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Side as a mass tourist resort

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Woking, United...
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Side as a mass tourist resort

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
Woking, United...
5 posts
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1. Re: Side as a mass tourist resort

I forgot to mention that the lovely sandy beach was carpeted for miles with thousands of sunbeds.

Watford, United...
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5,034 posts
13 reviews
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2. Re: Side as a mass tourist resort

Hey Frank - What research did you conduct before spending your hard earned on a two week trip to, as the rough guide puts it,..... 'a resort which has one of the highest tourist densities of any town in Turkey, and local people are beginning to recognize that their home has been ruined by indiscriminate development' ?

Edited: 13 September 2011, 19:23
scotland
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4,080 posts
112 reviews
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3. Re: Side as a mass tourist resort

I only saw it in Winter ( November) and loved it.. lots to see.not overcrowded at all and the restaurants in the old town were excellent

We had no hassle at all from shopkeepers

Woking, United...
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4. Re: Side as a mass tourist resort

Not enough research & questioning it seems. I went by the recommendations of three friends without taking sufficient account of the fact that their tastes may not be the same as mine. This was my fault!

Woking, United...
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5. Re: Side as a mass tourist resort

No doubt I would not have felt quite so oppressed in the winter season with less tourists, especially bearing in mind the possibility that when I went many tourists - who would otherwise have gone to Tunisia, Egypt etc - might have come to Turkey instead to avoid perceived political difficulties in those other countries.

Having said that, I'm pretty sure that the place would have still felt pretty soulless to me in Winter, apart from the Roman ruins. I appreciate that others won't feel the same way e.g. if you like to try your hand at parasailing or microlighting.

I agree there's plenty to see & do when one travels beyond Side, e.g by means of excursions.

Edited: 13 September 2011, 23:14
Watford, United...
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13 reviews
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6. Re: Side as a mass tourist resort

Frank - Well done for recognising the error of your ways - At least you won't let it happen again I guess.

The review boards are littered with posts from people who continually fail to do any sort of research before they throw vast amounts of cash on a holiday, only to bemoan the fact that it wasn't for them afterwards. It astounds me as there is more information than you can shake a stick at out there....

Cirali / Antalya
Destination Expert
for Antalya, Cirali
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12,808 posts
35 reviews
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7. Re: Side as a mass tourist resort

I could not agree more with Frank..that about sums up my opinion of Side as well..fortunately there are still many undiscovered places in Turkey that are still unpolit away from this type of mass tourism.

I actually like the old part of Side and the harbor area..just dont care for the hassle..and I last visited Side in the month of Febuary..so during a quiet time of the year and even then..the constant come eat here or come buy my stuff was present

Yaxley, Suffolk
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608 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: Side as a mass tourist resort

Yes prices can be quite reasonable now that the £ is stronger against the Lira. The trips (if booked locally) are very good value for money also. Parts of Side old town are still very nice. But the restaurant owners/waiters in the old town trying to get you into their establishment completely ruin the place. In fact I would classify my 1 night experience in Side old town last year as probably the worst holiday experience I have had in twenty years. I would definitely visit the region again as I like the higher quality of hotels you can find there. But I would never step into or spend even 1 lira in Side old town again. I did read a while ago that the local restaurants are struggling because of all the new all inclusive hotels in the area. If certain restaurants did close, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. I just don’t understand their mentality of trying to drag people in off the street? In my view if a restaurant needs to do that then it’s not even worth bothering with. Rant over

bodø
1 post
2 reviews
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9. Re: Side as a mass tourist resort

Walking through the old town of Side is a nightmare of unpleasent angry little turks yelling at you.

It's a lot of shops but they are mostly the same, Maybe 5 diferent shops, it's a lots of restaurants with almost the same the menu, but the weather is great and the view is wonderful, and its a pity with all this yelling, and whats wrong with som fantasy? Some more variation in the shops and the restaurants will do no harm, and please stop the yelling.

Leeds
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190 posts
9 reviews
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10. Re: Side as a mass tourist resort

thats just your opinions, we love it would much rather go there than the likes of marmaris(now thats what I do class as touristy , altho for some that would be their ideal holiday, each & everyone of us are different it wouldn't pay for us all to like the same.