With golden sands, warm weather, aquamarine seas and ancient ruins to explore, Side is an ideal getaway for anyone looking for a holiday in 2017. Once an ancient Greek city and now a resort town, Side is located in the Antalya Province of Turkey. Its neighbours include the Manavgat, Alanya, and Antalya, which is one of Turkey’s largest cities. Known for its beautiful beaches, and breath-taking ruins that would be any archaeologist’s dream, Side holidays are perfect for a romantic getaway, or a fun-filled family holiday.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an action-packed adventure, you won’t be disappointed. Side beaches offer plenty of water-sport activities and have gentle shallow waters which are ideal for children to paddle in. Daily tours will take you to cities like Istanbul, where you can fly to the city and tour on a sightseeing cruise. If you prefer to relax by the pool, then you can unwind in one of Side’s many picturesque hotels.
Most popular hotels in Side
Lemas Suite Hotel by Kulabey
Crystal Admiral Resort Suites & Spa Side
Aydinbey Kings Palace & Spa
Lyra Resort and SPA
Club Turan Prince World Hotel
Nashira Resort Hotel & SPA
Crystal Sunset Luxury Resort & Spa Side
At a glance
- Language: Turkish
- Time Zone: GMT +3
- Average flight time: 4h 15m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Holidays in Side are never dull. You can visit the old town or walk through some of the bustling streets to test your haggling prowess. For a more cultural experience, you can explore historic sites such as the Amphitheatre that dates back to the Hellenistic period, the Temple of Apollo and the Roman baths. Families can enjoy a visit to the Side Museum, or to one of the two water parks in Antalya.
Side offers a great opportunity to explore the foothills of the Taurus Mountains or visit the spectacular Manavgat Waterfalls. For the more adventurous types, you can go on a Jeep safari, try water rafting or visit one of Side’s neighbours, such as Alanya where you can see the Seljuk Castle and Dim Cave. And once you’ve finished for the day, you can wind down at one of the restaurants where you can have a quiet, romantic meal.
Wine and Dine
After a fun day seeing the sights, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to dining. In Side, you can expect to tuck into unique Turkish cuisine made with pure and fresh ingredients. Head to Old Town, located just a few streets from the beach front, for an authentic Turkish meal. You can try one of the region’s favourite dishes, testi kebab. Testi kebab, also known as pottery kebab, is a hunk of beef that’s slow cooked in a clay pot, cooked fully through once before the chef knocks off the top of the pot, allowing it to be served straight from the clay. Not only is it delicious, it’s also impressive to see. Love fish? Several restaurants close to the harbour offer freshly caught fish. Restaurants like the Gul Restaurant, located in Old Side, offers a range of foods including pizzas and steak. You’ll also be able to try a more authentic Turkish cuisine like saray kebab. And you don’t need to worry about what the kids will eat because they get their own menu.
Side holidays offer a great variety of activities for all types of families. For those loving the beach, you have two to choose from: East Beach and West Beach. You’ll be able to take part in the large variety of water-sports available, such as water-skiing and fishing. Inquisitive families can explore the ancient ruins, visit the Side Museum, or go on boat cruises, especially the Dolphin Island cruise which will leave your children in awe. And for pirate lovers, your family can go on the pirate boat trip, which is an all day trip setting off from Side or the Manavgat River. Your kids will love the swashbuckling challenges and pirate activities on board the replica wooden ship. And if you want to explore further away you can go on a Jeep safari or cruise along the Manavgat River. At night your family can eat good food from one of the many taste-tantalizing restaurants, with some classic karaoke to end the night.
Action and Adventure
Side is home to a range of activities that will satisfy any adventure seeker. Water lovers can go on a water-rafting trip in the Koprulu Canyon National Park. Or you can visit one of the two Antalya water parks like Antalya Aqua Park, which is perfect for thrill seekers both young and old. You can easily be entertained there for the whole day. You also have your choice of day trips enabling you to explore more of Turkey. If you want to go on a boat cruise and watch for dolphins, then you’ll love Side’s Dolphin Island Cruise. And for those feeling brave, you can swim or snorkel in the turquoise water. For those preferring dry land, you can go on a Jeep safari adventure which takes you on a tour of the Taurus Mountains and the Turkish countryside. And if you’d prefer to drive yourself, then you can hire a quad bike.
Life's a Beach
If you love nothing better than wiggling your toes between soft golden sand, then Side’s beaches are the choice for you. With not one, but two beaches – East Beach and West Beach – you can easily find the ideal sunbathing spot. West Beach is the more popular of the two beaches with many sun loungers to hire, meaning you never have to worry about rushing to the beach to reserve a sun lounger. East Beach is a bit more peaceful and not far from the Temple of Apollo. For those who crave more action, Side holidays offer a variety of action-packed activities such as parasailing, water skiing, diving, fishing, and boat tours. Prefer peace and quiet? A gentle walk along the beach will take you to a less crowded spot on the beach allowing you to relax without distraction. And when you feel hungry, there are restaurants and cafes nearby that can satisfy your appetite, so you can enjoy your day at the beach.
While holidays in Side are ideal for families, it still has a buzzing nightlife too. You can dance until the early hours while gazing at the scenery in one of the open-air nightclubs which can be found in Side’s Harbour. And around the west-facing harbour, you can have your choice of open-fronted bars and restaurants. The colonnaded main street is lined with cocktail bars and clubs allowing you to enjoy the night’s festivities. If you're looking for something quieter or more family orientated, you’ll find many British pubs on the West Beach Promenade where you can show off your vocal abilities on the karaoke machine, or test your knowledge with a pub quiz. If your days haven’t left any space for shopping, then you’ll be excited to know that you can shop at night too. With the cooler weather, you can casually wander the centre of town. The town turns into a pedestrian-only zone at night, leaving you uninterrupted by busy vehicles as you treat yourself to some homemade items such as jackets, handbags and jewellery.
Long strolls on the beach, crystal blue seas, sightseeing tours, traditional cuisine, and refreshing cocktails, what more could a couple want? Side holidays offer activities to suit all couples. A spa visit can ease your tense muscles and help you to relax. A long walk on the beach will take you to a more romantic spot away from all the hustle and bustle. Shopping lovers can explore Side Centre, which is located in the heart of Side. You will find many stores along the streets open to tourists where you can refine your haggling skills. Day trips allow you to see the ancient ruins, or go out of town and visit nearby towns and cities such as Manavgat where you can see the spectacular Manavgat Waterfalls. Also, car or scooter hire is available for those wanting to tour at their own pace. You can end your day with dinner in one of Side’s restaurants, and dance the night away in one of the open-air nightclubs.
Side is an ancient land rich with history and home to many archaeological wonders such as the Amphitheatre, and the Roman baths which date back to the second century AD. Side’s Museum, which is in place of the old Roman baths, has an impressive collection of artefacts for any history buff. Holidays in Side are a mixture of the past and the present. This summer sees a multitude of events. Between 23rd July 2017 and 17th September 2017, you can experience Side’s International Culture and Art Festival. This will be the festival's 11th year, and most events will take place at the ancient sites of the Amphitheatre and the Temple of Apollo. During the festival, you can see international musicians and dancers. A little further away from Side in Antalya is the International Folk Music and Dance Festival Competition, which is held from 24th August 2017 to 31st January 2018. This festival attracts performers from all over the world, both amateur and professional.