25 years ago, even if you were a Turkish local, you would never know a word about Sirince Village unless you had a relative or close friend from the village.
If you were lucky enough to know someone from this beautiful village it would be different for sure. Then you would have a chance to taste the delicious homemade wines, food, and everything there. However, after the 1990s, as tourism all around Turkey has started to rise, this village became an attraction point for the people who love authenticity.
Fundamentals and facts about Sirince Village
It is a nice, calm, and a small village (the name “Şirince” might be translated to English as “Cutely” or “Cuteish”) for peace seekers. The village is close to The Ancient City of Ephesus, Kuşadası, and İzmir. And an interesting fact, it became famous with the rumors about Mayan Apocalypse in 2012.
It is an old Greek Village and known as a security post (maybe part of an early warning system) to the Ancient City of Ephesus, (I’ll tell you about that in the upcoming parts).
The population is about 500-600 people at regular times. But actually, about a million people visit Sirince annually.
What about acommodation?
If you are planning to stay, there are around 20 hotels/pensions in and around the village. These hotels are generally in the form of old village houses and bungalows.
You can find around 25 restaurants to eat and about 80 small and bigger souvenir shops to buy something special. However, most of the time you will eventually find yourself buying wine.
Half a day will be enough to see everything in this small village. On the other hand, you may enjoy spending some quality time and some good food in such a peaceful environment by staying longer.
Why is it located there?
The village is an old Greek village which used to have 1800 houses at the time. After the demolition of the Ephesus, some of the Greek population came to this hidden location to protect themselves from the outer world and the problems of the lowland.
That’s the reason the village is on the hill. After having a short walk, you will find yourself climbing the stairs and the narrow roads to reach and see the monastery (it sure is very well worth seeing) on the top. The monastery used to be an early warning tower for the City of Ephesus in ancient times. The place of this tower might also be considered as a commanding height in military terms. You can see all the regions around it when you climb to the top. And for sure, don’t forget to have some nice drinks with an amazing view under your feet, when you reach the top.
After WW I broke, as the Greek population in Anatolia moved to Greece and the Turkish population in Greece moved to Turkey, as the result of a citizen exchange agreement. Thus, the Greek village of Sirince became a Turkish Village. Even though this change occurred, the farming and production never stopped in and around the Village. The most common agriculture products for the villagers have always been fig, grape, apple, and olive.
As I already mentioned, people were producing excellent homemade wines in the past here. But, later on, the wine production became an industrial issue due to the huge interest. I am not saying that the wine over there today is not as quality as it should be. But, I have to be honest and tell that the wine of Sirince is not that local anymore. For sure, the villagers would not be able to support a million visitors and also a bigger number of purchasers through the net from all around the country, even abroad.
Your trip to Sirince Village
This would be in three ways;
By a tour bus
If it’s like that, you don’t need to read more, you can skip this step. Your tour operators from Kuşadası or Izmir will take you there…
By your own drive
If you are driving yourself from Izmir or from the airport, it’s going to be a 1 hour and 15 to 30 minutes drive. The way to the village after Selcuk is a little bit crooked. But you will enjoy it because the scene is so pleasant. You will smell tangerine, grape, and olive trees during that last 8 kilometers.
If you wish to use public transportation, you can go to Selçuk and then take the minibus from Selçuk to Şirince.
Entering the village!
As you enter the village you don’t have a chance to escape, you will have to park your car at a parking lot. And there’s a “village express” for the people who don’t like to walk. The express is especially good for very hot summer days if you don’t want to climb the hill on foot.
In the village, there’s not so much different stuff to do. You will have a nice and pleasant walk through the houses (which are mostly two store houses which conserved their authenticity). And then you will enjoy tasting vines produced of different fruits.
Later on, you can have a nice meal in any of the restaurants. The specials of the village are stuffed squash blossoms and “gozleme” (a kind of flap pastry which is filled with cheese, potatoes, eggplant or spinach, depending on your choice). In that extremely pleasant environment, you can be pretty sure you will enjoy very delicious food.
And if you stay the night over at a hotel/pension, the night will be relatively silent and calm. This will be followed by a great village breakfast in the morning. Which is a real hit…
How about the prices in Sirince Village?
About the hotels and parking lots, certain people might think that the prices are a bit expensive. It is true that the hotels don’t have that much capacity and the demand spoils them a little. And it’s also true that we can stay at a better seaside place at the same price. But if you wish to stay at night, it’s absolutely affordable. Not as expensive as those luxury resorts for sure. The prices at the restaurants are better than the hotels and parking. In other words, the food is not expensive at all.
One last thing to tell about Şirince is the fact that you can be sure you will enjoy your time at Şirince whenever you visit it. The village is so beautiful especially in spring and autumn. It certainly is a place to run away from the hot weather in summer and it’s so peaceful and romantic during the rainy winter days.