Explore the impressive marble ruins of this ancient Roman temple in the romantic oceanfront setting of Turkey’s white-sand beaches.
While in the Turkish town of Side, admire the remains of the remarkable Temple of Apollo and Athena, dating back to the 2nd century. Take in views over the Mediterranean Sea from this ancient relic, a spectacular open-air museum in front of Side’s beautiful beaches. Return at dusk with a picnic. Sit by the ocean and watch the sunset over this breathtaking site, theatrically illuminated by floodlights at night.
The ancient port city of Side is one of Turkey’s most popular vacation destinations, and its age-old remains draw countless tourists year-round. The remnants of the 1,800-year-old Temple of Athena and Apollo consist of columns from antiquity placed in their original locations, with several still intact and standing. This Roman site is a relic of the spread of Greek mythology and architecture throughout the region during antiquity.
The cults of Apollo and Athena were popular throughout the Roman Empire. The patron goddess of Side, for example, was Athena, protector of sailors and the harbor. Have your camera ready to capture precious moments near the ruins. Marvel at the still-standing Corinthian-style marble columns that make up the portico of the temple.
In the daytime, wander past columns that have fallen and broken over the centuries, as you breathe in salty ocean air and gaze out over panoramic sea vistas. For lunch, try one of the nearby beachfront restaurants for authentic local fare at a reasonable price. At dusk, bring a picnic and enjoy a romantic supper while watching the sun set over the temple. As night falls, gaze out at the moon over the dramatically spotlighted porticos.
Reach Side from nearby Antalya Airport in 1 hour by car or bus. While Side is a fantastic vacation destination year-round, the most opportune months to visit are April, May, June and October, as the town is packed with tourists and locals in high summer.
Visit the site of the Temple of Apollo and Athena to encounter one of Side’s most historic and picturesque attractions.