Side is one of the best-known classical sites in Turkey. This was an ancient harbour whose name meant "pomegranate" Today, it is a pretty resort town, very popular because of its ancient ruins, two sandy beaches, a variety of shops and plentiful tourist accommo- dation. There are numerous cafes and restaurants with a view uf the sea, and the narrow streets are lined with shops selling typical Turkish handicrafts including handmade leather and magnificent gold jewellery. Discos are just a part of the active night life. The magnificent theatre of the ancient city, built on colonnaded arches, is the largest in the whole area. Next to the theatre is an agora. The creamy-white columns of the Apollo Temple make a striking contrast against the blue sea. The extensive Roman bath, now a museum, houses one of Turkey's finest archaeological collections.
The west side of Side also has holiday resorts, including the inviting spots of Kumkoy and Colakli (Kamelya). Here, too, you can enjoy the sun and sea while being close to antiquity. East of Side, tucked in pine forests, are the three holiday resort areas of Sorgun, Titreyen G61 (Blue Flag) and Kizilagac, all popular for their sandy beaches and shimmering sea. The atmosphere is relaxed, accommodation plenti- ful and the activities endless, promising an unforgettable holiday.
BUCAKSIHLAR (PAMPHYLIAN SELEUCIA)
In Bucaksihlar, 15 km northeast of Side, are the remains (in good condition) of an agora, Roman baths, temples, churches, and a mausoleum. Nestled in the forests, it makes for a lovely and peaceful excursion.
ALTINBESIK CAVE NATIONAL PARK
One of the most interesting and well-known caves is located in Altmbesik Cave Park 12 km southeast of Aydinkent (Ibradi) and 55 km north of Manavgat. Interesting rock formations within the cave area, as well as travertines and streams make this area especially fascinating. AItinbesik Cave is in the western slopes of the Manavgat River Valley and can be reached via the village of Urunlu, which is an authentic village and a must-see in itself when travelling through this area.
The 13th-century caravanserai, Alarahan was built by the Seljuk sultan Aleaddin Keykubat on the banks of the Alara River, 38 km east of Manavgat. At the top of a nearby hill is the Alara Fortress, from which there is a commanding view of the whole area.