20 Best Movies Set in Greece & The Greek Islands to Feed Your Wanderlust
Explore the most exciting movies set in Greece that will surely feed your wanderlust. These fun and beautiful movies will help you get to know the Greek culture, people, and food better and get you thrilled about your next trip.
If you can’t decide where to go, what to see or what to taste while in Greece, then these movies will help you out for sure. You’ll find here classics and modern movies that will help you understand Greece’s history and we will also introduce you to some of the best Greek movies.
You’ll find here romance movies filmed in Greece that are perfect for cozy nights for couples. Thrillers for those who love darker films, as well as fun and lighthearted entertaining movies that are perfect for the whole family.
No matter if you love movies about ancient Greece, the beautiful Greek islands, or modern movies about life in this beautiful country, you’ll find here something that makes you want to pack your bags and visit Greece.
Top Films Set in Greece
20| A Touch of Spice 2003 | Comedy, Drama
There have been a number of movies made about Greece and its difficult political relationship with Turkey, however, A Touch of Spice is more than just that.
It does go into politics, but it delivers another very important message; seize the day, try to make the most of your life while you can. Growing old with regrets does not lead to a happy retirement.
We are taken to the lively capital of Turkey, Istanbul, where Vassillis runs his colorful little spice shop.
Amid the political disturbance in 1964, his grandson, Fanis and his family are forced out of the country. Vassillis remains in Turkey promising to visit Fanis later on.
The grandson settles in Athens and the only way for him to keep in touch with his grandfather is by cooking.
As time passes, Fanis realizes that he has not lived a full life he wanted.
A Touch of Spice is a moving story, with heartbreaking moments allowing us to peek into Greek-Turkish relations in the 1960s and life in Athens at that time.
19| For The Love of Benji, 1977 | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Some may have already met the smart and adorably cute dog as Benji (Higgins) had made some appearances in his 14-year career. He has been featured in a number of comfort family movies and now we get to see him getting into some trouble in the Greek capital.
Benji gets entangled in some serious matters while being chased around the city. If you were planning to visit but haven’t had the chance to travel yet. Out of all the movies set in Athens Greece, For The Love of Benji is the best pick to explore the city without leaving the comfort of your couch.
As we follow the fury hero, most of the famous and beloved attractions appear on the screen. You get to enjoy the beautiful sights of the ancient Agora, the famous Plaka and Monastiraki areas, and even get see some rather local spots not many tourists get to.
If you are looking for a fun family movie for your next night in, you have just found your new favorite.
18| Mediterraneo, 1991 | Comedy, Drama, War
Set on the picturesque island of Kastellorizo, Gabriele Salvatores (directed by) and Enzo Monteleone’s (written by) picture is a remarkable piece. It has won an academy award and captivated a large number of critics and viewers all around the world.
As a small group of soldiers are stranded on the small Greek island during the Second World War, following the initial desperation, they begin to forget about the war and enjoy their lives.
The small, but colorful island has plenty to offer, making it easy for the men to take their minds off of where they were heading.
It is a very meaningful, yet utterly entertaining comedy-drama you are going to love for sure.
Mediterraneo is certainly one of the best movies filmed in Greece and perfect for those who are craving a little comedy but also want to learn a bit about Greece’s history.
17| Z 1969, Crime, Drama, History
Based on Vassilis Vassilikos’ book, it is a pretty interesting political thriller that will help you gain a better understanding of Greek politics at the early 1960s.
The movie has been nominated for awards in multiple categories as it is an important topic.
It takes us to the assassination of pacifist minister Grigoris Lambrakis in Thessaloniki and we follow an eager prosecutor who is not willing to give up easy on finding out who the culprit is.
If you enjoy political and investigative dramas, then this going to be a great pick for your next movie night.
A fun fact; it is set in Thessaloniki and is a movie about Greece however, it was filmed in Paris.
Z is one of the most thrilling and dark crime movies about Greece in the 1960s.
16| The Big Blue, 1988 | Adventure, Drama, Sport
A Luc Besson masterpiece that has glued viewers to the screen for almost three hours. Yes, it is a fairly long movie, but you are going to enjoy every minute of it.
The heartaching story of two childhood friends and their rivalry begins at the breathtaking island Amorgos in the ‘60s.
They develop a passion for free diving in the big blue and push each other’s limits over time. The Big Blue cast includes Rosanna Arquette, Jean-Marc Barr, and Jean Reno.
It is a captivating story that will be a new favorite for everyone, even if not big fans of free diving.
The Big Blue is one of the most beautiful films set in Greece and one of the Greek Islands that will help you explore what’s underwater.
15| My Life in Ruins, 2009 | Comedy, Romance
If you enjoy comical romantic stories, then you are surely going to have a great time while also having the chance to explore Greece’s heritage.
Watching this move you are going to embark on a magnificent tour around ancient ruins millions of people travel to the country to see for themselves.
We are following Georgia, a Greek American teacher, who is laid off for financial reasons and has to take a tour guide job. Well, Nina Vardalos is adorably funny in these miserable times.
This movie is a great way to explore Greece at its best, while also learning about our motivation as a tourist. Do you enjoy visiting historic sights, modern spots, parties, beaches or maybe something else makes you feel wanderlust?
My Life in Ruins is among the most enjoyable comedy romance set in Athens.
14| Rembetiko, 1983 | Biography, Drama, History
When visiting a new country you are going to get first impressions of it when tasting its delicious typical dishes, traditional drinks and acquainting its people.
To dive deeper into a country’s culture, you will have to explore its art and the most telling of a national personality is music.
Rembetiko was the most popular way of entertainment in Greece at the wake of the 20th century.
By watching Costas Ferris’ (co-written and directed by) piece on the queen of Rembetiko you can learn a lot about Greek people before your visit to the Land Hellas.
If you are familiar with the name of Marika Ninou (who was among the main figures of the Rembetiko movement), it is very likely you are going to make some new friends quicker in Greece.
Rembetiko is a fascinating biography, which is definitely one of the best movies filmed in Greece you can watch to learn about Greek musical history.
13| Little England, 2013 | Drama, Romance
Well, things are not all perfect, we follow two sisters Orsa and Moscha, who are not necessarily living the life they would have imagined.
There are rules and love doesn’t always get a say. Each of them has a secret desire they do not dare to reveal. Are they going to be strong enough to break traditions and live happily ever after? We certainly hope so.
Little England may not be a proper peak into current social habits in Greece as life is much more relaxed in the 21st century, it was certainly different in the 1930s and ‘40s.
Back then you had to marry as the rules dictated and women had much less say regarding their fate. It is good those years are behind us.
Little England is among the best romance drama movies about Greece set in the 1930s.
12| Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, 2003 | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
The Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movies have become quite a cult thanks to the kick ass female lead brought to life by Angelina Jolie.
Would have loved to see more at the beginning of the 2000s, and not long ago in 2018 fans were finally served with more to come in the next couple of years (hopefully).
The second movie in 2003 had many scenes filmed on the postcard worthy Santorini island. Our hero sets out on a quest to trace down the mythical Pandora’s box racing against the evil Jonathan Reiss.
In this epic treasure hunt you are going to be taken all around the world, so you get to see other corners of our globe besides Santorini.
Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life is a fun adventure movie even if you haven’t played the video game before.
11| High Season, 1987 | Comedy, Romance
Clare Peploe (co-written and directed by) had a vision of a pretty interesting story with a handful of twists and brought to life with a great sense of humor.
Get to know Katherine, a British expatriate, who enjoys the quiet life of Rhodes, and despite not being a huge fan of crowds, gets by during high season.
She has some friends and connections that are rather out of the ordinary and her past also knocks on her door this summer.
There are plenty of amusing moments, some unexpected turn of events, that create some mysteries. You are in for a great time if you love comedies and cannot get enough of romantic films.
High Season is surely amid the best movies set in Greece to feed your wanderlust.
10| Two Faces of January, 2010 | Romance, Thriller
Definitely one of the most well known movies set in Greece is Two Faces of January.
It was partly set in the historic city of Athens and in various beautiful locations on the magnificent island of Crete.
You will also be taken to the Turkish capital, Istanbul. The picture is based on Patricia Highsmith’s fantastic book with the same title.
Besides being able to visit some of the most beautiful spots in Greece, you may also learn that things aren’t always what they look like.
Expect some enormous surprises, you may think it’s not a surprise anymore if you expect it, however, you cannot prepare for what happens during married couple Colette and Chester’s visit to the Hellenic country.
Two Faces of January cast includes such great actors as Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac.
If you are looking for remarkable thriller movies filmed in Greece, then Two Faces of January is going to be your new favorite.
9| Troy, 2004 | Drama, History
Competing for the title of most well known motion picture on this list is certainly Troy, the cast alone made millions of people feel inclined to watch it in cinemas.
Even if you are not a big fan of war movies, Troy is something you cannot miss. Thanks to Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom and a number of other talented actors, Homer’s great epic came to life in an astonishing style.
It is certainly much more Hollywood-like than Homer would have imagined, but it will make a great material for your next movie night, while also learning a bit about ancient Greece.
Probably you have heard of the Trojan war and its heroes, but would you have imagined to ever see them?
There is no doubt, Troy is among the most visually outstanding movies about ancient Greece and Greek mythology.
8| Dogtooth, 2009 | Drama, Thriller
Dogtooth is a very special film that is only recommended to thriller and dark movie lovers, because it doesn’t go easy on its audience. You may want to be mentally at the right place as it can be a tiny bit triggering.
Most of the critics speak highly of it, but all agree on it being like a nightmare. It was nominated for best foreign picture by the Academy and won numerous other awards.
The story is about controlling parents, who do not allow their children to leave their estate because they are not ready to meet others. There are some attempts to prepare the children and educate them, but it is not enough and certainly isn’t doing any good to the children.
If you are ready for it, Dogtooth is definitely one of the most outstanding Greek thrillers you can watch on a rainy night.
7| Boy on a Dolphin, 1957 | Adventure, Drama, Romance
Boy on a Dolphin is a gem for a number of reasons. First of all, it was one of the English language movies Sophia Loren began her Hollywood career with.
She was pretty active once she moved over from Italy and starred in three right away. Another reason this motion picture should be remembered because it’s the first American film shot in Greece.
The adventurous story of the sponge diver and her boyfriend is going to capture your attention while also enjoying the fantastic view.
The movie takes us around some of the most beautiful spots around the magnificent Greek islands, to make you feel like being on an island hopping tour.
If you enjoy classic Hollywood pictures then you should surely pick this jewel up because Boy on a Dolphin is among the best adventure drama movies set in Greece and the Greek islands.
6| Shirley Valentine 1989
One of the biggest hits in late ‘80s was the life changing experience of Shirley, who has decided to take a huge step for happiness.
Feeling stuck in her life, the housewife is suffering from a mild depression. It is suggested by every expert to make a change, and Shirley does make a big one.
Plans a Greek vacation with her friend, but ends up traveling alone.
It couldn’t have worked out better, while enjoying the mesmerising beauty of Mykonos Island, she makes new acquaintances and even love comes her way.
The story and Puline Collins’ acting was highly regarded by critics as well and much loved by viewers.
Shirley Valentine is definitely one of the best romantic movies filmed mainly in Mykonos, Greece.
5| Never On Sunday, 1960 | Comedy, Drama, Romance
If you are a big fan of Pretty Woman, we are sure Never On Sunday is surely something you should check out.
It was a hit romance comedy with plenty to laugh about as Greek sex worker Ilya (Melina Mercouri) meets an American scholar near the picturesque Pireus Port.
The two quickly become fond of each other, but there are major differences between their lives and expectations resulting in a remarkable comedy.
What makes Jules Dassin’s (written and directed by, starring) romance drama so special, are the fun moments and the outstanding chemistry between the two lead actors.
The latter is explainable easily; the two got married six years after the movie hit the theaters.
Never On Sunday is most definitely one of the most fun movies set in Greece.
4| Mamma Mia!, 2008 | Comedy, Musical, Romance
We are sure everyone had this lovely musical in mind straight away, when reading the title of this post.
Mamma Mia! is undoubtedly and deservedly among the most beloved movies set in Greece and the Greek islands.
We try to keep it short, so here are our favorites; making a musical couldn’t have gone better thanks to using some of the greatest hits of ABBA.
The second is the Mamma Mia! cast, which is definitely one of the strongest in the first decade of the 2000s. Again, if we wanted to list everyone, would take longer than planned, but everyone knows Meryl Streep, and three maybe-fathers Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgård .
The third is the script, that was easy on it’s viewers but absolutely entertaining. Not to mention the beauty of Skopelos island.
Mamma Mia! is among the best comedy musicals set in Greece without any doubt.
3| Before Midnight, 2013 | Drama, Romance
Set in the scenic area of Peloponnese, about 180 miles south west from Athens, prepare for a real treat. Before Midnight invites us to a memorable holiday in that lovely region.
We had the luck to see Céline (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) fall in love with each other in Vienna (Before Sunrise 1995) and finally get together when their paths cross nine years later in Paris (Before Sunset 2004).
Now, another nine years later, they are together with completely different difficulties posing. Jesse tries to reconnect with his son from a previous relationship and also has to work a thing or two out with Céline.
Spending a summer vacation in Greece, it is time to fix everything.
Before Midnight is a beautiful and lovely romance drama set in Greece.
2| Hercules, 1997 | Animation, Action, Adventure
If you are looking for the most entertaining animated movies about ancient Greece, then Disney’s Hercules must make your list.
The exciting adventures of the half god, half human boy, who soon becomes the saviour of humanity is adorable. There is an enjoyable amount of singing throughout the 93 minutes.
The classic animation is going to become everyone’s favorite and the endless comedy in the story makes it fun for all ages. Probably most people have nice memories of watching this hilarious and adventurous movie in their childhood.
We find it a timeless piece, that will entertain everyone even over twenty years after its release.
Hercules by Disney is among the must-see animated movies about Greek mythology. It’s a fun animated movie that will easily make even the little ones excited about a holiday in Greece.
1| Zorba the Greek Crete, 1964 | Comedy, Drama
Basil, the British-Greek writer seeks out an adventure in Crete to force himself out of a writer’s block. As he is trying to reach the island, on which his father owns a piece of land, he meets Zorba.
His new acquaintance is a very persuasive and rather odd Greek-Macedionan peasant with experience in mining. That comes handy for Basil as he is planning to open a mine on Crete.
The two then get entangled in all sorts of unlikely adventures, which grants an amazing time for over two hours.
The movie was highly praised by both critics and fans, bagging five Oscars at the ‘65 Academy Award Ceremony.
Zorba the Greek is without doubt one of the best Greek comedy drama movies filmed in Greece.
Thank you for reading!