Area : 20.815 km²
Population : 2.092.537 (2012)
Traffic Code : 07
Side Turkey is one of the Turkish Mediterranean's most attractive and popular resorts. Occupying a narrow peninsular on the sparkling Mediterranean coast, its history stretches back thousands of years. The region is surrounded by stunning ruins, including the waterside Temple of Apollo and a well preserved Roman amphitheatre, which still hosts colourful performances. Side's archaeological importance means there are strict local planning regulations, which has helped the town maintain its charming character. Strolling down the pedestrianized main street brings you to a harbour filled with pleasure boats and overlooked by restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy a relaxed sunset drink. The town's long sandy beaches are some of the best on the entire Turkish coast and have established the resort as one of the country's top tourist destinations. Paragliding, diving, jet-skis - every kind water sport is available- while many prefer just to laze in the warm Mediterranean sun.
Side is at the centre of a beautiful and very diverse region where the Taurus Mountains descend to the Pamphylian Plain. The unspoilt Sorgun forest, just east of the resort, offers walks or horse riding along its sandy trails. Two golf courses are planned for this area, joining the 6 courses already at Belek, which is only 30 minutes away. Indeed, with over 30 courses planned for the Antalya region over the next 10 years, Side promises to be at the centre of Europe's most exciting new golfing area.
Nearby Aspendos has a fantastic Roman theatre, which hosts a dazzling annual festival of breathtaking opera, ballet and musical performances during the summer months.
The waterfalls on the jade green Manavgat River are another popular local attraction. Further into the pine-forested mountains, a Roman bridge spans a rushing river in the Koprulu Canyon National Park, which is one of Turkey's premier white water rafting venues.
Because of the archaeological and natural riches of the area, Antalya is also known as the Turkish Riviera. The sun, sea, nature and history combine to form a very popular resort, highlighted by some of the cleanest beaches in the Mediterranean. The 630 km shoreline of the province is liberally scattered with ancient cities, harbours, memorial tombs and beaches, secluded coves and lush forests, many of which are easily accessible from the city.
With its palm-lined boulevard, internationally-acclaimed marina, and old castle with traditional architecture, all set amidst a modern city, Antalya is a major tourist centre in Turkey. In addition to the wide selection of hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops, the city also plays host to a number of sporting events throughout the year, like international beach volleyball, triathlon, golf tournaments, archery, tennis and canoeing competitions. The Cultural Centre, which opened in 1995, hosts cultural and art events in the fields of music, theatre, and creative arts. The main area of interest in the city is central old quarter within the Roman walls, known as Kaleici, and there are many good museums.
Districts: Akseki, Alanya, Elmali, Finike, Gazipasa, Gundogmus, Ibradi, Kale, Kas, Kemer, Korkutali, Kumluca, Manavgat and Serik are all towns in the province of Antalya.