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While Safranbolu has been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list for almost 20 years now, the sleepy town known for its traditional Ottoman homes and a revitalized saffron industry is still on the cusp of touristic stardom.Unlike most attractions in Turkey during the high summer season, it is still possible to plan an impromptu trip to this little town nestled between mountain ranges about five hours drive east of Istanbul without being bombarded by camera-wielding visitors.Of the 856 Ottoman mansions dating as far back as the 17th century, 60 percent have been completely restored and are now being used as both private residences and guesthouses for visitors in the old town center.There are several mansions that have been turned into museums highlighting traditional furnishings and lifestyles but the best way to experience Safranbolu's historic houses is to simply stay a few nights in one.
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