Sirince is a beautiful hill town only 7 km (4.4 miles) east of Selšuk, near Ephesus, in the Aegean hinterland south of Izmir. It’s famous for its wine.
The story goes that it was formerly inhabited by Ottoman Greeks and named Kirkinca (“Forty-ish”), which the locals pronounced ăirkince, which means “sort of ugly” (which it certainly is not).
After the exchange of populations following World War I, Turks from Greece were moved here. They changed the name to Sirince (shee-REEN-jeh, “sort of sweet, charming”).
Some say the Orthodox Christian Greeks who lived here formerly were famed for the excellence of their wine. Others say the Muslim Turks who moved here pretty much started the wine trade, but in any case production has been continued (or re-started), and you can taste the results and judge for yourself when you visit. They sell red, white and rose, dry and sweet.
I must admit that I have not been charmed by them, but it’s an experience.
Besides grape wines, the locals sell many fruit wines, including apple, apricot, banana, blackberry, blueberry, creamberry, mulberry (black, and white), mandarin orange, melon, orange, peach, quince, sour (Morello) cherry and strawberry.
Go to Sirince for a stroll, some shopping, photography, a bit of cooler air, a good lunch or dinner in one of the fairly elaborate restaurants near the main square, or even overnight.
Be sure to stop and see Mr Zeki ăelikši, a master craftsman who carves wooden spoons by hand. More…
Sirince is a stop on some guided bus tours, so it is busiest at mid-day, and quietest in the evening and morning.
A number of village houses have been beautifully restored and opened as inns, with comfortable double rooms, as well as suites for families, and even rental houses for longer stays.
Here’s how to drive from Izmir’s Adnan Menderes Airport to Selšuk and Sirince.
Public transport to and from Sirince is not as frequent as might be wished, so if you want to visit by public minibus dolmush, ask about departures at Selšuk’s otogar (bus station) the day before (if possible), then go to Sirince in the morning. Minibus traffic tends to be less frequent as the day wears on.
If worse comes to worst, you can always walk back to Selšuk. The downhill hike should only take a little more than an hour if you’re in decent shape. Bring water, and beware the sun in summer.