Side is well connected to the rest of Turkey, so it's easy to get out and about and see the best that the country has to offer. At the top of your list of things-to-do should be a visit to the spectacular Manavgat Waterfalls, which you'll find just outside a town of the same name, a few kilometres inland from Side. Boasting a spectacular setting in the protected forests of the Taurus Mountains, this is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Turkey and it's well worth a visit.
Enjoy breathtaking views
Manavgat Waterfalls may only be a few metres tall, but what they lack in height they definitely make up for in power. They span the Manavgat River, and they're really noisy due to the sheer force and speed of the water. Make your way to the river bank and you'll see how quickly and powerfully the water rushes over the rocks, on its way to the sea. It's a charming place to spend a day, with lush green trees lining the river bank offering plenty of shady spots for a picnic. There are also lots of quiet spots where you can dip your toes into the water.
Take a boat trip down the river
If you want to explore the area and immerse yourself right into the landscape, you could take a ride on a boat trip. There's no need to book tickets in advance: you can hop aboard when you get to Manavgat Falls, sit back, and enjoy the ride as the scenery glides past. For a trip of a lifetime with more great views, you can book a day's excursion from Side to the incredible Oymapinar Dam.
Where to eat and drink
There are lots of lovely picnic spots along the river bank, so bring some lunch along with you or pick up a bite to eat when you get there. There's plenty of choice on offer, as right on the banks of the river is a beautiful park where you'll find lots of tavernas, cafés, bars and restaurants. It's a great place to go when you're ready to sit back and relax in the sunshine. Don't forget to explore the local market stalls, where you can pick up a souvenir or two.
How to get there
It's easy to get to the falls, making it perfect for a day out with the family, and a nice change from the beach or water park. You can catch a dolmus (minibus) from Managvat to the waterfall; just look out for the ones with the sign elale - Sarlar from the city's main street. The journey takes around 15 minutes.
If you're driving a hire car, there's a free car park at the entrance to Manavgat Waterfalls. If you have time, while you're in the area it's worth having a walk around Manavgat city itself. The Monday market is a firm favourite here; local traders come into town from the mountains with fresh food, spices and souvenirs, as well as jewellery and souvenirs.
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