Come and help an artist couple on our rural retreat in Mihajlovo, district Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

  • Favourited 220 times
  • Last activity: 11 Jun 2024



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    We are an artist couple (Englishman/Dutch wife) who live on our rural retreat in Bulgaria. We are developing our land and properties and invite volunteers to come help us.
    Key words:
    rural, basic living, bird watching paradis, be in nature, wild life, wood stove heating, little village, animal lovers physically fit, non smokers, used to keep a clean environment, healthy living, permaculture, gardening, sculpture, painting, yoga, early to bed & early risers, enjoy cooking, independent, modest with alcohol.

    About us:
    We are considerate, casual people. We ask for around 20-25 hours help a week. Times depend on the weather and what else is happening. We will tackle jobs together and we also encourage you to help independently.

    We are a married couple of professional International Master Sand sculptors. Remy is Dutch, Paul is from UK. We organize big sand sculpture events all over the World. Often leading a big team of International artists. We are used to guiding a team of people through projects, Paul is the team captain, he leads from the front with the work to be done, hands on. And Remy is an experienced and considering 'team mom'; keeping everyone in her care happy & healthy. She loves sharing her knowledge about edible plants, gardening, health, yoga, well anything really: she is omni talented and likes to experiment.

    When we do not travel the world for our sand art projects, we charge our batteries on our rural farm in Bulgaria. We love the outdoor life. Apart from permaculture and becoming self sufficient we are into meditation, yoga and self study. We make our own wine, jam, pickles etc with produce from our hobby vegetable garden.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability 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

    Live in nature, bird watching (owls live under the roof!), walks through the village or the fields around it. Learn about permaculture, growing food and identifying edible plants in the garden. Experience rural life; observe and participate in the self sustaining life of the locals. They are very friendly and happy to share their extensive knowledge. They have been very welcoming to our previous International Workaway guests. I myself go to the little shops in our village to have a chat and practice my Bulgarian, the lovely ladies are helping me improve my vocabulary and sentence construction.
    We ourselves make our own preservatives and wine etc.
    There are are seven man made mounts of the Mount-builders around the village.

    The bigger cities Stara Zagora and Plovdiv are a train journey away; they have lots of history and musea there. Examples are the Roman remains & the oldest Neolithic settlement in Stara Zagora. In the stunningly beautiful old city of Plovdiv you can find the best preserved ancient amphitheater in Europe.
    On Friday there is a local market in the small village of Chirpan, a 30 minute train ride away. The indoor market in Stara Zagora, 30 minute train ride in opposite direction, operates every day.

  • Help


    We ask for around 25 hours help a week. Times depend on the weather and what else is happening. We will tackle projects together and we also encourage you to help independently.
    No specific skill set needed; but you must be able and fit to do physical help with us; carry, lift, saw, rake, shovel etc. Scouts, carpenters and maintenance experts are encouraged to apply 😊

    We prefer people who come for a longer period, two weeks minimum. We find that otherwise by the time our volunteer guests settle in & get going with the tasks, they have to leave.

    Upcoming Spring projects:
    Prepare the vegetable gardens.
    Create a natural fence with branches. Placing poles for the fence (making holes, mixing cement).
    Clearing out rooms in the guesthouse to create more sleeping area's. Light building; general maintenance on the guesthouse you’ll be staying in.
    We also plan to create earth and cement sculptures once the garden is under control.

    If you are good with computers, website's, graphic design etc.: we can use help with our sand sculpting social media platforms. We can also use help designing a sand sculpture workshop instruction booklet. A logo for this sand school project. And developing a badge that can be embroidered unto a patch to brand work clothing. And used as a cool sticker to give out to the kids.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    Bulgarian: Beginner
    German: Beginner
    Spanish: Beginner
    French: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    We are up for improving our Bulgarian, Spanish, French and German. We speak English and Dutch fluent and are happy to practice these languages with you.

  • Accommodation


    We have a guest house next to our house for volunteers. Suitable for two couples/little families, or for people sharing a room. We love having families with kids. We are in the process of creating more sleeping places for volunteer guests downstairs. The house is a work in progress, but upstairs there are two comfortable finished rooms with wood burners, and a communal room. The green room has a big stove type wood burner that is also an oven. Some wonderful pizzas came of of this stove!
    The communal, beach themed, room has basic kitchen facilities; fridge, water cooker, coffeemaker, toaster, gaz cooker. In the kitchen area there is a big cubboard with all the basic (vegan) ingredients, for you to cook and bake with. There is a sitting area in a sunny bay window with lovely garden views where you can have your meals.
    We made it cosy and comfortable and expect our guest to keep it at least as clean as they found it. Making improvements to the guesthouse is encouraged 😊.

    We have 15000 Square meters of ground, suitable for camping. With several small forests on our private, fenced off lands.
    We have created a cozy campsite 'Falcon corner', it's beautiful! With a fire place, an outdoor rocket stove clay oven, hammocks, seats, tables and an outdoor bar. You can pitch your tent, borrow a tent from us, or park your (camper)van. If you are into the outdoor close to nature experience. 🌳

    A functioning shower and toilet are situated downstairs via outdoor steps. There is also the old kitchen with sink. These facilities are old and basic.

    There is WiFi on the porch and sometimes in the corner of the yellow room.
    Use of our washing machine.

    Cook/prepare your own meals.
    We provide a fully stocked kitchen in the guesthouse. With (vegan) basic ingredients for you to prepare, cook and bake your own meals with. It helps if you are into cooking and creating meals from scratch, or willing to learn this.
    In addition, you can buy your own specific (dietary) ingredients, sweets and alcoholic drinks in the three basic village shops in Mihajlovo. Or in the bigger (health food) shops in Stara Zagora or Chirpan.
    We will have the occasional meal together and we are interested in learning your cooking techniques.
    We eat healthy food, and believe in nutrition above pharmaceuticals. I will teach you about the edible plants we can forage in our direct surroundings.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Transport connections:
    The village is called Mihajlovo (on Google maps Mihailovo), district Stara Zagora (Михайлово, област Стара Загора, postcode 6051). Mihajlovo has a train station with good connections. There are several trains a day to Stara Zagora, Chirpan, Dimitrovgrad, Yambol and Plovdiv. One direct train a day to Sofia (capital), one to Burgas (black sea coast), one to Varna (black sea cost Noth), one towards Veliko Tarnovo (the spectacular, beautiful old capital).
    Our house is a nice 20 minute walk away from the station.
    For train schedules check site

    Flights into Bulgaria 🇧🇬: the big airports are Sofia, Varna and Burgas. The closest but smallest airport is Plovdiv. From the airport you can take the airport bus to the city centre train station, and from there train(s) to our village.

    Mihajlovo village:
    The village, named after St Michael, lays between the cities Stara Zagora (25 km away, 6th largest city in Bulgaria) and Chirpan. In our small rural village we have 3 shops, a post office and two folkloric dance parties a year (3 March and October). The village is surrounded by rolling hills, agricultural land and small forests with lots of wildlife, we even have a fishing lake and a larger lake at walking distance. It’s beautiful, we love to walk for hours through the fields. In the village itself it’s like in the ‘50’s; the locals have more donkey carts then cars and are mostly self sufficient. We buy a lot of local produce such as honey, rakia (local brandy), grain etc. We find it super interesting to watch the villagers do their daily tasks and we learn from their knowledge every day!

    Fun, relaxation:
    Come with us on walks, or take a look around yourself. Sit in the guesthouse garden, in a hammock, listening to the birds. Make a little campfire in the fire pit, watch the splendid starry night sky. Watch the bats and owls; we have owls living under our roof!
    Optional morning yoga with Remy.
    Read; we have a extensive library with books on many interesting subjects. We also have a collection of movie DVD’s to watch, bring your own laptop.
    Walk through the village, meet the locals and their livestock; there is always something interesting happening 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    There will be plenty of time for you to study and work online. There is a weak WiFi signal on the porch of the guesthouse and a, most of the time, okay WiFi signal on a bench in front of our house (the wifi bench). You can always buy a local Bulgarian SIM card with data and create your own signal. Other online nomads, who stayed in our guesthouse, did buy local data. Especially when you teach online and need uninterrupted internet for FaceTime sessions. The telecom suppliers with the strongest signals in our village are Yettel and A1

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have lots of space and a nice campfire place where you can cook by the fire if you like. The starry nights here are amazing! We had some cool campervan people staying as helping guests already. And some lovely families.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    The guesthouse is not suitable for a dog indoors (allergies for hairs). But your dog is invited to stay outside, a bed can be made in waterproof area’s. When you bring your dog, please don’t let it run around free, on our land and in the village; most villagers have chickens and other sensitive livestock roaming around. The rule is; if your dog is a ‘hunter’ or ‘chaser’ of livestock, please keep it contained/on a leach at all time.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week. In total 20-25 hours a week. We can be flexible on helping hours and days depending on projects.

Host ref number: 891157752113

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Come have some fun helping us with our projects in rural Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Join me and help with carrying out a self-sufficient lifestyle while exploring unique places in Bulgaria