Frank Mc Clintock

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Santa Clara A Velha, Portugal
Minimum Stay:
1 month
English, French, German, Portuguese


Paradise in Portugal

"Birds, bikes, battlefields, friends, family and fun"

This is the Deal

We're a lakeside Lodge, rated 5 stars on Tripadvisor, hosting volunteers to help in the garden, general maintenance to buildings, kitchen help, front of house, waiter/waitressing, bar work, watersports etc etc. The Lodge is totally eco-friendly, running 90% off solar power both for electricity production and hot water. We re-cycle all our water as well as rubbish etc.
If you're interested in either learning how to run a Lodge such as ours or are interested in learning how to run a sustainable enterprise, and are willing to be a committed member of our team we can teach you how we do it.
General all-rounders are what's needed ...
We'd like applicants to be motivated, have a positive attitude, sense of responsibility and sense of humour. You must be able to work as part of a team or on your own. No clock watchers please .... this is more a way of Life than work as such and 5 hours just doesn't cut it; we usually all work 8. If you're not prepared for this please don't waste your time by applying for a position here. Also please note that we are fairly isolated - at least by European standards; if you need a disco on your doorstep this definitely isn't the place for you, but you do have free wifi if you bring your own computer/iPad etc. Days and hours are flexible within reason. Volunteers get full use of our facilities on time off, including sauna, pedaloes, bikes, canoes, sailing dinghy etc.
Before applying for any position here please take the time to visit our website, my website and have a look around it to see if this is the place for you.


The Quinta faces south and has a stunning view overlooking one of the largest lakes in Europe.
Staff rooms have a double bed and a single bunk, dresser etc. Meals are eaten en famille; good food and you won't go hungry.
Please note that our nearest village is about 3 miles away. The local population consists primarily of self-sufficient small-holdings and farmers. There's not much culture. Beaches are about an hour's journey by car, but the lake is on your doorstep.
The lake itself is massive .... 36 kms long and 242 around, it's deep and holds 480 million cubic meters of water. It's incredibly clean - treading water at night you can see your toes in the moonlight - and warm too; during the summer the temperature's never far off 28ºC/82ºF. Ideal for swimming and boating - fishing too as the lake holds both Wide-mouthed Bass and Carp. Canoes, pedaloes and sailing dinghy available when not in use by guests.

What Else

Some quotes from past volunteers ....
"Staying here was probably the best experience I've had whilst traveling overseas. Frank was an unbelievable host that immediately makes you feel like one of the family.
The place is so amazing I stayed there for more than 3 months (intending to stay for only a month) but the serenity and relaxed way of life was mesmerising.
I learned so much about so many things and it never seemed like work.
This was my first working experience during my travels and the only regret that I have is that I will compare all the next places I intend to work with this one.
Thank you Frank for everything you have done for me. I will always remember the time I spent at this place."
Toby Withers, Australia, 2007
"I have great things to say about my work stay at this place. I only intended to stay for a week and ended up staying for over two months!
Make no mistake, we worked very hard, but like Toby said it often didn't feel like work, and the place's situation naturally lends itself to a very laid back pace of life, despite all that needs doing. The work is varied (kitchen assistant, gardening, loads of odd jobs and projects) so there is likely something for everyone.
On our down time we made good use of the lake, the great walking (accompanied by the dogs!) the bike, the sauna, and just chilled in the garden or in our room overlooking the lake. We experienced some great sunsets and sunrises, and managed to pick up a few choice Portuguese words and expressions thanks to the tutorial of some of the rest of the awesome staff.
Its a great place to be for the traveler who wants to experience a more authentic and extremely beautiful region of Portugal, with an amazing diversity of plants, flowers and birds.
I can sum it up with two words - go there!
Thanks for everything Frank!"
Dionne, Canada, 2007
"I had the pleasure of spending a little over a month at Frank’s. I found this place to be a wonderful stay with interesting work. You are expected to put a full days work in but the facilities during the off hours are worth every second of work. While I was there I met a variety of people, which was also very good fun. Frank and his crew were polite, easy going and very welcoming. This truly is paradise in Portugal. If you are in the Portugal area, I would definitely schedule some time working with Frank."
Randy, USA 2008
"Paradise it is! What a very special place. Stayed here for six weeks winter 07/08. Work interesting & varied. Accom. superb (Guest accom) overlooking lake. Expect to work hard, 5 days on 2 off, have lots of fun & meet some lovely people. Access to boats, canoes, woodfired sauna, beautiful gardens. Frank, host, is great fun, friendly & welcoming. I had such a good time, thanks Frank et al. Get there if you can!"
Su Glenn, UK, 2008
"This is a lovely and wonderful place. I'll look back on my volunteering experience and truly miss the gardens, the dogs, Fatima, Dulce, the kids, the whole family .... Highlights for me were making bread, long hours working in the sun, dancing, reading ... you're in Paradise, truly!!! Thanks for everything."
Melissa Brown, USA, 2009
"Wow! A wonderful time; think I'll have to come back. I enjoyed the work, I respect in many ways these people as a family, as an island in a crazy world. I appreciate the feeling of making things work, even if economic reality and inter-human relations are not always easy. Thank you guys - and excuse me for my English!"
Mathias, Belgium, 2009
"I stayed here for almost 3 months starting in September and had a fabulous time. Hard work was always expected. You help out whenever you're needed as does the rest of the family. Frank and Daniela are great in so many ways, they ask a lot of you, but give back so much more. Elias, Flora, and Carolina are the sweetest and well mannered more kids I have ever met (well most of the time..they're still kids!) It is such a blast to just hang out with the family, go relax by the lake, and chatting with guest that are from all over the world. Dulce and Fatima are the nicest ladies in Portugal, even though we couldn't communicate the best, we used tons of hand motions and laughed a lot. It is a beautiful place and count yourself lucky if you get the opportunity to spend time there!"
Ann, USA, 2010
"I had the privilege of working here for almost 3 months. As soon as I arrived, Frank and Daniela and the kids made me feel like a part of the family. The kids are amazing and I fell in love with the two girls immediately (even if they did tease me endlessly about being afraid of snakes). There is a lot of work to be done, more but it doesn't really feel like work and I often found myself in the kitchen trying to help even on my days off. Daniela cooks the most amazing food and the whole place is beautiful. It is a great place and I would highly recommend it!"
Stephanie, USA, 2011
"This was my first workaway experience and I definitely got very lucky! Frank and Daniela were brilliant hosts along with the rest of the crew Elias, Flora, Carolina, Fatima and Dulce. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. It was a hugely valuable experience, I learnt many useful new skills including carpentry and boat repairs. It was very satisfying to more make a useful contribution to so great a place. I made some great memories and great friends there."
Dan, England, 2011
"Location was exactly what I was looking for, the family were amazingly helpful and friendly and the whole general atomsphere was fantastic. I arrived at the Quinta not knowing how long I was going to stay and I ended up staying for 5months. After a short period of time I began to really feel part of the family. It really is a home from home. Yes, the work at times is hard but the respect you get back from working hard for the Quinta is second to none.
Anyone lucky enough to get the chance to go work at the Lake should really jump at it, and if you don't get the chance...get your wallet out and go there on holiday!"
Jake, UK, 2012
"I spent a month with Frank and Daniela this summer (2012) and had an amazing time. They were very welcoming and supportive, as were Daniela's lovely children and Dulce & Fatima (the quinta workers). What I will remember most is having the opportunity to meet scores and scores of extremely friendly and interesting people on a daily basis in the form of guests, staff and fellow workers.
Hard, but rewarding work. Frank and Daniela are the most hardworking people I’ve met so their standards are high, however you will never work anywhere near as much as they do. Admittedly I did struggle with the workload to begin with however F&D were always there to offer guidance and support and I have come home with so many more life skills."
Fleur, UK, 2012
"Others deserve to hear how amazing it has been to stay with you guys!!!!
My first experience of volunteering and I couldn't have asked for anything better. In fact, I am apprehensive about volunteering anywhere else, because I'd feel like I am cheating Frank and Daniela. If and when I decide to volunteer, I shall be back with the lake for sure.
Truly felt like part of the family. Hard, but rewarding work. Easy going family with lots of stories from Frank around the dinner table and the most amazing food every day from Daniela.
The 2 months you gave me shall never be forgotten. I even returned for 4 more days just to help out with a busy weekend they had on."
Luke, UK, 2012

- Smokers allowed

+ Internet Access

+ Have animals/pets