The picturesque ruins of the Temple of Apollo and Athena in Side. Photo: Shutterstock
The picturesque ruins of the Temple of Apollo and Athena in Side. Photo: Shutterstock

Food & Drink

10 musts in Side, Turkey

When in Side on vacation, there are plenty of things to do besides your regular hotel, beach and bar-routine.

East beach

There are two beaches in Side. The east beach is a bit quieter – a little way away from the center. Perfect Mediterranean waters and all manner of water transport. As is the case with many beaches in Turkey, beach clubs have divided the sands amongst themselves. These clubs will charge you around $2.50 a sunbed to rent, but if you dine a beach club restaurant, the price of the sunbed is included on the check. If you don’t like beach clubs, you can always find empty stretches of sand where everyone can lay and enjoy the sun.

The beaches in Side are spectacular. Photo: Shutterstock

West beach

Long and family-friendly. One of the most child-friendly beaches on the southern Turkish coast. The restaurants here also have private areas with sunbeds, which is a major plus for the recently-built, beautiful boardwalk that runs all the way from old Side to Kumköy. Perfect for morning joggers.

Visit the salon

Everyone visits the baths whilst they’re in Turkey, but don’t miss the opportunity to go to the salon as well. Not only can you get your hair dressed at an inexpensive price, but you can also enjoy a pedicure, manicure and have your eyebrows plucked by artists using the traditional wire technique. The Leydi Kuaför salon is located in central Side.

Yasemin Sok

Mara, sticky ice cream that can’t be licked, it must be bitten. Photo: Shutterstock

Luxuriate in ice cream

Don’t leave Turkey without sampling mara – the typical, sticky ice cream that can’t be licked, it must be bitten. The manufacturing process is a show in itself. The salesmen swing the ice cream in the air, usually attracting a large audience. It is claimed that the ice cream is so elastic that it can’t be broken even when it is pulled between two cars. Sold from mobile ice cream trucks.

Gület sailing

Probably the most popular activity on the south coast. But still, who can say no to a whole day at sea, stopping in small inlets and at beautiful beaches? Lunch is served on board.

Ocakbaşi Restaurant

According to some, the best restaurant in Side. Owned by a couple of jovial brothers, The restaurant offers wonderful al fresco dining under shady trees next door to the mosque. Sample the restaurant’s meze platter, consisting of stuffed peppers, hot pepper paste, pickled vegetables and lamb casserole.

Zambak sk

The Temple of Apollo and Athena is a particularly beautiful sight to see at sunset. Photo: Shutterstock

Historic tour

Start at the marina out on the cape by the picturesque ruins of the Temple of Apollo and Athena. Then take a walk to the old amphitheater, which can accommodate around 15,000 spectators and is very well preserved. It is a particularly beautiful sight to see at sunset. Finish your tour by taking in the old aqueducts, which take water from the lakes around Manavgat down to the old town in Side.

Aspara Kebab House

A little hole in the wall. An inconspicuous kebab house on the main street. A grab-and-go kebab venue. Value-for-money and tasty. The perfect lunch, all at a reasonable price.

Liman Caddesi

Petek Pastanesi Coffee House

This coffee house is located just across the street from kebab restaurant Meshur 49. Popular with the locals and a friendly atmosphere. Enjoy strong tea and coffee, as well as a whole host of sweet treats or baklava.

Kemer Mh.K.Karabekir

Yali Hotel

Yali means “villa by the sea”. This cozy, but very simple, hotel is located on the beach in the middle of old Side. The rooms are Spartan, but the sea views are magnificent. Just outside the hotel is an idyllic small stony beach that is not especially child-friendly. However, for adults, this small stretch of coast constitutes a wonderful oasis for times when the big beaches become too crowded.

Barbaros Cadessi 50



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