It means oil-lamp, in case you didn’t know.
Lyhnos that is.
The name rolls off the tongue softly but brightly – the ‘y’ drawn out, the ‘s’ at the end clipping it to a close with a determined vibrancy.
And it burns softly and brightly too this lyhnos.
Bright with a beautiful distinction and soft with an understated elegance.
It stands out, but in a very natural way.
It glows, but in a very calm way.
It flickers, but in a very unassuming way.
It’s leading the way.
And it’s worth following.
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My stay was kindly sponsored by Lyhnos but, as always, all views are my own.
It began when I was looking for small, local guesthouses in the mountains of Cyprus.
Always determined to get off the beaten track and see something different, I didn’t just want my time in this island to be about the beach.
I wanted to see something more than just sea and sand and more authentic than parasols and cocktails.
I settled on the high hills of the island’s inland area and worked at finding somewhere to stay that might be as authentic, genuine and lowkey as the villages I hoped to discover there.
And as soon as I saw it – even online – I knew it was perfect.
Over in the small village of Askas, Doros grew up in the Cypriot mountains, surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and people that have been neighbours for generations.
He loves this place. It’s a home of his heart as well as his house.
But soon the city calls, work calls and Doros leaves his village for a bigger town.
But it always calls him back.
And he comes back.
But each time, something of the village is missing, something has been lost.
A person, a business, a tradition.
A little bit of his village is being lost as, like him, so many move away, move on, move out.
He is worried his village is becoming a shell.
A former home. One without a heart. Empty, abandoned.
So he decides to do something.
To bring some new life to this village, to stoke its fire again, to refuel its lamp.
And so he buys a rundown building on the edge of this valley village and he sets about renovating it.
He wants to build a small guesthouse – a project of passion, rather than pennies.
To bring people back, to bring new people here.
To give a new life to his village, a new light.
That village is Askas, that light is Lyhnos.
I email Doros.
I want to stay at his place.
I fall in love with it.
I never want to leave.
I fell in love with Lynhos because of its understated, unassuming, almost unacknowledged beauty.
From the breathtaking mountain views to the beautifully restored heritage features to the bespoke exquisite touches – this is a place that exudes quality and care, but without any pretension.
Comprised of just 4 rooms, this boutique guesthouse perches on a hill at the edge of this one street village offering perfect solace and solitude amidst an incredibly traditional setting.
And the village of Askas parallels the lack of pretension found at Lyhnos perfectly.
For this is a real Cyprus village in every sense of the word.
Older women scurry between the doors of neighbours swapping the produce grown on their small holdings, whilst old men sit at the one social place in town playing dominoes or snoozing in the sun.
Occasionally a car drives past, twisty and turning its way up the mountain range, but otherwise, it’s just the sounds of the landscape, the wildlife and the people that penetrate these valley views.
There’s no hipster cafes here, no trendy gift shops, no bars or bistros.
This is a creaking, crumbling traditional village, and in its midst just happens to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed, started by a local man with a bit of vision and a lot of heart.
From the carefully restored heritage stone walls, through to indoor fireplaces glowing thanks to biofuel and huge baths sunk into the polished cement floor, Lyhnos offers undulating mountain views through the glass-fronted rooms.
It offers locally sourced breakfasts on a sunny terrace and cosy corners to snuggle up in against the alpine cold.
It offers comfortable beds next to shuttered windows and gentle breezes from its stone passages.
Nothing here has been missed.
Nothing here has been added unnecessarily.
This places hits the mark and hits it perfectly.
Marrying tradition with style, heritage with modern comfort and unique design features with an earthy realness, Lyhnos is a delight.
For this is truly a place where you can relax, as well as enjoy, treat yourself to luxury, as well as feel at home.
There’s a magic here, an intimacy, a warmth – it comes from the staff and the surroundings.
And, as such, it’s as perfect a place to curl up by a wood fire during winter, as it is to stretch outside in the sun during summer.
An ideal place for couples looking to get away or solos looking to retreat for a few days, Lyhnos truly does burn brightly.
An oil-lamp leading the way.
And if you’re heading to Cyprus anytime soon, then staying at Lyhnos for a few days will give you both that warm inner glow and that precious time to unwind which life is all about.
BOOK YOUR STAY…
To book your stay at Lynhos or to learn more about this fabulous place, by heading to their website or Facebook page.
Alternatively, contact Doros directly at [email protected] / (+357) 22642641
5 Essential Packing Items for Cyprus
#1 Good Camera – You will be pretty much snapping non-stop during your time in Cyprus and will need a good camera to do this gorgeous island justice. I highly recommend the Sony A6000, which I use for all my travels and love, not least because it’s light, compact and robust.
#2 Good Walking Shoes – There’s a lot of walking to be had in Cyprus, especially if you stay in the mountains. Make sure your feet are comfortable therefore with a pair of New Balance Trainers. I love mine.
#3 Good Guidebook – I’m still a massive fan of the Lonely Planet Guidebooks and do think their Cyprus edition is well put together. Able to save you a lot of money if you want to learn about the history of this country but not continually pay for a guide, getting the eBook is a great way to keep your luggage weight down too.
#4 Travel Insurance – World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
#5 International Driving License – You’ll need this if you want to hire a car in Cyprus, which you should. Learn why here.