Help on a small holding in the Mediterranean Pyrenees, France

  • France
  • Favourited 475 times
  • Last activity: 26/11/2022



 Min stay requested: at least 1 month



  • Description


    We require a fluent French speaker (not necessarily native) with perhaps either German or Spanish?

    Singles and couples are welcome. No short stays sorry: 6 to 8 weeks ideal would be ideal.

    Simon speaks English, German, Spanish and French. Ashley speaks English and French, Sophia speaks English and French and is learning Spanish and German.

    To see more about the help and accommodation, see the 'Help' and 'Accommodation' sections lower down.


    We live in the mountains at the foot of Mount Canigou, 1hr from the Mediterranean on the French-Spanish border, in a truly beautiful wild setting. We are approximately 2 hrs north of Barcelona, and 1 hr south-west of Perpignan. We have a large old farmhouse with several outbuildings, a swimming pool and 11+ acres of land, forest and river.

    And we've no neighbours to see or hear of!

    We have a small campsite, with two 16m2 bell tents on wooden platforms in a forest near the stream: there is also a summer kitchen with hammocks and tents, an outside shower and dry toilet and large camp fire. This accommodates a maximum of 6 people in the summer months. Just friends, family and workawayers.

    We have solar hot water for three of our buildings and the main house. We use water from the stream, gravity-fed, and are installing a new storage tank with purification and filters. We heat almost entirely with our own wood.

    We grow our own vegetables, and plan to install our own hydro-electric generator with water from one of the old aqueducts that once fed the land when it was an apple farm.

    We have chickens and sheep, a Border Collie called Blue, three cats and a pond with fish … and there is plenty of local wildlife in our forests: wild boar, roe deer, foxes, griffon vultures ...

    We have lived in this southern-most region of France, overlooking the Spanish border, since 2005. Ashley is a trained classical singer, Simon a lapsed anthropologist, who owned and ran an IT company in Edinburgh. Simon worked in WWOOF farmsteads in the mid 90s (WWOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). We also ran guided mountain walking holidays for small groups in May and October.

    We love having down to earth, friendly, intelligent and multilingual guests!

    If you play fiddle, guitar or piano you are really welcome!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You can improve your language skills. We are native English speakers, but Simon speaks English, German, French and Spanish. Ashley and Sophia speak English and French. Sophia is also learning Spanish and German.

    You'll experience a way of life that is quite different from how most modern urbanites live, and hopefully really enjoy it.

    So if you are a multi-lingual musician you are very welcome - especially fiddlers, guitarists and singers!

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    After almost 15 years there is a certain routine::

    During April, May and June - your help will include planting the vegetable garden, weeding, minor maintenance, painting, small building projects, strimming fields, fencing repairs, tending the animals.

    During July and August the work has no maintenance or building element. Help with gardening, cleaning, and cooking. As well as language support for our daughter is required (helping maintain her French and improve her German and Spanish, of those are some of your languages).

    During September and October - your help will include, making minor repairs, painting, small building projects, strimming, tending the animals, foresty clearing, field tidying and fencing repairs.

    As this is an exchange, any skills that you can pass onto us will be much appreciated! We are acquiring new ones all the time! Language - music?!

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Spanish: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    I speak English, German, French and Spanish in order of fluency. Looking for native speakers to help our daughter improve her French and learn German and Spanish.

  • Accommodation


    You would have use of one of our apartments/gites or a room in the house with us.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Having your own transport would be useful for your days off, but it is possible without, as we could drop you off when necessary. Public transport also begins 6km from our farm, where buses will take you to Perpignan for 1 Euro. The next village is 3km: a 15 minute bike ride.

    The coast is not far away (1hr) and there are many small towns to visit in the area (in Spain and France). There are also plenty of mountain walks.

    To truly take advantage of being in the mountains and so near to the Mediterranean, and of being so close to Spain (Figueras 1hr, Girona 1.5hrs, Barcelona 2hrs), having your own transport would be a bonus.

    Bikes of course are also a possibility!

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    I've two internet connections now for reliability. One data modem router and one standard landline router. I work on Salesforce projects myself, so connection is imperative. I've a dedicated office and a be hot desk area in the main. Speeds aren't super fast but adequate for video meetings and working

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Standard workaway 20 hrs a week for board and lodging. Except during July and August: approx 18 hrs per week for lodging - 3 hrs per day 4 days a week, full day on Saturdays.

Host ref number: 189539743879

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