- Side beaches
- Ancient monuments
- Travel out of town
- Entertainment for children
- Note for gourmets
Side is a popular Turkish resort on the Mediterranean Sea. The first hotels appeared here in the 80s of the last century. Before that, there was a small handful of fishermen who went out to sea every day in the hope of a catch that could feed their families. Now the former fishermen and their children are engaged in the tourism business. And the city itself has changed significantly since then, only its historical part, designed by the ancient Romans, has remained the same. This is where tourists are first sent who are interested in where to go in Side.
Top 10 attractions of Side
The resort is very well located: about 80 km separate it from the capital of the Turkish Riviera - the city of Antalya with an international airport. Side is ideal for family holidays and romantic getaways. There are many young people here who are attracted by the vibrant nightlife and excellent conditions for practicing various sports, as well as aged travelers who want to see the local attractions.
Side is a seaside resort with long beaches, which are a kind of visiting cards of this place.
There are two beaches within the city. The eastern beach is located further from the center, and therefore is quieter and more peaceful. As in many other resorts in Turkey, the coast in Side is divided between beach clubs. They charge about $ 2.50 for renting a sun lounger, but if a tourist dines at a beach restaurant, the cost of renting a sun lounger is included in the check. If the traveler is not attracted to beach clubs, then he can always find a municipal stretch of the beach, where you do not need to pay for your stay by the sea.
Side's western beach is longer than the eastern one. It is chosen for families with small children, as it is considered one of the best beaches for toddlers on the southern coast of Turkey. There are also beachfront restaurants with private areas with sun loungers. There is a boardwalk along the beach that reaches the village of Kumkei. It is convenient for morning jogging on it.
In the neighborhood of Side there are small resort villages, the beaches of which are also worth exploring. To the west of the city there is the town of Colakli, whose beaches are covered with golden sand and are distinguished by a smooth descent into the sea. The entire coastal area is built up with family-oriented hotels. If you're on vacation with a child, get out of Side for the day in Colakli.
On the east side, the most remote village from Side is Kyzylagach, surrounded by pine groves and shady gardens. Lovers of silence come here: there are no discos and nightclubs here. Some areas along the coast are covered with fine sand. Pebble beaches can also be seen nearby. Large stones are sometimes found near the coast, which can be dangerous for small children.
Active recreation in Side
The entire historical center of Side can be called an open-air museum. Almost all local monuments were created during the Roman Empire. These include:
- The commercial agora is one of two ancient agoras, that is, commercial areas, in the territory of Side. In the first two centuries of our era, slaves were sold here. Only fragments have survived from the ancient structure. In the center of the square, the foundation of the temple, dedicated to the goddess Tyukhe, has survived; a little to the side you can see a building decorated with marble - a toilet for 24 people. Already in those days, a sewerage was carried out to it. The gate leading to the agora and part of the colonnade that surrounded it have also been preserved.
- Roman amphitheater, which replaced a similar structure of the Greeks in the 2nd century. The arena for gladiatorial battles was surrounded by 51 spectators. Some of them were created on the hillside, and some were raised above the ground and supported by special stone supports. The amphitheater served for two centuries, and then became a quarry for local residents.
- Temple of Apollo. Images of the remains of this building are replicated on souvenirs. From the temple of Apollo, dated to the middle of the 2nd century. BC e., there are only five tall columns standing on the seashore.
- City walls. Side was protected from pirate attacks by a system of fortifications, consisting of a ring of high walls and several gates through which one could get into the city. Only one gate (Eastern) and walls that surrounded the city from the east and north have survived to this day. Part of the defensive system, called the Hellenistic, dates back to the III-II centuries BC. NS. The walls of Philip Atius (a wealthy city dweller who sponsored the construction of the fortification) appeared in the 4th century AD. NS.
- The harbor baths, or rather what remains of them, were built in the 2nd century in the port and were intended to wash all the guests of the city. Thus, the Side authorities tried to protect the city from epidemics. They are currently not allowed inside the monument.
Travel out of town
In the vicinity of Side, there are several interesting places that are worth visiting on their own or as part of an excursion. These include the Manavgat waterfall - not very high, falling from the ledges 2-3 meters, but quite picturesque. It appeared after the construction of a local dam. It looks especially beautiful from the water, from the side of the reservoir, on which pleasure yachts glide. The Manavgat Waterfall is a tourist attraction, which is now charged a small fee. There are cafes and restaurants near the viewpoints, where you can relax before further traveling around Side. The waterfall is just a stone's throw from the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Seleucia, located 15 km northeast of Side and 1 km from the village of Bukakshiler. It was built on a hill. Part of the city, destroyed long ago by time, is located in a pine forest.
Nowadays, travelers can see the remains of the market square, a gate, a tomb, baths, a necropolis and a couple of temples. Due to its remote location, Seleucia did not fall prey to local builders, so archaeologists were able to find here fragments of ancient columns and large stones used to make flour.
Lovers of boating and rafting can visit the Green Canyon, a 14 km long reservoir fed by water from more than two dozen mountain springs. The most beautiful view of the narrow, turbulent river opens from the observation deck. The green canyon appeared in the Taurus Mountains after the construction of the dam in 1977 and since then has become a favorite vacation spot for residents and visitors of Side.
Entertainment for children
Children who have already managed to explore all the surroundings of their hotels will be able to have a pleasant time at the Ali Bey Club Park water park. This water park is built at the hotel under the same name and is open to all comers. Slides and attractions occupy an area of 25 thousand square meters. m. A separate shallow pool has been created for children, decorated with a huge model of a pirate brigantine, which is open to access. The smallest ones splash in the pool with cute fountains.
Small pools with slides and other water activities are available in many hotels. It is better to ask questions about their availability in advance, before booking a room.
On the territory of Side there is also a wonderful dinosaur park with interactive life-size figures of ancient lizards. Figures can wiggle their tails and emit formidable growls. Several dinosaur skeletons can also be seen here. In front of the park there is an exhibition of sand sculptures.
Older children will be interested in visiting the Side Museum of Antique Art. In the middle of the last century, Side became the focus of attention of archaeologists around the world: large-scale excavations took place here, as a result of which many amazing artifacts were discovered. It was decided to show them to the general public, for which a museum was urgently organized. The exposition was housed in the premises of ancient thermal baths. In the museum you can see old dishes, coins, bulky sarcophagi, mosaics and much more. Remains of columns and decorative elements of antique buildings are located in the courtyard of the museum.
Read more about holidays with children in Side
Note for gourmets
There are enough places in Side where you can have a tasty and inexpensive snack or even arrange a real belly feast for yourself.
Top 10 must-try Turkish dishes
Gourmets should definitely visit the Ocakbasi restaurant - according to some culinary critics, the best in the city. It is owned by two cheerful brothers who always make their guests feel welcome. You can dine outdoors under the shady trees next to the beautiful mosque. On summer evenings, noisy companies gather here, so if you don't want to be in the center of spontaneous fun, come here early - before 19:30. Try lamb and baked vegetable dishes. Stuffed peppers are also beyond praise!
The terrace of the excellent fish restaurant "Soundwaves Restaurant", located at the "Beach House Hotel", is ideal for romantic natures who prefer to savor wine overlooking the sea, in which the moon looks. More down to earth tourists order cold beer, followed by kebabs with swordfish.
There are also catering points in Side that are known only to locals and especially curious tourists. On the main street of Side, Liman Caddesi, there is a modest and inconspicuous "Aspara Kebab House", which serves chic kebabs. Here you can order a wonderful lunch at a reasonable price.
Across the street from the Meşhur49 Pide Kebap Salonu restaurant, which is famous for large portions, low prices and the fact that mainly Turks dine here, there is a wonderful Petek Pastanesi Coffee House. Strong tea, coffee and delicious oriental sweets are served here.
The cosmopolitan Karma Restaurant and Bar focuses on international meats. You can settle down with a huge portion in the beautifully decorated garden.