A small peninsula is just between Antalya and Alanya where the town of Side was located in ancient times. There remained some wonderful ancient sights you should visit.
However, for most tourists the resort of Side is not this small ancient town but a rather vast coastal area. There are many hotels, mostly all inclusive ones, in this area. And many of them are cheaper than in the neighbouring Belek. Side has wide gently sloping beaches. So most people come here with their children.
The town of Side was founded by Greek settlers in VII century B.C. During the campaign of Alexander the Great the town surrendered to him without fight. Later it was included in the Seleucid Empire. Eventually, the town became one of the cultural and entertainment centers of the Asia Minor. In II century B.C. Side was a prospering town but this prosperity was due to the biggest slave market in the Mediterranean region. The beauty of local female slaves was known in all neighbouring states and attracted rich slave traders.
At the turn of the century Side was captured by Cilician pirates, but in 67 the Roman consul Pompey drove them of the town and the fame of being the center of entertainments was returned to it. It was just here that the Roman built the largest ancient amphitheatre on the territory of the modern Turkey. The population of Side reached 60 thousand people. The amphitheatre was the place of not only theatre performances but also of gladiator games.
In Christian times of Byzantine period Side fell into decay but still retained its importance, which was evidenced by the location of the bishop`s see in the town. However, since VII century the Arab had continuously raided Side. As a result, the population of the town steadily decreased. Side was finally abandoned after the destructive earthquake of 1150. All its population moved to Antalya.
Most of the antique sights are in the area of the amphitheater. The town was surrounded on all sides by fortress walls. You should get to the extreme point of the peninsula, where you will find the ruins of the temple of Neptune and the ancient port.