Side’s reputation for romance is nothing new. Indeed, starry-eyed lovers have been coming to this fairy-tale city in Turkey for quite some time now. Marc Antony is said to have presented Cleopatra with the (still-standing) Apollo Temple as a token of his love and some people say it’s where they first met, back in the 1st century BC.
Relics from those ancient times are everywhere you look on Side holidays, from great stretches of masonry on the main shopping drags to a remarkably well-preserved, skyline-dominating amphitheatre that once upon a time echoed to the sound of gladiators in mortal combat.
Holidays to Side aren’t just about living in the past, though. The two main beaches, which are both gorgeous but very different, flank the town’s famous peninsula, the surrounding countryside is green and lush with vegetation, and there’s no shortage of upscale restaurants where you can enjoy a plate of fresh seafood and a chilled bottle of wine as you watch the sun go down.
Explore Side Museum
This well-presented museum offers a fascinating insight into the history of Side during its various incarnations, under the rules of Greeks, Romans and even barbarous slave-trading pirates.
Admire Manavgat Waterfall
Just 10 minutes outside town, this natural wonder is so spectacular that it once featured on Turkish banknotes. It’s lit up at night and has cafés and restaurants nearby.
Pick the beach for you
Side’s more westerly beach is pretty well developed in terms of restaurants and amenities. The east beach, which has archaeological sites nearby, is more peaceful and serene.