Safranbolu: Highlights of the City of Saffron with Lunch
- Safranbolu: Explore cobblestone alleyways with timber-framed buildings and discover the vital historic role the town's saffron played in the caravan trade.
- Koprulu Mehmet Pasa Camii: This distinctive, helmet-roofed mosque dates to the 17th century and has a beautifully designed interior and a sundial in its courtyard.
- Kaymakamlar House: The floorplan and decor of this mansion-museum reflect traditional Turkish architecture, with magnificent carved ceiling decorations.
- Lunch and shopping: Enjoy Turkish specialties at a local restaurant and browse for saffron treats in the town named for one of the world's most valued spices.
About This Bart?n / Amasra Tour
Silk from China was so prized that it spun more than 4,000 miles of caravan routes from eastern China west to the Mediterranean: the renowned Silk Road. And while the story of Safranbolu stretches back as far as 300 B.C., its most illustrious chapter was written when the city was a stop along on this famous road.
For Safranbolu, the caravan trade reached its peak in the 17th century, when its central market was expanded to meet the needs of traveling merchants and their camels. You'll see many carefully preserved buildings from this period, including inns, baths, stables, and the Koprulu Mehmet Pasa Mosque, built in 1661.
Silk was just one of the coveted items brought from afar. Tea and ceramics were also sent west from China, while ivory, glass, spices, and metalwork traveled east. As goods traversed the routes, so did the techniques for making them. But the greatest value of the Silk Road may have been the exchange of culture between East and West, as music, art, languages, science, philosophy, and religion were carried from country to country.
Eventually these routes waned, as merchants took to the sea. (Columbus set out not in search of America, but in search of an easier and faster route to the spices and other prized goods of the Orient.) But since 1993, the U.N.'s World Tourism Organization has been working to develop tourism and revive cultural exchanges along the historic caravan routes, in hopes of fostering peace and understanding. That road remains difficult.
The world's most expensive spice
Safranbolu has cultivated and traded saffron for centuries, and you'll get a taste while sipping saffron tea at a scenic overlook. In the markets, look for lokum (saffron Turkish delight), soap, marmalade, even eau de cologne. Made from dried, hand-picked stigmas of the saffron crocus, it takes between 70,000 and 250,000 flowers to make just one pound of saffron, which can cost between $1,600 and $5,000.
Please proceed to the Port Coach Parking lot and look for our tour representative with the displayed logo sign. Be sure to indicate the name of your hotel at check-out so we know where to meet you.
We recommend our travelers to watch their step at all times in order to avoid any potential injury. The order of the tour may vary to avoid congestion at the venues. The roads covered on the journey include some tight bends.
Due to the nature of this tour, it is not recommend for travelers using walkers or wheelchairs. Travelers must be able to walk approximately 1 mile over uneven terrain including cobblestone surfaces.
Cultural, Scenic, Shopping, Walking Tour, Bus Tour
English, German, Spanish, French, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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