Experience modern off-grid living and become a Chicken Ambassador in the Guadiana Natural Park, Portugal

  • Portugal
  • Favourited 392 times
  • Last activity: 29/01/2023



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    We are an English-German couple living on an off-the-grid farm near Serpa in the Guadiana Natural Park. We are transforming it into a self-sufficient permaculture home with focus on sustainable off-grid living, re-greening and re-planting, soil rebuilding and enhancing wild life.

    Sharing this beautiful place with us are so far our dog Charlie, some happy, crazy chickens, lots of wild birds, insects, reptiles and plenty of bees from a local bee keeper. We have established natural meadows again, encouraging wild flowers, created lakes, installing insect hotels and shrubby hides for wild birds. The wildlife, insects and especially the bees seem to approve.

    We are also recently rented our neighboring property, which has been severely abused and neglected and is in dire need of restoring, helping and protecting hands of people, who care about the planet and nature.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    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

    We speak German, English, Swedish, a bit of Spanish and learning Portuguese and are happy to share, practice and help/be helped to improve! Intermediate English or German is needed to understand the inner workings of our off-grid place!

    We are interested in permaculture, have done a few courses, read plenty, got on with it and have already amazing results to show, we are on the right track! We are happy to share what we know and are happy to benefit from your knowledge and experiences.

    For people never having experienced the dynamics of a free-rage flock of happy and healthy chickens, touched one or fed one from your hand, we are happy to share our gained wisdom and let you take over the daily responsibilities. It might make you another Chicken Ambassador and hopefully lead to better lives for more chickens around the world!🐓🐣🐥✌️

    For those interested in the inner workings of off-grid living - happy to let you into the secrets and show you, it is possible without sacrificing your modern life-style and set you on the path of self-sufficiency on land or on the water.

  • Help


    Projects (forever ones and seasonal): Olive harvest - ALWAYS around 2 weeks after the first autumn rains / Olive tree pruning - shredding smaller branches for mulch - cutting bigger ones into firewood / Planting more trees, bushes and flowers / Weeding / Making swales to stop soil erosion / Installing and maintaining walking paths / Landscaping / Finish the transformation of shipping container into workshop with storage and outdoor sleeping area on top / Dry stone wall repair / Grass trimming / Chicken care, entertainment, training and taming 😉 / everything in and around our veggie and herb garden, food forest and orchards - weeding, planting, making new beds, pruning, harvesting, eating...

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Intermediate
    Swedish: Intermediate
    Portuguese: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    We love to practise and improve our Spanish and Portuguese. In exchange we can help with English. Jana holds a CELTA certificate of Cambridge University and has taught German in New Zealand and Germany and English in Australia, Spain and Germany.

  • Accommodation


    We have three different choices for fully vaccinated people only (Tetanus, MMR, Polio, Covid):


    What we DO offer:

     parking and water on private land in Guadiana Natural Park. Normally no legal camping allowed here! Depending on your vehicle (900m medium rough dirt track needs to be managed) we have level parking with a view or hidden in a secluded valley (for 4WD only) or near the house and water.

    What we asked for: 2 hrs per person per day you stay here, completely flexible. We got a lot of very varied outside jobs to choose from. Or have your own whole mini-project.

    What we DO NOT offer:

    • Catering ( if the veggies and fruit are in abundance and the chickens madly laying we’ll be happy to share the excess occasionally)
    • bathroom/shower facilities
    • toilet emptying, as we are off-grid and biological
    • electricity (unless it is sunny, you have an adapter to normal EU socket and we have excess solar)
    • washing machine
    • waste disposal apart from compostable waste
    • open fire facilities


    The house is for self-catering Workawayers WITH THEIR OWN TRANSPORT. The house can sleep 4 people and has two bedrooms with 1 double bed each (140 cm x 195 cm and 150 cm x 195 cm). There is a fully equipped kitchen with gas stove and oven. The water is from a bore hole, not specially treated. Waste water is to a septic tank (NO antibiotics, please. Kills the tank!) Electricity is provided by solar and via a small battery bank. Laptops are a no-no, normal phones and tablets can be charged depending on the sunshine. The bathroom is to share between all occupants of the house with 2 sinks, 1 shower and 1 toilet. The lounge/ open plan kitchen is the communal area for all occupants in that house. Please treat it accordingly. It has a table with chairs, two settees and two armchairs. We will provide you with a budget for food, drinks, etc. (loo paper and whatever else you need). If you are here in the colder months, you can purchase gas bottles for a HotSpot should you require additional heat apart from the open fire. You will be responsible to keep the house clean and the firewood stocked up (not part of working hours).


    This option is for singles, friends travelling together and couples ( families with children only for option 1&2). Food will be provided following our principle: LOCAL – SEASONAL – HAPPY. There will be no option to prepare separate meals for special dietary requirements. For that we refer to accommodation option 2.

    One room with twin beds, which can also be a big double and one with a double bed. Shared toilet, shower and kitchen for the whole house. We cook on wood, gas and with the sun, have only solar and wind power and our water comes from our wells and boreholes. The accommodation is in the main house with us - like visiting family members or friends.
    Participation and communication are the key for all available options and we have to 'click' for it to work.

    Beating around the bush, sulking and talking between the lines are not our style and we do not wish to be surrounded by these vibes. We appreciate straight forward communication. If this is something you have trouble with, please choose a different host.

    We do not commit beforehand to any long-term stays.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are completely off the grid. Water and energy saving are therefore absolutely essential. We are long term sailors and travelers, used to this way of living and happy to advise you.

    If you need it, please bring your own internet!

    We provide three meals a day for Workawayers staying with us in the main house. For option 1 and 2 please read accommodation section carefully. If you are a ‘grazer’ and rely on a constant flow of snacks in form of cookies, fruit or whatever in between, please bring your own supply. We do NOT (in the main house) cater for special food needs and also do not provide a constant flow of beer and wine. Should you need that, please contribute your bottles to the household. Please read accommodation section for details!

    Our houses and lands are strictly non-smoking. We are far away from services and no fire engine would be here in time. In the hot and dry months Alentejo and in fact the whole South of Portugal are very dry and easily set alight by rubbish, human stupidity and carelessness.

    We have a working relationship with a local organic beekeeper. There are about 15 hives on our land. If you are allergic to bee stings please remember to bring your EpiPen.

    TRAVEL: We are in the middle of the triangle of airports Lisbon, Faro and Seville. We'd prefer you having your own transport but will, of course, pick up in either Portugal: Serpa and Mertóla or in Spain: Paymogo.

    On free days or in your free time you can hike, bird watch, go and explore the biggest waterfall in Southern Europe - Pulo do Lobo or if one of us goes to town, we can drop you off in the historic market towns of Serpa or Mertóla. From there you can take regular busses to all sorts of destinations.

    We have a 'Take one - Leave one' bookshelf in German and English, an extensive selection of our own books, you are welcome to borrow during your stay. There is no TV. We love any type of games, are keen Scrabble players and have a selection of quite some fun board and card games. There is also a dart board and James is very competitive...

    Jana enjoys yoga and would love some company with that. And we have a small swimming pool for the summer.

    When you have reached this line we would love to hear from you and ask you kindly to

    😉start your message with a funny personalized greeting to our amazing gentleman rooster Stormy and his latest off-spring The Lone Ranger.

    Why? We are sick and tired of copy and paste messages from people without the courtesy to read our profile.

    We also have a possible opportunity for a long-term stay. We are looking for a like-minded person or couple interested in the occasional house sitting: chickens, watering duties and general cleaning. At times we will be here as well and other times we can be away for up to three months. Details to be discussed in person after trial workaway period and if we 'click'. You would have to have your own transport and internet!

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    If your van can manage a dirt track with a few potholes, we would be happy to let you park here. There are no facilities for charging or chemical toilets on our eco-off grid property apart from water. You need to be self-sufficient.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Only trained and non-hunting dogs, nothing else. Sleeping and feeding outside. No pets inside the bedrooms as courtesy for future allergic guests.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 hrs/day, 5 days a week (2hrs/every day of stay for campers), flexible on how and when

Host ref number: 237814842794

Feedback (19)



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Accuracy of profile: (4.8)

Cultural exchange: (4.8)

Communication: (4.8)

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