One of my favourite parts of motherhood occurs in the moments following a day at the beach. Wrapping my children in shorts and warm jumpers, feeding them snacks, their energy spent. Bundling them into the car and filling the space between them. Observing their faces through dappled light on the road home; all tousled hair, sand-speckled noses and seawater lips. Watching sleep wash over them, their breath rhythmic as the ocean waves… Despite living by the sea, these moments are rare. Our beaches are pebbled, our waters freezing. Very few days are spent at the beach, even in the summer.
Last week, though, we were on Paros, surrounded by the most beautifully clear water I had ever seen, and mile upon mile of sandy beaches. We were blessed with unseasonably good weather – bright, sunny, hot. On Tuesday, we spent the afternoon at Golden Beach, a vast stretch of sand to the East of the island, often frequented by windsurfers, though entirely empty in February. The sun was incredibly hot and there was no shade – I spent much of the afternoon with my top wrapped around my head! The water at Golden Beach was still fairly cold, but the children didn’t care – the air was warm enough for it not to matter.
It is strange to think that soon, around April time, Golden Beach will fill with tourists and locals alike, all keen to catch the sun and chase the waves. Our experience was one of freedom, not competition; we didn’t have to share the space with anyone. The children drew this beach into their hearts and held it there fiercely, proclaiming to all who would listen that it was the highlight of their holiday; the one place they wanted to return to again and again.
It isn’t hard to see why. With vistas as glossy as the pages of holiday brochures – striking white and blue homes atop grassy banks and sunkissed dunes – Golden Beach is one of the more photogenic areas of Paros. Being partly organised, the beach will have parasols available come the summer months and the seasonal taverna will be back open for business meaning two things – drinks and toilets, both of which were lacking from our visit. Parking could be an issue, but you won’t care when the views are this good.
Perfect for families, Golden Beach is the ideal location to while away a day (or probably two) in the summer. There’s little I can do to prepare you for how busy it may get on a hot day, though the crowds are likely to pale into insignificance alongside the beauty of this beach.
I think we miss it already.