Working holidays give you the opportunity to experience exciting and diverse places, people and activities. Fancy yourself as a bit of a David Attenborough? Spend your summer tracking and protecting endangered species. Dream of being on Time Team? Sign up for two weeks on an archaeological dig. As a volunteer you can satisfy the desires of your inner child, make new friends and make a difference in the world.
Working Holidays: The Best Volunteer Projects In Europe
Published on July 9, 2012 by Sophie McGovern
Some working holidays are costly whilst others are absolutely free. Here is our pick of four of the best volunteer projects in Europe to get you inspired.
WWOOF- Organic Faming Across Europe
Cost: Free/ 30 euro membership
Time: Enquire about minimum and maximum stays with specific farms
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a wide network of organisations that pair volunteers with host farms, many of which are in Europe. Volunteers join the organisation in their country of choice and are then sent a list of host farms to choose from. Expectations are different from farm to farm, but you will probably help-out around five hours a day in exchange for food, board and loads of opportunities to learn.
This is perfect for people who are travelling on a tight budget and want to immerse themselves in local life as well as learn new skills.
A few of the European countries that participate are: Austria, France, Portugal, Italy, Czech Republic, UK, Sweden, Romania.
ARCHELON- The Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
Image: Anna Oates
Cost: General Volunteer: 200-300 Euros, Car Drivers and Tech Support: 30 Euros
Time: Minimum Four Weeks Participation, Maximum Five Months between mid-May and mid-October
Working on the Greek islands of Zakynthos, Crete or Peloponnesus, volunteers help to protect, monitor and raise awareness about the loggerhead turtles which nest on the shores of the islands. This includes tracking turtles and recording their nesting sites at night, protecting nests, and assisting the hatched baby turtles.
Volunteers stay on campsites and the project has a highly communal emphasis. This is perfect for people who want to make friends, work closely with animals, and who don’t mind living fairly basically.
Sunseed Desert Project- Sustainable Community in Spain
Image: Guttorm Flatavo
Cost: 85- 150 Euros per week
Time: Short Term Volunteers 2-4 Weeks, Long Term Volunteers 5 Weeks+, Interns several months
Set in a beautiful valley in southern Spain, the Sunseed community are a low-impact, sustainable living project who run residential courses, workshops and seminars on everything from furniture making to solar cooking and building sustainable structures.
Volunteers help out across the community with farming, maintenance, cooking and building. There is comfortable shared accommodation and meals are communal. This is perfect for anyone who is interested in learning about how to live sustainably.
National Trust- Working Holidays in the UK
Image: Ryan McDonald
Cost: Short breaks from £75, One Week Trust Holidays from £125
Time: From two days to one week
With holiday opportunities on National Trust sites across the UK, these working holidays offer a wide range of opportunities including coast and countryside protection, gardening, maintaining historic houses and assisting on archaeological digs.
Accommodation is usually hostel style and domestic tasks are shared between the group. This is perfect for anyone who wants a behind-the-scenes look at some of the UK’s most treasured sites, meet likeminded people and have a thoroughly unique holiday experience.