Side vs Alanya
It so happened that for most Russians, vacationing in Turkey is a holiday with crowded Mediterranean beaches, noisy parties and trendy music, endless labyrinths of oriental bazaars. Can the local cities and resorts offer something else, because the country has such a rich centuries-old architecture and a huge selection of non-trivial places? Well-read travelers, of course, know – yes, Turkey is capable of a lot, its possibilities are almost endless. And it can surprise not only hotels with animators and an all-inclusive system.
When the question arises: Side or Alanya, it is not easy to answer it, because these cities are like two sides of a coin. Being in one climatic zone, they are so different inside that tourists often move from one resort to another in order to feel this very difference and discover new, unknown faces of Turkish life. We’ll try to figure out which resort is better and why, and at the same time we’ll find out the strengths of each of the cities.
On the way from Antalya Airport to the east, tourist groups drive through many towns and cities, but a stop in Side is considered to be almost the most popular. And guests can be understood – a compact-looking city is literally riddled with ancient Greek and medieval ruins, and a multi-kilometer coastal strip is like a magnet: it attracts you to forget about everything in the world and to sunbathe, sunbathe, sunbathe! However, this is not all that this resort region can boast of.
As in other resorts, Side beaches are two conditional halves, one of which is located in the central part of the city, and the rest are in suburban towns and villages. The total length of the coast is almost 5 kilometers, and there are both small pebbles and golden sand sparkling in the hot sun. By the way, in the midst of the season there is no crowding.
The central promenade rests on the West Beach – a wide sandy strip interspersed with pebbles. The main infrastructure was located right there – bananas, catamarans, pleasure boats and piers with yachts. The eastern half is almost deserted, people come here without children to calmly take sun baths, without screaming, splashing and fuss.
In terms of outdoor activities, the city can disappoint extreme sports enthusiasts – all attractions are grouped in the area of the western beach, but there are also “bright spots”. For example, there is a diving club right in the historical quarters that conducts training sessions with scuba divers of any age. At the end of the course, a certificate is issued.
Holidays with children in Side can also not be called a strong point, because the nearest amusement park is half an hour away, and local hotels are clearly inferior in variety of entertainment. Nevertheless, some pools have their own water slides, and Russian-speaking animators will not let the child get bored even on a cloudy day when you do not want to go to the sea.
At first glance, shopping in Side is poorly developed, but this is not entirely true. Even in the middle of ancient quarters a shopping street has been laid; there is a small local market. In the area of the embankment all summer there are tents with souvenirs for tourists: amulets, jewelry made of pearls and shells, various symbols of the city – from magnets to t-shirts.
It is most profitable to buy clothes and textiles not at the resort itself, but in the neighboring village of Manavgat. There is more choice in the markets, many small shops, including branded boutiques with high-quality service. When purchasing goods for a certain amount, the store provides a free taxi to the hotel.
The visiting card of the city is dozens of ancient and medieval ruins, including the Greek amphitheater, where every summer concerts of symphonic music and performances, the ruins of the temples of Apollo are arranged. Many guides call the symbol of the city an aqueduct of the II century, through which water was supplied to a huge fountain, partially surviving to this day.
Who will suit
Fans of Antiquity – ancient ruins within walking distance of hotels.
Mature couples for the virtual absence of nightlife.
Lovers of savage relaxation – for the wide desert beaches.
Lovers of art and culture – in the city in the summer held music and ballet festivals.
Tours to Alanya, or Alanya, as domestic guides used to call it, among Russians are now ranked second after Antalya in popularity. A city rich in sights and beaches with Blue Flags has long become a symbol of affordable holidays in Turkey, where the all-inclusive program is considered a mandatory norm, and Russian speech in some areas interrupts a variegated mixture of languages of guests from all over Europe.
The breathtaking beaches of Alanya stretch for almost 70 kilometers: both in the city itself and in the vast suburbs. Most of the sites are a wide coast with fine golden sand, but there are also pebble shreds. The bottom of the city bay is flat and without strong undercurrents, that is, even small children can swim safely.