VISITING A GOLDEN PLACE

I consider myself blessed every time I come to the Cycladic Island of Paros. There is something nice, pleasant and exciting about this place. This time, I visited Paros for a week. Staying outside Naoussa, in the North-Eastern side of the island. This touristy village has its own character with special attractiveness and splendour. It is a good location for exploring around too.

It is early to middle of May. Like most of the other islands in the Cyclades, Paros is touched by what the Greeks refer to as the ‘αγιάζι’ (sounds ayazi). It is the bustling coolness in the air, strengthened by dampness which occurs mainly in wintery clear nights and mornings. During the day there is a strong breeze which makes you feel bit chilly. Yet, the brightness of the sun gives a warmer sensation, making the whole Aegean region to look very charming. For these reasons and from personal experience, I would advise visitors to always have with them a light garment or a sweater when heading outdoors.  

There is a sparkle everywhere

Nonetheless, during my stay, I could not miss the opportunity of coming once again to the well-known ‘Golden Beach’ of Paros. It has a wonderful long sandy beach and considered by many as one of Mediterranean’s ideal locations. Personally, the very moment I set foot on this spot, I get a feeling of freedom and amusement. Truly and metaphorically, there is a sparkle everywhere. The sun’s reflection on the sand and the sense of happiness around, makes golden beach to always appear as glittering.  

On this visit, the holiday season haven’t fully started. For most businesses and establishments preparations are underway. The locals are busy installing beach umbrellas and doing painting and cleaning. You can see everywhere an urge to repair and refresh facilities. In a few days they should all be ready to welcome guests. Few bars and restaurants already opened early in May, for the first tourists. Although this stretch is renowned for windsurfing, seems for now is slightly early for any water sports.  

A perfect spot to unwind

We settled at the Golden Beach Club for the day, using the area for sunbathing and swimming. This restaurant and bar is part of a well organized and efficiently managed hotel complex with the same brand name. It has beach umbrellas and deck chairs well spread throughout on the beachfront and these are all clean, comfortable and sturdy. Waiter service is provided and there is an adequate menu for snacks and drinks available for those who decide to lazy-about on the sandy beach.

For lunch, we sat at the beautiful setting of the restaurant-bar, situated directly above the beach. It has a different menu from the one used by sunbathers on the deck chairs. The Golden Beach restaurant and bar offers a wonderful list of dishes on its menu which consists of well-known Greek plates. In addition, the resident Chef prepares for the customers a variety of gastronomic delights and signature cocktails.

Among the selection of few Greek dishes that we ordered, we asked for anchovies, shredded zucchini and feta cheese coated in breadcrumbs accompanied with figs. The food was of excellent quality. Each dish had an outstanding combination of taste and sharpness. The presentation nicely arranged and very pleasing to the eye and the flavours were interesting to the palate. Not hesitation at all in recommending this establishment.

Yet, it is not just the food that makes this place a bit special. The Golden Beach Restaurant -Bar staff has a welcoming temperament and friendly character. They answered our questions and engaged in conversation as if we were long term customers and for us this was a bonus. In terms of comfort, there is a choice for customers to rest in shaded areas or in a sunny spot within the nice surroundings. The adjacent scuba diving and water-sports centre compliments the whole business very well. A small shop selling holiday essentials is open to customers too.

This is a sparkling diamond

Like many other islands in the Aegean sea, Paros is a delightful place. The nation’s deep commitment on the Christian Orthodox religion is also evident everywhere here. Driving around, visitors will see scattered numerous little and large churches throughout. The golden beach is one of the island’s open secrets. Using my own words, I would describe this particular spot as a “sparkling diamond”. My advice to those who consider of visiting the Cyclades is to come to Paros. There is an added benefit of coming to the golden beach to experience its natural beauty and a unique holiday feeling. My own visits here work therapeutically for me as they uplift me and allow me to relax and rest without stress.

Author: Nikolas Koukos nikos@airportbureau.com

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