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Mention the country Turkey, usually the first thought that comes to mind is Istanbul, the country’s largest city.  It’s a beautiful city famous for its architecture and historical Ottoman mosques that decorate the city’s skyline.  But Turkey is rich in culture and history, and there’s plenty to see.  If you’ve dreamed of traveling to Turkey but have hesitated to book a flight because you’re not sure of what cities to visit, you should definitely add Sirince to your travel planner.

If you enjoy ruins, eating olives, drinking wine, and shopping, then Sirince (pronounced: Shee-Reen-jeh) is the place for you.  Originally settled by the Greeks and nestled in the Aegean, Sirince means “sweet and charming.”

A tourist town, it’s famous for its wine production.  But a word of caution, the locals use just about every fruit to make the wine.  You can wander into several shops for a taste of wine made from apples, apricots, bananas, melons, cherries, and other fruits…except for grapes.

Besides wine, Sirince is also known for its olives, some of the best you’ll ever eat.  Not only can you stock up on olive oil, you can purchase handmade olive oil soap.  I can’t promise you’ll have a flawless complexion like the local women, but I’m sure using it couldn’t hurt your chances.  And there’s just something so organic about using anything that’s homemade.

A trip to Sirince would not be complete without visiting the ruins in the ancient City of Ephesus, which is a short hike from Sirince or a quick cab ride.  Or you can just stroll the hilly cobbled streets of Sirince to the St. John the Baptist Church, which is under renovation.

After a day of shopping and hiking, most likely you’ll work up quite an appetite.  I can think of no better way to end the evening than indulging in delicious Turkish cuisine made of lamb, pilav rice, and fresh vegetables.

Things to consider while visiting Sirince.  It’s hilly terrain and has many cobbled streets, so leave your flip flops and sandals in the hotel room.  Instead, wear shoes with some sort of grip.  The days start off cool, but get really hot by midday.  Stock up on water and make sure you drink lots of it while you’re out and about.  And of course, don’t forget to bring your camera. 

Join me next Travel Tuesday for a virtual exploration of Antalya, Turkey.

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