In this destination guide we explore the hilltop wine village of Sirince, which can easily be combined with a visit to Ephesus (Selcuk) on a day trip from Izmir.
A Sirince day trip
Whether you are heading first to Ephesus or want to go straight from Izmir to Sirince, you will have to head first to the regional transport hub of Selcuk.
From the entrance gate to Ephesus we took a ‘dolmus’ (Turkish minibus) back to Selcuk’s ‘otogar’ (bus station) where you’ll find a bus departing to Sirince every half hour or so.
Sirince is relatively famous in the Izmir region for its wine and unique Christian Ottoman architecture.
Sirince used to be known as well under its Greek name of Kirkintzes and was almost exclusively inhabited by ethnic Greeks throughout history.
This however changed after Greece lost the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922, which resulted in the expulsion of almost all Greeks from Asia Minor.
In a big population exchange, the Greeks of the Aegean coastal region of Turkey were forced to move to Greece while ethnic Turks from Macedonia and Thrace moved in the opposite direction in a massive population exchange.
The descendants of these Turkish refugees now inhabit Şirince, although the Greek origins of the village can still be seen when looking at the gorgeous white mansions with their large windows and red tile roofs.
Being located at the end of the road, the village of Şirince has a quiet character as it doesn’t have any through traffic.
Most of the streets in Sirince are pedestrianised, which makes exploring the village an easy and relaxed affair.
The village doesn’t have any big sights, but you are missing the point entirely if you come here for this reason.
Sirince simply is an idyllic village with gorgeous old houses in a stunning location overlooking a verdant valley and forested hills.
It’s just a perfect place to wander around, sit down for a meal, do some souvenir shopping or watch the world go by while sipping a coffee, a cup of tea or glass of wine.
Besides its architecture and scenic setting, Sirince is also famous for its food and wine.
Sirince is also well-known in Turkey as a foodie destination as it is home to quite a few restaurants where you can sample locally produced fruits, vegetables, wines and regional food specialities.
One of these traditional specialities is gözleme, a stuffed flatbread which mostly resembles a sort of crispy pancake.
Gözleme can be filled with either sweet or savoury ingredients such as honey, ground nuts, spinach and minced meats, with the savoury fillings being the more common.
There are plenty of places in town where you can eat gözleme or other Turkish specialities, although the restaurant we found was a particularly nice spot with its secluded garden and colourful ribbons in the trees.
After the enjoyable meal it was straight into the town’s bazaars for some shopping and some wine tasting at some of the many wine stores.
As I already wrote before, Sirince is famous for its wine production.
However, you won’t only find conventional dry and sweet wines made out of grapes in Sirince but also those made out of locally grown fruits such as blueberries, peaches and apples.
Of all the drinks I tasted I particularly liked the berry wines.
With a bottle of wine in hand, we climbed up on the hill to the upper part of the village.
Once we found a spot with a nice view over Sirince and the surrounding countryside it was time to open one of the bottles and to drink a glass or two while watching the sunset.
The hilltop village of Sirince is a lovely place to visit and makes for a perfect day trip from Izmir in combination with nearby Ephesus.
Getting to Sirince with public transport is easy as there are frequent buses from the regional transport hub of Selcuk.
Once in Sirince make sure to admire the fine architecture, eat some of the regional specialities and taste the local wines for which the village is famous for.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘Khachapuri & Kebabs: A Summer Trip to Georgia and Turkey‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Wizz Air Bucharest to Kutaisi (Airbus A320)
2. A Day in Kutaisi, the Charming Capital of Imereti
3. Caves, Churches and Monasteries – A Kutaisi Day Trip
4. Review: My Warm Guest House, Batumi, Georgia
5. Beautiful Batumi – The Pearl of Georgia’s Black Sea Coast
6. From Georgia to Turkey: Batumi to Kars by Bus
7. Review: Kars Konak Hotel, Kars, Turkey
8. A Day Trip From Kars to the Ancient Armenian City of Ani
9. Goose, Cheese and Russian Remnants: A Visit to Kars, Turkey
10. Review: Dogu Express Night Train Kars to Ankara, Turkey
11. Review: AnadoluJet Ankara to Izmir (Boeing 737-800)
12. Review: Ege Palas Business Hotel, Izmir, Turkey
13. Izmir: Turkey’s Most Liberal and Liveable City
14. Ancient Ephesus: An Easy Day Trip From Izmir
15. A Visit to the Hilltop Wine Village of Sirince (current chapter)
16. A Beach Trip From Izmir to Cesme and Ilica
17. Foça: A Beautiful Seaside Town to Visit From Izmir
18. Flying Back Home With Atlasglobal and TAROM