Side Stories and Tips

Taking in the sunset

Photo of Side, Turkey

We’d decided to try a different route into Side and instinctively managed to find our way down to the water’s edge and a recently built promenade.

Although the main promenade is mainly the territory of restaurants there are three streets leading down to the prom and a couple of "small boulevards" where shops prevail. It’s a relatively new development pampering to the needs of tourists, but one of the waiters told us it had much improved the waterside experience giving a regular surface under-foot and controlled lighting throughout the length of the development (we suspect a torch would have been required before this was built).

Many of the restaurants seemed to be linked with hotels and are consequently much bigger than we like, but if you want to eat internationally then this is the place to be with Italian, Mexican, Indian and Chinese restaurants all closely to hand. Of course there are smaller Turkish dining establishments (see my review on Pegasis) and the views across the bay are stunning as sun set arrives.

Walking along this esplanade is a bit like "running the gauntlet" because these restaurateurs are hungry for business and ready to pounce on you no matter what time of day. The usual procedure seems to be the act of befriending with the hope, I guess, that you feel an obligation to eat in their restaurant. Needless to say we did not succumb to their "aggressive behaviour".

I advise that you shop with caution in this area as many of the shops which we "poked our heads into" seemed to be pricier than Side Main Street. Probably because there are a number of "up-market" hotels close by and the assumption that holidaymakers in these All Inclusive hotels will spend close to their base.
I was amazed at the number of hairdressers and tattoo parlours that were in evidence and needless to say with a "designer beard" (stubble according to my wife) I was frequently approached with offers of a shave. Not something that really appeals as I can’t say I’d feel too comfortable with some-one brandishing a "cut-throat" razor near to my jugular.

There was a small "cul-de-sac" just off the main promenade that housed a number of market type shops and stalls and their prices seemed to be right when compared with Side, although they were significantly higher than the two markets that we’d visited and they were less inclined to enter into significant bartering.

Overall I’d encourage you to take a walk along this promenade that takes you close to the Roman Amphitheatre and if you keep on walking past the Pegasis Restaurant you’ll find yourself in the harbour of Side. It’s a great walk if you can manage the friendly pestering of the shops and restaurants and superb if you’re out there when the sun is beginning to set over the water. The route is "littered with" fallen Roman columns and bits of antique carved stones, and flanked in part by sections of the old Roman wall.

Fascinating and well worth the wander.

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