The British market has grown to love Side, a relatively low-profile town that gets overlooked by lively Bodrum or chi-chi Kalkan. But 25 minutes from the Turkish golf mecca of Belek and 45 minutes from ever-expanding Antalya airport it is well positioned to suit many different types of buyer.
Famous for its ancient ruins, which include an amphitheatre and Apollo’s temple still used for concerts, and its long sandy beaches, it has retained much of its fishing village charm. Older Brits like the low-key development of it, the lack of an overly lively night life.
Due to Side’s ancient heritage listing, no high-rise residential development is allowed there – a four-storey residential height restriction exists throughout the area. Side has undergone major infrastructure upgrades in recent years, including a £10-million beachside promenade that vastly transformed the seafront area.
Fans of Side say it offers a bit of everything: it’s a pretty town with a mountainous backdrop, golf, ruins and lovely beaches.
The sandy beaches are superlative. Of the two that stretch either side of the old town, one is the second longest in Turkey, providing plenty of spots for peaceful lounging or high-energy watersports.
But there is something else that sets Side apart from other resorts and that is its sense of history at every turn, from ancient baths and temples to theatres and tombs. The town is one of Turkey’s best-known classical sites, once an ancient Greek city occupied by Alexander the Great and then pirates, and today an attractive living town and holiday resort dotted with ancient Byzantine and Roman ruins.
A lot of Side’s restaurants contain scattered stonework from the original temples and its cobbled streets, small alleyways and scatterings of ruins make for a unique atmosphere.
Where to Buy Property in Side
Side is cheaper than Kalkan and Bodrum, but a bit more than Altinkum/Didim generally. You won’t get dozens of contemporary, Ibiza style villas that developers have been building in large numbers in those two fashionable resorts either.
But modern quality two-bed apartments start from around £50,000, three bedrooms from around £70,000, duplexes from around £90,000 and villas from £150,000.
Side’s housing stock for overseas buyers largely consists of apartments on good-quality new resorts with swimming pools and other tourist facilities.
Most people want to be within 10-15 minutes drive of the town centre, on small to medium, relaxed, family-friendly complexes where apartments cost from £60,000 to £130,000.
If you want to be a step back from the centre of Side, the areas of Ilica, Colakli and Evrenseki to the east of town are popular, as they gradually join up with the main part of the resort.
The Kemer district, near the beach, is also popular. At the highest end of the market, you can buy a four/five bedroom villa in the forest, set in its own 5.5 acres of grounds, with change from £500k.
Bordering Side inland is Manavgat, a bustling town with a local feel, situated on a river and with a pretty waterfall. The surrounding countryside is a haven for nature-lovers or more frenetic pursuits. You can do river sports in the Manavgat river, jeep safaris and trekking through the Köprülü Canyon National Park during the summer or cliff parachuting. New developments have sprung up on Manavgat’s fringes, suited more to resident buyers.