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MANAVGAT

Riverside commercial hub for Side                                                  Population: 95,000

ManavboatsMarket day: Monday

The small town of Manavgat is the main shopping and business centre for the Side area, the place to come to go to the bank or to shop for anything that has nothing to do with tourism.

It stands on the banks of the wide Manavgat river whose lovely green-tinged waters are a growing attraction in their own right, with many fine wooden boats moored near the bridge (köprü) waiting to ferry visitors up and down it. 

The river is the main town-centre landmark although another is an artificial waterfall (şelale) at the Side end of the high street.

The artificial waterfall is a reminder of the real waterfalls that lie to the north of town. The main waterfall, 3km to the north, is actually very pretty although you have to buy a ticket to get near it and then find yourself in a tourist-trap of a restaurant and shopping complex where everything costs roughly twice what it would anywhere else.manavsel

Eating

If you can't afford Side prices and don't fancy the tourist-orientation of its restaurants you can easily hop on a dolmuş into Manavgat to eat. Prices will be lower (if not necessarily rock-bottom) and no one will offer you a full English breakfast. 

Sleeping

There are a couple of small, simple hotels by the river that might make an alternative to the Side options for those on a budget. The Mercan Otel (Tel: 0242-743 1828) may be the best of them. Alternatively, on the road heading for Antalya the Akdeniz Hotel offers three-star comforts. 

Transport info

Manavgat is the transport hub for the area with frequent dolmuşes running into Side from the town centre. At busy times of day it can actually be quite a traffic bottleneck so allow plenty of time to get through it. 

For destinations to the north and west you will need to head for the Doğu Garaj (Western Terminal); for destinations to the east you need to head for the main otogar. 

Coming from Alanya you will probably be dropped on the main highway to catch a dolmuş onto Side.

Day trip destinations

Akseki

Alanya

Antalya

Aspendos

Green Canyon, Oymapınar

Perge

Side

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