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Gorgeous Greece: A Perennial Muse On The Silver Screen

June 05, 2024

Greece, the cradle of art, culture, and mythology, where gods once roamed among mortals, has profoundly shaped Western culture and continues to inspire. Henry Miller once famously said, “It takes a lifetime for someone to discover Greece, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her.” Miller, an American novelist, visited Greece to see his friend Lawrence Durrell, another esteemed writer who captured the essence of Greece’s 53 different islands in his warm, almost poetic prose. Besides Miller and Durell, esteemed literary figures such as Wallace Stevens, Lord Byron, John Keats, William Wordsworth, and many others were profoundly inspired by Greece. They all found Greece—and its rich corpus of myths—a boundless source of the creative muse.


[Source: Unsplash]

With the advent of moving images, Greece's enchanting allure extended beyond literature to filmmaking. Its divine landscapes, inspiring culture, and rich mythology provided an irresistible mise-en-scène for filmmakers. By weaving these elements into a cohesive narrative, Greece and its islands became a unified canvas for cinematic exploration, allowing cinephiles and seasoned, elite travelers to be enamored by Greece. This article aims to gently guide you toward the harmonious union between certain Greek islands and the world of cinema.

Achilleion palace on Corfu Island, built by Empress of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as Sisi.


Romantic Corfu, adorned with lush greenery and surrounded by the crystal-clear Ionian Sea, is the backdrop for a divine love story. Here, Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, fell in love with the nymph Kerkyra. Enchanted by her beauty, he brought her to this idyllic island named in her honor. This mythological romance adds an air of enchantment to Corfu’s heavenly serenity, a place where love and legend are intertwined. Hence, It is of no surprise that Corfu has long been a magnet for filmmakers seeking picturesque settings. Lawrence Durrell and his brother Gerard Gurell paid homage to Corfu in their writing. They so poignantly described the pull Greece and Corfu, in particular, had on them. Unsurprisingly, the Durrell brothers' novels were adapted for the screen, and Corfu, of course, served as a movie location for several film adaptations of Gerald Durrell's "Corfu Trilogy." One notable adaptation is the 2005 film “My Family And Other Animals,” which chronicles the life of Lawrence Durrell and his family during their time living on the island. The film's cinematography beautifully captures the island's idyllic essence. This adaptation highlights the whimsical and anecdotal experiences that shaped Lawrence Durrell's writing career. Similarly, the ITV series “The Durrells” (2016) further explores the family's adventures on Corfu, delving into their everyday lives and humorous antics.

Another prime example of Greece and Corfu playing a crucial role in heightening the cinematic appeal of the film and perpetuating the idea of Greece as the muse is the classic James Bond movie “For Your Eyes Only” (1981), starring Roger Moore. The film immortalizes stunning locations on Corfu, among olive tree slopes at Kanoni and even beneath the sea. Iconic landmarks like Achillion Palace and Pontikonisi are also prominently featured, making Corfu an intriguing destination for directors and drawing in elite travelers.

Kanoni on Corfu - footprints of James Bond scenes on Corfu

“The Burglars” (Le Casse), released in 1971, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Omar Shreiff, is a riveting heist film set in Corfu. The plot follows professional burglars executing an emerald heist, only to be relentlessly pursued by a corrupt inspector. The director masterfully uses Corfu’s scenic beauty to heighten tension and excitement, with sweeping shots of coastlines and bustling towns contrasting sharply with gripping action sequences. Corfu's labyrinthine streets and historic buildings add suspense and intrigue, making it the perfect setting for this dynamic thriller.Even today, Corfu’s grip on artists and directors is still strong. Odysseus' legendary voyage will be brought to life on the silver screen, with no other island but Corfu as the mesmerizing backdrop. “The Return,” scheduled to be released in December 2024, stars Ralph Fiennes as Odysseus and Juliette Binoche as Penelope. It is directed by Uberto Pasolini and marks the first international production focused on the Odyssey in decades. All of these movies and TV series emphasize Corfu's influence, portraying it as a place of profound inspiration and transformation.

Village of Naoussa


Paros is the island associated with the Greek god of war, Ares. Today, Paros boasts exquisite beaches, fine marble, and a tranquil ambiance, a serene contrast to its connection to the fierce deity. With its blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, myths, and upscale amenities, Paros promises an unforgettable escape that will leave you longing to return again and again.

In the film "Monday" (2020), directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, some of the crucial scenes are filmed on the stunning island of Paros, a locale that adds depth and authenticity to the narrative. The movie delves into the intense and passionate weekend romance between Mickey (Sebastian Stan) and Chloe (Denise Gough), navigating the complexities of relationships and personal struggles. Paros' labyrinthine streets, traditional whitewashed buildings, and vibrant local life are beautifully woven into the film, enhancing the story's emotional landscape and grounding the film's romantic escapism in reality. Beautiful cinematography gives justice to Paros' charm and elegance that permeate every frame.

Following Paros’s appearance in “Monday,” Netflix's "One Day" (2022), and now “Malice,” a British psychological thriller starring David Duchovny, Jack Whitehall, and Carice van Houten, the island’s locales, such as Naoussa, Parikia, Kolymbithres, Agios Fokas, and more will once again be in the spotlight and capture global attention.

Picturesque Naoussa village

Paros promises an unforgettable escape, blending natural beauty with cultural depth. To fully experience this island's upscale amenities and serene environment and witness how it is an integral part of the cinematic experience, book a stay at Villa Eloise. It is an exquisite luxury home nestled in the charming Ampelas, just a stone's throw away from the vibrant town of Naousa. Embraced by breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea, the residence embodies an unforgettable Greek island escape.

Villa Eloise on Paros
Typical Greek tavern in Little Venice part of Mykonos town, the usual suspect on film


Nowadays known for its vibrant nightlife and laid-back luxury, Mykonos is steeped in mythological lore. According to a legend, the island is connected to a divine hero, Hercules, who conquered the giants right here. After being defeated by Hercules’s sheer strength, the giants became petrified and Mykonos’s rocky terrain is said to be the remains of these giants. This blend of mythical past and present-day charm makes Mykonos a captivating destination for those seeking unique experiences.

In "The Greek Tycoon" (1978) starring Anthony Quinn and Jacqueline Bisset, Mykonos provides a breathtaking backdrop of Cycladic whitewashed buildings and vibrant nightlife, perfectly capturing the lavish romance and scandal of Aristotle Onassis' relationship with Jacqueline Kennedy. The film tells a compelling love story and immortalizes Mykonos as an emblem of elegance and charm, echoing Jackie Kennedy Onassis' love for the island.

This gem of the Aegean Sea has played host to several film productions. Among notable films that take place on the island are:

“The Bourne Identity” (2002), where Mykonos serves as the serene location where Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, finds temporary refuge.We would be remiss to leave out "Greed" (2019), a biting satirical comedy directed by Michael Winterbottom. The film centers around Richard McCreadie's (played masterfully by Steve Coogan) lavish 60th birthday party on Mykonos, which spirals into a chaotic spectacle emblematic of his unscrupulous business practices and moral bankruptcy since Mykonos produces a seductive mix of cosmopolitan flair that underscores themes of wealth, power, and timeless beauty that evoke luxury and passion.

Villa Orianna

Try writing your own Mykonos story by staying in a luxurious Villa Orianna. The residence commands breathtaking south-facing sea views encompassing Delos and Rhenea's distant islands, creating an unparalleled alfresco setting. A curved infinity pool merges with the Aegean horizon, providing an unmatched vantage point for sunsets. Additionally, an on-property helicopter pad ensures seamless transitions between relaxation and adventure.


With its dramatic volcanic terrain, rugged cliffs, breathtaking shores, and iconic Cycladic architecture, Santorini is truly a feast for the eyes. While the link between Santorini and the mythical Atlantis remains speculative, the island's enigmatic charm continues to enchant cinephiles and discerning travelers captivated by its rich history, mythology, and unparalleled beauty.

Santorini is a perfect backdrop for romance, as evident in “Summer Lovers” (1982), a romantic comedy directed by Randal Kleiser, which follows the story of a young couple entangled in a love triangle while vacationing on the idyllic island of Santorini. This film delves into themes of love, desire, and self-discovery, capturing the essence of Greek island life. 

At the heart of Santorini's allure lies Villa Erosantorini stunning clifftop estate that perfectly encapsulates the island's dramatic beauty and romantic flair. Overlooking the majestic caldera and volcano, this exquisite retreat in the revered Messaria region provides a dramatic natural setting reminiscent of epic mythologies. 

A View from the top, Villa Erosantorini

Designed by acclaimed international interior designer Paola Navone, Villa Erosantorini embodies a distinct Aegean vision of luxury living. Its pared-down, minimalistic interiors are perpetually sun-kissed, creating a soothing, sea-swept ambiance that blends traditional Cycladic aesthetics with cosmopolitan sophistication. This unique property epitomizes elegance and charm, making it an ideal location for any romantic narrative set against Santorini's unparalleled natural beauty.

Lion Gate, Mycenae 1250. B.C.


The Peloponnese is steeped in rich mythology that has captivated imaginations for centuries. The peninsula, often referred to as the "Island of Pelops," is named after the hero Pelops, the son of Tantalus, who became famous after winning a chariot race against King Oenomaus to marry his daughter, Hippodamia.

The Peloponnese is also home to some of the most legendary sites in Greek mythology. Mycenae, the kingdom of Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War. The ancient city of Sparta is known for its formidable warriors. Additionally, Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, holds significant mythological importance as it is dedicated to Zeus, the king of the gods.In the storied landscapes of the Peloponnese region, myths intertwine with history, opening the portal to a divine and heroic past that continues to inspire through literature, art, and film. It comes as no surprise that Richard Linklater' chose it as the setting of the third part of its trilogy, “Before Midnight” (2013). 

The story of married couple Jesse and Celine unfolds amidst Greece's radiant landscapes. The film skillfully intertwines the tender romance and complex dynamics of the couple's relationship with the backdrop of charming villages and verdant hills of Peloponnese. A notable filming location is the house of famed travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor, which adds a layer of historical and cultural depth to the narrative.


Other cinematic masterpieces brought the vibrant spirit of Greek islands to life. To name a few,  "Zorba the Greek" takes place on Crete, while "The Lost Daughter" captures the charm of Spetses. The romantic island of Skopelos set the stage for "Mamma Mia!" and the ethereal beauty of Amorgos was honored in "The Big Blue." From romantic comedies to action-packed thrillers, each film underscores why Greece remains a perennial source of inspiration.  Greece will forever contine to be the enchanting mise-en-scène for movies. Start rolling, as your gorgeous getaway in Greece is about to “call action.” We invite you to reach out to one of our client relations professionals to get your Greek vacation plans rolling.

Our goal at LVH is to make each vacation experience magical, no matter where you travel. With LVH, you will stay in an exceptional home, and we will also plan a wonderful customized itinerary for you that reflects only the things you would love to do.

#Luxury Travel Greece #Mykonos Luxury Homes #Santorini Luxury Travel #Luxury Rentals Greece #Corfu Luxury Travel
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