometers is a group of lagoons, marshlands and swamps, which are home for a huge variety of plants, animals, insects, butterflies…. The area is of a pure, unrivalled beauty.

Esteros del Ibera air view. A green paradise…

One of the reasons why this area is so well protected is its difficult access, only possible by 4×4 vehicles. The gateway to explore Ibera wetlands is a little rural village named Colonia Carlos Pellegrini. When coming from the town of Mercedes, you will need to go through 120 -endless- kilometers of unpaved road in a very bad condition. It is not a good idea to attempt it with a regular car: there are many chances you will get stuck, literally in the middle of nowhere!

Ibera Road Sunset 2 resizedRoad to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini. Drive carefully, be patient and enjoy the ride! 

 Even if the road is difficult, we enjoyed it a lot, and we were traveling with our kids! (long trips with kids, many of you know what I’m talking about…). Besides the feeling of adventure, we were getting already a taste of what we would see at the wetlands, as wild animals started showing up: capybaras, ñandúes, armadillos…And when it became dark, we were delighted: thousands of fireflies everywhere! It was just magic!

Ibera Nandu Armadillo CollageWild animals on the road to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini: ñandú and a nine-banded armadillo

 When arriving to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini, a very narrow -somewhat scary- bridge welcomes you; it was built by the Argentinian army in 1970.

Ibera Puente Collage

Ibera entrada Colonia CArlos PellegriniWelcome to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini!

The town is an invitation to relax, an absolute stress detox from the frenetic rhythms of civilisation… Don’t expect crazy nightlife or happenings: it’s just you and nature… Roads are unpaved, trees and flowers everywhere; the only noise you hear is birds singing.

Ibera Posada el Yacare patioNature at its best: few vehicles, flowers and birds singing…

After a restful sleep at our posada, we headed early morning for a boat ride in the wetlands. Our guide, Jorge, was telling us in the meantime some interesting information about the history of Esteros del Ibera: the area was declared National Reserve in 1983; in an effort to limit poaching (very common back then), many hunters became Reserve guards (smart move!).

DCIM100GOPROA boat ride to the wetlands is a must. Our guide and driver, Jorge

Our first stopover is the Centro de Interpretación (Interpretation Center), where a guard registers our boat. For ecological reasons, only a limited number of boats are allowed…

DCIM100GOPROCentro de Interpretación, Esteros del Ibera

 Then we start admiring the lush vegetation: water hyacinths and poppies, aquatic nettles, bulrushes and cannas which give rise to the phenomenon of embalsados: authentic floating islands, so dense that they grow on land species, such as shrubs and even trees…

Ibera flora

Ibera flores 2Esteros del Ibera’s embalsado; the water hyacinth is the most common species

The wetlands are the habitat of a huge number of birds (see below). An interesting bird species is chajá (southern screamer): chajás are monogamous, once a couple they no longer separate. It is popularly believed that if one of them dies, the other one dies of sadness shortly after… The couple also shares the eggs’ incubation (!)

Ibera chajasA couple of chajás. Their behaviour, an example to be followed by humans…

After that, we get to see the king of the swamps: the yacaré! Both yacaré negro (the most commonly found) and yacaré overo (they are a variety of caymans) can reach over two meters long, but due to intense poaching before the foundation of the park and their slow growth you will rarely see so big ones. The latest years, though, they have been able to reproduce and they are easily spotted.

It’s very common to see them with a huge, open mouth. That doesn’t mean they are about to eat us! Like all reptiles, yacares don’t control their body’s temperature, they depend on external conditions. When the temperature begins to rise, opening their mouth is the mean to cool themselves! Yacarés in fact eat mainly fishes such as palometa, a species of piranha (yes, there are piranhas at the wetlands, don’t get tempted to swim there…).

Ibera yacare The impressive yacare negro “cooling down” at an embalsado…

Our guide Jorge turns off the engine of the boat, and with the rows gets really close to them:

Ibera yacare nearA yacare close-up. In spite of the scary look, they won’t attack unless they feel threatened…

Another easily spotted animal is carpincho (capybara), the largest rodent in the world. Carpinchos are very social, they are usually seen in groups of 10-20. Their gestation lasts only 4 months, and they can have up to 8 pups in a single litter, that explains why there are so many of them…

Ibera carpinchoCarpincho, the world’s largest rodent

Our 2-hour boat ride finishes…. After some rest to recover from the heat, we spend some time at the Centro de Visitantes (Visitor’s center). The center has an interesting exhibition hall with illustrative material on history, geography and biology of the Reserve.

Ibera centro de visitantesVisitor’s Center “Bright Water”, Reserve of Ibera

From there we head to Sendero Caraya (Caraya trail), a beautiful walk in the middle of the forest, where, if you are lucky enough, you will see caraya monkeys. These monkeys commonly sleep up to 70% of the day!, and they are quite shy, so they may not be seen if there are a lot of people around…

Ibera Caraya CollageCaraya trail, one of the numerous trails you can take to admire wildlife…

You may see as well ciervos de los pantanos (marsh deers)… Marsh deers are excellent swimmers, usually solitary animals. They are considered an endangered species.

Ibera ciervo

Ibera ciervo 2Ciervos de los pantanos (marsh deers)

Other activities 

Bird Watching: If you like bird watching, this is your spot! There are more than 350 species of birds at Ibera Wetlands. Special tours are organised for that purpose; most of the lodges will be able to arrange one for you.

Ibera aves collageYou will be able to see plenty of birds, even if you don’t go birdwatching…

Sunset and night boat ride: if you have enough time, it is a good idea to take a boat ride to see the sunset at the lagoons. There you will realise why the place is called Ibera: in guarani (the language of the indians who used to live there) it means “bright water”…  Night navigation offers the possibility of spotting animals that during the day are hiding from the harsh sun: armadillos, foxes, vizcachas, owls…

Ibera sunset resizedIbera lagoon at sunset. “Bright water” as the indians named the area…

Horseback rides: with the guide of wildlife specialists, you can explore more remote areas and get to know their flora and fauna in detail…

Ibera Horseback rideHorseback riding tours at Rancho de los Esteros 


How to get there: there are only 2 roads to get to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini, both unpaved!: from Mercedes, Corrientes (120 km, of which 80 km unpaved; you will follow this one if you come from Buenos Aires); or from Posadas, Misiones (250 km, of which about 150 km unpaved)…

  • Access in only by 4×4. Unless you come on an organised tour, you can hire them at Mercedes.
  • If you drive your own vehicle, don’t forget to get some gas in Mercedes, there is no gas station afterwards!
  • Another important tip: there are chances that, in case of heavy rain, you get stuck at Carlos Pellegrini; keep that in mind in case you have a plane to catch…

When to go: The ideal period to visit Esteros del Ibera is from March to October. Summer gets really hot and humid!

Where to stay: Ibera has seen lately some touristic development; you can find there several lodges and posadas of all ranges, from luxury to more modest. Most of them have air condition and wifi. There is also a camping.

Ibera lodge CollageSome of the lodges at Carlos Pellegrini: Posada el Yacare, Posada de la Laguna, Irupe Lodge

Where to eat: there are a few restaurants where you can taste Argentina’s traditional dishes. Try the very nice, family-own Yacaru Pora.

Ibera restaurant yacaru poraRestaurante Yacaru Pora


Photo credits

All photographs belong to, except for the following:

Ibera air view: Wikimedia commons; nandu:; armadillo: Wikimedia commons; bridge:,; caraya monkey:; Ibera sunset: Wikimedia commons; horseback ride:; Where to stay: Posada el YacarePosada de la lagunaIrupe Lodge.