Turkey is one of the most incredible places on the planet. With its vantage position spanning two major continents, Europe and Asia, this nation packs a bevy of outstanding attractions to fulfill all your travel cravings. Turkey has a remarkable coastline with stunning beaches, soft sands, and turquoise waters of the awe-inspiring Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. It is also home to many pretty villages that look like a picture postcard. One such lesser-known destination is Sirince, situated in the Aegean Region. Read on to learn the best things to do in this beautiful village.
About Sirince Village
Sirince in Turkey is a cute little village that sits on the side of a hill and is flanked by lush trees, rolling hills, fruit orchards, picturesque views, and verdant greenery. Due to its fantastic location on a mountain and fertile fields, it offers a thriving place for lush vineyards, olive groves, and delicious fruits and nuts trees such as figs, apples, walnuts, cherries, peaches, etc.
This former Greek settlement’s name translates to “cute” in Turkish and used to be called “Çirkince,” meaning “ugly.” It is believed that the inhabitants didn’t want to share the beauty of this village with outsiders and hence purposely gave this name to ward off foreigners and visitors. Several years later, when people understood that the town was beautiful and not ugly, they changed its name to Sirince, meaning “pretty,” in 1926.
Where is Sirince?
Sirince is located approximately 12 km from the ancient city of Ephesus, around 8 km from the town of Selçuk, and 85 km from Izmir. Today, the village has a blend of Greek and Turkish people, with approximately 700 people residing there. The houses in the town have a delicate balance of Greek and Turkish influences in their architecture. Many of the houses in the village operate as B&B, so if you wish to spend a day or two, you can rent cozy and comfortable rooms with all the amenities.
Some of these houses are unique and open to the public, allowing them to admire the interiors and decor and get a sneak peek into their architectural history. It is necessary for any new building to align with the village’s beautiful aesthetic, which is under preservation.
Reasons To Visit Sirince Village
Step back in time when you visit Sirince, a laidback village brimming with narrow cobblestone streets, traditional houses, boutique stores, souvenir shops, and local businesses. Agriculture has been the primary source of income and tourism in recent years. The sheer beauty and tranquility of the place are worth applying for your Turkey visit visa.
Best things to do in Sirince
Sirince has a bunch of exciting things to do. Let’s see how you can enjoy your holiday here.
Enjoy a wine-tasting session
Sirince is well-known for its wine production, so there are no prizes for guessing that wine tasting should be part of your itinerary when you visit this place. Many shops offer free wine tasting, and you can take your pick from several fruit wines like cherries, pomegranates, melon, peaches, blueberries, and apples. These wines are sweet due to the fruit and may not appeal to everyone’s tastebuds. It is highly recommended to try various flavors and buy the ones that you like. These wines are a big hit among tourists who buy many bottles to carry back home for themselves or as gifts.
Indulge in some retail therapy
The local bazaar is a treasure trove of unique products that are great for gifting or as collectibles. You can buy beautiful trinkets, handicrafts, soaps, dried fruit, jewelry, art pieces, foodstuffs like olive oil, spices, marmalades, jams, handmade apparel, and an assortment of souvenirs.
Savor natural, locally sourced food
All the food in the Sirince is locally sourced and fresh. The village is known for its lip-smacking Turkish breakfast, typically consisting of slices of bread, fruits, cheese, jams, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and delicious Turkish coffee. The food is seasoned with local herbs and spices and cooked in olive oil, another specialty here.
Stroll through the vehicle-free zone
Vehicles are prohibited in the city center to maintain the beauty of this village. You can explore this charming town on foot or horseback. But you may spot a tractor or two occasionally.
Hike to the hilltop
If you don’t mind getting a little cardio, you can hike up to one of the many hills surrounding the village. You pass through numerous olive trees and fruit orchards before enjoying a birds-eye view of the entire village from the top. If you go in the evening, you can see a spectacular sunset.
Visit the St. John The Baptist Church
St. John, Baptist Church, was reconstructed around 1805 on top of the foundations of an old church. However, the exact construction date of the older church is not known. Once you enter the church, you can see striking Byzantine Era frescoes over 1000 years old. It also has a garden, a cafe, and a wishing well.
Stop by the Church of St. Dimitrios
The Church of St. Dimitrios was built in the 17th century and is named after Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki, a martyr, and a saint of the Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, and Armenian Churches. The interiors have murals of the apostles, fine-wood carvings, and religious paintings. It also serves as a starting point for a five-hour pilgrimage to the House of the Virgin Mary.
See the House of the Virgin Mary
One of the highlights of Sirince is the House of the Virgin Mary. It is believed that Virgin Mary, along with St. John, visited Ephesus after the death of Jesus. This house was the last place where the Virgin Mary spent the rest of her life before passing away.
Fun Fact about Sirince
On December 21st, 2012, several believers of the Mayan calendar suggested that the apocalypse would start in the town of Şirince. Many thronged to the village and spent the night waiting for it to happen but it all went in vain. However, Sirince is now connected to this amusing incident.
Sirince is an excellent option to spend your vacation in Turkey away from the crowds of Istanbul and Antalya. You can also stay here, plan a day trip to Ephesus or Kusadasi, and enjoy the attractions there. So, the next time you visit Turkey, include this delightful and serene village in your itinerary, and we promise you that you will have an amazing time.