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Side, one of the best-known classical sites in Turkey, was an ancient harbour whose name meant pomegranate. Today a pretty resort town, its ancient ruins, two sandy beaches, many shops and extensive tourist accommodation attract throngs of visitors. There are numerous cafes and restaurants with a view of the sea, and the shops that line the narrow streets sell typical Turkish handicrafts including leather goods and Turkey's famous beautiful gold jewellery. The magnificent theatre of the ancient city, built on colonnaded arches, is the largest in the whole area. Other monuments include the agora, the Apollo Temple, which is situated near the sea, a fountain and necropolis. The extensive Roman baths, now a museum, houses one of Turkey's finest archaeological collections.

East of Side, tucked in pine forests the holiday resorts of Sorgun, Titreyen Göl  (Blue Flag) and Kizilagaç are both popular for their sandy beaches and sparkling sea. The atmosphere is relaxed, the accommodation plentiful and the activities are endless.

West of Side, the holiday centres of Kumköy, Çolakli and Kamelya also offer sun and sea, in close proximity to ancient sites. In the Pamphlyian Seleucia (Bucaksihlar),15 km northeast of Side, are the remains (in good condition) of Roman baths, temples, churches, a mausoleum, theatre and agora. One of the most interesting and well known caves in Turkey is located in Altinbesik Cave National Park situated 12 kilometres southeast of Aydinkent (Ibradi) and 55 kilometres north of Manavgat. Lakes and interesting rock formations within the cave area as well as travertines and streams make this area especially fascinating. Altinbesik Cave is situated on the western slopes of the Manavgat River Valley and can be reached via the village of Ürünlü which is an authentic village that is a must-see when travelling through this area.

The 13th century caravanserai, Alarahan, was built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat on the banks of the Alara River. On the top of a nearby hill the Alara Fortress commands a view of the whole area.


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