Before we left the old town of Ayvalik we drove to an island, Alibey Adasi. It was tbe largest island of Ayvalik and was linked by a bridge.
Immediately once we crossed the bridge we were captivated by the numerous singlehanders (single handed sailing dinghy). There were all challenging the waves in the bay! We were not sure if there was a sailing event or this was a popular bay where many singlehander hobbists gathered.
We drove further inland to Asiklar Tepesi which was a “church”, a “cafe” and a “windmill”. We took a early morning coffee break at the cafe which had a mesmering view of the bay and around. It was a totally different “Ayvalik experienc”e and we were glad to have visited this place before leaving Ayvalik.
It was close to a 3 hour drive from Ayvalik to Sirince Selcuk. Selcuk was the name of a district of Izmir Province. Sirince Selcuk was a mountain village 10km from the Selcuk.
Sirince Selcuk was a village in the hill and was one of the most beautiful villages in Izmir. Şirince, a former Greek Orthodox settlement dating back to BC 5th. Upon reaching Sirince we drove straight to our stay for the next two nights, “Nisanyan Hotel“. Nisanyan Hotel was sited on the higher ground and from the hotel we had a wonderful view of Sirince Selcuk.
From our hotel there was a path that went downhill to the village. We decided to take the lazy way out and drove downhill to a carpark near the start of the village. There were several carparks in the village, but most were already full. We parked in a carpark just outside the village which charged 25tl per entry. It was just a short walk to the village.
This was a very quaint old village, the buildings were built in the valley and on the surrounding slopes. They were all painted white with black rimmed window frames and clay colored roof tiles. The village was filled with shops, restaurants, cafes and hotels. The villagers were definitely “running” on tourist dollars.
It was an enjoyable walk through the village streets and when the evening came we had our meals in the village. Both our dinners for our two night stay were taken at the village. Coincidentally both dinner cost 380tl each for two persons. The price was much by far the cheapest in our trip.
Our first dinner was at Kavala Restaurant which had a very friendly dog. It was so used to customers that it did not hesitate to push its head from under the table up between our legs!
Our second dinenr was in a “blue” restaurant. Everythings were painted blue! The name of the restaurant was “Şirincem Restaurant & Cafe Pansiyon”.
Ephesus ruins was sited just outside of Selcuk about 10km from Sirince Selcuk. The entrance fee to the ruin was 400tl per person and the parking fee for our car was 50tl.
Ephesus was an ancient port city whose well-preserved ruins are in modern-day Turkey. The city was once considered the most important Greek city and the most important trading center in the Mediterranean region. Throughout history, Ephesus survived multiple attacks and changed hands many times between conquerors. It was also a hotbed of early Christian evangelism and remains an important archaeological site and Christian pilgrimage destination.
The Library of Celsus was considered an architectural marvel and was one of the only remaining examples of great libraries of the ancient world located in the Roman Empire. It was the third-largest library the Greco-Roman world.
What that was remain of the library was its majestic front facade with four maiden statues, two of which had already lost their heads.
Across the Library of Celsus was an ancient theatre. The theatre was 30 meters high with a diameter of 145 meters could contain 25,000 spectators. We had visited many Roman ruins during our many previous trips. After a while it became “unexciting” to visit another roman ruins. There were several Roman ruins in Turkey so we limited ourselves to visiting only one which was Ephesus Ruin.
Coffee Time in Selcuk
After our visit to Ephesus we went into Selcuk in search of coffee. We found a lovely cafe “Kallinos Kafe” to have our coffee break. The cafe latte was great, the shop was cosy and quiet and it was relaxing to see the rain drops dripping down the shop canopy.
Our stay in Sirince Selcuk
Our hotel was Nisanyan Hotel sited on the upper hill of Sirince Selcuk. It was the most expensive hotel in town, costing Eur180 two nights for a small ensuite double room with breakfast.
We had chosen the hotel because the view of Sirince from the hotel terrace where breakfast was served looked fantastic. Unfortunately during our stay there, breakfast was served in the dining room which had a much restricted vew.
Our room was much smaller than expected. It was narrow and the walls were sort of dusty. You just would not want to lean on them. Though we had two windows but it did not have any nice view. We definitely regretted not booking some other accommodations nearby which had similar view as Nisanyan Terrace but with much larger living space and cheaper in price.
Breakfast was served in the dining room. It was the usual Turkish Breakfast with three to four types of cheese, honey, breads various types of dough.