Cyprus is my only package tour experience so far - I got a cheap deal! The tour rep. knew that I was going to be trouble when I wasn't interested in where the bars were, or how to get to the beach!
I hired a car and headed for the hills, and even though I had accommodation in the package deal - I didn't spend too many nights there!
Up in the Trodos mountains you could be a million miles away from Tourist Central down on the coast - and you have a feeling that not a lot has changed here for a few years. I found a gem of a hotel in Platres called the Minerva. In the evening there was a thunderstorm on the coast, but I was so far away, and so high up all I could see was the whole of the cloudbase light up! Magical!!
On a trip to see some frescos in a church I was befriended by the keyholder of the church - he spoke no English and I no Greek, but that didn't stop him! After seeing the frescos he started to show me his vegetable garden, and eventually sat me down in an armchair under a wall next to the shed holding all his gardening tools. From this he dug out a camping stove, some cups, water and a tin of coffee! A drink I can't stand. Luckily the cups where so tiny I managed to get away with it!
After coffee my new friend showed me his chickens, and then pushes some eggs and courgettes into my hands. It wasn't until I got back to the hotel in Platres and told the story to the owner did he tell me that I had been supplied with all the ingredients for a typical Cypriot meal - a kind of Omelette. He offered to take the eggs and courgettes and cook them up. Which he did, and it was one of the tastiest meals I ate on Cyprus - wonderfully simple, but truly gorgeous.
While on Cyprus I entered both Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas, these are both classed as 'overseas territories of the United Kingdom', but should they be included in the countrybagging count? I fear the answer is no, but they should have an 'honourable mention'.