Hi, we are Jay and Chrissy (both in our early 50's) and we live in a traditional Spanish finca (farmhouse), nestled between the mountains of inland Costa Blanca and surrounded by pine forests and nature.
Our smallholding is 4.4 kms from Cocentaina, in Alicante province, located in-between, the mountainous Serra de Mariola national park and the Serpis river.
We moved to Spain from Italy, just before the pandemic, but are both originally from the UK.
Over the last two and a half years we have been renovating our finca but we also have nearly 19,000 square metres of land, planted mainly with olive trees, so if you'd like to experience a taste of rural life in Spain, we'd love to welcome you to come and stay with us .
We are looking for people who, are willing to learn and want to get involved and be part of our family. At the end of a hard day we like to enjoy the fruits of our labour, cooling down in the pool, enjoying a few beers and lively conversation with friends and having a tasty home made vegetarian meal.
We both work very hard, and wouldn't expect our volunteers to do anything we haven't done ourselves, but we also make plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful countryside that surrounds us. The mountains, national park, forests, lakes, rivers and natural springs where you can swim. This area is also rich in history with lots of interesting monuments to visit and Valencia, which is an incredibly beautiful and interesting city with stunning architecture, an amazing food market, and lots of little streets and squares to explore, is not far (about one hour away) and makes a great day trip.
Daily life here at Walter's house (named after our dog, who was abandoned here at the property) offers variety, there's always lots of different tasks that need doing, but often starts at 7am when we feed the animals, let the chickens out and have a cup of tea or coffee. An early start is best because it is cooler outside, especially during the summer months when temperatures often reach the upper 30's.
On a day to day basis, Jay and I work together on improving and maintaining the property and surrounding land but I also teach English online, and love to cook. I make all our meals from scratch, including homemade bread, jam made from fruit grown on our land and eggs from our own chickens. We have not bought eggs for over two years now. We are striving to become as self sufficient as possible.
We welcome visitors who embrace this lifestyle or who would like to learn.
We are both vegetarian and love animals, we have two dogs, Walter and Lilly, three cats, Cecil, Rodney and Fiona, and six chickens, Mavis, Marigold, Agatha, Clarisse, Polly and Daisy.
Many of our animals are rescued and this is something that is very close to our hearts.
Walter, who our house is named after (Walter's House) was abandoned here and left to starve. When we met him he was skin and bone and bleeding from his foot. I am happy to say after 10 months of daily medical care he made a full recovery and is the happy, healthy, gentle, giant you now see.
Cecil came from the UK and had a rough time before Jay adopted him at a rescue centre. Jay was Cecil's 4th home, but they really got along and Cecil has travelled to many countries with Jay in his self-built campervan. We call Cecil the travelling cat.
Lilly came with me from the UK, she is a Cocker Spaniel x Labrador, and I have had her since she was a puppy. She is the spoilt princess of the group, now 10, she is such a happy dog with the waggiest tail and the bounciest paws. 'Everybody loves Lilly'
We have a lovely, caring, fun dynamic to our family group and everyone works well together.
Pratique d’une langue
Aide avec des éco-projets
Bricolage et projets de construction
S’occuper des animaux
Aide dans une ferme
Spain has a lot to offer, more than just beaches, sunshine and cheap beer.
The Area we live (Inland Costa Blanca, Alicante) is rich in history with many castles and monuments to visit. Every town and village has its own fiestas and celebrations, 'Fiesta de Moros y Cristiano's' is of significant importance in this area and includes enactments of battles between the Moors and the Christians.
There are also lots of pretty hillside villages to explore, a mix of brightly tiled domed roof tops, white washed chapels and narrow cobble streets with bars full of locals having an unrushed morning coffee or afternoon beer.
In contrast we also have the mountains and forests with an abundance of wildlife and winding trails leading to hidden spots with natural springs where you can cool off.
In addition to all this, here at Walter's house we can offer a warm welcome and taste of rural Spain, from the perspective of two fairly ordinary, animal loving, vegetarians from the UK trying to become as self-sufficient as possible in a foreign country.
From cooking all our vegetarian meals from scratch everyday, using eggs from our pet chickens or herbs from our garden to installing solar panels and reducing waste, the learning opportunities are many and varied.
We still have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but we are happy to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learning from others.
We would really like to hear from people who want to embrace different cultures and new experiences.
Perhaps you'd like to improve your English while helping with the olive harvest or learn how to keep chickens by helping us build a new chicken coop?
Or perhaps you'd like to learn more about self-sustainable living and vegetarian cooking?
We have a diverse range of projects and learning opportunities available, the most important things we are looking for in our helpers are:
1. To love animals
2. Be willing to have a go and get involved.
3. Be willing to embrace a vegetarian/vegan diet during your stay.
If you are interested in coming to help us we would love to hear from you.
Currently we are mainly looking for help with:
1. Managing our 19,000 square metres of land.
Made up of 5 tiers and mainly planted with olive trees, we are looking for help with strimming the grass using petrol hand held strimmer's (land not accessible by tractor), trimming the trees and chopping wood for winter wood store, harvesting olives (during harvest season).
2. Gardening, particularly cutting grass, weeding around the pool (mint seems to grow everywhere here), some planting, landscaping and watering.
3. DIY projects, building a chicken coop, installing fencing, painting, decorating, sanding, some general building labour eg. mixing cement, moving building rubble and building materials.
4.Animal care. Are you great with animals? It would be lovely for us to have someone who we love and our animals love to take care of them for a night or two so we could have some time away just the two of us. It is sometimes difficult for us because we don't like to leave the dogs for too long, even when visiting friends.
5. Teach us Spanish. Are you fluent in Spanish? We get by but we would really like to improve our Spanish conversational skills.
Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
We are from the UK but residents of Spain. We are keen to improve our Spanish as we are both beginners. I am an English teacher and happy to help visitors who want to improve their English.
Depending on when you visit we can offer either:
Your own bedroom (double bed) in our home, sharing the rest of the house with ourselves and the dogs and cats.
Your own self-contained one bedroom apartment (double bed, small kitchenette, sitting room and bathroom) This option is currently, at the time of writing (July 2022) being renovated, estimated completion September 2022.
We also offer three Vegetarian or Vegan meals a day taken with us.
We can accommodate one individual or one couple as we only have one double room available at this time.
Upon your arrival we can collect you from either Valencia or Alicante airport if flying.
Alternatively we can collect you from a near by station if arriving by train.
This area is serviced by Alicante and Valencia Airports (both about an hour away)
Trains and buses also operate from nearby towns and villages.
Our nearest town is Cocentaina (4.4 km), we tend to drive to Cocentaina but some visitors have enjoyed the walk. You can get most things you need there (chemist, supermarket, banks, post office) and they have a weekly market every Thursday.
Our nearest city is Alcoy (10 km) for anything you can't get locally.
Serra de Mariola National Park (30 km)
Xativa Castle (48 km) You can catch trains to many destinations from Xativa station.
Valencia is a fantastic day out (105 km) the best way to visit here is by car and train.
Nearest beach Villajoyosa (90 km)
We also provide the opportunity to accompany us on dog walks exploring the surrounding countryside.
We are happy to provide lifts to local train stations on your days off.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
I teach English online to Italian students from Spain using Skype. Occasionally we have connection problems but not often. usually due to storms or maintenance. I work online most days but usually just for a couple of hours.
We have land where a vehicle can be parked up and we can arrange for fresh drinking water to be available. We used to be campervan travellers ourselves before the pandemic and are keen to do more of it in the future. Campervans are very welcome and we'd love to share stories about our experiences.
We love animals especially dogs and welcome pets that are well behaved and not aggressive to other animals, as we have dogs, cats and chickens here.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week