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Khiyerapolis, Or Sea, Sex, Sun
Member Name: Shuyanin59
Date: 17/10/01, updated on 18/10/01 (555 review reads)
Advantages: Affordable, Peculiar experience, The best beach I know
Disadvantages: May be noisy, as bad luck may have it
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!