We are Martin and Jackie and we have two adult children and a Golden Retreiver. We live in the Cotswolds in the UK and have a holiday home in the Vallee d'Abondance, a popular skiing, mountain biking and hiking area in the French Alps. Jackie is a university professor in the UK and Martin runs his own management consultancy business. We bought a chalet in Abondance in 2011 and after a very successful experience as Workaway hosts, when we renovated the chalet in the winter of 2012-13, we are now ready to renovate the top floor apartment. In Autumn 2019 we will begin our renovation project and we are looking for workaways to help us. If you like mountain activities, French village life and have a practical nature, you could be a really big help to us this autumn.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Abondance is a typical French mountain village. Whilst it is a tourist destination in both summer and winter, most visitors are French and you will have lots of opportunity to practice or improve your French in local shops and with neighbours and tourists. Abondance is a French historical site and there is an opportunity to learn about the Abbey d'Abondance and its history. Your hosts are English and if you wish to improve your English we can offer you lots of practice and experience of British customs and vegetarian food.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
This Autumn Martin will be renovating our 2 bedroom apartment on the top floor of the chalet. Our first task is to remove all remaining old materials ready for the refurbishment to begin. The apartment is on the second floor so there will be lots of climbing up and downstairs to remove the old materials like wood and flooring and helping us to take them to the decheterie. Then we begin the re-build by adding stud walls, laying flooring, tiling walls and floors and installing the kitchen etc. People with experience and confidence in working with wood - laying floors and building walls and/or laying tiles - floors and walls are especially welcome.
If construction is not your thing, other jobs will be to cooking, shopping, dog walking and household cleaning. You will be asked to clean your own rooms and change your bed linen weekly. The food will be vegetarian.
We had a group of 6 workawayers in 2012 working as a great team with some helping with the building work and others keeping everyone fed and watered. It was a fabulous team effort that we would hope to repeat. Couples and singles welcome.
We are happy to receive 4-6 workawayers with the above skills between Sept 23rd to 1st Oct; 7th to 18th October, and 2nd to 29th Nov. There may be options for some to stay the whole period (23rd Sept to 29th Nov - except for 2-7th Oct when we have friends visiting us).
Our chalet is a 4 *️️️️️️ and 4 bedroom chalet. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and are furnished to a high standard. You may be required to share a room with another workaway volunteer of the same gender. We have a large kitchen, lounge and comfortable garden for playing with our 13 yr old Golden Retriever if she is visiting. Please note we are vegetarian and we will expect our workaways to be happy with that.
Abondance is in the heart of the Haute Savoie just 75KM from Geneva and very close to the Swiss Boarder. In Abondance in summer there is hiking, mountain bike trails, tree top adventures, tennis and history. The village is lively with family visitors in Summer and there are plenty of bars, shops and restaurants. If you prefer rather more adventurous mountain biking then head for the Bike Park in Chatel (a 15 min bus ride up the mountain for you and your bike) where in high summer season the chair lifts carry your mountain bike up and you hurtle down the green, blue and red runs getting all very muddy (good job we have good showers!). If you prefer water sports then head down to Lake Geneva (Lake Leman) a 30 min bus ride away in Thonon les Bain for swimming, paddle boarding, pedaloes, canoeing, sailing or a walk along the lakeside. Mountain bikes can be hired in Abondance. Other activities nearby include white-water rafting and via ferrata. In the Autumn and Spring Abondance is much quieter, there are great hikes, a swimming pool and spa in Chatel and a bus service several times a day between Chatel and Thonon les Bain. From Thonon you can take a ferry across to Lausanne, Switzerland to explore the Olympic museum and other attractions. The Abondance bars and restaurants are open all year around for the local residents.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
5 hours a day or 25 hrs a week