Top 5 movies to inspire you to cruise the Greek Islands

With the Oscars fast approaching here’s your opportunity to get inspired by some Hollywood glamour from the best Greek islands!  


1. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

This historical adventure epic depicts a World War II battle on the fictional island of Navarone. The film was shot on the Greek island of Rhodes during the height of the island’s fame, at a time when the Hollywood jet set made it their destination of choice for relaxing in the summer sun. The film was nominated for a total of 7 Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Film, and its stars, including Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn, became unofficial ambassadors for the island. This classic film greatly enhanced the island’s reputation, making it known to a worldwide audience.

2. Zorba the Greek (1964)

Even in black and white, it is impossible to conceal the magnificence of the Cretan landscape depicted in Zorba the Greek. The emerald beach of Akrotiri, utterly unspoilt and laced with white sand, was the setting for the film’s famous dance scene. Even today it is still a popular location for travelers. Shot in Chania and Heraklion in Crete, the movie launched a wave of tourism to the island and was a huge hit worldwide, nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor. The statuesque and approachable character portrayed by Anthony Quinn became the archetypal depiction of a Greek. This film more than any other captures the essence of the Greek people, from their joie-de-vivre to their hospitality, introducing the now-famous relaxed way of Hellenic life to the world. It also established sirtaki as the country’s national dance!

3. James Bond: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

The 12th James Bond movie was filled with suspense on screen as well as on set. The film was shot partially in breathtaking Meteora upon a series of giant rock pillars housing 14th century monasteries. The monks didn’t take too kindly to the commotion caused by the film crew. They protested by hanging out their laundry to ruin shots, as well as by making it impossible for the production’s helicopters to land. To add to the difficulties, Roger Moore, who was portraying James Bond in this installment, was afraid of heights! Nevertheless, the imposing natural structures of Meteora created a perfect backdrop for the film’s famous action-filled chase scene, introducing this magnificent and unique location to the world.

4.Bourne Identity (2002)

This action thriller about an amnesiac searching for his past was partially shot on the vibrant island of Mykonos in the Cyclades. Matt Damon plays the protagonistic, Jason Bourne, who is found by fishermen floating in the Mediterranean Sea before later visiting a taverna to meet the person he hopes will reveal the truth about his identity. The island of Mykonos is however best known for its extravagant party scene and high-end luxury resorts catering to the rich and famous. During the daytime the island remains traditional with its small streets and shops, but by night it becomes a partygoer’s paradise as the clubs and bars fill with revelers. Mykonos is an island not to be missed, offering a unique experience to all types of travelers.

5. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life (2003)

Angelina Jolie was the first actress to play Lara Croft on the big screen. In this film, she goes looking for the mythical Pandora’s box, visiting several amazing Greek locations. The island of Santorini however stands out, both for its extraordinary beauty and its use within a spectacular dream chase sequence. The island’s volcanic history has put it at the center of myth and speculation since antiquity, including being the possible origin for the legend of Atlantis. Known for its astonishing beauty and stunning sunsets, Santorini is the Greek island that even other Greeks rave about.



Two Faces of January (2014)

This film shot in Athens and on the island of Crete deserves a place on this list for its fantastic depiction of Athens and the Acropolis. This Hitchcockian detective story is based on the Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name and stars Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen. This romantic thriller is a fantastic showcase for fans of Greece’s amazing ancient architecture.



Book a cruise with Celestyal Cruises, the expert in cruises to Greece, and explore the destinations of our itineraries and live your own Hollywood-like vacation!