Being a wonderful family friendly destination, Side, a Turkish resort only an hour’s drive from Antalya, gets my vote. Blessed with gorgeous sheltered beaches, fabulous accommodation, plenty of activities your kids will love, as well as laid back restaurants and cafes, this place will have you and the family won over in no time. There’s a scattering of Hellenistic and Roman ruins around the town and Side’s ancient theatre still stands in all its glory, amongst the modern cafes and souvenir shops.
When visiting any new place with kids, it is a good plan to have some ideas of where to take them and what to do with them while you are there. Here are my recommendations for a relaxing stay with the kids in Side.
What To Do
Kids will love the idea of this authentic pirate cruise. Reps on board keep them entertained with pirate-themed games, while the Captain of the boats sails you to all of the best swimming spots in the area. Included in the price are lunch and soft drinks, but you can buy ice creams and other snacks on the cruise too.
This excursion costs £34 for adults and £17 for kids between the ages of 3 and 12.
Literally meaning ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, Pamukkale is like nothing you have ever seen before. For the kids it will feel as if you have brought them to a fairy tale palace!
When you arrive, you will be mesmerised by the terraced mountainside before you, decorated with solidified snow coloured stalactites and cliffs that have been formed over thousands of years by natural springs. The result is a cloud-like creation of tiered pools filled with beautiful blue water that you can bathe in. The Romans built a health spa here after realising the potential benefits of the mineral rich waters.
At £56 for adults and £28 for 3-12 year olds, this day out is a bargain!
If you need a break from the beach and fancy a day out in the countryside with the kids, these waterfalls are the place to head to. Set amongst a landscaped garden, the falls provide the prefect backdrop for family picnics. You can walk up to the falls on purpose built pathways, and the sound as you get closer adds to the dramatic atmosphere.
Located 13km northeast of Side, the waterfalls can be reached by local Dolmus (minibus) or you can take one of the many organised trips that range in price from £16-£75 depending on the itinerary.
Definitely one for energetic kids, this is a great place for everyone to enjoy. Recognised as the leading waterpark in the country, you can spend a whole day here and still want to come back for more. Very well designed with slides for kids of all ages, the park is also surrounded by lush vegetation that offers shade and welcome relaxation when you all need a break. Some of the highlights include the Kid’s Lagoon, Crazy River, wave pool, children’s area, and relaxation pools.
The park run their own shuttle bus from various hotels in Side, but you can organise your day at the park with any tour operator or travel agency in town.
How To Get To Side From Antalya Airport
Antalya is the airport you will most likely arrive into for your holiday in Side. It is a well-served airport and only a 4 hour 10 minute flight from London. Book in advance and you can get some excellent deals on airfares with some of the budget airlines. Monarch and easyJet fly from London Gatwick, as does Thomas Cook, who offer great deals on flights from several other UK airports too.
On arrival, when you have three kids with you, you are going to want to get to your hotel with the least hassle possible, so I recommend you look into Antalya airport transfers. Shuttle Direct make it their business to cater for families as they would for any other travel group, and they want to get your holiday off to a great start. Book Antalya airport transfers to Side in advance and pay a fixed price for the 1 hour 15 minute journey to resort. Starting at £8 per person, you are guaranteed to be met at the airport by a friendly driver and taken direct to your accommodation in your own private vehicle.
Where to Stay
Hotel Regana – Travelling with children means that your accommodation has to be right. I have chosen Hotel Regana because it is laid back, relaxed, comfortable and very family oriented. Conveniently situated on the beach, it is also close to all of the action in town. Satellite TV is a bonus for the kids (who may want some down time after all the water slide fun), as is the air conditioning, buffet restaurant, children’s pool, and snack bar.
Hotel Bella Mar – Bright, spacious and airy, Hotel Bella Mar boasts a central location between Son Moll and Cala Agulla Beaches – both easy to walk to. The private balconies are an ideal spot for the kids to play out safely and the air-conditioning is a real plus in the middle of summer. There is lots of opportunity to book activities from this hotel, such as snorkelling, sailing and bird watching, which offer other options for a family day out.
Vonresort Golden Coast – Providing perfect family friendly accommodation right on its own private beach, Vonresort Golden Coast is a well-equipped hotel with spacious rooms, 2 pools and an aqua park. The free Wi-Fi is an added bonus, especially if you have kids that rely on their iPads for a little rest and relaxation in the afternoons. Mums and dads will appreciate the spa and fitness centre, as well as the 7 hotels bars!
Opt for a room with balcony and garden and you have the perfect family bolthole for your stay.
About Shuttle Direct:
Getting to and from your holiday destination with young children can be a worry, so why not let Shuttle Direct take some of that worry away with regards your airport transfer? As the leading provider of airport transfers in Europe and North Africa, our team are here to offer a professional, reliable and competitively priced service. A personal meeting at the airport is followed by a seamless transfer to your hotel. Book in advance and let us take care of the rest for you.