A Surprising Side to Side! | Designer Travel

We were staying in quiet Colakli, on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, and needed to do the inevitable shopping for holiday gifts to take back home. So we reluctantly caught the local (very cheap) bus to Side (pronounced See-Day) expecting it to serve up exactly what its reputation offered…a busy and popular seaside resort with great beaches, a plethora of touristy souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes, bars – and we found that Side does indeed have all that, and with a particularly warm and congenial atmosphere…

However, nothing prepared us for the important archaeological treasures that little town had in store!

The bus stops outside the well-preserved city walls, and we entered through the main gate/arch, which dates back to the second century BC. It is a bit of a wreck now, but was still our first surprise! And then it just got better and better, although some structures were more preserved than others. The excavation of Side began in 1947, and still continues, with Turkish archaeologists believing there is more to find. My husband thought he had landed in Time Team! (which he loves!)

So here are just some of the delights waiting for you to discover

The Theatre which once held 15,000 – 20,000 built in the 2nd century BC, in Roman style, it is partially in ruins now; a collonaded street, although the majestic marble pillars are almost gone, its easy to imagine how imposing it once was; a public bath; the Temple of Dionysus; the remains of a Byzantine Basilica; a fountain and an amazingly well preserved line of public toilets!

Finally, right down at the coast, and surrounded by important 7th century BC ruins, we came to the Temple of Apollo (pictured). It is fittingly dedicated to this god of light, art and beauty, because particularly at sunset, this Temple displays all three of these attributes. At 17m x 30m and with columns almost 9m high it is imposing, and although there is not much of it left, one can easily imagine how grand it was in time gone by.

So Side did surprise us, very pleasantly – and we enjoyed a full and interesting day there – and yes we did get the holiday gifts too! .

If you would like further information about Side and other Turkish resorts please contact me anytime on 023 80863663 / 07833504985


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