Side

Charter-tour hotels crowded along this stretch of coast threaten to overshadow Side, but the city remains a delightful mix of ancient ruins and modern amenities. Sandy beaches border it on each side, with the ruins in the middle. Side, like Antalya or Alanya, offers all sorts of activities, from shopping and late-night dancing to kayaking in mountain canyons. It's also close to the major sites of Aspendos and Perge, and less than an hour from Antalya Airport. Like its bigger Pamphylian sisters, Side is best visited out of the heat of high season (July and August). Even at peak times, though, most tourists stay in all-inclusive resorts and head home for dinner. This means that at night it's still possible to experience how Side felt in the 1960s, when the city was off the beaten track, and the likes of dancer Rudolph Nureyev and French intellectual Simone de Beauvoir were visitors.

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