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Volunteer Work Exchanges in Cave Houses and Cave Hotels

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Compared to some other countries Turkey doesn’t have a huge range of volunteer work available. Also volunteer work that is a genuine exchange of sweat for stay is an increasingly rare commodity in a world of paid gap year programmes.

It is also unusual for us to meet a representative from one of the volunteer programmes we promote on our website and newsletter so it was a rare treat to meet Andus Emge of the Cappadocia Academy for Art and Culture – all the more so because we stayed in his hotel, dug into the soft rock of the Cappadocia’s lunar like landscape.

It was one of the most comfortable and fun places we have ever spent the night.


We were only able to stay for five days in the Fairy Chimney Inn but perhaps one of you reading this will be able to stay much longer. Overlooking the wonderland landscape of Goreme, in the heart of Cappadocia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fairy Chimney often looks for a volunteer not just to help out around the hotel but also to initiate and implement a small cultural project of their own choosing for the Cappadocia Academy.

Volunteers should be computer literate, able to work well with others and preferably have a basic education in the field of tourism or anthropology – though personal enthusiasm will go a long way if not. Applicants should speak English, German or Turkish and be able to oversee a small project of their own choosing from start to finish.

For more information visit the website of the Fairy Chimney Inn and take a look at the volunteer page.

One of our readers, Brandon Fralic, did exactly that, applied for and got the position, and emailed from his cave room, the same one we stayed in and where Michael Palin interviewed the owner on one of his journeys. We told Brandon how the hotel cat gets into his room and, in exchange, he sent us a report of his experience volunteering in Cappadocia.

Should Andus no longer be hiring, or the position is currently filled, work exchange websites are your best option to find something similar. Browsing through Workaway we expected to come across several more in Turkey but instead were surprised to find that the current cave house and hotel work exchange hotspot is Spain.

Cave house experience helping with farm and horses in Granada, Spain

Though riding isn’t part of your work, this host needs a happy enthusiastic person with a passion for horses willing and able to get up in the morning with a smile. A room in a large cave house and expert instruction from a British Horse Society senior coach is yours in return for support with the horses, farm work, fencing, painting and gardening.

Help us at our cave hostel in the middle of Göreme, Turkey

After years of experience in hospitality, these two young Turkish guys decided to run their own hostel. Help them out, on reception, leading walking tour, or with other tasks and in return they would like to share their food, accommodation, experience and loads of laughs.

Remote, eco-friendly, off-grid cave house where you can share fun and happiness in Andalusia, Spain

Drink some coffee, watch the sunrise and enjoy living off grid a half hour drive from civilisation. They want house sitters year round, help in the garden, and are open to your own ideas as to why you should stay there. Minimum age limit is 22.

Craft activities, animal, plant care, natural gardening and sustainable environmental life at my cave home in Sicilia, Italy

The host here, a retired artist living a somewhat alternative lifestyle in a garden with four different caves, can teach you Italian and German, sculpture and drawing, plus how to make alternative energy.

Social and literary volunteer at cave hotel in Göreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

This beautiful cave hotel is looking for people to write for their blogs or who are good at social media marketing, making short movies and taking professional photos.

Help out a family in a cave dwelling one of the famous “troglodytes” of the Loire Valley, France

Over six years, French couple Anne and Laure restored their cave dwelling in an ecological way. They live there with their two children and want a bit of help about the place, mostly with cleaning and outside chores.

Help us out at la cueva del Pucho

There is a sparsely furnished cave in it for you for helping in the garden and improving the property. The family’s main goal here is to keep the cave in use.

Renovating 2 old antique and cave house in Cappadocia, Turkey

This roving former couch surfer has settled down in Turkey with her boyfriend to renovate two antique Turkish houses. At the moment, your potential accommodation is described as rugged but perhaps your DIY or building skills can change this.

Come and help in a cave house in Baza, Granada

A Swiss troglodyte family with a menagerie of dogs, cats, ducks, hens, parrots and a pig are looking for help renovating their cave property. French and Spanish speaking volunteers able to stay a month would be best.

Desert experience hiking, camping and ECO tourism in Petra, Jordan

Bedouin families used to live in caves in and around the historic and stunning Petra site until they were moved by the government into modern housing in a nearby village. Ghassad, who returned home from living in Germany, looks for volunteers to clean, feed, and herd goats in the mountains. There’s a spare room but staying in a cave is an option depending on the time of year.

Sign up to Workaway to apply for the positions listed above. Membership costs €43.00 for two years (€52 for a couple or two friends).

More cheap places to volunteer around the world can be found at




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