Best Kusadasi 5: Disembark from your cruise ship at Kusadasi and you will have the chance to step back into another world with a visit to historic Sirince, a charming, unspoilt village of just 600 inhabitants where time has stood still.
Located in Izmir Province about 6km east of the town Selcuk, this pretty old Orthodox village, 12 kilometres from Ephesus and 30 kilometres from Kusadasi, used to be called Cirkince – which can be translated into English as ‘ugly’! Its inhabitants are reputed to have given it this name because they did not want to be bothered by outsiders or share the beauty of their village. Later, according to one version of the tale, it dawned on visitors that it was not ugly at all and they renamed it Sirince (‘pretty’), the name by which it has been known ever since.
The village is blessed with a mountain-top position from which you will be able to gaze down on peaceful vineyards and groves of peach trees. When you have taken your fill of the blissful views you can explore the narrow streets of the village, where the womenfolk gather to sell handicrafts of all kinds, as well as local produce such as olive oil. Another attraction in Sirince that is definitely not to be missed is its wine – this can be sampled at any of the small cafes or in the former municipal school, which has been lovingly restored.
Though Sirince now welcomes visitors with open arms and has learnt to embrace tourism, it has been able to preserve its authenticity and everything its name conjures up.
Meeting/pick-up point: Kusadasi port.
Duration: Four hours.