Modus Vivendi

Psematismenos, Cyprus
Book from GBP Book from £76 per night

Modus Vivendi

Psematismenos, Cyprus

Our favourite budget option in Cyprus: 6 rustic-chic self-catering suites clustered around a gorgeous pool terrace

Our favourite budget option in Cyprus: 6 rustic-chic self-catering suites clustered around a gorgeous pool terrace

We were really excited to stumble upon this collection of charming stone cottages, with their sun-drenched pool and rampant flower beds, in the sleepy hamlet of Psematismenos. Inexplicably absent from guidebooks (so far, at least), this passion project from the Anastassiou family showcases their architectural background and eye for contemporary art, with daughter Eleni hosting with genuine Cypriot warmth.

After an all-too-brief stay in end-of-season November sunshine, we're happy to confirm that it is perfect i-escape material: chic yet cheap, under the radar, but way above expectations. The interiors - some single-space suites, others multi-room apartments, all of them self-catering - are homely and unpretentious, but full of character and love. Expect thick stone walls, beam-and-bamboo ceilings, antique wrought-iron four-posters with tip-top mattresses, artfully mismatched furniture alongside modern bathroom fittings. Slotted among them is a small Tetris-shaped pool, shaded by tall cypresses, shocking-pink bougainvillea and fragrant rosemary bushes, where dragonflies flit as you swim. A dream find, and we can't wait to go back for longer.


  • For a couple seeking sunshine and seclusion, or a discerning family after budget self-catering, there can be few better options in Cyprus
  • Or a group of 8-16 friends could book the whole place for a perfect party hideaway at any time of year
  • We loved the shared poolside terrace: sociable but not over-cosy, with a pair of sun loungers each, and flickering lanterns by night
  • The location - away from the crowds but just 3km from the coast - is a haven of peace; and you're within 30 mins of Larnaca, Limassol and Nicosia too
  • We felt privileged to share a taste of modern Cypriot art from the family collection, not to mention delicious orange cake and quince jelly from the kitchen


  • Service is minimal: after a warm welcome you're left to your own devices, though Eleni is only a phone call away
  • You'll need a car, as the nearest supermarket is a 5 minute drive
  • The beaches along this stretch of coast are not the prettiest
  • No rooms have twin beds (though 3 houses have extra beds)
  • Don't expect lots of mod cons (no TVs, for example), nor pristine perfection - chipped crockery and wobbly tables are part of the homely, rustic ambiance

Best time to go

We'd recommend spring (April-May) or autumn (Sept-Oct) - pleasantly warm and not too busy - or even March / November if you don't mind taking a bit of a chance with the weather. We stayed in early November and enjoyed 30-degree sunshine. June-August can be uncomfortably hot (nudging 40 celsius) though with thick stone walls, air-con and a lovely pool, you're pretty well prepared here. Modus Vivendi is open all year, and for an off-season house party it could be great fun.

Our top tips

Don't forget some books and your headphones for poolside lazing, and a laptop if you want to check emails. Having said that, if you forget something, Eleni - being who she is - will usually magic it out of somewhere.

And a word of warning: with so many flowers and trees around, you will inevitably get a few colourful dragonflies and insects by the pool, plus the odd gecko to gobble them up at night. If you're extremely squeamish about that sort of thing, find yourself a hermetically sealed hotel...

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
  • Self-catering suites
  • 6 suites for 2-4
  • Self-catering (shop nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
  • Linen change every 3-4 days


There are 6 suites or apartments, each with a separate sitting/dining room, bedroom and bathroom - apart from Terra Verte, which is a single-space studio for 2. All have a small kitchen (see Eating) and their own entrance. The original 4 are clustered around the pool courtyard; 2 newer suites are in a separate cottage across the lane, which can also be rented in its entirety for a larger family.

Inside ancient walls you'll find stone-flagged floors, pale-plastered walls, patches of exposed masonry, and a pleasing mishmash of furniture old and new. There's white-draped Habitat sofas and hand-painted taverna chairs, Victorian wrought-iron bedsteads and retro glass chandeliers, timeworn marble basins and Art Deco wardrobes salvaged from junk yards. The overall feel is artful but totally unpretentious, like a Parisian vintage-furniture market transplanted to sunny Cyprus.

Our favourite room for couples is actually the smallest and cheapest: first-floor Terra Verte, which looks over the pool, with pale pine floors and pink bougainvillea cascading over a side balcony. If you want more space, or a more rustic look, go for poolside Ochre, with its spacious sitting room, snug bedroom and unfaced stone walls tickled by jasmine fronds and ripening lemons. Grab either room if it is free.

For a couple with 1 child, Red and Lefko come with an extra bed in the sitting room; the former has an unexpected downstairs bathroom with sunken tub in cobbled floors (though we found the vermillion bedroom a little too vivid), the latter has vast living quarters and a cosy downstairs bedroom (slightly gloomy in winter, though).

Ten steps across the lane in a separate cottage, the 2 Loullaki apartments (1 up, 1 down) feel more contemporary, with pastel walls and huge artworks. Each sleeps 2-3; or take them both (they communicate) as a family house on 2 levels, with a small patio garden to boot.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cots available
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


Each apartment has its own kitchenette, with enough to make lunch or a simple dinner: electric 2-ring hob, oven, toaster, kettle, fridge and plenty of pots, pans and assorted implements. There's a dining table with 3 or 4 chairs (or you could take your breakfast outside), and a supermarket in the nearby village of Zygi for supplies - or if you're arriving late, ask Eleni for a breakfast hamper (at extra cost). She might leave you one of her fresh-baked orange cakes if you're lucky, as well as a jar of homemade jam as a thankyou for booking through i-escape.

If you fancy eating out, it's a 5-minute drive down to Zygi, whose seafront is famously lined with fish restaurants. Koumbaris is a safe bet, though we preferred Xefotos, a block inland, for its superb catch-of-the-day platter (assuming Louis has been out that day), served with local wines and juicy salads at knockdown prices.

Your hostess Eleni will also share some of her favourite finds: Koursaros, tucked away in the hamlet of Parekklisia, was without doubt our best meal in Cyprus, though you'll need their help finding it.

Features include:

  • Fridge
  • Hob or stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Oven
  • Toaster
  • Breakfast hamper on request


Modus Vivendi is a magical spot for doing very little, and Psematismenos is one of the island's loveliest villages. But if you want to explore...

  • The coast is only a couple of miles away; it isn't the prettiest stretch on the island, but there are some interesting wind-sculpted coves at Governor's Beach (5km; if you can mentally blot out Vasilikos power station on the horizon); or a sandy, shallow sickle near Alaminos (turn right after Hotel Aldiana, signed "Secret Paradise")
  • Heading inland, the handsome town of Lefkara is famous for its lace and its silverwork (on sale everywhere); but even if you don't fancy a new tablecloth, it's fun to wander along narrow lanes between balconied stone houses, then stop for a coffee looking out to pine-specked hills
  • The cities of Limassol and Larnaca are both 20 mins' drive along the motorway, the former boasting a medieval castle, modern marina and Miami-esque tourist strip, the latter a palm-shaded sea promenade and a remarkable 9th-century Byzantine cathedral
  • Beyond that are the white beaches and crazy nightlife of Ayia Napa, and the border to northern (Turkish) Cyprus
  • Heading the other way, it's less than an hour to the Troodos Mountains, for scenic hikes or mountain-bike rides through pine and fir forests to waterfalls and monasteries

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Camel rides
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures


This is a great option for more adventurous families - except perhaps toddlers, given the many steps, uneven cobbles and unfenced pool. One highchair is available (book it early); other than that you'll have to bring your own toys and baby equipment.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

All the apartments bar Terra Verte can take a cot (supplied, but without bedding) or an extra bed. Red and Lefko have a proper iron single bed in the sitting room, and Lefko has space for a 4th bed if required. Or you can book both Loullaki apartments to sleep 4-6 (2 double rooms, and up to 2 extra beds).

Cots Available, Family Rooms

Kids Activities on site:

There are some books and games to borrow.

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Mazotos Camel Park - camel rides, pool, play area, nice beach nearby
  • Santa Marina Retreat, Parekklisia - archery, sky trail, horse rides, climbing, golf
  • Fassouri Watermania, near Limassol - kamikaze slides, wave pools etc
  • Paliasto Amusement Park, Ayia Napa - bumper cars, carousels, ghost trains etc

Families Should Know:

There are lots of steps and only a low parapet around the raised pool terrace.

Kid Friendly:


Modus Vivendi is in the small village of Psematismenos, midway between Larnaca (Larnaka) and Limassol (Lemessos) near the south coast of Cyprus.

By Air:
Larnaca and Paphos (Pafos) have scheduled and charter flights from UK and Europe. Larnaca is nearer and has a slightly wider range of flights. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.

From the Airport:
You can take a taxi, book a transfer, or hire a car - see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Cyprus and getting around


  • Larnaca 30.0 km LCA
  • Paphos 80.0 km PFO


  • Beach 3.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 18 independent reviews from i-escape guests


{{ review.rating }}/10, ,

Rates for Modus Vivendi

Arriving on: