Turquoise sea, golden sandy beaches, comfortable hotels, delicious food, an old town from ancient times and lots of hospitality – this is what you can expect in Side! 😍 In my opinion, the Turkish Riviera is always worth a holiday, as the region is beautiful, the people are incredibly friendly, the possibilities for excursions are varied and there are 300 sunny days per year – incredible, isn’t it? 🌤 That is also the reason why we (my mum, our dear friend Doro and me) went there in March. If you want to swim in the sea, you should travel a little later, as the water is still cool at this time.
The beautiful holiday resort Evrenseki 🏖
The town of Side forms together with the neighboring villages Kumköy, Evrenseki, Colakli and Titreyengöl the district of Manavgat. In all these places there are excellent accommodations by the sea. 🌊 After many years spent there with my family, I can say that Evrenseki (8km from Side) is the most beautiful holiday resort. The hotels are outstanding and are located directly on a great beach promenade that invites you to stroll. It is lined with palm trees, flower fields, small bridges, playgrounds and fitness facilities. 🌼
Last time, we were guests in the Seashell Resort & Spa which is an excellent and rather familiar hotel. The cuisine offers many different dishes and is extremely delicious, in the evening there is even a live cooking station. On the way to the beach Mr. Yummy sells freshly prepared fruit cocktails 🍉 – highly recommended! 😃 Moreover, as in almost every Turkish hotel there is a wellness area that invites you to relax.
Tip: Try the Turkish Hamam, you will be thrilled! A hamam is a steam bath where a special bathing ceremony is held. 🛁 The focus is on relaxation through steam and a subsequent massage with soap lather. The locals recommend a hamam at the beginning of your holiday, as old skin scales are rubbed off and the skin becomes faster, healthier and more evenly tanned. 😎
Only 150 m from the hotel, you will find the first shops and small supermarkets, but believe me, the all-inclusive package of the Turkish hotels is so huge that you don’t need any additional food. I always come back with an extra kilo on my hips. 😅
Tip: In Evrenseki, you can find the best shops in the Ottoman Shopping Center and Selge Park Shopping Center. Don’t forget to bargain! 💰
A day trip to the old town of Side 🏺
If you are on holiday in Evrenseki or one of the surrounding villages, a trip to the lovely town of Side is a must and highly recommended!
From Evrenseki, you can easily reach Side by dolmuş (the Turkish minibus) or taxi in only 15-25 minutes. 🚌 The bus stop is located directly opposite the mosque (near the shopping centre). 🕌 The Turkish minibuses cost only 1 Euro, so they are simply unbeatable in price. The way by taxi is of course a little more comfortable and faster (you should definitely negotiate a price beforehand!).
Arrived in Side I recommend the following route, which you can easily do on your own (I’m not a big fan of these overcrowded tourist tours).
Monumental Fountain (Nymphaeum)
Start your tour at the Monumental Fountain which is the largest ancient Roman fountain of Anatolia. You can walk along the remaining old columns and marble ruins – very impressive! 😯
Only 8 minutes walk away, you can reach the ancient city of Side and the extremely spectacular Greek Theatre. In the past, the people held gladiator and animal fights there.
If you want to experience the amphitheater very closely, you can also visit it for 30 Turkish Lira (that is about 3,90 Euro) (Attention: only local currency is accepted and no credit cards).
Agora and Büyük Plaj
Directly at the theatre a small path leads cross-country to the beautiful sandy beach, where you have a wonderful view of the bay, the coastal wall and the small restaurants. 🏝
Along the way you can also see the former central market street, called Agora, and the foundation walls of the surrounding buildings. Just take a walk through the ruins, explore the old stones and feel transported back to old times.🚶
The city of Side
Back to the theatre, you walk directly towards the city gate of Side, through which you will enter the city. If you can’t get enough of the excavations of old Side, you can also stop at the Side Museum.
On the main street it’s shopping, shopping, shopping! 🛍 You’ll find everything your heart desires. Turkish specialties include jewelry, leather goods, carpets, shoes and jeans. 👞 The goods are considerably cheaper than for example in Germany, but more expensive (and of higher quality) than for example at the bazaar in Manavgat.
Tip: You are looking for a typical Turkish souvenir? I recommend the Turkish eye, the Nazar amulet. It is a kind of lucky charm and protects against the evil eye. Surely you will find it on your journey. Pieces of jewelry often are decorated with it. 💍
By the way: usually, it is cheaper to pay in Turkish Lira. However I find it more convenient to pay in Euro, as this is accepted almost everywhere. 🙈
The ruins are spread all over the city of Side. Newly built glass plates have been placed near the main street, so you can walk over the foundation walls of the ancient city while strolling through the city.
The port of Side
At the end of the shopping street you reach the harbor, which is the starting point for many boat tours along the Turkish Riviera. ⛵ There are also very pretty restaurants and bars with a view of the sea. This is where the holiday mood really comes up!
Tip: Enjoy an iced coffee or a cool Efes in the Afrodit Restaurant right next to a lemon tree by the sea. 🍺
Temple of Apollo
At the end you reach the temple of Apollo during a walk at the harbor. The temple, consisting of six white columns, is the symbol of the city and a popular postcard motif. Thus a wonderful day comes to an end. 🌇
If you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday that is easily accessible from Europe and equally rich in ancient treasures, entertainment and shopping, I totally recommend the Turkish Riviera, especially Side and Evrenseki. The locals will grant your every wish to make sure you have a great vacation!
It remains for me to say: teşekkür ederim (thank you) for the great holidays, beautiful Side! 💗