The Comic Geniuses From ‘The Trip to Greece’ Share the Best Hotels and Restaurants in the Country

Funnymen Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon muse on the highs and lows of filming their final — and most inspiring — travelogue, The Trip to Greece.

Actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in Greece
The actors at the Pirgos Mavromichali hotel and restaurant, in Limeni, Greece. Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films

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Some people have all the luck. Over the past 10 years, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have collaborated on four iterations of The Trip, a TV series turned feature-film franchise that has taken the pair to some of Europe’s most enchanting landscapes (the Italian island of Capri and the Spanish port city of Santander) and finest restaurants (the Michelin two-starred L’Enclume in England’s Lake District). Directed by Michael Winterbottom, their final jaunt — out now on streaming platforms — is frequently hilarious and often touching, following Coogan and Brydon as they travel around Greece, visiting ancient ruins and swapping banter over decadent meals.

Their itinerary, based loosely on Homer’s Odyssey, begins at Troy, the site of which is in present-day Turkey, then carries them to historic landmarks in Athens, Delphi, and Stagira, with leisurely lunches on sun-soaked terraces and swims in the Aegean sprinkled in. “Of course we do work,” Coogan says. “But it’s wonderful.” Here, the pair reminisce on their final adventure — and share what they’ve learned from their buddy trips.

Had you been to Greece before? Any surprises on this visit?

RB: I’d been to Athens. In fact, Steve and I filmed in Greece almost 20 years ago on a different project. But this time, we were there at the beginning of June, a beautiful season, when it’s just so lush and green — that surprised me.

The set of The Trip to Greece
On set at the ruins of the Temple of Athena, in Assos, Turkey. Courtesy of IFC Films

What were the standout restaurants?

RB: A favorite is Pirgos Mavromichali (entrées $16-$35), in the village of Limeni. It’s on the Mani Peninsula, where we had a swimming race, and it’s a lovely setting. Over the course of the four films, the restaurant I will always remember is Il Riccio (entrées $37-$57), on Capri. It’s set on a cliff, overlooking the sea, and the food and service are wonderful.

SC: I’ve been back to Il Riccio since. In England, the first restaurant we visited to film was The Inn at Whitewell (entrées $19-$34), in the Forest of Bowland, in the northwest of the country. It also figured in my life before the trip — I’d been there as a younger person — so it has sentimental value. I’ll always go back there — probably until the day I die.

Actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in Hydra, Greece
Steve Coogan (left) and Rob Brydon at Omilos restaurant, on Hydra. Courtesy of IFC Films

How were the hotels? Any places stick in your mind from previous films?

RB: In Athens, we stayed at the Hotel Grande Bretagne (doubles from $447). It had a roof terrace with white tablecloths and views of the Acropolis, and I loved it.

SC: Hated it. I get uncomfortable with tablecloths. The more rustic the table, the better.

RB: Well, there we are. I loved having my croissant in the morning while looking at the Acropolis. Also in Greece, in the port city of Kavála, we arrived late at night on the ferry, and stayed at the Imaret (doubles from $382), a charming hotel with a meandering layout, lots of stone, and individually styled guest rooms. It was very higgledy-piggledy.

A boat on the harbor in Hydra, Greece
The main harbor on the Greek island of Hydra, where part of The Trip to Greece was filmed. EyeEm/Getty Images

SC: On our trip to Spain, in the northern city of Sigüenza, we stayed at the Parador de Sigüenza (doubles from $109), which was bombed by Franco during the Spanish Civil War.

RB: It’s where they made the Marlon Brando movie "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery," and we actually shot in the same room he filmed in.

A version of this story first appeared in the June 2020 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline A Comic Odyssey.

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