If you’re looking for a more laidback attitude to life, Side might already be on your radar. It’s increasingly popular among those who prefer a chilled atmosphere with less full-on partying.
The easy-going vibe of this quiet harbour town means it’s a favourite destination with families, and it’s attracting growing numbers of people seeking to buy a holiday home in Antalya so they can spend more time in the area.
If you haven’t yet discovered its many delights, here’s why you should book a holiday in Side.
It’s so relaxing
The main point of a holiday is to get away from the daily grind and enjoy some downtime. It’s a delight to wander around Side – pronounced ‘sea-day’ - browsing the shops and side streets. Saturday is market day in the town centre and a good opportunity to while away a couple of hours as you sit and watch the hustle and bustle.
Of course, one of Side’s key attractions is its beaches. Golden expanses of sand spread out from either side of the town and there’s plenty of space to find your ideal sun spot. Even in high summer, there’s enough room for all. If you enjoy water sports, head to the west beach where you’ll find parasailing, windsurfing and other activities. The east beach is a little quieter, and also where many local Turkish people head for their own seaside days.
Eat, drink and be merry
When we say Side has a more relaxed nature, that doesn’t mean there’s no nightlife – on the contrary! There are many excellent bars, cafés and restaurants to discover during your holiday in Side. Music and sports fans can rest assured there are plenty of venues offering live entertainment and events, while those along the harbour promenade and beachfront are a bit more chilled out. And if you want to dance the night away, you’re in luck – there are some great nightclubs with music to suit all tastes.
A wealth of history
Back in its heyday, the enormous Roman amphitheatre in Side welcomed packed audiences of some 15,000. Today, the second-century ruins are a wonderful example of architecture from that ancient time. You can also visit the agora, or marketplace, as well as the old Temple of Tyche, dedicated to the Roman goddess of fortune.
You’ll find the remains of the temples of Apollo and Athena on the peninsula; the Temple of Apollo is Side’s most famous landmark and the ideal place to watch the sun set across the sparkling Mediterranean. In the old town there’s Side Museum, with Greco-Roman exhibits and a fantastic garden overlooking the sea, as well as ruins of the Byzantine bishop’s palace.
Marvellous Manavgat Falls
It’s not especially high, but it is wide – Manavgat Waterfall is breathtakingly beautiful. You can get close to the thundering waters via a series of walkways, and it’s a natural spectacle you really shouldn’t miss. It’s famous throughout Turkey and, from 1968 to 1983, was even featured on the five-lira banknote.
If you want to get right in among nature, there are boat trips along the river. There are also shady tea gardens to rest in, or it’s the ideal spot for a picnic. If you can, visit during the week – it can get especially busy at weekends with both locals and tourists.
A little further out of Side, but absolutely worth making the journey for, is the Köprülü Canyon National Park. The gorge itself is 400m deep and a dramatic sight to behold. Flora and fauna abound, and there are plenty of trails to suit both the keen hiker and those who prefer a gentle stroll.
Thrill-seekers can try white-water rafting down eight and a half miles of rapids, but don’t worry if that’s a bit rich for your blood – more sedate rafting experiences are also available. When you’re ready for refreshment, you’ll find several fish restaurants offering freshly caught trout as their speciality.
Thinking of buying?
If you’re considering buying a holiday home in Side or any other area of Antalya, our experienced team is here to help. We have an extensive portfolio of properties to suit every budget and we’re always happy to answer any questions you might have. Just get in touch to start the process of finding your dream home in Turkey.