Come and try out the off grid sustainable way of life near Tabua in Central Portugal

  • Portugal
  • Favourited 229 times
  • Last activity: 21 Aug 2023



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    The whole world has been in a bit of a state and because of quarantine and lockdowns we stopped having volunteers in 2020 and didn't really start up again and now we realise that we miss you!
    There is so much work to be done and we are way behind schedule in land jobs so we will be very happy to host some volunteers if you would like to come and help us out.
    We are an Off grid Quinta in Central Portugal between Tabua and Oliveira do Hospital. The Quinta is 2 acres and shared between myself and my adult daughter and her family. We live like neighbours, each responsible for our own share of the land and as we have different requirements, she has her own workaway page - 519647724974
    We have both been workaway volunteers and now we are workaway hosts. We believe our experiences will help to make us good workaway hosts as we know what we liked and disliked from our own experiences. We aim to be fair and to make this an enjoyable and benefical experience for everyone.
    We are English and came here to get away from the hamster wheel of work, spend, work. We wanted to see if it was possible to live another way ... and there is. We don't have 'jobs' or a regular income and our only bill is for the internet. Our power is solar, our water from our well and hot water is solar heated. Our sanitation goes to a vermicomposting system (worms eat our waste) and my house runs on 12 volt power and has an eco rocket stove for heating which burns the wood which we have felled on our land. We try to grow as much of our food as we can, organically, and follow permaculture and no dig principles. All organic waste goes back into the land. Rainwater is caught and stored and we are in the process of making a natural pond which will increase our water storage and also provide a natural swimming hole for the summer.

    Just to make crystal clear a few things that previous volunteers have not fully understood:-
    1. Being totally off grid means that charging of devices and especially powerbanks, is limited.
    2. Showers will be 1 or 2 per week. Summer means water shortage and Spring/Autumn mean power shortage for the
    water pump.
    3. There is wifi internet near my house for checking emails, social platforms. It is not suitable for downloading
    anything or for digital nomads to upload anything.

    Workaway is an exchange. I put a lot of effort into providing a lovely location, accommodation, food, culture opportunities, walks in the mountains and am happy to educate you about everything to do with sustainable living, being off grid, permaculture and this conscious way of life. I try very hard to make your stay a pleasant and rewarding one. I really enjoy volunteers who want to learn new skills and a new way of life and many previous volunteers have been absolutely wonderful and they have left extremely happy with new skills and new experiences and remained friends. If you are just looking for free accommodation, free food and expect to give very little in exchange, working without any enthusiasm at a pace that makes paint drying look fast, please do not apply

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Our Quinta is totally off grid and we live as sustainably and ecologically minded as we can, so that can be an interesting and learning experience. Our land was basically just disused land when we came here in 2016 so everything on it was built or put there by us. Our power is all from solar, our water is from a spring fed stone well, our sanitation goes to a vermicomposting system. We try to grow as much of our own food as we can, organically and are taking on board permaculture and no dig principles. A stay with us will be a glimpse into a different way of life from the 9-5, 5 day week working life of work, spend, consume, work again. We live on the edge of a small rural village in Central Portugal so that is also culturally interesting and we are 45 minutes from the mountain range serra da estrela (Star mountains) which are the highest point in mainland Portugal and has the only ski resort on Portugal. I usually take volunteers up there for a day hike during your stay.

  • Help


    I am open to all ages but I ask for 2 people because a lot of jobs are much easier with 2 pairs of hands and also a lot more fun for you if you are working with a partner or friend. The work here is all outside, working on the land. It can be general tidying, weeding, pruning, planting out the vegetable plot, taking cuttings and making new plants, landscaping and making a drought resistant garden, looking after fruit and olive trees, looking after our newly planted woodland of 7 types of indigenous trees, general land maintenance, wood chopping and of course good old digging! There always seems to be some of that! Some of the time you will work with my daughter who has her own vegetable gardens to maintain but may also have some different work, maybe eco construction. Owing to bad experiences I will only take people who have volunteering experience, preferably with gardening, gardening machinery like strimmers or working on the land. I am also currently constructing an outdoor shelter to provide a covered outdoor kitchen and sitting area next to the caravan bedroom and for this I would like people with some building experience.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Portuguese: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    I am a native English speaker and happy to help you improve your English if you have at least Intermediate level already. I am Intermediate level Portuguese and would love to improve with the help of a native European Portuguese speaker.

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation. We have a caravan which we refurbished and it is now a lovely bedroom and will sleep 1 or 2 cosily. There is a wooden structure next to the caravan which is the vermi composting bathroom, with a proper flushing toilet in it, an area to wash and clean teeth and a basic outside cold water shower. There is also a kitchen area with 2 ring gas hob and a cupboard which is fully stocked with food. Our current eco building project is to build an outside covered area, adjoining the caravan, with a solid roof to give good shade, covering a comfy sitting area and the kitchen. It will be truly lovely once finished. The current sitting area is next to the caravan under a canvas sail shade or in the shade of the oak trees in the wooded area, with chairs and a coffee table, ideal for reading a good book, with a cup of tea.
    I live in a proper house which I designed myself, so there is a shower, solar heated so dependent on sun for the heat of the water and for power to pump the water, which you can use once a week. This is because in the summer we have to be economical with water usage.
    Food. I will supply food for you to make all of your breakfasts and lunches and your evening meals, although we will eat together on your first evening, and some other times depending on the length of your stay, just to have a nice social interaction. We are flexible Vegan/Vegetarian and that is the type of food I will provide.
    Snacks and extras if required, you will need to provide yourself and I am happy for you to come shopping with me.
    Sorry but I do not want smokers :(
    We have a large mountain dog but he is super friendly and a big softie and 5 cats. I don't socialise in the evenings which is why I think volunteers in pairs is better. I do have wifi internet but this is not suitable for downloading films or streaming netflix or for digital nomads. Also charging devices and power banks is limited but charging of phones is fine. I do have a hard drive with a huge library of films on if you have a device with a usb port and a memory stick and a kindle with 100's of books on, that you are welcome to use.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are in a beautiful area of Central Portugal, with a view of the Serra do Açor (Mountain range of the Goshawk) and the Serra da Estrela (Star mountains). It has just been awarded classification by Unesco as a Global Geopark - Geopark Estrela. It covers an area of 2216km2. There is a video which I can send to you via message as the site does not allow web site links on here. There are dozens of river beaches within a short distance and many beautiful walks and drives. The nearest river beach is in Avô which is a 1.8km/15 minute walk from here. There are some lovely villages in the mountains and the Xisto trail is definitely something worth walking. We are an hour drive from the Serra de Estrela mountains and Torre the highest point in mainland Portugal which has snow on it and skiing in late winter/early Spring. I belong to a hiking group and we usually go on a day hike, every 2 weeks, to one of the 3 mountain ranges that we are in the middle of. You are welcome to join me.
    I will try to make your stay as interesting and enjoyable as possible and would really appreciate your help.
    Items that would be helpful for you to bring with you would be a good light as there is no lighting outside on the land - and I mean a light ... not a phone, as using this as a torch makes charging issues. There is solar lighting inside the caravan. Clothes that you do not mind getting dirty as all the work is outside work. In summer a wide brimmed hat as protection from the sun which can be intense here-

  • 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

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 766138436359

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Volunteer above the beautiful Santa Clara Dam/Lake Southern Portugal
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