Looking for a place to get away from the tourist trail in Turkey? Sirince, the laid-back mountain village near Ephesus the Ancient Greek city is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Turkey for that. Welcome to the village where life only seem to move at a slow pace.
My Sirince travel blog is based on my experiences during my Turkey trip in September 2020. Yes, this was during the Corona pandemic. Curious how it is to travel to Turkey during COVID? Click on the link to read about my experiences.
The historical village of Sirince was founded long before Christ (323 BC), most probably by Ephesians that in search for a quiet place in the mountains. Nowadays when you travel to Sirince you will see that tourism is the main source of income of the 700 remaining inhabitants, but don’t worry… Sirince is a very quiet, sleepy but cute village. Narrow streets, local shops, traditional houses, wines and local agriculture is what Sirince is now all about.
The best thing about Sirince is that it is only 8 kilometers away from Ephesus, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey and therefore a perfect stop on any Turkey itinerary.
Sirince is a perfect stop on any Turkey road trip. Check out my Ultimate Turkey Itinerary for 14 days. This includes some amazing off the beaten path destinations in Turkey like Mount Nemrut, Uzungol, Lake Salda and many more.
Stay connected while traveling in Turkey and buy a Turkey sim card for tourists. 4G is very cheap and within 5 minutes it is fixed.
Visiting Sirince is highly recommended on after visiting Ephesus or on a day trip from Kusadasi (40min drive). But the best thing is to spend the night in Sirince. This hidden gem in Turkey really comes to life when the sun goes down. There will be live music in the streets and the terraces are filled with people eating out and drinking wine in the streets.
Don’t get too excited about visiting Sirince, this is a lovely mountain village perfect to unwind, but don’t expect bustling tourist hub. Still there are a couple fun things to do in Sirince.
1. Visit St. John The Baptist Church
Turkey is predominantly Muslim, so being able to visit a church instead of a mosque is a nice change. It has a bit of a cave feeling, walking into this church. Throughout history many Greek Orthodox settled in this mountain village and the remains of that culture can be found back in the St. John The Baptist Church.
2. Visit the House of Virgin Mary
Another place to visit near Sirince is the house of Virgin Mary, actually a famous Turkish tourists attraction. There is an entrance fee of 40 TL. According to Catholic pilgrims this is where the mother of Jesus lived until she died. This though has never been acknowledged nor denied by the Catholic Church.
3. Wine Tasting in a winery
As I said Sirince is also famous for its wine culture, so visiting one of the wineries for a tasting is great thing to do in Sirince. The oldest wine cellar in Sirince is actually the one of the St. John The Baptist Church.
Sirince is famous for its fruity wines and you will find wines made from every fruit sort imaginable: raspberries, peaches, melons, apples and many more. You have to try at least some of them even it is not your taste. You will be surprised!
Kivircik Wine House is a great place to go for wine tasting in Sirince.
4. Hiking for sunset
Get lost in one of the many wine fields. Walk in and between olive and fruit trees and find your path up to one of the many surrounding hills around Sirince. Hike up to watch a magical sunset over the village.
5. Dinner at Sirincem Restaurant
The most popular restaurant is Sirincem Restaurant. This charming restaurant has nice views, lovely staff and delicious food. Their desserts were amazing so safe some space for that. Surprisingly this place was also very affordable.
6. Lunch at Sirince Artemis Restaurant and Wine House
An even more charming place to visit in Sirince is the Artemis Restaurant. It has even better views than the Sirincem Restaurant. I actually only came to sip a Turkish Tea, but when I saw the breakfast served at this place, I had to order some too and it was wonderful! Recommend for breakfast or lunch for sure.
7. Enjoy Live Music at night
Here as well… dont get too excited. But strolling through this charming little village at night is a must do when visiting Sirince. You will find all the terraces filled with tourists having a drink and enjoying themselves. Pick your spot, listen to live music and sit back, relaxed and enjoy people watching.
8. Support local business Shop local souvenirs
The narrow cobbled stoned streets of Sirince are lined up with shops where you can buy all the locally produced products. Take home some wine, olive oil or handicrafts from one of the many souvenir shops and this way support local business. Souvenir shopping in Sirince is very affordable.
How to get to Sirince
Part of Sirince being a hidden gem is that it is hard to get to when you don’t have a car. For the adventurers there are daily mini busses from Selcuk to Sirince. It takes about 30 minutes.
Where to stay in Sirince
Finding a hotel in Sirince isn’t really hard and prices are very much affordable. I found Gullu Konaklari, a boutique hotel with rooms located in a historic house. It was the perfect choice for my trip to Sirince.
Its location couldn’t be much better as it is located right at the end of the main street in the city center. But as soon as you step inside this boutique hotel it feels like an oasis. So peaceful and tranquil, exactly what a trip to Sirince should be.
Their breakfast was also a big plus. Of course a delicious Turkish breakfast as usual, but the additional pancakes and the cooked to order eggs were just delicious too.
I hope all these Sirince tips were helpful for your upcoming Turkey trip.