While your teenagers are more likely to be impressed with Side’s glittering modern harbour with its bustling restaurants and vibrant bars than with the ancient Roman ruins, there is plenty in this pretty fishing-village-turned-resort to keep the whole family happy.
Set on Turkey’s beautiful south coast, Side was a popular holiday spot for Antony and Cleopatra, who loved the stunning coastline. Admittedly, your children are unlikely to be impressed by this slice of history, so instead try telling them about the two gorgeous beaches, the waterpark and all the cool watersports on offer in the area!
A family holiday to this Turkish resort, with its range of entertainment, watersports, day trips and great sunbathing, is guaranteed to stop your teens from burying their heads in their multimedia devices and get them out in the sunshine instead.
Side is famous in Turkey for its two beautiful beaches, which wrap around the charming ‘old town’. Known as the East and West beach (because of their location), the sea on the West is very calm and shallow while the East is deeper and better for the more adventurous swimmer.
Teenagers tend to love the hustle and bustle of busy beaches with their sun loungers, bars and cafés, and both the resort’s beaches have this in abundance. But if you’re looking for something a bit more secluded, just leave the kids where they are and head away from town; a short walk further along the coast will see the crowds thinning out, leaving you with plenty of golden sand to claim as your own.
Both of the beaches in the resort offer a range of watersports, ranging from sailing, windsurfing and paddle boarding to the motorised jet skiing, banana boating, parasailing and waterskiing. If your kids enjoy a little high-octane excitement on the water they’ll find everything they’re looking for here.
A Boat Cruise to Dolphin Island
Teens will love the party aboard the Dolphin Island cruise. The journey is definitely as good as the destination with this day cruise. You and your family can enjoy swimming from the boat, sunbathing on deck, and plenty of relaxation, all as part of the package!
Once you get to Dolphin Island you can don a snorkel and explore the beautiful, unspoilt submarine world of the Bay of Dolphins. You might even meet some of the local dolphin population! A great lunch of fresh grilled fish or chicken is cooked and served next to the beautiful Manavgat river, where you can also swim.
A Beginners’ Dive Course
If scuba diving is something your kids have always wanted to try, then your holiday to Side is a great time and place to introduce them to the wonders of underwater exploration with a range of beginners’ dive courses on offer.
Start keen divers off with a ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ course where they are taught how to use the equipment and what it feels like to swim in Scuba gear. If they enjoy that, they can progress to a ‘Scuba Diver’ course which will help them progress from the swimming pool into open water, still in the relative security of a maximum 12 metre dive.
The Aquapark is a great place to spend the day with your teenagers. Watch them become children again as they whizz down spiral slides or race each other down rollercoaster-like waterways. Meanwhile, you can relax and top up your tan as you wind your way around the rather slower-paced lazy river…
Your young adults may moan about a day trip away from the beautiful beaches, but the short drive north from town is worth it for the beauty of this natural waterfall on the Manavgat river. There’s a river café for lunch, and you’ll be back on the beach for the afternoon feeling like you’ve seen a bit more of Turkey than the average sun-worshipping tourists.
How to Get to Side
The closest airport to Side is in the Turkish city of Antalya. Flights from the UK to Antalya take four hours and usually cost from around £100 return. Budget airlines flying there include: Monarch, jet2, Pegasus, easyJet and Thomas Cook Airlines.
From Antalya the transfer time to Side is around 50 minutes. To avoid bartering and hustling for taxis at the airport, book a Shuttle Direct transfer online before you set off. For a set, affordable price, the English-speaking driver will take you straight to your destination. For a budget option, book a Shuttle Direct shared group transfer.
Where to Stay:
Primasol Hane Family Resort– Whether your teens are still big kids at heart or too cool for school, they’ll find plenty to love at the Primasol Hane Family Resort. The young at heart will love the water park-style water slides into one of the hotel’s two swimming pools. Those who like things a little more laidback will love the hotel’s private beach, as well as the spa with traditional hammam and massage therapies.
Robinson Club Pamfilya – Enjoy some traditional Turkish style at the beachside Robinson Club Pamfilya. Young adults will love the independence of the all-inclusive free bar to enjoy endless smoothies and fruit punches beside the attractive pool. Sporty children can take advantage of the hotel’s watersports facilities, including sailing and windsurfing.
The Colours Side Hotel – This four-star hotel certainly lives up to its name; everywhere you look in The Colours Side Hotel there are vivid splashes of primary colours, from the funky furniture to the bright paintwork – thankfully, the comfortable rooms are rather more subdued. Teens will love the colourful waterslides into the pool, fee WiFi and snacks and drinks served on the beach.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct is the leading provider of airport transfers to destinations across Europe and North Africa. The choice of private car or shared group transfer offers you the most convenient way to get from the airport to your hotel destination. Book online before you leave home and an English-speaking driver will be waiting to take you to your destination when you arrive.