Side or Kemer: Where to spend your holidays in 2022?

Where to have a better holiday in Turkey in 2021: Side or Kemer

Russian tourists who have only been to Istanbul, are not quite clear on the differences between the resorts of the Anatolian coast of Turkey in microclimate, infrastructure, excursion opportunities. Therefore, questions about where to go, in Side or Kemer, where it is better to rest with children, in a youth company, are logical. In this short review, we will try to answer these questions, describe the climatic characteristics of resorts, the main prices, options for settlement, tours, children’s and youth entertainment.

The resort of Side is located in the east of the Anatolian coast, in the coastal plain area. Greek settlers settled here in the VII century BC. In translation from Anatolian, the name of the town means “pomegranate,” a good reflection of the abundance of fertile land.

Advantages of Side

Like the resort of Kemer, Side stretches for more than three dozen kilometers along the Mediterranean coast east of Antalya. The coastal zone, a satellite town Manavgat, offer its services to Russian tourists more than 200 Turkish hotels of different classes. Among them you can choose five-star hotels with private gardens, beaches and heated swimming pools:

  • Crystal Sunrise;
  • Otium Eco Club;
  • Turquoise Hotel;
  • Horus Paradise.

Stay in them for two (or with one child) for a week in late September for 47000-94000 ₽. It is possible to find more expensive hotels for 120000-149000 ₽ per week for a vacation at the resort, but we give the most favorable prices. Check out the hotels section of our website for booking options and detailed hotel descriptions.

The short distance between Side and Kemer (120 km) makes it impossible to determine the climatic features of the resorts, which are very different from Russia. The sea on the east coast warms up to +21,5 ° C in the middle of May. The same temperature holds until late September and mid-October.

Comparing the beaches of resorts (Side or Kemer), where it is better with children to swim and sunbathe, read the description of the beaches of the east coast. For a holiday with children, the best are considered the sandy beaches of Side:

  • Kizilot (secluded beach with clean sand in a bay protected by rocky headlands);
  • Sorgun (a quiet beach with a nearby pine grove, orange trees);
  • Apollo Beach (not crowded part of the Eastern City Beach is equipped with everything you need for recreation – changing rooms, toilets, sun loungers, awnings);
  • Evrenseki (divided between several hotels, clean despite the large number of vacationers).

IT’S INTERESTING! If you are bored with the hotel beach, you can take a Dolmus bus to the “Blue Ribbon” holders in Side. The fare is 2-4 lira (16-33 ₽).

History buffs on vacation in Side can book excursions to see:

  • The temples of Artemis, Tühe;
  • The ancient theater, the Agora;
  • Museum of Antiquity in the Roman Thermae;
  • the ancient cities of Seleucia, Selge.
Holidays in Turkey with children - 2022. Best resorts and hotels

These advantages are the main advantages of the resort of Side for vacationing Russians:

  • a large selection of comfortable hotels;
  • early start and late end of the vacation at the warm (up to +22 ° C) sea;
  • sandy beaches for recreation with children (with a gentle entrance to the sea, the shade of trees);
  • a huge number of historical monuments.

For the elderly, holidays with children at the beginning and end of the holiday season Side is ideal. For the kids in five-star hotels are always animators, but in Side itself there is little children’s entertainment, the historical sites on vacation to children are not very interesting.

Disadvantages of Side

The main disadvantage of rest at the resort in the height of summer is the Mediterranean heat. In July and August, the air is often heated to temperatures above +35 ° C. Other disadvantages of a holiday in Side Russian tourists consider:

  • a minimum of evening entertainment for young people;
  • long distances of excursions to natural attractions;
  • children’s entertainment only in hotels;
  • higher prices than in Kemer.

To the nearest large water park Water Planet (between Manavgat and Alanya) need to go 34 kilometers. Despite the many water rides and pools, its tickets are not democratic in price. An adult ticket to Water Planet costs 150 lira (1,270 ₽). Schoolchildren from 6 to 12 years old are considered children, and you’ll pay 131 lira (1,100 ₽) for their entrance.


The west coast, where the resort of Kemer is located, is protected from the mainland winds by the Crimean-like mountains. The resort stretches along the coast for 30 kilometers, including the mahallas of Beldibi, Geynyuk, Cape Faselis, and Tekirova.

Pros of Kemer

Comparing resorts in terms of settlement options (Side or Kemer), which is better for your family depends on the vacation budget. The resort of Kemer offers vacationers a large selection of inexpensive three-star, four-star hotels, where a week in September for two costs 8700-12900 ₽:

Such hotels include only breakfast in their meals, but you’ll find dozens of cafes and eateries in the resort where you can eat lunch or dinner for two for 90-130 lira (750-1070 ₽).

Choosing by the weather where it’s best, in Kemer or Side in the height of summer, the advantages of vacationing in the western resort are obvious. The mountains protect the coast from the hot west winds, so the air in July warms up to +32 ° C, and the sea – up to +28 ° C. Natural greenery softens the high humidity, so there is no stuffiness in the resort. In the transparent sea of Kemer interesting to dive, but pebble beaches with coastal stones, a sharp entrance to the water can be dangerous for children.

Many tourists write about the choice of entertainment (Kemer or Side), that it is better with children to rest closer to the capital of the province. In Kemer, nearby Kirish, Antalya, children can have fun in the water parks DoluSu Park, Aqualand Aqua park, visit dolphinariums, parks with amusement rides, oceanarium, “Dinopark”.

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Lovers of ancient history, active youth from Kemer can book tours:

  • To the ancient cities of Mira, Olympos, Phaselis;
  • to Kekova Island (with sunken ruins);
  • to Tyunektepe, Tahtali mountains;
  • the Beldibi Cave (with ancient petroglyphs);
  • to Duden waterfall;
  • the canyons of Saklikent and Genuk.

According to reviews of Russian vacationers, the advantages of Kemer include:

  • a large selection of inexpensive hotels;
  • interesting excursions to natural attractions;
  • transparent sea with a stony bottom (suitable for diving, snorkeling);
  • active leisure (trekking along the Lycian Trail, rafting, hiking in the Genyuk Canyon).

Young people spend their evenings in the free park “Moonlight”, nightclubs Kemer, at discos of the resort.

Disadvantages of Kemer.

The disadvantages of Kemer Russian tourists consider:

  • The danger of pebbly stony beaches for children;
  • the late start of the season (late May, early June);
  • difficulties in booking comfortable hotels in the middle of the season.

On the question of where to rest better, in Kemer or Side, there is no single answer. Summarizing the features of the resorts, we can say that at both you will find hotels on your budget. Lovers of active recreation will find more natural attractions in the mountains of the west coast. Tourists who are fond of antique history and architecture can see more Greek and Roman temples and historical monuments in the east, in Side. The resorts are almost equal in terms of shopping opportunities, but the west coast is farther to go to the big shopping malls.

Antalya, Belek, Kemer, Alanya, Side – where is better?

On the Mediterranean coast of Turkey there are 5 major resorts – Antalya, Kemer, Belek, Side and Alanya. Which one is better? On this page we will try to understand.

Click here to see a coastal map showing the resorts and airports.

The obvious winner is Belek.

No wonder, because Belek is an elite resort in Turkey. There are 20 kilometers of beautiful beaches with soft golden sand. Along these beaches a line of 50 five-star hotels, golf courses, SPA complexes.

The Beach of Excellence

Belek has one of the best entertainment complexes in Turkey – The Land of Legends, which has a water park, amusement park, a large shopping gallery. Near the resort there are interesting excavations of the ancient cities of Perge and Aspendos.

No doubt Belek is the best resort in Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea. Read more about it in our article “Resort Belek.

However, it is the most expensive. If you want to rest in one of the 5-star hotels on the 1st line, the price below 1200 USD (2 people, 7 nights) will not do. And better prepare 2000 USD.

Theoretically, there are hotels in Belek, the 2nd and 3rd lines, and the rest in them will be cheaper. However, the guests of these hotels have problems with the beach, because the beach is divided between hotels of the first line and there are only a few public areas, which are likely to be far away.

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What is better if you have no money for Belek?

In this case, it is impossible to say exactly. All tourists are different, all have their own tastes. Some like sand, some like pebbles. Someone definitely need All Inclusive, someone on the contrary it is not necessary. We will compare under objective parameters. At the end there is a summary table.

Types and quality of beaches

There are two large resort areas in Antalya. In the Lara area the beaches are sandy, in the Konyaalti area the beaches are pebbly. For a map of the resort please see our article ” Antalya Resort”.

In Belek all the beaches are sandy.

In Kemer all beaches are pebbly, and there are even some with a stony surface. For a map of the resort with zones and descriptions of these areas and beaches see our article ” Resort Kemer.

The beaches in Alanya are pebbly, there are sandy and sandy with a pebble at the entrance to the sea. Alanya is a huge resort, with 75 kilometers of coastline. We have told in detail about all the beaches in the article “The resort of Alanya.

The beaches in Side are either totally sandy or sandy with pebbles at the entrance to the sea. Side is also a big resort, with about 40 kilometers of coastline. Details about the beaches in each resort area we have described in the article “Resort Side “.

Antalya Belek Kemer Alanya Side
Sand or pebble, depending on the resort area sand pebbles or stones Sand or pebble, depending on the resort area Sand, with gravel at the entrance to the water

At the same resort can meet different types of beaches. Moreover, even within the same resort area beaches may differ. Therefore, the nomination “Best Beaches” can only identify the clear winner (Belek) and obvious outsider (Kemer).

Range of Hotels

Antalya has a very good range of hotels. There are several dozen “five”, there are 4 and 3 star hotels, there are quite inexpensive guest houses and apart-hotels. Whatever category of accommodation is not required, the choice of options will be worthy.

In Belek there are about 50 large 5-star hotels. But there are almost no inexpensive hotels. And even if you can book (buy a tour) of such a hotel, most likely it will be very inconvenient to get to the beach.

In Kemer, Side, Alanya there are more than 500 hotels of all categories, the choice for every taste and purse.

Antalya Belek Kemer Alanya Side
About 250 hotels – from luxurious 5* to inexpensive guest houses about 100 hotels, mostly big 5-star hotels over 500 hotels in all price categories over 500 hotels in all price categories over 500 hotels in all price categories
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All resorts are good according to the range of hotels. Only in Belek is a special situation – there are no options for those who want to rest on a budget.

Distance to the airports

Important note! The resort of Alanya has its own international airport Gazipaşa-Alanya Airport (code: GZP). However, the airport is very small and has very few flights. Statistically only 1 out of 5 Russian tourists fly to Alanya through this airport and 4 out of 5 fly to Alanya through Antalya Airport (airport code: AYT).

Therefore, in our table we give travel times to Alanya from Antalya airport. Mentally prepare for a long drive to the hotel. Or purposefully choose a tour with arrival at Gazipaşa-Alanya Airport (code: GZP).

Antalya Belek Kemer Alanya Side
15-25 minutes 25-35 minutes 40 minutes – 1 hour 35 minutes 1 hour 30 minutes – 2 hours 30 minutes 45 minutes – 1 hour 10 minutes

* – time from Antalya airport

Comments to the table are unnecessary, everything is obvious.

The range of things to do

Antalya has the most attractions, and this is logical. Antalya is not just a resort, but the provincial capital and a million-strong city. The locals also want to have fun. Antalya has a water park and dolphinarium, a large oceanarium, Sand Sculpture Park. A well-deserved 5 points out of 5 possible.

Land of Legends

In Belek, only one entertainment site, but what! One of the largest amusement parks in Turkey, “Land of Legends”. There is a water park with dozens of water slides, an amusement park, a large shopping gallery, over a dozen bars and restaurants, and there is even a circus big top. We rate Belek 4 only because there is only one park.

There is a water park DolusuPark in Kemer, it is possible to go up on mountain Tahtaly or to look a mountain Chimaera. A solid 3 points.

There are several local water parks in Alanya, you can see the Dalmatas Cave and Sipadere Canyon. The range is weak, so 2 points.

There is a big water park AquaJoy in Side. For entertainment you can go to Manavgat waterfalls. Therefore only 2 points out of 5 possible.

Antalya Belek Kemer Alanya Side
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 2 points

On the other hand, to go to a good water park in another resort is now no problem. You just need to buy a tour guide at the hotel. Prices are quite affordable – usually $ 30-40 dollars per person.

Cultural program

In Antalya there are few cultural attractions. You can see only the old town and the ancient Hadrian’s Gate. The situation is saved by the Antalya Museum, which gathered interesting archaeological finds from all over the province. Therefore, 2 points out of 5 possible.

Analia Museum

Belek has no cultural attractions of its own, except for the Park of Religions. However, very close are the excavations of the ancient city of Perge (30 kilometers) and the ancient city of Aspendos (20 kilometers). It is convenient to get there by cab. 4 points.

Kemer has small and moderately interesting excavations of Faselis and Olympus. Therefore 2 points.

Best sandy beaches in Turkey with 5 star hotels

In Alanya there is a lot to see for lovers of antiquity. It used to be the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate. The Kizil Kule Tower, the medieval fortified shipyard, the Castle of Alanya and the Archaeological Museum are worth a visit. 5 out of 5 possible.

In Side there is a rich cultural program as well. There is a partially preserved Temple of Apollo, it is very interesting to see the local amphitheater, there is a magnificent museum in the building of the ancient baths. 5 out of 5 possible.

Antalya Belek Kemer Alanya Side
2 points 4 points 2 points 5 points 5 points

In this table we evaluated the local attractions. However, many tourists prefer to go on long excursions, such as Pamukkale, the Temple of St. Nicholas, Ephesus or Troy. If you prefer long-distance excursions, then it does not matter – which resort to rest.

Where is the best climate?

Everywhere is the same. Everywhere the holiday season starts in late April and ends in late November. Read our article “Weather in Turkey by Month”.


As the proverb says, “There is no match for taste or color”. Each tourist has its own criteria for choosing. Our job is to “lay out” all the pros and cons of resorts. The results are summarized in the table below.

Read more about the pros and cons of each resort in our articles: “Antalya Resort”, “Belek Resort”, “Kemer Resort”, “Alanya Resort”, “Side Resort”. And also take a closer look at two more resorts in Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea – these resorts of Kash and Demre.

Antalya Belek Kemer Alanya Side
Beaches Sand or pebble, depending on the resort area sand pebbles or stones Sand or pebble, depending on the resort area Sand, with gravel at the entrance to the water
Choice of hotels About 250 hotels – from luxurious 5* to inexpensive guest houses about 100 hotels, mostly big 5-star hotels around 250 hotels in all price brackets about 500 hotels – all price categories around 250 hotels in all price brackets
Travel time from the airport 15-25 minutes 25-35 minutes 40 minutes – 1 hour 35 minutes 1 hour 30 minutes – 2 hours 30 minutes 45 minutes – 1 hour 10 minutes
Entertainment 5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 2 points
Cultural program 2 points 4 points 2 points 5 points 5 points

Important points

– Even if you go to the All Inclusive, there will still be additional costs. For example, for souvenirs and gifts. What kind, what prices, how to choose? Read our article “20 best gifts from Turkey;

– And do not forget about the costs of communication, read our detailed reviews of “cheap internet in Turkey” and “How to make cheap calls from Turkey;

– If you’re going on vacation by yourself, we recommend our article “To Turkey by yourself”.

Have a great holiday in Turkey, and read our articles about this country (list of articles below).

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