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If you could sneak your way past the UN guards and local toughs patrolling the Green Line, Cyprus would be two countries for the price of one. Unfortunately, this really is a country divided - since 1974, visitors have had to choose between the Turkish experience of the north and the Greek experience of the south. Most have chosen the southern Republic, and as a consequence this part of the country has broken out in a nasty rash of pastel hotels and chips-with-everything tavernas.

With a bit of effort, however, it's possible to escape the hordes and immerse yourself in a culture that draws on Europe, the Middle East, and 9000 years of constant invasion. Crusader castles rub shoulders with ancient vineyards, frescoed monasteries overlook citrus orchards, and sandy, sun-soaked feet tread Roman mosaic floors.

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