If you’ve fallen in love with the local cuisine, you can be rustling up your own version in no time. The 3 Cheers Restaurant, on the main road, runs twice-weekly Turkish cookery lessons – you can book at the bar.
A Roman-inspired resort
Antony and Cleopatra used to love Side. Set on Turkey’s south coast – about an hour from Antalya – the place hasn’t really changed a lot since when the Romans were here. There’s an untouched old town and crumbling ruins flanking the sandy beaches. Modern luxuries get a good look-in, too, though, with a chic harbour, waterfront restaurants and lively bars.
Side sits on a peninsula, flanked by 2 sandy beaches on either side of the old town. West Beach is sheltered and has shallow water so it’s popular with families, while East Beach is a windswept stretch of sand, sandwiched between the River Aras and the Med. On both sides, banana boats and jet-skis up the tempo off-shore, while sunloungers and beach bars keep things going on dry land.
Side’s sights are quite something. Dominating the resort is a huge amphitheatre that’s still used today for summer concerts. And one of the most-photographed structures is the 2,000-year-old Temple of Apollo – sunset is a particularly good time for pictures. Elsewhere there are Corinthian columns and a museum set in a restored Roman bath.
Daytrips to Antalya
An hour’s drive – or ferry trip – gets you to the regional capital, Antalya. With its snow-topped mountains and flat, white beaches, you’ll soon see why it’s the 3rd most-visited city in Europe. The old quarter, Kaleiçi, won a tourism award for its ensemble of knick-knack shops and characterful cafés. Meanwhile, the hip Konyaalti district is the place for designer shops and pampering hammams.
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