Help needed to renovate an old house in Coimbra and Center, Central Portugal




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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We are Sally and David a retired English couple of 55 and 67, and have been living in Portugal for nearly five years.

    At present we have one workawayer staying with us doing some building work, decorating etc. and David would normally be involved with the construction side of things, but he is unwell at the moment and cannot sustain long periods of work, hence we are looking for someone to come and help alongside our workawayer.

    We are located in central Portugal, near the river Zêzere, and 19km from the town of Pedrogão Grande, an hour and a half from Coimbra and two hours from Figueira da Foz on the coast.

    We are renovating an old house and live in a small village which we love very much, the people are very kind and friendly, and the community hub of the village is the local café where they serve good food and wine.

    When not working on the renovation Sally is a keen walker and artist, and David likes playing his harmonica and tinkers with old classic cars which he is currently renovating.

    We are both hands on people and especially David, he was a plumber and electrician, however he developed Rheumatoid Arthritis about 10 years ago and we are now finding it difficult for just the two of us.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Central Portugal is a world apart from Lisbon or the Algarve, the lifestyle is simple and rustic, with the majority of people living off the land and enjoying a community based café culture.

  • Help


    We currently have one workawayer staying with us who has a variety of skills in building work - we are looking for someone prepared to be his helper, preparing cement, cleaning walls ready for painting - basically anything that he needs assistance with - please bear in mind some of this will involve heavy lifting, so must be able bodied and able to lift blocks, wheel barrows full of cement etc.

    We need this person immediately for a two week stay.

    David who would normally be involved in this work is unwell at the moment and cannot sustain working for long periods of time and this is why we need some to assist our present workawayer.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    German: Beginner
    French: Beginner
    Portuguese: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    You will have a bedroom in the main house with at present shared bathroom facilities until we’ve completed a further bathroom. You will be provided with 3 meals a day 7 days a week.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Activities – for summer swimming we are 3km, 6km and 10km from the nearest river beaches all with café bars. If you’re a walker/hiker then there are some lovely walks and I can suggest different routes. If you’re into cycling then likewise there are good routes and roads for cycling. We are in the schist villages’ area with museums and villages to visit. Depending on the time of year there is kayaking and different water sports available not too far away, and river boat trips.

    Nearby amenities – the nearest main town is Pedrogão Grande which is a 20 min drive or 40 min bus journey (it goes around the villages). In this town are the normal amenities such as supermarket, banks, post office, library, cinema, cafes, general shops, and a mainline bus station. We are only an hour and a half away from Coimbra, and two hours from the coast, Figueira da Foz.

    In the village – we have a cafe / restaurant/ shop which is open Tuesday to Sunday and is only a five minute walk from the house.

    In the house – we have fiber optic WiFi.

    TRANSPORT: You can travel by bus from our village to the towns of Pedrogão Grande, Coimbra, Gois, and Lousã – HOWEVER – there is only one service a day, which leaves the village at 7.15am and returns late afternoon – and it is only a Monday to Friday service. If you wish to go further afield then once you have reached these larger towns you can take Rede Expressos buses which go all over Portugal at a very reasonable cost, also in Coimbra you can get a train.

  • 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

    Five hours a day, five days a week.

View of the village while out walking
The house
The garden
The garden
Cabril dam near Pedrogao Grande (19km from us), swimming pontoon, kayaking facilties, and awesome walks and can also cycle along some of the paths.
The house
Alvares river beach and cafe, 3km from our village.

Host ref number: 919644399589