A Local’s Guide to Sirince, the Village of Serenity

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There are many Aegean villages to enjoy. Yet, my favorite is Sirince. In this guide, I will cover things to do in and around Sirince as well as travel tips that only locals like to know.

Since my childhood, my parents and I have visited this village regularly. Now, I also take my family to this lovely town, which is one of our most romantic spots. 

The main thing that separates Sirince from other Aegean towns is its aura. 

The village is filled with many artisan shops, and you will witness many handcrafted unique art pieces, from colorful soaps to jewelry with Zultanite gems.

Şirince is best known for its homemade wines. I always get dizzy when walking around this village because, in every store, you will be offered samples of homemade wines.

At night, you can enjoy local taverns, a beautiful clear sky with stars, homemade wine, and fresh pine forest oxygen. There are many boutique family-run pensions converted from old houses. 

The rooms of the pension have traditional designs, and most of them have fireplaces. For this reason, I also love to stay in Sirince on winter days. 

One thing to mention, if you are on a romantic trip, you should book a luxury room with indoor jacuzzis looking over wonderful scenery.

After a lovely night, light the fireplace before you sleep. When you wake up, enjoy your Turkish breakfast, and either relax again or go sightseeing. 

Sirince is a town with a population of 570 people. Yet, Sirince has a remote but central location.

The village is located just a 10-minute car ride away from the Virgin Mary Church, Ephesus antique city, and Selcuk town. Sirince is also an hour’s car ride (85km) from Izmir.

If you are wondering what to do and what to see in Sirince? The small town of Sirince can surprise in a very good way.

Now, we are ready. Let’s enjoy Sirince!

My Map of Sirince

This map summarizes points of interest in Sirince. You can find a detailed review of each site further down in this post.

Map pins contain the websites and contact information of the sites.

Places to visit (Blue Locations on the Map)

  1. Demetrius of Ephesus
  2. House of Virgin Mary
  3. St. John the Baptist Church
  4. Church of Saint Demetrios
  5. Ephesus
  6. The Temple of Artemis
  7. Nesin Village
  8. Theatre School (Tiyatro Medresesi)
  1. Hodri Meydan Tower
  2. Adaland
  3. Aqua Fantasy Aquapark Hotel & Spa
  4. Zipline
  5. Skydiving
  6. Selcuk
  7. Kusadasi
  8. Camlık Steam Locomotives Open Air Museum
  9. Magnesia (ad Meander)

Restaurants and Wine Houses (Pink Locations on the Map)

  1. Kilise Wine House
  2. Kivircik Wine House
  3. Kaplankaya Wines
  4. Hera Wines
  1. Artemis Restaurant
  2. Cici Sirince Restaurant
  3. Panorama Restaurant
  4. Fındık Cafe

Things to do & Things to see in Sirince

The best time to explore the streets of Sirince is in the evening or early in the morning. Especially in the summertime, tourist tours come to town during daytime and Sirince may lose its tranquility.

In the late afternoon, everything turns back to normal.

What should you do if you are coming to Sirince in the summer? I would arrive early and have a magnificent Turkish breakfast. Then I would chill or go to one of the less-known spots that I will tell in this guide. 

Nothing is better than starting the day with a Turkish breakfast.
Photo source: Sirince Artemis Restaurant.

Then, in the evening, when the thermal winds start, I would enjoy one of the major attractions in Sirince, which is wine tasting. It would be better to taste those wines in the evening and not in the summer heat.

1. Explore the Streets of Sirince 

If you want to spend a night in Sirince check out my Where to Stay in Sirince Guide.

First of all, the streets are paved with cobblestones and do not always offer easy surfaces to walk on. If you have a baby carriage, it won’t help you in Sirince. We had a very hard time.

Also, sandals (flip-flops) may not be the best choice for wandering the streets of Sirince. Sports shoes or sneakers are better choices.

No matter how many people arrive during the day, I always felt tranquil in this town. There are too many places to explore, and Sirince does not get crowded easily.

2. Shopping in Sirince

You should explore artisan shops, and you will witness many handcrafted unique art pieces. 

There are four things that we as a family buy from Sirince. These are marmalades, fruit wines, zultanite jewelry, and soaps.

2.1 Marmalades

There are many locally produced marmalades in Sirince that you will not find in Turkish cities. My wife’s favorite jam is pine cone jam. She believes eating pine cone jam helps her allergies.

My favorite marmalade is chili pepper marmalade. This marmalade is made with meaty peppers, and it resembles hot chili sauce, but it is more thick and rich in flavor.

2.2 Zultanite Jewellery

Demetrius of Ephesus in Sirince

If you watched Brad Pitt’s Troya and want the same style of accessories, the artisan who produced them is in Sirince. His shop is called Demetrius of Ephesus. It is the first location on the map.

Yet, we buy Zultanite Jewellery from the small shop in the St. John the Baptist Church, the third location on the map.

Jewellery Shop in the St. John the Baptist Church

Let me give you a tip, so you do not need to bargain in this place. Prices are half of the tagged price, and they are very cheap compared to their looks. The local shop owner directly tells Turkish customers this.

You can buy any piece in the store between 10-50 USD.

What is a Zultanite?

Zultanite is a gem that is only found in the mountains of Milas, Mugla, Turkey. The name of the gem is linked with Ottoman Sultans.

Zultanite color changes according to lighting conditions. Unlike other color-changing gems, Zultanite is not limited to two colors. The gem can change color to yellow, purple, and green.

2.3 Sirince Wines

Sirince is famous for its fruit wines. Nearly every store sells wines and offers a sample for you to taste.

My favorite shop for wines is under St. John the Baptist Church, the third location on the map. It is a nice place to chill and taste the wines.

My wife and I love blueberry wine and peach wine. I believe Blueberry wines are legendary.

I find fruit wines very pleasing in the summer evenings. I sometimes mix them with slices of real fruits and cool them in the refrigerator. 

The other well-known stores you may wish to check are Kilise Wine House, Kivircik, Kaplankaya, and Hera. I pinned the locations on the map, and these stores are pink locations numbered between 1 and 4.

If you wish to buy locally produced regular wines, you can visit Hera Wines. You will find regular wines made with grapes from Sirince vineyards.

In this wine shop, you can also try other local wines produced in nearby regions.

Lastly, if you are a beer person, I recommend you to try Gara Kuzu (translated as “Black Sheep”).

Gara Kuzu is a boutique top-quality Turkish beer. You can only find Gara Kuzu beer around these parts of Turkey. 

2.4 Soaps

One of the best souvenirs that you can buy from Sirince is hand-made soaps. Olive oil soaps are classic in Turkey, they are natural and very pleasing to use.

We usually buy soaps mixed with herbs and other essential oils. My mom is an expert in this field, and my mom’s favorite soap is the soap that contains donkey milk.

The soaps will cost 2-10 USD, depending on their quality.

2.5 Handmade Crafts

Wandering the bazaar area of Sirince alone can take a couple of hours. There are many stands filled with unique things to see and discover.

Lidya, our 2 and half-year-old daughter, wandered the streets happily and finally found something that interested her very much.

She pulled her mother to buy a knitted dog toy, and she continued exploring the area with her new toy friend.

Sirince provides a family-friendly place where every family member can find something to enjoy.

If you want more shopping tips, please check my Kusadasi shopping guide.

3. Trekking or exploring paths around the village

If you love nature walks, Sirince is one of the best places to go on a trekking tour. The smell of the ever-green pine forest mixes with the fruit trees. 

In every season, you can find a tree with fruit on its branches. Peaches, grapes, cherries, apples… This is a very fertile region and very relaxing to explore.

4. Try local Elderberry Syrup or Turkish Coffee cooked on sand

Sirince has two unique drinks you can not find elsewhere.

Sambucus flower drink and coffee cooked on the sand. These drinks are very refreshing, especially in the heat of summer or winter.

The first one is elderberry (Sambucus) flower syrup, made with locally harvested elderberry flowers. The elderberry is also very healthy to drink to boost your immune system. It can also be served cold.

The Turkish coffee is cooked on the hot sand. Photo source Findik Cafe

The second one is Turkish Coffee. The difference in Turkish coffee cooked in Sirince is its cooking time and method. The Turkish coffee is cooked on hot sand, and this slow-cooking method enriches the coffee’s flavor.

5. Sirince Restaurants – Where to eat in Sirince

There are many restaurants in Sirince. The most popular ones are Artemis, Cici Sirince, and Panorama. You can check the pink marked location on the map between 4 and 7.

I would definitely advise dining in Sirince because when tourists leave, the town gets into silent mode.

If you are a calm person like me, I strongly suggest staying in Sirince for at least one night to enjoy the sky full of stars and the clean forest oxygen.

5.1 Artemis Restaurant

Artemis Restaurant Complex

My favorite is Artemis Restaurant & Wine House. It has an open-air terrace with a magnificent view. The restaurant has an active garden with many stands and things to see.

Artemis restaurant was first constructed as a school at the beginning of the 20th century.

Today, the school functions as a restaurant complex, and its interior area is a museum about education history.

You can see many education-related artifacts on display in the museum part of the restaurant.

5.2 Panorama Restaurant

Panorama restaurant has an excellent Turkish breakfast and one of the best views of Sirince. We also bought the marmalades from this restaurant and definitely recommend Panorama restaurant.

5.3 Cici Sirince Restaurant

Photo source Cici Sirince Restaurant.

Friends have strongly advised this restaurant as they say its service level is quite good in Sirince.

The other thing that this restaurant is famous for is its decorations. I haven’t checked the place myself, but when I check, I will update my recommendation.

6. Visit Ancient Churches in Sirince

6.1 Church of Saint John the Baptist 

The church was rebuilt around 1805 on top of the foundations of an old church. The exact construction date of the older church is unknown.

In the church, you can witness Byzantine Era frescoes that are at least 1000 years old.

Saint John the Baptist Church has a mystic and relaxing atmosphere.

The church was also recently renovated. It is the third location on the map. The church’s garden has a cafe and a wishing well.

The priest’s house is renovated, it’s the jewelry store where we bought our Zultanite gems, and its cellar is the place where we bought our wines.

6.2 Church of Saint Demetrios 

The Church of Saint Demetrios is younger than the Church of Saint John the Baptist, yet its exact construction date is unknown.

The church was rebuilt around the 1600s upon older foundations of another building.

The church is named after Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki, who was born around 280 and died around 304-305. He is a martyr and a saint of the Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, and Armenian Churches.

This church is also the starting point of a five-hour pilgrimage to the House of the Virgin Mary.

According to Catholic scholars, this old pilgrimage tradition is another confirming sign that the Virgin Mary House actually belongs to the Virgin Mary.

6.3 House of the Virgin Mary

Pope Benedict XVI visited the House of the Virgin Mary in 2006

One of the most visited sites around Sirince is the House of the Virgin Mary. The distance between Sirince is 15.8 km (around 10 miles).

It is believed that the Virgin Mary came to Ephesus with St. John after the death of Jesus. This house was the place where the Virgin Mary spent the rest of her life and died.

While the authenticity of this house was is recognized by Orthodoxes not officially recognized by the Vatican, this house received many visits from the Popes (including Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI)

Many pilgrims visit the House of the Virgin Mary. It is believed that the spring under the house has healing properties.  There is also a wishing wall. It is a traditional custom to write your wishes on a piece of fabric or paper and pin it on this wall.

I have visited this house several times myself. The road is not easy, but it is worth the effort.

Turkish Muslim’s respect for the Virgin Mary may surprise you. The Virgin Mary is a holy figure in Islam, and she is frequently mentioned in the Koran.

7. Visit Ephesus

Celsus Library Ephesus
Photo Source Cahit S. Foursquare

Ephesus is a 7 km and 10 minutes car ride away from Sirince.

Ephesus is an ancient city that is listed as one of the Unesco Cultural Heritage Sites. Ephesus has a history of 6.000 thousand years.

Around the 1st century BC, Ephesus was a thriving metropolitan city with a population of more than 250,000. At that time, Ephesus was the second-largest city in the world at the time.

Ephesus Amphitheater can host 24.000 thousand people. Today, it is still used for concerts in very special times.

Yet, when the harbor area and its connection to the sea were closed by the sand brought by the Meander River, the city was deserted slowly.

Ephesus can not be summarized in a few paragraphs; there are many things to see and be amazed at. If you wish to learn more about Ephesus, please read my Ephesus Guide.

Ephesus is also home to one of the 7 Wonders of the World. The Temple of Artemis, the most beautiful of the 7 Wonders of the World, is located in Ephesus.

You can also read my guide to learn more about Artemis Temple.

8. Aziz Nesin Mathematics, Art, and Philosophy Village

Aziz Nesin was a Turkish writer and humorist who had more than 100 books. As per his will, his son Ali Nesin founded this school.

It was Aziz Nesin’s wish to educate the new generation more closely integrated with science, math, and nature. He believed that only this way would young generations be at peace with themselves.

The school complex organizes non-profit youth camps, the teenagers attending these camps take lectures, learn basic agriculture and help run the camp by cooking and cleaning.

The village also attracts many volunteers from all around the world. There are many activities you can attend as a family as well. You can check their website here.

9.Theater School (Tiyatro Medrese)

Theatre School Sirince continuously hosts various art workshops.
Photo Source: Tiyatro Medrese

This is an international theatre school with many workshops. Theatre school is also an acting center with many art exhibits and plays. If you wish to check the activities of Theatre School, you can go to their website here.

The theatre school, Nesin Village, Nisanyan Hotels, and Hodri Meydan Tower were constructed by Sevan Nisanyan.

He is a Turkish writer of Armenian origin. His efforts are very important for the preservation and development of Sirince.

10. Visit Kusadasi

The distance between Kusadasi and Sirince is 27.9 km (20 miles).

Kusadasi is where my summer house is. I spent all my childhood summers in the Kusadasi area.

This is a major tourist destination with wonderful beaches, exciting nightlife, and many other tourist attractions.

If you wish to learn my Kusadasi bucket list, please read my guide about 29 things to do in Kusadası.

11. Visit Selcuk

Selcuk is the town near Ephesus. Selcuk Bazaar, Selcuk Castle, old churches, and Efes Archeological Museum are some of the attractions you will find in Selcuk.

Camel Beauty Contest – Camel Wrestling Festival

In the spring, you should not miss the Camel Wrestling Festival, you can read my post about this festival here.

12. Enjoy Aquaparks

Throughout the season, many events take place in Adaland.
Photo source: Adaland

If you want family-friendly day activities around Sirince, Aquaparks may be the best choice. There are lots of Aqua Parks in Kusadasi.

Adaland is the biggest one with the most activities. This aquapark is for all ages. There is also a show center where you can even watch dolphins and other animal shows.

Adaland is one of the biggest aqua parks in Europe.
Photo source: Adaland

The other one that I like is Aqua Fantasy. It is smaller but offers a good child and family-friendly atmosphere.

If you wish to learn about beaches, boat tours, and other activities near Sirince, check out my guide on Kusadası Beaches.

13. Skydiving – Gyrocopter

Skydiving over Ephesus. You can see Kusadasi beaches in the background.
Photo source Turkish Aeronautical Association

Okay, this is huge! You can skydive from the private airport near Ephesus, but I have not tried it yet. It is on my to-do list.

I am looking forward to the day that I will update this part of my guide with my experience.

You can take Gyrocopter tours over the Kusadasi.
Photo source Turkish Aeronautical Association

The Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK) organizes skydiving activities and Gyrocopter tours.

THK is a reliable government organization whose mission is to develop Turkish aviation. The association provides training as well as tandem skydiving for complete beginners.

You make a reservation or learn more by visiting their website.

14. Camlik Locomotive Museum

The open-air locomotive museum is huge. There are at least 100 locomotives and many railroad machines. Sometimes it is open at night for wedding events. Photo source Caglar A Foursquare

The Izmir railroad network is the oldest in Turkey. In this museum, you can witness locomotives dating back to the mid-1800s. This location is marked as the 16th location on the map.

This open-air museum was a railroad station in 1890. There are many German, English, American, and Swedish locomotives and railroad wagons and machines in this museum.

The best part is that you are allowed to enter these antique work machines. You can freely explore locomotives room by room.

Visiting Hours: The Museum is open Monday – Friday between 08:00-17:00 and weekends between 08:00-19:00.

15. Magnesia ad Meander

Magnesia is another site that tourists do not discover. Yet it is an ancient city to explore without crowds of tourists. This location is marked as the 17th location on the map.

Magnets from Greece founded this city. Magnets were geniuses in ancient times, they are also the same people who invented magnets and magnetic power.

In ancient times, Magnesia was a big commercial hub. Magnesia also had very fertile land and excellent wine.

This half-finished amphitheater helped us to learn how ancients constructed these marvels.

In those days, Magnesian power was so strong that they could challenge the influence of Ephesus in the region.

The excavations are continuing in the city. Every year, I visit this city to learn something about their culture. It is one of my favorite destinations in the area.

Snow in Sirince is a rare instance, yet wine near a fireplace would erase all your worries about life.

Climate of Sirince

Sirince is a fine example of the Mediterranean climate. In the summer, it is hot and there is no rain. Yet, the village area is more comfortable even on the hottest days of the summer.

Because the village is located in the hills, there will be thermal winds during the day, further refreshing you on summer days.

In Sirince, the average temperature for the winter days will be around 10-15 °C (41-59 °F). In the winter months, it will rarely snow, but rainy days will be frequent.

Further Reading

If you liked this guide, you can also check my other guides about the Kusadasi area.

Where to Stay in Sirince?

All You Need to Know Before Coming to Sirince

A Local’s Guide to Kusadasi – Everything You Need To Know

Kusadasi: All You Need to Know Before Coming

24 Kusadasi’s Best Beaches, Beach Clubs, Boat Tours (Map included)

Is Kusadasi Safe? 15 Travel Tips From a Local

A Local’s Guide to Zeus Cave Turkey- Zeus’s Love Nest

A Local’s Guide to Easy Shopping in Kusadasi

15 Famous Ancient Sites to Discover in Kusadasi (with Maps)

Camel Wrestling Festivals – UNESCO Cultural Heritage Candidate

27 Amazing Things to Do in Kusadasi – A Local’s List

A Local’s Top 13 Spots for Kusadasi Nights

2 thoughts on “A Local’s Guide to Sirince, the Village of Serenity”

  1. Hi Efe
    I wonder if you can give me some advice
    I’m travelling to Turkey in Jan and hoping to spend some time in Sirince and it’s surrounding area . Sirince sounds like a wonderful base for touring the area. My travel agent is telling me that I shld stay in Kusadasi becuase it’s winter time and nothing to see in Sirince ! but I’m not so sure . Any views on this ?

    Reply
    • Sirince is not a place to go and see. Sirince is a place to calm down and rekindle your love with your loved one.

      Especially in winter, it is magnificent place to forget your daily problems. Light your fireplace when sleeping. Go drink with your coffee in nature and silence. Enjoy Turkish cuisine with your local wines and watch stars as you return home. Take a walk in cobblestone paths in the village or wander around the fruit trees.

      If you are lucky, there will be snow.

      If you are bored of tranquility, all the action of Kusadasi is 15 minute driving distance.

      Reply

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