Side, pronounced "see-deh," is a captivating resort town in the Antalya Province along the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. This popular holiday destination on the Turkish coast is famous for its fantastic beaches, historical charm and charming atmospheres. The meticulously preserved and showcased ancient ruins offer windows into the lives and aspirations of those who once called this coastal gem home. The streets and alleys of Side's old town also echo with whispers of ancient civilizations. At the same time, the modern establishments pay homage to Side's enduring legacy. Indeed, Side is a worthy holiday destination and the ideal place for buying a property in the sun.
About Side in Antalya - Turkey
Ancient Charm in the Stories of History
The origins of Side can be traced back to ancient times, with archaeological evidence suggesting settlement as early as the 7th century BC. Initially inhabited by Anatolian tribes, the town came under Greek influence, becoming a bustling trading post and port city during the Hellenistic period.
Side flourished under Greek rule, fostering trade with neighbouring regions and becoming prosperous commerce and culture hubs. The town was ultimately absorbed into the Roman Empire in 25 BC after defeating the Anatolian Kingdom of Pontus.
The fall of the Western Roman Empire led to Byzantine rule, during which Side thrived as an important centre for trade and maritime activities. Side joined the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum when the Seljuk Turks arrived in the 12th century, followed by the Ottoman Empire's expansion.
In the 20th century, the Side town centre experienced a renaissance due to increased tourism and renewed interest in the historical treasures. Preserving its archaeological sites and integrating modern amenities further transformed Side into a sought-after tourist destination.
What is Side in Turkey Like Now?
While deeply rooted in ancient history, the holiday resort of Side has evolved to cater to modern travellers. Hence the population rises in summer. The town offers various accommodations, from luxurious resorts to cosy guesthouses, ensuring comfortable stays for visitors of all preferences and budgets. Restaurants serve diverse cuisines, focusing on fresh seafood and traditional Turkish dishes.
Evenings in Side come alive with entertainment options, including open-air nightclubs, bars, and cultural performances. The ancient ruins are also often illuminated at night, creating magical ambiences for leisurely strolls and exploration. Overall, expect a beautiful town that is every bit the Mediterranean dream that you can imagine it to be.
The Ancient City Theatre, Agora and Roman Baths
Thanks to the new town being built around the ruins of the old town, the ancient landmarks are impossible to miss. Standing out in the centre, they are also worth getting to know about. Constructed during the 2nd century AD, the well-preserved amphitheatre accommodated approximately 20,000 spectators who gathered to witness performances, dramas, and gladiatorial contests.
The Roman bath ruins, a hallmark of Roman engineering and culture, offered relaxation, rejuvenation, and socializing. Intricately designed with various chambers, including hot and cold pools, dressing rooms, and exercise areas, the Roman Baths provided a haven where citizens of Side could unwind and engage in conversations.
The 2nd-century Agora of Side was antiquity's bustling commerce and social interaction heart. This sprawling marketplace, flanked by colonnades and adorned with statues, once hummed with the vibrant activity of merchants, traders, and shoppers. The Agora's well-preserved ruins reflect the economic and cultural exchanges in Side. These archaeological sites offer unique opportunities to connect with history and marvel at ancient civilizations.
The Temple of Apollo
Perched majestically on the scenic coastline of the Side town centre, the 2nd century AD Apollo temple is an enduring testament to ancient architectural brilliance and cultural significance. However, this site's history of religious structures dates back even further. The temple served as a sacred sanctuary where worship, rituals, and celebrations in honour of Apollo took place. In addition to its religious importance, the Apollo Temple held cultural and social significance.
It served as a gathering place for intellectual and philosophical discussions, a venue for civic events, and a backdrop for artistic and musical performances. The temple's commanding presence against the Mediterranean Sea created an awe-inspiring setting that inspired reflection and reverence. An enchanting experience is witnessing the sun dip below the horizon, casting its warm hues over ancient ruins. The temple's strategic peninsula location allows visitors to enjoy breathtaking sunsets.
The Manavgat District: Waterfall and Market
The Manavgat district, about five minutes’ drive away, earns fame thanks to picturesque landscapes and, most notably, the Manavgat Waterfall. Manavgat Waterfall offers serene beauty and a refreshing ambience during the hot summer months. While the water is not exceptionally high or dramatic, the waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery, picnic areas, and walking paths, creating tranquil settings for visitors to enjoy. In addition to the waterfall, Manavgat Bazaar is a vibrant marketplace to buy various goods, including fresh produce, textiles, handicrafts, and souvenirs. Another famous visitor activity is a green canyon cruise on the Manavgat River.
Beaches for the Summer Months
Side has two beaches surrounding the old city part; West beach and east beach. The sandy beach district is ideal for swimming or indulging in water sports in the Mediterranean Sea. Backing restaurants and pubs also serve food and drink, and you can hire sunbeds and umbrellas. For more sandy beaches, head to places like Kumkoy Beach. Otherwise, try places like the Side seaside lounge for a private beach.
Old Town and Harbour Part
The narrow streets of Side's old town are a delightful labyrinth of quaint alleys, charming courtyards, and traditional Turkish houses. Strolling through these streets means stepping back in time. You'll find shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants, each contributing to Side's unique ambience. The old town's harbour is a picturesque setting to see a blend of ancient and modern elements. Visitors take leisurely walks along the waterfront, enjoy views and dine at waterfront restaurants.
Part of the Antalya Province
Side belongs to the larger Antalya province, boasting more breathtaking landscapes, historical sites, beautiful beaches, and vibrant tourism industries. Antalya is surrounded by Muğla, Burdur, Isparta, Konya, and Mersin, making it a key destination on Turkey’s southern coast. The Taurus Mountains also form scenic backdrops.
Antalya Province is one of Turkey's most popular tourist destinations. Landmark places within it include Kaleici old town and the Lara and Konyaalti beach districts. Some notable historical sites include the ancient cities of Perge and Side and the well-preserved Roman theatre in Aspendos.
The Taurus Mountains also offer opportunities for hiking, trekking, and exploring beautiful natural landscapes. While the Düden Waterfalls, just outside Antalya City, attract many tourists. Other prominent resort towns aside from Side include Kemer, Alanya, Kas, Kalkan and Belek, the golfing capital of Turkey.
For travel, Antalya is well-connected by air, road, and sea, making the region domestically and internationally famous. The Antalya international airport serves both domestic and international flights. Antalya Province also enjoys a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. This climate contributes to Antalya's year-round popularity for tourism.
Buying Real Estate in Side - Turkey
Side's real estate market features apartments and villas to commercial properties, catering to different preferences and budgets. Apartments range from compact units to spacious luxury apartments with modern amenities. While villas can vary from cosy houses to larger, more luxurious properties with private pools and gardens.
Properties are available within the historic old town of Side and surrounding areas. The choice of location influences property prices, with properties closer to the beach or historical sites often commanding higher prices. The market can be competitive, especially for well-maintained properties that offer desirable features and are conveniently located.
Due to Side's popularity in tourism, many property owners rent their properties to tourists when they are not using them. This provides rental income, especially during the peak tourist seasons. Demand for vacation rentals and properties near the beach or historical sites may be higher, contributing to property values. To learn more, see our range of properties for sale below or chat with a local agent about investing in Side – Turkey.