“ City: Side / Country: Turkey / World Region: Europe „
The best holiday I have ever had was in SIDE in turkey, at the time when I went, which was nearly 10 years ago, it was mainly like a land of building sites, but even that being the case, I had a brilliant time.
The locals are very very friendly; they made my families stay a brilliant one! Although we did come on a few that were over friendly but you get that everywhere.
At every restaurant we visited we were made to feel very comfortable, offered a free drink to start with and the food was amazing and unbelievably dirt cheap, I think the one night my parents paid £20 in total for the four of us to eat, that was including our side orders and our drinks.
To view the ancient ruins was an amazing experience, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, taking picture after picture to keep as memories of my time in this country. We did happen to come across a male who offered to show us round as he explained he was a local, unbeknown to us, he was going to end up charging my parents for the 5 minutes he showed us round, we know not to fall for that stunt again.
We had brilliant entertainment in and around the apartments we stayed at, even visited the lighthouse, to see the reps put on a show, which was the highlight of the fortnight.
I would advise side to anyone planning on going abroad, only the prices have rocketed since becoming a more known part of turkey.
My ideal holiday destination.
I spent two splendid weeks with my wife and son in Side Hotel on 11-25 June 2000. Ours was an "all inclusive" package, and I will expand below on major points of that "all". The h o t e l is situated in Kumkyi, a village some 70 km away from Antaliya. It consists basically of two blocks of flats: Side Annex (4*) and Side Hotel (5*) itself. The former is negligibly further away from the beach than the latter. The restaurant is in the five-star building, with an open terrace offering a picturesque view of the sea and the cove. The Annex is encircled by shops (including a very aggressive audio retail outlet), cafes and canteens, and is at an end of a major street of the village, which is very busy in the evenings. This season they reportedly opened a disco in the basement - the last straw for spouses living on the ground floor (and would rather go to bed at night). The p e r s o n n e l were well trained and helpful. A lot was done to entertain the kids. And there was a plenty of them (the kids), which was a pleasure. The c u i s i n e was good, in the European tradition, healthy and sumptuous, but generally lacking in inventiveness and experiment. Strong drinks (vodkas, cognacs) and dry wines of Turkish make were good enough, too (and went for free). S p o r t f a c i l i t i e s. If I were the big cheese at Side Hotel, I would make its fitness corner twice as big. In addition, they have a tennis court, two swimming pools for adults (one in-house) and one swimming pool for the kids. Most of the v i s i t o r s were either from Germany or from Russia. My impression was that the Germans were of almost every age group, and the presence of the elderly among them was particularly notable, whereas most of the Russians were middle-aged couples with kids and young adults. E x c u r s i o n s were good, but the guides (I mean those working with Russians only) were inevitably pressed for time and often made us feel somewhat
guilty and uncomfortable. The guides wouldn't let you have enough time to enjoy yourself. I would especially recommend going on a two-day visit to Pamukkale famous for the beauty and scope of its unique lime rifts and ruins of an antique town of Khiyerapolis (abt. 133 B.C.), including an ancient theatre (abt. 60 A.D.) and some other enjoyable and noteworthy sights. In fact, I fell for Pamukkale so much that I do believe that it may be not a bad idea to settle somewhere near it when on holiday in Turkey even at the price of having lost any access to the sea. The b e a c h was immaculate in terms of cleanliness (in comparison with what we saw this year in Malgrat de Mar in Spain), safety and entertainments. The s e a was calm, inviting, warm and as beautiful as young topless sunbathers that never failed to catch my eye on the beach. They and the thrills of parasailing, and the colour of a red wine in a glass the moment it catches the rays of a setting sun, the pure joys and dances of the kids at Mini-disco parties are some of other minor spinoffs that you are likely to take away. Go to Side, visit the seaport to enrich your Mind's Eye Snapshot Collection. In short, if "sea-sex-sun" is your idea of a summer holiday, go to Side whereabouts by all means. If you are an inveterate Barcelona fan (I mean the city and its sights - not the FC!) like I am, then still go there for a change and visit Pamukkale. N.B. 1)Do not be afraid of the superhigh temperatures - they are easy to get used to. 2)Go to www.tripprep.com for health tips for those travelling to Turkey well in advance and take all the necessary precautions!
I had wanted to visit Turkey for some years and always ended up elsewhere so, December 2000, we went to Side. We were staying just down the coast at a brilliant, all-inclusive hotel in the tourist 'compound' at Titryengol and only went into Side itself once. It's a really interesting old town with Greek and Roman ruins but it takes no more than half a day to get round it. The Roman library and amphitheatre are two of the most spectacular ancient sites I have ever seen (better than Knossos/Stonehenge/Carnac/Newgrange etc...) but getting around the town itself is such hard work. Right from the start, touts start shouting to try to get you into their bar,cafe or restaurant. We even decided to tell them that we were Welsh speakers when they shouted the usual "Deutsch? English? Francais?" at us only to find that the first one we said it to had studied in Cardiff and knew a bit of Welsh!! The shop owners are the same - browsing can become a very lengthy pastime. In Manavgat, the nearest large town, bars, restaurants and boat trips sit comfortably alongside the hardware shops and market and the atmosphere is more 'Turkish'. I would recommend a holiday to the area but Side is really just a day trip - anything more would be too laborious and, undoubtedly too expensive!
After doing the package deal to Olu Deniz three times we decided to just get a flight and book ourselves into pensions. (It was so cheap in Olu Deniz we thought we would try it ourselves.). We got a flight to Dalaman and back handed a rep to get us on her coach to Side. We had no trouble getting a pension (small hotel). Really cheap. The trouble was, although an advertised resort, there was nothing to do there. The resort was about the size of a 400 metre track and most of it was stalls with a few ancient relics. I got through about 4 books during our stay! We wondered about going to Olu Deniz but the coach and taxis would take too long and prove costly. Still, we know not to revisit. (However there was an excellent hotel that had a casino if you had LOTS of money though, the hotel was pretty exclusive..even by Turkish standards).
Side has become a resort town on the southern coast of Turkey. It was once occupied by Alexander the Great in 333 BC and is rich in history and ruins.