Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A look back at our perfect Turkish honeymoon holiday

Everyone has one holiday which they remember as perfect. Perfect destination, perfect accommodation and a host of happy memories which last long after the last of the sand has fallen out of your sandals.

One of the beaches at Side (pic: First Choice)
For me that holiday was our honeymoon which we spent in Turkey, the land where East meets West with a myriad of different types of resort to suit all tastes.

We stayed in a little resort called Side (pronounced sea-day) in the middle of Turkey's Mediterranean coast around 75 kms east of Antalya where our 4 hour flight from Gatwick landed.



It used to be a major Roman port but is now half holiday resort, half historic site. This means you can admire the amazingly well preserved amphitheatre, the bathhouse (where legend has it Anthony and Cleopatra bathed!) and the remains of the Temple of Apollo before enjoying fabulous food, some souvenir shopping and even a trio to once of the town's night clubs.

Even as young newlyweds we were not really nightclubbing types but that is the beauty of Side - it's a resort of many faces.

Let me run you through a typical day for us when we visited.

Breakfast was taken outdoors (temperatures range from a balmy 15 degrees in winter up to scorching 40 in the height of summer!) followed by a couple of hours on the sandy beach or a wander round the fascinating bazaars and shops.

We bought a beautiful rug which was a real experience involving haggling and many tiny cups of hot sweet mint tea! One day we were lucky enough to stumble across a market along the road to the Ampitheatre where ancient mosaic footpaths could still be seen.

We climbed all these tiers and enjoyed an amazing view! (pic: First Choice)

We sometimes took lunch in the old town harbour, or under one of the cool covered rooftop restaurants in the bazaar. We loved feasting on meats cooked on charcoal with lovely local bread and dips.

Then maybe an afternoon nap or cool drinks sitting out of the sun watching the world walk by with the sounds, smells and sights of Turkey surrounding us - it felt so exotic!

The dilemma of where to eat dinner - our hotel didn't offer meals but if you travel with FirstChoice  they offer a variety of accommodation types, some with a choice of a la carte restaurants.

Then a romantic walk along the headland to the Temple of Apollo overlooking the sea. Perfect!

We also took a few excursions - you can visit the cosmopolitan city of Antalya by coach or boat or head inland to explore unusual sites like Pamukkale thermal pools- seriously this should be on everyone's list of must-see destinations!
Pamukkale - one of the wonders of the world in my book! (pic: First Choice)

Golfers, walkers, photographers, families, couples.... anyone who wants to have a relaxing, or exciting holiday can find it either in or around Side or at the many other amazing resorts in Turkey which each have unique attractions and atmospheres. We loved the country, it's historical attractions, it's people, the food and the wonderful weather.

We have promised ourselves that one day - we will return.

Temple of Apollo, Side (pic First Choice)

This post was written in collaboration with First Choice.


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