Şirince is a taste of Turkish village life as it was. Nestled on the slopes of the Aegean hinterland, just 8km from Selçuk, a stroll through its steep, cobbled lanes is a step back in time. Originally a Greek village, it’s famous for its production of exotic fruit wines, which can be sampled here.
It’s an easy independent day trip from Izmir using your Izmir kart. From Basmane I took the Metro to get to Hilal on the main IZBAN train line which runs all the way to Tepeköy station (Torbalı ) in the south (extension to Selçuk is under construction). Relax and enjoy the views as the concrete of suburban Izmir gives way to green and golden crop fields. Check the connections from Tepeköy to Selçuk it’s only a short run, but the trains are infrequent. The enforced one and a half hour transit in Torbalı, actually gave me the opportunity to explore a very authentic Saturday market. From the Selçuk railway station, it’s a short walk to the main bus station, where minibuses can be found heading for Şirince on a regular basis (I waited about 15 minutes) for a few TL.
Whilst the village of Şirince is incredibly beautiful, it does feel like a tourist spot. The bus arrivals are regular and the laneways are lined with local craft and souvenir shops. That shouldn’t prevent you from finding a shady tea garden in which to sit, drink cay, enjoy the serenity and spectacular views of traditional Ottoman houses which decorate the hillside, much like Safranbolu in the north.
As one local said to me “çok güzel, yes, but you should have come 10 years ago, it was a real Turkish village then”. I can imagine.