With two sandy beaches and time-worn ruins, Side holidays were made for those who fancy a slice of sightseeing with their sunbathing.

Bit of everything

Side sits on Turkey’s southern underbelly, sticking out into the Med like a thumb. It’s pronounced ‘sea-day’, which should give you some idea of how you can spend your time here. But it pours a good helping of history into a bowl of sun, sea and sand. Basically, if you ordered a ‘Side’ from Domino’s, it’d be a half and half.

Ancient attractions

This place lays the ruins on thick. Side Museum showcases Roman coins, statues and tombs, plus it’s tucked inside the town’s 5th-century bathhouse. Nearby, you’ve got an amphitheatre, which has swapped gladiator fights for concerts. And the Temples of Apollo and Athena stand proudly by the harbour, mixed in with a load of pubs, rooftop bars and a couple of clubs.

East meets west

Side works the beach angle, too. Its sandy swatches are found at either end of the harbour. And they’re handily dubbed East Beach and West Beach. The latter gets the most sun-seeking punters, thanks to its restaurant-packed prom and watersports huts. East Beach is the quieter of the two, where you might still see the odd turtle among the tourists.

At a Glance

  • Snap sunset selfies at the Temples of Apollo and Athena
  • Head up the river to Manavgat on market day
  • Spend a whole day on the sands