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Şirince

Şirince Panorama

 

Şirince (population ~650) is a beautiful hill village only 8 km (5 miles) east of Selçuk, near Ephesus.  It's famous for its olive oil, fruit wines and other natural products.  A number of village houses have been beautifully restored and opened as inns and charming, restful boutique hotels.  This makes it a fine place to stay, and a great base for your explorations throughout the Ephesus region - a relaxing alternative to nearby, busy Selcuk which is the more common stop-over in this area.

Wine stall - typical of Şirince
Şirince bazaar - stalls everywhere!
Şirince - one of many hidden nooks

 

The story goes that Şirince was formerly inhabited by Ottoman Greeks and named Kırkınca ("Forty-ish"), which the locals pronounced Çirkince, which means "sort of ugly" (which it certainly is not!).  During the exchange of populations following World War I, Turks from Thessaloniki, Greece were moved here (in 1924). They changed the name to Şirince (shee-REEN-jeh, "sort of sweet, charming").

During the day in the warm, busy tourism months, it's easy to forget that Şirince is a village.  Buses roar up the hill (but aren't allowed to enter the village), groups of visitors wander clicking cameras and jingling money.  But in the morning and evening, when the day-trippers are not around, or at any time out of high season, you'll know at once that Şirince is still a village.

Şirince  is famous for local fruit wines (an acquired taste) and every other house seems to be a wine-bodega tempting visitors with free tasting.  A few local producers have switched to producing wines from the local vines, which produce grapes such as Narince.  You will also find many local and organic products: vinegar, honey, soaps, and traditional sweeteners called pekmez made from a variety of fruits.  The village has a small but lively bazar and the narrow streets are filled with market stalls.

 

Top TipFor a real treat, try the Nissanyan House Hotel located on a hilltop overlooking Şirince.   An outstanding location and truly wonderful experience.  Their website has a wealth of information on the village.