According to clothingexpress, Side is the best place in Turkey for those who want to combine beach relaxation with a rich excursion program. This is a city-museum, the number of sights of which can be envied by the ancient European capitals. Many tourist sites are over 2,000 years old, which is impressive.
It is worth going on an excursion to the historical center of Side. Previously, a whole complex of ancient buildings was located here, now only ruins remain of them, but something has been preserved quite well. The location of the largest square of the ancient Greek city – Agora – can now be determined only by the foundations of commercial and utility rooms, a surprisingly surviving public toilet and the remains of the temple of the goddess of luck Tyukhe.
Not far from the Agora are the ruins of the oldest stone building in the country – the basilica. Even in a dilapidated form, one can guess the original architecture with Byzantine motifs. It will be possible to consider a rather intricate layout of the building. Next to the basilica are the palace and the bishop’s chapel, built a little later.
From the side of the mainland, the old city is fenced off from the rest of the resort by ancient walls. The other part, facing the sea, has practically not been preserved. In some places, columns with stucco and other architectural elements are clearly visible.
From the monumental building of the port bath in the past, now only outlines remain – collapsed stone walls with large arches. But even this is enough to understand the importance attached to it by the ancient Turks, who built a huge steam room in the 3rd century BC. e. And to the north of the bath is the Roman theater, which has seen ancient tragedies, gladiator fights and staged naval battles. A semicircle of visual rows, stone masks of the goddesses of Comedy and Tragedy and fragments of other sculptures have been preserved.
When looking at the aqueduct, whose age is only slightly less than the basilica, the scope of ancient engineering is striking. The construction of such a waterworks in this area required complex structures; it provided water to the whole city. From here it was also supplied to the famous Nymphaeum fountain. Although now only two floors remain from it, and the decorative elements are practically not preserved, the former grandeur can be judged by the massiveness of the structure and fragments of marble in the cladding.
Several frescoes that adorned the Nymphaeum, as well as aqueduct pipes and many other exhibits found on the territory of the old city of Side, can be seen in the Antique Museum. The exhibition includes statues of Athena and Apollo, an altar, an hourglass, bas-reliefs and sculptures.
6 things to do in Side
- Wander through the ruins of ancient Side, not forgetting, however, about a hat and sunscreen – it can be very hot there during the high season.
- View artifacts found during excavations in the middle of the 20th century at the Museum of Side, arranged in the restored premises of a Roman bath from the 5th-6th centuries.
- Do not miss the most popular “exit” excursion – to the low, but in full water, very beautiful Manavgat waterfall.
- Taste in one of the restaurants, located in abundance along the banks of the Manavgat River, dishes from freshly caught trout – a local delicacy.
- Head to Aspendos for discovery – admire the well-preserved Roman amphitheater before the arrival of organized tour groups.
- If your vacation is in June-July, attend at least one performance on the stage of the ancient theater in Aspendos with unique acoustics as part of the annual Opera and Ballet Festival.
Side for children
The town is small and calm, clean sandy beaches with a gentle entrance to the water and an abundance of water activities make vacations with kids comfortable and interesting. There are many family hotels on the coast with a children’s menu and animators. The hotels have spacious swimming pools with water parks, game rooms and playgrounds.
There are few entertainments for children in Side itself, but the resort is located an hour’s drive from Antalya and Alanya. In large cities, the choice is much greater – several water parks, a zoo, an amusement park, an oceanarium, a miniature park and much more. 15 km from Side is the Green Canyon – one of the most picturesque sections of the natural reserve in the Taurus Mountains. A walk on a catamaran or a boat on the lake between the rocks will appeal to both children and parents. The elders will be able to swim in clean clear water, the younger ones will be able to play on the playground with swings and carousels, and the adults will have a picnic in nature.
The water park closest to Side is located half an hour drive from the city towards Alanya. Waterplanet (off. site) stands right on the seashore, with a great view from the high hills. This is one of the largest water parks in the Mediterranean – 16 adult attractions, including the most extreme one with the telling name “Kamikaze”, and a children’s area with shallow pools and 8 slides.
For lovers of opera, ballet, musicals and classical music, since 1994, the Aspendos Amphitheater, preserved from ancient times, has been hosting an annual festival in July-September – one of the most significant in the world and the only one in Turkey. Every year famous theater troupes from all over the world come here. Operas by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and ballet masterpieces by Tchaikovsky sound from the stage of the ancient amphitheater with excellent acoustics. Aspendos is located just 40 minutes drive from Side.
The climate of Side is Mediterranean with long hot summers and minimal rainfall. The season starts in April and ends in November when the heat subsides and the sea becomes cool. The hottest time is June-August, vacationers with children and those who do not tolerate the southern heat are better to go in May or September-October. In addition, during these months it is not so crowded and the prices are much lower.
Winter is short, warm and rainy. This time of the year has the highest amount of precipitation. For sightseeing tourism, it is better to choose March or December, when the swimming season is closed, there is no heat, and the weather is warm and comfortable.