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The beautiful ancient European town so peaceful even cars are banned

Nestled in the picturesque hills of Turkey’s Izmir province lies the quaint village of Şirince, where time seems to stand still amidst its cobblestone streets and historic stone houses. Renowned for its beauty and tranquillity, Şirince has recently garnered attention for an unusual feature – its ban on cars.

This ancient European town, with its roots dating back to the 15th century, exudes a charm that transports visitors to a bygone era. The narrow streets, lined with blooming bougainvillaea and olive trees, create a serene ambience that is a rarity in today’s bustling world.

The decision to prohibit cars in Şirince was made to preserve its unique atmosphere and protect its historic infrastructure. Instead of the usual hum of engines, the only sounds that echo through the village are the chirping of birds and the laughter of locals and tourists alike.

Visitors to Şirince can explore the town’s attractions on foot, immersing themselves in its rich history and culture. From the Byzantine-era St. John the Baptist Church to the charming boutique shops offering handmade crafts and local delicacies, there is no shortage of experiences to indulge in.

One TripAdvisor user wrote: “Small historical city with colourful old fashion houses and architecture. Plenty of small handicraft shops. Especially recommend jewellery with Stone Zultamide, which change colours by unique way of different light source.”

Another one echoed: “This delightful little village is located in the Kazdaglari Hills above Ephesus and the Mediterranean Sea. This village has maintained its ancient heritage, culture and architecture over the years. The main building off of the park garden houses a museum and restaurant. There are tables in the garden area with pop-up shops selling artisan products and local craft wares.”

For those seeking a taste of traditional Turkish cuisine, Şirince boasts an array of quaint cafes and restaurants serving up dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Whether sipping on freshly brewed Turkish tea or indulging in a mouthwatering mezze platter, visitors are sure to delight in the flavours of this enchanting village.

Beyond its historical and culinary offerings, Şirince is also renowned for its vineyards and winemaking traditions. Wine enthusiasts can embark on tours of local wineries, sampling a variety of exquisite wines while soaking in panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

In Şirince, time seems to slow down, allowing visitors to reconnect with nature, history, and themselves.

Whether strolling through its cobblestone streets, savouring its culinary delights, or simply basking in its tranquil ambience, one thing is certain – Şirince is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. And in this idyllic haven, where even cars are banned, the beauty of simplicity truly shines through.


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