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Down at Side harbour, the re-created colonnade of the Temple of Athena marches towards the blue sea, while at the top of Side old town's gentle hill, the 2nd-century theatre still lords it up over the surrounding countryside. Between these two ancient relics, the lanes of this once-docile fishing village have long since given themselves over to souvenir peddlers and restaurant touts hustling for business. Despite the constant stream of visitors, the liberal scattering of glorious Roman and Hellenistic ruins sitting incongruously between shops means you can just about imagine (if you scrunch up your eyes) the tourists picking over togas rather than T-shirts.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Side.