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Side is located on the southern coast of Turkey, occupying a peninsular on the Mediterranean Sea. It was originally an ancient harbour and although it has grown considerably, strict planning regulations have ensured that it has still retained its charm. There are two sandy beaches surrounding Side, the West Beach and the East Beach. Although the beaches are stunning, Side is also one of the most famous classical locations to visit in Turkey as it is surrounded by a number of authentic ruins. Accommodation in Side ranges from top class hotels through to self catering apartments or villas so there is literally something for everyone.
Holidays in Side can be as relaxing or as busy as you choose as this resort really does cater for everyone. Lazy days can be spent on one of the fine beaches with an occasional dip in the sparkling warm water of the Mediterranean or for the active sun worshipper there are a host of water sports available. Jet-skiing is very popular as are diving, pedalos and banana boat rides. Paragliding is also available in this area and this is really an amazing experience the views from several thousand feet are absolutely stunning. There are several white water rafting centres in Turkey and one of them can be found in the Koprulu Canyon National Park where you will also find a Roman bridge still spanning the rushing waters.
To the east of Side is the Sorgun Forest where there are horse riding trails to be found or hiking along the sandy paths is also enjoyable. Keen golfers will be delighted with the six courses situated at Belek which is just a 30 minute drive away. There are plans for two further golf courses in this area and over the next ten years, some 30 further golf courses are also planned throughout the Antalya region. It is anticipated that Side will be at the heart of Europe's newest golfing area.
Side is also one of Turkey's main archaeological locations and there are many interesting sites to visit including a Roman theatre close by at Aspendos. During the summer months there are performances of both opera and ballet as well musical events held here. The Temple of Apollo set by the waterside is also worthy of a visit.
There is a water park in Side which is entertaining for a family day out and the waterfalls on the Manavgat River are also a popular attraction. On travelling into the mountains to the Koprulu Canyon National Park, there is a Roman bridge spanning the river and this is home to one of Turkey's main white water rafting sites.
Shopping in Turkey is a wonderful experience as haggling is the expected method of agreeing the cost of any goods you wish to purchase. It can be great fun and both seller and buyer will enjoy reaching a fair price. Side has many souvenir shops as well as boutiques selling designer wear. The jewellery outlets represent really good value, particularly for gold items.
The main street in Side is pedestrianised and here you will find many bars and restaurants overlooking the harbour. There is a huge choice from quiet bars through to delightful restaurants. Partygoers are well catered for here with a vibrant night life in the discos of Side. You will also find a traditional Irish pub together with a host of restaurants offering a variety of fine cuisine.
The nearest airport to Side is Antalya International Airport which is approximately 45 minutes' drive from the resort. The flight times to this part of Turkey from the UK vary between four and five hours, depending on your departure airport. A UK passport valid for at least three months is required for entry into Turkey. Most of the major airlines such as Thomas Cook, Turkish Airlines and BA operate flights from the UK to Turkey and for the independent traveller who does not wish to take a package holiday, budget fares can be found if you are prepared to search. Transfer from the airport to your holiday destination will be made by coach for package holidaymakers but there are taxis available.
The dolmus is the Turkish equivalent to a taxi minibus and these run very frequently and are an experience to travel on. Bus stops are not necessary as if you raise your arm the driver will stop for you providing there is room on the dolmus to squeeze another body in. Irrespective as to the number of passengers, the drivers never miss collecting a fare and the dolmus is the ideal way to get from one part of Side to another.
Side really is the resort that has everything excellent beaches, lots of interesting places to visit and the shopaholic will be in seventh heaven enjoy!