After you meet your professional private guide at the Kusadas pier, your shore excursion will depart from Kusadasi and follow the coast to the Menderes River valley, where you will see the ruins of Ephesus in the distance. You will continue on to the hillside village of Sirince.
The first inhabitants of the village named it Cirkince (ugly), in an attempt to keep foreigners from visiting. However, word of the village's genuine beauty reached the outside world, people did visit, and eventually the name was changed to Sirince (charming). The town is best known for its houses and variety of wines. The wines are made from fruits including apple, apricot, banana, blackberry, mandarin orange, melon, orange, peach, strawberry and occasionally, wine grapes. As you approach the village, the road passes through vineyards, orchards and olive groves, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the Tuscany of Turkey.
The village is a synthesis of Turkish-Greek culture, as it was inhabited by many Greeks until the 1920s. After the Independence War, the Greek descendants returned to Greece and were replaced with Turks, many of whom had been living in Greece. Although the exteriors of the houses still reflect the typical Greek architecture, the interiors have a distinctly Turkish flavor. Several of the houses have been beautifully restored and are open to visitors. In one courtyard is a nicely restored Orthodox church. Have your cameras ready as you stroll with your guide up and down the narrow cobblestone lanes between buildings of stone, wood, and plaster. The fragrance of burning wood or the local orchards in bloom will captivate your senses. You will experience the village scenes of women weaving, men carving, a fruit market under a tree, or the local merchants tempting passersby with their fruit wines, hand-pressed olive oil, or local produce.
Returning to the town of Kusadasi, guests will have the option to end their tour in the shopping area, where they can attend a Turkish carpet explanation and shop, explore the shops filled with jewelry, carpets, leather ware, and copper goods, or both. Turkish salespeople expect you to haggle and quite often you can get 10-15% off the listed price. Treat it as an adventure. The cruise pier is a 5-10 minute walk from the main shopping area. Guests not wishing to attend the optional carpet shopping should advise their guide and they will be taken directly back to the pier.
Best tour of our trip! Mr Verdi was a fantastic guide who really made the tour. Small group, wonderful area with warm welcoming people. Really need to go back to Turkey.
A really nice mix of history, culture and service! Our guide was most accomodating and flexible. He was well versed and informed about the region we were experiencing and always made sure we were comfortable and enjoying the surroundings.