Help with a creative restoration project in an abandoned house and garden in the mountains of Valencia, Spain



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Hello and thanks for visiting my page!
    My name is Steven and I am looking for some help with my house and garden located in the mountains of the Serra Calderona natural park just north of the city of Valencia, Spain.
    I am originally from the UK but have made Spain my home for the past 2 years and the foreseeable future.
    I am living here with my dog called Chaval and occasional cat visitors!
    I have good local friends and a very good connection with all the neighbours and we all enjoy eating and socialising together regularly. So even though we are in the mountains, you will never feel isolated.

    The house and garden had been abandoned for 6 years before I started living here in October. I am personally trying to become as self-reliant and as ecologically conscious as possible and I have lots of projects I want to undertake to make this dream a reality. And I think trying to do everything on my own would not be possible and also not as enjoyable. So in return for a peaceful place to stay in nature, and all meals included, I am looking for some help. The house is completely off-grid. I have electricity from solar panels and rainwater is collected from the roof for washing and cleaning.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I am a native English speaker and I am still trying to learn Spanish. If you speak Spanish fluently and want to improve your English it would be great to do some language exchange. If not, no problem, but it would be necessary to have at least an intermediate level of English so we can communicate effectively.

    I like to be creative and would enjoy sharing and learning with other creative people. I play guitar, write songs and short stories. I enjoy drawing, painting and making things. And all work at the house is a creative act!

    All the projects I want to complete here provide learning opportunities. I myself, am learning by doing!

  • Help


    The majority of the work I am needing help with is in the garden. As you can imagine with a garden that was abandoned for 6 years, it is very overgrown and in need of some care, attention and good hard work.

    Along with a daily general tidy up of the garden, here are some of the other projects I would like help with: idea would be to have 'workawayers' choose one or two of the tasks below then have that be the main focus during their stay...

    - Building an outdoor composting toilet
    - Finding solutions to collect and channel more rainwater
    - Building a two-bin composter
    - Painting (including a wall in the garden which would be perfect for a creative mural)
    - Fixing and restoring a swimming pool
    - Planting, growing and maintaining vegetables and herbs
    - Tree care (almond, orange, lemon, algarroba, nispero, olive and more)
    - Constructing a potato-growing box
    - Building a dog and cat house
    - Research and build a solar dryer for fruits, herbs, and vegetables
    - Research and construct a solar water heater
    - Build a manual washing machine from an old bike
    - Restore and insulate an old van which I plan to offer to guests to sleep in
    - And lots more!

    These are just some of the ideas I have but I would also happily consider other ideas you might have when working here. If you have any experience with any of the above, I would be learning from you! You do not need any specific skills, just hard work and a creative mind.
    I have no specific priorities on the list above so I would be happy to let you choose what project interests you the most. Just as long as we spend at least an hour per day on a general tidy up of the garden. And we can discuss this beforehand so I can prepare the materials and tools that might be needed.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    I am a native English speaker wanting to practice my Spanish speaking

  • Accommodation


    I have one spare bedroom in the house which would be your own private area. For this reason, I can only have one guest at a time. If you are travelling with a friend and do not mind sharing a small room together then I could also consider that.
    There is a medium sized kitchen with all the essential stuff including one very small fridge (low power because of the solar).
    There is an inside lounge and dining area. Outside there is plenty of space for relaxing, eating, and looking at the stars at night.
    There is an inside toilet and shower. I am still researching and finding water solutions to make this more comfortable. But basically, for the moment, the toilet needs to be flushed with buckets of water. I have a battery powered shower head which requires you to heat up the water to your wanted temperature. The shower head then pumps the water from the bucket. It is actually more fun than it sounds and makes you more connected about how much water we all use.
    I am hoping to make the composting toilet one of my main priorities and will solve the toilet problem and save water.
    If I can restore and isolate the van I have here, in the future, then this would mean an extra place to sleep for someone.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    This is the ideal place for someone to come and enjoy nature and the surroundings. A quiet and peaceful place to connect with yourself, nature and others.
    In the area where the house is located there are many different things to explore. There are hiking routes from the doorstep of the house into the Serra Calderona Natural Park where a 49km long mountain range awaits you. There are cycling routes for all levels. Natural springs and rivers for swimming and exploring. There are many local historical sites. The beautiful city of Valencia is only about 45 minutes away. The local metro station to the city is only 20 minutes away by car.
    The coast is also only about 30 minutes away by car with many different beaches to explore.
    I am also happy to have a day off and take my car on a road trip occasionally.

    My friend and neighbour also has a workaway project. Check it out here: type in 'Help with renovation projects in our clay-eco building in Valencia, Spain'
    There is also the opportunity to collaborate and interact together on both projects.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 161342472732