Side: sun, sea, nature and culture in Turkey

Side is a very popular holiday destination in Turkey. It is located on the southern coast of Turkey. Most people go to Side for a sun holiday in one of the many all-inclusive resorts. But Side offers more than just sun, sea and beach. Plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. There are also all kinds of sights to see. This is possible in Side itself, but also in the surrounding area.

  • Side: from harbor to sun, sea and culture in Turkey
  • Elongated seaside resort with hotels and all-inclusive resorts
  • From the hotel or resort to Side
  • Beach on the west side of Side
  • Beach on the east side of Side
  • Wandering through Side: shops and places of great archaeological value
  • Nature excursions in the Side area
  • Cultural excursions in the Side area
  • World Expo exhibition in 2016 near Antalya




Side: from harbor to sun, sea and culture in Turkey

When people talk about a holiday to Side, they do not only mean the town of Side. Side is actually a small place. Originally a small port, it has grown into a popular seaside resort where you can enjoy the sun and the sea. In addition, Side and the surrounding area also offer a lot of culture. Side is located on a narrow cape in the sea. There is a beach on both sides of the place. The beaches of Side are basically one long stretch of beach with hotels and all-inclusive resorts.

Elongated seaside resort with hotels and all-inclusive resorts

Because Side is a small town, but has long beaches, hotels and resorts have been built along these beaches. This has led to an elongated ribbon of buildings. These buildings consist of various neighborhoods, such as Kumkoy, Colakli and all the way to Gündogdu. These places have their own, sometimes original, center. You can shop in the bazaar and eat in one of the restaurants.

From the hotel or resort to Side

To get from the hotel to Side itself, you can take a taxi, bus or Dolmus. The Dolmus is a small bus that maintains a scheduled service. If someone is at a bus stop or gives a stop sign, the van stops. Once boarded, the bus immediately continues and the money is passed on to the driver via the other passengers. Because this is a very cheap way of transport (about €1 to €2 per trip in 2015), many people use it. There is not always a seat, but the travel time is usually short. If you are only a few kilometers from Side, walking is a great option. This can be done on the beach and on the west side of Side there is also a walking promenade along the sea.

Beach on the west side of Side

This beach has the most and largest hotels and resorts. Close to Side there are even several strips of hotels that run parallel to each other. The resorts located on the beach all have a stretch of beach that belongs to the hotel. Beach bars and toilets can also be found here. You can often also take advantage of water sports activities. The hotel’s entertainment team also organizes various activities on the beach. A suitable beach for children, because the beach slopes gently into the sea.

Beach on the east side of Side

This beach is less visited than the west beach. It also looks different. First of all, things look a bit more natural, partly due to the presence of some dunes. And the very large hotels are missing in the background. Another difference with the west beach is that the beach slopes more quickly into the sea. This makes the beach less suitable for families with smaller children. Here too, water sports activities and facilities such as restaurants. You often have to pay if you want to rent a bed and/or a parasol on the beach.

Wandering through Side: shops and places of great archaeological value

Besides sunbathing, there is plenty to see in Side if you are interested in culture and history. The main street consists of shops and restaurants. But no matter how small the place actually is, there is a lot left over from history.

  • Aqueduct . When you enter the city through the city gate, you will already see remains of this means of water transport from Roman times.
  • Theater . The taxi and Dolmus stand is just before the entrance to the city. Visitors with a car must also park here because they are not allowed to enter the city by car. While walking into town you pass the theater. In high season, a tourist train can be used. Sometimes shows are given in the theater.
  • City wall and city gate . When entering Side, it is through the large city gate.
  • Agora and Roman Baths . This is a marketplace where there is also a museum where you can learn more about the history of Side.


Nature excursions in the Side area

If you want to do something different for a day and spend it outside the resort, there are plenty of options. Turkey is a beautiful country and the area around Side is ideal for nature trips.

  • (Boat) trip Manavgat. The town of Manavgat is half an hour’s drive from Side. A city on the river of the same name. Here you can take a boat trip with a typical Turkish boat (Gület) on the river. The river passes through beautiful nature including quite a few fish farms. There are also tours from the city that go to the mouth of the river by the sea. In addition, many tourists go to the Manavgat waterfall. This is not high, but it is very wide.
  • Kursunlu waterfall . The waterfall itself is not spectacular, but the park where the waterfall is located is very beautiful. The waterfall is located near a lake and is surrounded by pine trees. The park is about a 1-hour drive from Side.


Cultural excursions in the Side area

Organized excursions are often offered in the form of a combination trip to Perge and Aspendos.

  • Perge . This place is located about 50 km from Side. Very fascinating because of the theater, the arena and the city gate that can be seen here. Much has also been preserved of everyday life in the city.
  • Aspendos . Here, about 35 km from Side, is one of the best preserved amphitheatres in the world. The theater is built into the hills on one side. There are incredible acoustics, which are regularly tested by one of the visitors. You can also visit the remains of an aqueduct, not far from the theater.


World Expo exhibition in 2016 near Antalya

Travelers visiting Side in 2016 can also attend the Expo Antalya 2016 world exhibition. This exhibition is held near Antalya, on the main road to Side. Visitors can visit the expo from the end of April to October 2016. The expo will certainly remain open as an attraction after 2016. The theme of the exhibition is Flowers and children”. There is a lot of attention for (urban) horticulture

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