Help friendly hosts with renovation of a beautiful 18th century Provençale farmhouse in the Luberon, France




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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    ***** Limited Availability for October *****

    A great opportunity to help with renovation of a beautiful 18th century Provençale farmhouse and gardens whilst enjoying everything that the house, garden and surrounding area has to offer.
    Making sure that we all have as much fun as possible whilst doing it, with people we enjoy spending time with.

    We are Andrew and Nicole (both fully Covid vaccinated), originally from London, lovers of the French lifestyle, the wine, the food, the countryside and the sunny weather in this part of France. Always a little nomadic we had been trying to move to France for many years and finally bought this house in September 2020 after very quickly falling in love with it's history and beauty.

    Domaine Olivier was built in 1778 and includes 6 large ensuite bedrooms, an enclosed courtyard garden, rooftop pool and terrace, an olive grove & large garden - currently mostly lavender and some fruit trees.
    Located in the Luberon national Park in Provence which is famous for it's beautiful hilltop villages, the locally grown cuisine, and above all the incredible climate where the sky is always blue.

    The house is in good condition having been renovated 20 years ago, but now needs some love and creativity to reveal its former historical glory and to bring the house to life with decoration and furnishings that suit the age of the building.

    The main garden consists of 4 different areas -
    An olive grove where 20 of the 45 trees are going to be relocated within the redesigned olive grove.
    An area of large Provence lavender bushes that are old and need to be replaced.
    An empty area with plans to plant trees and an Ango-French-Italian garden full of flowers and plants.
    An completely empty area that will become a fruit and vegetable garden.

    The courtyard has already had a lot of improvements including a new grass lawn, but the eventual plan is to completely fill it with Mediterranean and tropical plants and white flowers which will need lots of watering until it is established.

  • 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
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    A few minutes walk from the house is Oppede-le-Vieux, which is a beautiful Provençale village of which the upper part is completely abandoned, which you can explore and imagine it bustling with activity as many of the buildings and cobbled streets are largely intact. The area has been in numerous films and tv series, something you only begin to realise after you arrive here.

    The Luberon is covered in vineyards and there are numerous wine caves to explore where you can sample the wine and practice your French. In addition, the Luberon is itself a protected park with many kilometers of hiking trails for exploring and experiencing the local fauna and flora which includes some beautiful birds of prey.

    There is a long history of artists over the years who have been inspired by the region. Close by is the village of Lacoste, an artistic haven, St-Remy-de-Provence, where Van Gogh spent an intense period of creative activity, and Aix-en-Provence, famous for Paul Cezanne amongst others.
    Our closest city is Avignon, with almost 200 sites registered as historic monuments including the Notre Dame des Domes, and the Palais des Papes.

    Domaine Olivier is located perfectly for immersion in French Provençale culture, cuisine, and creativity with olive trees and lavender in every direction.

    For English and French speakers there is also the opportunity for some language exchange.
    There will be plenty of varied things to experience and learn about and hopefully you will also be able to teach us some new skills and about where you come from.

  • Help


    More than just people to help with the work, we are looking for mix of cultures and people that we will get on well with and enjoy spending time with.
    We only joined Workaway in May 2021, but had 7 people join us during May and June, some staying for over 2 months into July, others returning for a second visits and most leaving as friends who have enjoyed a special experience with us.

    Our preference is for 3-5 workawayers at a time each staying for around 3 or so weeks, but people that work well and who we get on well with, have previously been asked to stay longer or return.
    Previously as people leave and new people arrive, we have had up to 6 people staying and we always try and make sure we give people a good welcome and a great goodbye with a party late into the night.

    We are very liberal, open-minded, straight talking and non judgmental people, and we like similar people who behave in a genuine and relaxed way that we can have good conversation, drinks and fun with.
    Provided you are respectful, you will be free to do, anything - whatever you want. Just make sure that everything (and everyone) is in one piece in the morning!!

    There is lots of gardening work which could suit people with previous experience or people with no experience at all and will involve a range of roles include tidying, planting, adding a vegetable garden, trimming olive trees, removing and replanting new lavender and other plants, raking, digging and so on.

    We also have interior and exterior painting and some work that would suit someone with more experience, for example plastering, building stone walls, carpentry or drilling for water!

    There is also some limited availability for 1 person to do other jobs including general household maintenance, cleaning, odd jobs, and general assistance.

    Cat lovers will be able to spend their time looking after our 3 very individual cats, and anyone with veterinary or medical experience can help deal with the diabetic cat.

    Although people generally work for 4-5 hours a day Monday to Friday, we are very relaxed about when the tasks are done, morning or afternoon or on any day, its your choice provided you put in a reasonable amount of hours and effort each week, and those that do are always well rewarded.
    Previous workawayers have chosen to work longer hours on some days and have extra days off including long weekends or work on a Saturday and have a different day off. When you are not working you are completely free to do what you want and you will have plenty of time to relax and explore the area, alone or with us and the other workawayers.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    We are interested in expanding our French and sharing our English with anyone who speaks French or would like to learn some. We would also welcome learning other languages.

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation is luxurious (or will be soon!) with 180-degree views of the Luberon hills and surrounding countryside.
    All bedrooms are large with kingsize beds and ensuite bathrooms, giving you plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great views from your bed.

    The large rooftop pool is great for cooling down after a mornings work, working out or relaxing on a sun-lounger at the weekend.
    The pool terrace area is a very social area where we all relax with a drink and watch the sunsets most nights before we all prepare and eat dinner together, always with music and wine.
    We normally eat together in the dining room, the courtyard or with a bit more effort, in the olive grove late into the night.

    Meals are mostly plant based using the delicious locally grown fruit and vegetables and some meat replacements and plenty of cheese (for those that want it) to go with the wine. Vegetarians and vegans will be well catered for and meat eaters will be surprised that their burger or thai curry doesn't contain any meat or poultry (read the reviews).

    Midweek evenings are usually spent either in conversation, or watching a film on netflix, amazon etc in the living room or on the roof terrace, or anything else, including spending the odd night alone if that is what you prefer.
    Taking your mattresses to the covered pool terrace and spending the night under the stars has been popular too.

    Weekend evenings we like to pour a drink, turn the music up, and have some fun, knowing that there is no work to do the next day.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Many of France's most beautiful and famous villages 5-10 minutes away.
    Oppède-le-Vieux just a 5 minute walk, Bonnieux, Menerbes, Lacoste, Gordes , all very close, Lourmarin, Cucuron, Ansouis, Roussillon, around 20 minutes.

    Avignon 35 minutes, Aix en Provence 40 minutes.
    There are excellent public transport links, the local train station at Cavaillion connects to Marseille and the coast.
    The TGV also stops at Avignon, which is around 35 minutes away, which connects to Paris in 3 hours, and beyond....
    Nearest airport is Marseille / Provence but Nice, Montpellier Nimes, and Lyon are not too far.

    For people that like to walk, run or cycle you will have endless roads and tracks to explore.
    There is also plenty of space in the courtyard, next to the pool or in the garden to workout.

    Weekends and when not working, you will be welcome to join us in anything we do, whether that is going to one of the many local markets, general shopping, exploring Avignon or Aix-en-Provence, gentle walks in the countryside lanes, hiking to the top of the Luberon, enjoying the waves and the sand at the beach, taking a day trip to the Cote d'Azur, a long lazy lunch at a restaurant, having a relaxed evening at home with some food and wine, or breaking open the cocktails and turning the music up at the weekend.
    Some bikes are available to use, and your friendly relaxed hosts will be happy to drive you around, if you ask nicely ;-)

  • 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

    Fast 10mb internet, desk available.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Plenty of parking including a large olive grove with beautiful views of the Luberon hill. A separate building with a private bathroom including toilet and shower, is available for people with campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Very Flexible, Maximum of 25 hours per week, normally 4-5 hours for 5 days each week

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Host ref number: 663682296893