Side Roman theaterPhoto: Nick Irvine-Fortescue (CC BY 2.0) no changes made
Side is one of the most touristic destinations on the Turkish south coast. The former fishing village is ideal for sun lovers who love a touch of culture. The modern city center is bursting with relics from ancient times. Also special are the two elongated beaches of the city. Sorgun beach runs on the east side and Kemer beach on the west side.
Side is located in the province of Antalya. This is a well-known tourist region in the south of Turkey. The tourist center of the same name, Antalya, is located 65 kilometers east of Side. The airport is also located here. Towns like Manavgat and Selimiye are only a few kilometers.
As part of the Mediterranean coast, Side has an extremely mild climate. The paradise holiday resort is at its best between April and October. During this period, the sun shines an average of at least eight hours a day (in June, July and August even thirteen hours a day). Rainfall is only regular in the months of April and October. In the intervening period it is actually always dry and sunny. In the months of June, July and August, the mercury regularly rises to about 40 degrees.
Side has a very rich history. Greeks founded the town in the seventh century before the beginning of the era. At the time, the place was part of the Anatolia region. This is also where the name, which means pomegranate, comes from. In the period between its founding and the present, Side was occupied by Alexander the Great, was part of the Seleucid Empire, was conquered by the Romans, destroyed by the Arabs and built during the early Byzantine Empire.
Side Exterior of the theaterPhoto: KaHe CC 3.0 Unported no changes made
One of the most prominent locations in Side is the ancient theater from the 2nd century AD. A unique example of a combination of Hellenistic influences and Roman construction. The decorations date back to the period of the Emperors and the columns on the outside tell the story of Dionysus (or Bacchus in Roman tradition), the Greek god of wine and patron of the theater.
Side Temple of ApolloPhoto: Saffron Blaze CC 3.0 Unported no changes made
Other fascinating relics of Side are the temples of Apollo and Athena, which are picturesquely perched at the very tip of Side's harbor. The sight of these ancient columns against the photogenic Mediterranean makes for an ideal tourist setting.
As if that wasn't enough, Side also features the remains of a colonnade, Roman baths, a nymphaeum and a Hellenic gate that adorns the outer walls. The nearby museum is housed in a bath complex dating back to the second century AD. It contains many of the finds discovered during excavations of the ruins in the mid-twentieth century. For a complete overview of the history of Turkey see the history page of Landenweb.
Besides the extensive cultural part, Side has much more to offer. The center is bursting with cozy restaurants, bars and nightlife. The traditional shops and boutiques with all kinds of handmade items are special. You will also find the beach right at the center. A walk on the newly built promenade on the west side is definitely recommended. This is also the busiest, most touristic part of the beach. The eastern part is a bit quieter.
Side West BeachPhoto: Anders Printz (CC BY 2.0) no changes made
Side offers hundreds of hotels with varying qualities. Side is everything a beach lover could wish for. There is a clear difference between the east and west beach. East stands for peace and relative privacy. West stands for hustle and bustle and entertainment. On the west side it is an absolute must to go parasailing. At about a hundred meters above the water you come to new insights.
In the Oxyd Disco you can party in the evening. With a capacity of 3,000 people, it is the city's largest disco. The varied range of music is supported by light shows and dance acts. If you are looking for a quieter place to have a drink, the Casper bar is a pleasant place.