Wait, What/Where Is Şirince?
Şirince is a cute little village with a fun history, beautiful views, wonderful food, hospitality, and so much more. It’s perhaps the perfect synthesis of a traditional Turkish village and a traditional Greek village. In fact, the town, whose name actually means “cute” in Turkish, used to be called “Çirkince,” meaning “ugly.” This was an ironic take on the beauty of the village and also used to ward off others. As people wised up to how spectacular the village’s location and architecture really was, they changed the name to Şirince in 1926.
The village lies across a hill about 12 km from the ancient city of Ephesus, 85 km away from İzmir proper. The architecture is truly special and a few houses have been opened to the public to give the public the opportunity to admire it up close and to get a sense of the architectural history of the village. Any new building is required to align with the aesthetic of the village, which is under preservation. Its location on a hill and its fertile fields have made it a haven for vineyards, olive orchards (and the local olive oil is to die for!), amazing peaches, figs, apples, walnuts, and more.
Reasons To Visit Şirince
The lush greenery of the natural setting of Şirince is complemented beautifully by the two-story architecture of the buildings in the village. From afar the village looks like a painting, and its homes are as enchanting from afar as they are from up close. The homes are connected through windy, cobbled streets that are narrow and make you feel like you’re traveling back in time to the world before cars and modern industry.
All-natural locally sourced food:
As Şirince is so well-known for fresh produce, it’s no surprise that the food you’ll eat here is notable. The village breakfast is some of the best Turkish breakfast you’ll ever eat, with an endless array of cheeses and olives and tomatoes and cucumbers and jams and more. Local herbs are used in many of the more substantial meals, picked from the hills and often cooked using local olive oil (which, as we’ve mentioned, is excellent).
On December 21st, 2012, there were a number of… umm… believers that the Mayan calendar suggested that the apocalypse would begin in the town of Şirince. Kooks Believers flocked to the town and spent the night waiting to no avail, and now the city is associated with this amusing history.
Don’t forget to check out our Sirince tours.