The last stop on our mini tour of Turkey was Safranbolu, an ancient town in the north, near the Black Sea. The town takes it’s name from the saffron that is grown in the area.
Safranbolu has been declared a Heritage Town by UNESCO because of the original Ottoman style houses nestled into its gorge. This is not a full-on tourist town, it appears to be more popular with the Turkish tourists, evident by the cottage souvenirs that abound. There is no hard sell. Souvenirs are available and the local traders are happy for you to browse.
The houses are quaint, plastered with detailed woodwork and overhanging upper storeys. The streets are cobbled, of an older style and difficult to walk on.
Compared to the south coast where we spent most of our time, this is a far more deeply Islamic region of Turkey. Dress is more modest, mosques are on every corner and alcohol is not as readily available.
Our tour advisor also recommended a day trip to Amasra and the idea of touching the Black Sea appealed to us. It is a 70km trip through rolling hills, not nearly as dramatic as we had seen around Fethiye and Antalya, but very beautiful. My images of a flat landscape around the Black Sea were blown away as we descended into a stunning small town complete with an island fortification surrounded by small picturesque bays. We climbed to the top of the old Roman fort on the island, to find ourselves in a field of wild flowers. How beautiful!