I know that many people like to keep returning to Side because they like it so much. Indeed, it must have once been an enchanting location: Roman ruins; quaint old centre; lovely sandy beach. These features have, in my view, been completely swamped by the mass tourism syndrome. Along the beach, restaurant after restaurant adjoining each other. Further out, hotel after hotel. In Side Old town, tourist shop after tourist shop selling similar goods. Outside nearly every restaurant, bar or shop was someone exhorting you to sample their fares. I found it all so intense, relentless and oppressive. I found no corner were I could find relief from this or the soulless hotels or apartment blocks further out from the centre and from my first day wondered how I could possibly be able to survive my two weeks there and remain sane.
On a positive note (!) I found the food and service surprisingly good - cheaper than over here (though not necessarily by that much - drinks though often not cheap). The tourist shop goods were generally of high quality (the fake designer brands also looked to be well put together). And there are some great excursions to give one some relief from the monotony of Side itself.Edited: 13 September 2011, 17:40