Seated between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean is the popular coastal town of Manavgat. It is not known when the town was founded, but it is believed that it could have been in 200-150 BC. In 1220 Seljuk Turks occupied the city, with the Ottoman Empire occupying the city later in 1472. Side and Selge, which are located nearby, date back to the 6th century BC.
The area has a wealth of natural beauty ranging from its forested mountains and well protected countryside to the Manavgat River, which feeds into the Mediterranean. The fertile land in this area has been used to advantage agriculturally. The Manavgat River has been utilised in the rearing of livestock and for the irrigation of crops such as, grains and sesame, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Until recently the river has continued to provide a means of transport for cargo and passengers and has two hydro-electric dams in use for the generation of power. The area’s principle industries are food processing and tourism though the area is home to lush vegetation.
With an increasing tourist industry the area has plenty of accommodation to choose from. Local cuisine can be found at any of the local restaurants and includes an abundance of fresh fish. A yearly increase in the number of tourists has had an influence on this once traditional city and there is now a lively nightlife consisting of bars and discos.
The Manavgat waterfall is one of the best known waterfalls in Turkey. It is located 3 km from the village of Manavgat. The small cascade on Manavgat Creek is 2 m high and 40 m wide. Although waterfalls are not high, the current is very powerful and the river rushes milky white over the rocks and the streams are full of trout. Next to the waterfalls, shady tea gardens, fish restaurant, a cafeteria, recreational sites and souvenir shops make the falls a pleasant, cool resting spot, especially welcome after a day of sighseeing. It is also possible to take a delightful boat trip up the Manavgat River to explore this lovely area further.
The great waterfalls are found in the Oymapinar Dam direction of the small cascade. The delta where the creek joins the sea has a unique beauty of its own.
The area enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and warm, wet winters. It is rare for the temperature to drop to freezing, making it a perfect holiday destination that can become very busy during the summer. Manavgat has an extensive coastline mostly consisting of sandy beaches. As well as enjoying the beautiful beaches, visitors can hike along the river until they reach the Manavgat Waterfall and a smaller set of falls. The forested national park of Koprulu Canyon provides the right conditions for the popular activity of river rafting. Along the coastline there are numerous rivers, streams and caves to explore.
The ancient Side was founded on a plain peninsula which extends in to the Mediterranean. Today’s Selimiye and here the ancient city are within one another. The cafes, restaurants, shops, bars and the village houses some of which have been converted to accommodation places like pensions all stand together with ruins. You need to walk around the streets of the town for a fairly long time to be able to find some important buildings of the ancient city. As if they want to hide these monuments from the eyes likewise many of the monuments belonging to the old time periods have been flooded by continuously heaping sands and the plants peculiar to the Mediterranean.
Within a short time period, the places which are cleaned by the men are again filled with these merciless and obstinate natural invaders.
However sands filling the ancient seaport along with a great portion of the shores of the peninsula hava at the same time let this place become a nice beach with an unequalled beauty.