During our amazing, whirlwind weekend in Selçuk, we spent an afternoon in Şirince, a tiny village in the mountains about 8 kilometers away. For a long time, this village was pretty much unheard of due to its remote location, but has become a favorite spot among tourists -both from Turkey and abroad- for its picturesque scenery and delicious fruit wines (also, its proximity to Ephesus doesn’t hurt).
As if the crisp mountain air, cobbled streets, the promise of wine, and rows of Ottoman houses stacked atop the mountainside weren’t enough, beautiful covered markets selling everything from Turkish lamps to handmade soap curled through the town like a maze. It was sensory overload in the best way possible.
Turkey is generally packed with markets and bazaars, but these ones featured a lot of beautiful, handcrafted items that I hadn’t seen elsewhere. We spent quite awhile browsing the shops, admiring the views, and picking up a few souvenirs for ourselves, including a lovely cotton summer shirt that I snagged for 20 TL.
After having our fill of the markets, we walked up to a lovely restaurant and winery that offered a great view of the village and surrounding mountains. There were more flavors than I could possibly sample in a day, so I had to choose wisely. We settled on the karadut (black mulberry) and the kavun (melon). Both were incredible! Unlike your usual glass of wine, the fruit flavors really come through and have a crisp, refreshing taste; the perfect companion to a beautiful sunset after a warm, sunny day.
While we were chatting about life and sipping on our wine, my husband ran over to a nearby stand to pick out a handmade flower crown for me, evidently the must-have accessory of Şirince since pretty much every woman and girl in the village was wearing one. Much to my surprise, the flowers on the flower crown were actually real dried flowers, so not only did it serve as a fun and whimsical head adornment, but it is also currently hanging in my lojman as a tiny wreath.
We finished out the evening with one more glass of wine before heading back to our hotel in Selçuk. One afternoon in this woodsy, fairy-tale village was definitely too short. I’d love to go back when the weather gets warmer and finish sampling that wine list!
Life is good.