Şirince is a small village of about 600 residents situated about 6 kilometers or 3.7 miles from the town of Selçuk in the İzmir Province of Turkey. Şirince was settled when Ephesus was abandoned in the 15th century but most of what now comprises the village today dates from the 19th century. There is a story that the village was settled by freed Greek slaves who named the village Çirkince, which means Ugly in Turkish, in order to discourage others from following them. The name of the village was changed to Şirince, which means Pleasant in Turkish back in 1926 by the governor of the Izmir Province. Şirince is a pristine traditional village nestled on the hills in Central Aegean Region of Turkey. It is a small quaint village which is renown for its wine and its old houses. The village was also once known as Ephesus in the mountains. It is said that in 431 AD., during the meeting of the 3rd General Council on the principles of Christianity, the Virgin Mary was buried in Şirince. The village was settled by Greeks until the immigration exchange in 1922. Şirince is one of the Government Protected Historical Areas and therefore most of its original and authentic buildings have been very well preserved. Situated on a plateau at the end of a beautiful valley and surrounded by mountains, Şirince is an almost magical place that testifies of the village life of the past. There are remains of 42 churches and monasteries in and around the village. Besides the ruins there are two churches and one mosque that are well worth visiting. The St.John Baptist Church is set in a courtyard with a fountain and is being currently restored by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Şirince's local architecture with old houses is very well preserved and makes the village take on the ambience of the traditional Turkish village of the past. Şirince is famous for its wine production. There are many wine producers and shops around the village where visitors can taste the various wines locally made and buy it if you like.
It is fairly simple to reach Şirince via the highway. The distance between Izmir and Şirince is 63 kilometers which takes about an hour by car. There are no direct buses to Şirince but only private tour buses. You can take minibuses to the village from Selçuk, which cost only about 2 YTL and are scheduled almost every hour in both directions. The village is quite small and it can and should be visited by walking through it, but due to the fact that most of the houses are located on the hillside, the village is not all that bicycle friendly. Take a stroll through the historical streets of the village and visit the souvenir shops where visitors can buy locally made wines, handicrafts, olive oil and locally grown peaches. The area enjoys a Mediterrenean climate where summers are hot and dry and winters are mild and rainy without snow. There are several small hotels in Şirince. The Kırkınca House Hotel is a pleasant boutique hotel located in the village and can be reached +90(232)898 3133. Şirince Evleri consists of two old Greek cottages with a capacity of 14 beds. These two old charming houses are called Altinyaprak and Karadut. They can be reached at +90(532)263 7942 or +90(532)741 8488. The Dionysos Pension is also located in the village and can be called at +90(232)898 3130 or +90(532)217 8705. The Salkım Konak is a nice quiet small hotel located on İstiklal Mahallesi, No: 19 in Şirince and can be called at +90(232)898 3114 or +90(532)795 3763.