Find your per­fect Mamma Mia is­land

The Sunday Telegraph - Travel - - Front Page -

from the chic Ke­falo­nian har­bour of Fiskardo to rugged Po­lis Bay on Ithaca is like sail­ing di­rect into the world of Homer’s epic. There, in a low cave, ar­chae­ol­o­gists un­earthed a price­less frag­ment of clay mask in­scribed “To the glory of Odysseus”.

The Greek is­lands also win hands down on va­ri­ety. There are pock­et­sized gems such as Symi and Halki in the Dode­canese, their Vene­tian-style har­bours ringed with the Neo­clas­si­cal man­sions of for­mer sea cap­tains. There are iconic beaches – the sil­ver scythe of Myr­tos in Ke­falo­nia, or Zakyn­thos’s dra­matic Nav­a­gio, shel­ter­ing the rusty ship­wreck left aground on its sand. And there are quirky hide­aways such as Kastel­lorizo, just off south-west Turkey, or Pa­leo Trik­eri, off the Pe­lion penin­sula (dubbed “The Is­land of Dan­ger­ous Women” when 5,000 fe­male po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers were ban­ished there dur­ing the Greek Civil War).

The Greeks also have num­bers on their side. Greece has 6,000 is­lands (227 of them in­hab­ited) as op­posed to Croa­tia’s 1,000 (of which fewer than 50 are in­hab­ited). They also have greater ac­ces­si­bil­ity (more than a dozen Greek is­lands have in­ter­na­tional air­ports) and a much more favourable cli­mate in shoul­der sea­sons. And the Greeks have “filox­e­nia” – the love of strangers – a defin­ing na­tional char­ac­ter­is­tic. If you haven’t al­ready done so, it’s time to visit your first Greek is­land right now.

Linda Cook­son

A scene from the first ‘Mamma Mia!’, above; and one from the se­quel, be­low

Vis, be­low, is the lo­ca­tion for the Mamma Mia! se­quel

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