Join us!

Applications for 2024 are now closed (deadline 31st January 2024).

“A completely unique, immersive experience of living and working in a gorgeous setting where you will learn everything from cooking with home-grown produce to maintaining a beautifully restored stone house to caring for guests with warmth and hospitality. You will work hard and also get to reap the rewards by enjoying wonderful food, peaceful surroundings and being welcomed into the community.”   (Rochelle, Canada)

We offer accommodation for up to 14 paying guests, breakfasts, dinners and occasional cooking classes, and have a large vegetable garden, olive grove and chickens to look after, among other things. So we need help! Each year we form a team of 4-6 people to work the main season (April-November).

This year we are looking for one short-term seasonal worker to join our team:

  • 3 month salaried work placement
  • within the period late April-early November
  • mixed role (housework, food prep, meal service, gardening)
  • working within a small team (c.5 people)
  • bed and board provided on site if needed

A note on internships:

Over the past seven years we have hosted 55 fantastic interns here from many parts of the world. Sadly, due to the lack of available accommodation this year, we are not recruiting interns for 2024. However, this situation may well change, so do drop us a short email if you are interested in an internship and we can then let you know if opportunities arise. We hope to re-start the internship programme in future.

Seasonal Worker recruitment timetable:

  • December-January: Online application form open
  • 31st January 2024: Application deadline
  • February: Shortlisting and interviews
  • By 1st March: Successful candidate notified and placement dates agreed

How to apply:

You can find full details on how to apply, including the link to the online application form, further down this page. Please note: Only completed applications received in the correct way, by the deadline, will be considered. Others will be ignored.

Seasonal Worker role:

We are looking for someone who will really enjoy living and working at Bolara 60, who brings a positive attitude, good energy and useful skills. The post suits someone who will thrive in a busy social context, who wants to do and learn about everything that Bolara 60 has to offer, and who is ready to get stuck into any job, hard-working, reliable and self-motivated.

The seasonal worker will contribute to all areas of the business: cooking, baking, hosting, meal-service, cleaning, laundry, gardening, agricultural work etc. The work will vary from day to day and week to week, and overall will be well-balanced between the different areas. The person will likely be given a responsibility area of their own, for example managing the stocks we need for breakfast service. Please see further details of the kinds of work we do here below.

The successful candidate will have solid relevant experience and exceptional interpersonal skills. Please see the full person specification below and only apply if you meet all essential criteria.

The job is full-time, will be spread over 6 days a week, and will include two evenings. The salary is in line with local norms: 900 euro pcm. If needed, we can provide accommodation and full board (100 euro pcm contribution). The worker will also have occasional access to our car (for a contribution to petrol). See full terms below.

Why join us?

“A hugely rewarding experience: I learnt an enormous number of new skills, very fast, in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. It is challenging, sometimes non-stop, and hard work so not for the faint-hearted, and with huge bonuses of a beautiful setting and gorgeous food and company.” (Eleanor, UK)

This is an opportunity to learn how a rural guesthouse works; to develop your cooking, gardening, housekeeping, guest service and team-working skills, perhaps in a completely new context; to meet guests from near and far; and to spend time in a beautiful peaceful rural area, learning about food, culture and society in Istria.

Our past interns and employees report many benefits from their placements with us. Here are those often cited:

  • learning a lot about food, cooking, baking and preserving, including cooking extremely seasonally and with minimal waste, and using up gluts from the garden
  • gaining knowledge and experience with gardening, agriculture and foraging
  • learning about the region, including culture, agriculture, politics, history and languages
  • developing personal skills, such as confidence, social skills, multi-tasking, team-working and a range of management skills
  • living a completely different life in a very different place, having a lot of fun and making a lasting connection with the place and with colleagues
  • a timely opportunity for a career-break and/or change of direction (often into food)
  • insight and inspiration for taking on a similar project somewhere in the world one day

The work

Hours: This is a full-time position, therefore c.40 hours per week. Working hours are varied and will involve early starts (eg 7/8am), late finishes (eg 10/11pm) and some split shifts. We create a weekly plan so everyone can see ahead of time when they will be working. We do our best to make sure work is shared such that nobody needs to work an early shift following a very late one, but this does occasionally need to happen.

Time off: One full day and two half days off each week. Employees also qualify for paid leave: one week per 3 months worked, the timing of which must be agreed well in advance.

Shifts: The plan for 2024 may differ, but in the past we have operated a system of shifts: Early morning duty (8-9am), Breakfast duty (8-10am), Morning shift (10am-1pm), Afternoon shift (3-6pm), Evening duty (6-10pm), Dinner service (6-11pm).

Jobs: Below is an outline of the work. Please note that some activities will vary from week to week and month to month since they may depend on the season, the weather and the number of guests arriving, staying, dining and departing. These jobs are shared among the team. So in some cases you may be doing them together with one or two others, or dividing them up, or doing them on alternate days or weeks. We provide plenty of training and support in your first weeks to get you up to speed. Finally please note that everyone living at Bolara 60 is expected to chip into the work of looking after ourselves, as house-mates would in a shared house, in addition to carrying out their guesthouse duties.


We serve guest breakfast every morning. The work includes laying the tables and setting out the breakfast foods on the terrace / in the dining room, hosting and serving guests during the meal, and cleaning up afterwards. During the week we make the yoghurt, granola, sourdough bread and jams which we serve for breakfasts, and also prep some of the ‘breakfast specials’ we offer, such as shakshuka and spicy beans.


There are daily chores such as watering plants, sweeping, emptying the dishwasher, putting away the laundry, taking out the rubbish, collecting the eggs and tending to the chickens. Then on days when guests are leaving and/or due to arrive, we turn around their rooms and bathrooms: hoovering, mopping, dusting, window-cleaning, laundry, ironing, bed-making, flower-arranging, etc. Cleanliness and aesthetics are extremely important in a guesthouse, so these household jobs must always be done impeccably. We have high standards!


We have a large vegetable garden, herb patches, fruit, nut and olive trees, courtyard area, a meadow and lawn to look after. Work includes weeding, watering, sowing, planting, pruning, cutting the grass and harvesting crops. Exact jobs will depend on the season. In spring and early summer we are busy growing vegetables from seeds and seedlings, planting out the garden and weeding. In summer the focus shifts to cutting the grass and making haystacks, watering, harvesting and planting out autumn crops. In late summer and autumn we process our harvests (eg tomatoes into passata), cut back the lavender bushes, and eventually prepare the beds for winter.


We serve guest dinners on Wednesdays and Saturdays – three course seasonal dinners with aperitifs and wine. The style of cooking is unpretentious and rustic, Mediterranean-leaning, full of vegetables, and using as much produce from our own garden as possible. We also serve meat and occasionally fish, sometimes using the outdoor grill and indoor fireplace to cook. The work involves helping prepare the food during the afternoon, laying the tables before guests arrive, hosting and serving during the meal, washing up and clearing everything away at the end.


Anna offers very occasional cooking classes (depending on our capacity). Our classes are usually vegetable-led, using produce from the garden where possible. We often make pasta, mezze-style dishes, soups, breads, salads and fruity desserts. Classes are participatory – everyone gets stuck into the cooking together – and the style is informal. The work includes helping set up the kitchen and cooking spaces, assisting Anna teach for example by getting ingredients and kit ready and helping guide guests, laying the table and helping serve and clear the meal, and cleaning up during the class and afterwards.


Once or twice a week some of us work together to get a project done. These are usually culinary, such as transforming garden harvests or market hauls into jams, pickles, ketchups, cordials, liqueurs and other preserves. We also dry our own herbs, lavender buds, borlotti beans, garlic, chillies and nuts, and process our own corn for polenta. In spring we go out to pick wild garlic, wild asparagus, elderflowers and blackthorn shoots to use in our projects. And we regularly make the yoghurt, granola and sourdough bread for our breakfasts. The result is a very well stocked larder, which supplies many of our house specialities.


There are always other things going on! There are a number of seasonal agricultural jobs, such as helping with the potato, grape, corn and olive harvests, raking up the hay meadow, pruning olive trees and collecting and stacking firewood. There are also occasional DIY projects, such as making lavender bags, repairing/repurposing old objects, varnishing wooden furniture or helping build something new. And every year seems to bring new special events too – weddings, workshops, film crews and more…

Living at Bolara 60

Most of our team live here with us. This means we provide bed and board, and staff members are free to use all our communal spaces, along with our paying guests. For staff bedrooms we use two small ones in our main house, plus occasionally rent apartments in the village. We encourage all our team to get to know our guests and our neighbours. We do not like to draw a heavy line, or curtain, between “staff” and “guests”, nor between “front” and “back” of house. Of course these distinctions exist, but the vibe here is quite informal, with all of us often gathered around one table for meals or drinks. This situation is worth considering when thinking about applying, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it means the experience of living and working here can feel immersive, or quite “full on”, since you have limited private space “away” from work space. You are living where you work, and working where you live. Your colleagues are also your housemates, and will probably also become friends with whom you want to spend time off. Our paying guests tend to go out during the day, but are here for every breakfast and around many evenings too, whether for our dinners or just a drink and a chat. Working here therefore suits people who thrive in busy social settings – you will make many friends from around the world. It also means knowing when and how to find quiet alone time, such as escaping to a corner of the garden with a book, taking yourself off for a solo outing or being able to opt for an early night without fear of missing out.

Secondly, it means being not only a good team-player but also a good housemate. Those of us living here all chip in when it comes to some of the regular household chores and preparing and clearing up our “family” meals (which are all lunches and some dinners). We also clean our own bedrooms and bathrooms, and help keep communal areas tidy. If cooking for others scares you, don’t worry – everyone is happy with leftovers or pasta ‘n’ pesto. If you love cooking or are looking to develop your skills, then taking your turn preparing family lunches and dinners is a great opportunity for experience, something many interns and staff members have noted in the past.

Time off

You will likely have some time off at the same time as other team members, and some time off alone. Below you will find some suggestions for what to do with your time off.

We are keen for everyone living here to get to know the area. Note that there is no public transport to our village. Some people bring their own car so that nipping out to the seaside is easy and daytrips further afield are possible. Others are happy to soak up the atmosphere in our immediate area.

Paddling in the sea

There are several lovely walks and cycle rides right from our door, including to a couple of nearby villages and bar-restaurants. We have bicycles people can borrow, and also a small car which confident and experienced drivers can use occasionally (in return for petrol contributions). We also try to organise a joint excursion every week or two, for example to local restaurants and wineries.

Our previous team members have done the following with their free time:

Walking up to picturesque Grožnjan (45 mins each way and a very pretty walk), where there are cafés, bars, small galleries and great views, or further along the Parenzana (a dismantled Habsburg railway line connecting villages in the hills, now a pretty walking/cycling route).

Borrowing our bikes. Livade (10km east mostly along flat white road) has restaurants and a café. From here you could then climb the hill up to medieval Oprtalj or Motovun – both very steep but great views at the top, plus restaurants etc. Or you can head west to Novigrad along the gravel road (19km) and take a dip in the sea.

Chatting to our guests and neighbours over coffee or wine.

Joining us when we find time to socialise with friends and neighbours, in Bolara or further afield.

Cooking or baking something they fancy cooking.

Using their own car to explore Istria’s coastal towns, swimming spots and hill-top villages, plus nearby Slovenia and Italy. We can provide lots of tips.

Or borrowing our car for occasional local trips.

Catching up with their other work (for example academic reading and writing).

Relaxing with a good book under a tree.


  • Must meet all our essential selection criteria and preference will be given to those also meeting some of our preferred criteria (see below).
  • Able to work here for 3 months.
  • Able to legally work in Croatia. We will work with you to apply for a work permit if necessary. Please note you may be required to supply a criminal records check from your home country if this is outside the EU.
  • Salary: 900 euro pcm (net pay).
  • Employees will receive their salary into a Croatian bank account. We can help you set up a local bank account if needed.
  • As employees, post-holders will receive Croatian healthcare cover.
  • Full bed and board provided if required (for 100 euro pcm contribution).
  • Aged between 21 and 65 years of age. (In very exceptional circumstances we may consider slightly younger.)
  • Must make own travel arrangements to/from Istria. We may be able to collect from a nearby airport (ideally Pula, alternatively Trieste, Rijeka or Ljubljana) or bus/train station (Novigrad, Buzet, Koper or Trieste) if needed.
  • 3 week probation period.
  • If a post-holder is unable or unwilling to do jobs required of them, we will try to find a solution or compromise which works for all. If this is not possible we will terminate the placement.
  • We reserve the right to terminate work placements at any time in the event of misconduct (eg dishonesty, theft, inappropriate behaviour, wilful damage to property).
  • We can provide a relocation allowance of up to 500 euro if you relocate from outside Croatia for the period of the job. This may be paid in two instalments, first after arrival and second after completion of placement.

Selection criteria

Applicants must meet all essential criteria. Preference will be given to those additionally meeting some of the preferred criteria.


  • Positive and enthusiastic attitude: very happy with the whole role description and terms; willing to work hard and to learn new things. The placement will not suit those who are perfectly able to clean bathrooms, or weed for several hours, but get grumpy doing so! It will suit people who really want to be here because they want to do, and learn about, the things which the placement offers.
  • Professional, reliable, efficient and self-motivated: able to learn jobs and systems quickly, follow instructions, pay attention to detail, take responsibility for own work and manage own time effectively. Running a guesthouse means maintaining quality standards all the time, especially for food service, hygiene, tidiness and cleanliness. Poorly done or forgotten jobs are not an option!
  • A good people-person: able to easily fit into life at Bolara 60, including working with us and other team-members, interacting with guests, and being open, communicative, smiley and approachable. That team members enjoy meeting new people and chatting over meals is really important to us. Bolara 60 is a very social space during the season.
  • Practical and physically fit: willing and able to do a lot of physical work such as cleaning, gardening and cooking (which will require hours standing) each day. The placements do not suit those who prefer or need more gentle or sedentary work; it is hard physical work, every day.
  • Relevant and solid work experience (eg hospitality, catering, gardening/agriculture or cleaning/housekeeping): Please note hobbies, interests and occasional jobs are not sufficient; you need to demonstrate a proven track record in a work context in at least one of these areas.
  • Able to stay for the full placement length. (See above.)
  • Fluent in English and an excellent oral communicator.
  • Aged 21-65.
  • Full and clean driving licence. Willing and able to drive a manual car in Croatia.


  • Solid work experience in several relevant areas – see above.
  • Additional potentially useful skills, eg woodwork/carpentry, sewing/craft skills, wild plant identification, chicken-keeping knowledge, plumbing or electrical skills, car/bicycle/machinery maintenance.
  • Italian, Croatian or German language skills. Most people in our part of Istria speak Croatian and Italian; the older generations tend not to speak English. Many tourists speak English, but significant minorities prefer German or Croatian.

Further information

Make sure you have a good look through our website. For more insight into life at Bolara 60 check out our Instagram. To read testimonials from previous placement holders, see the bottom of this page. And for more information on the region, see here. If you have any remaining questions please don’t hesitate to ask us.

To apply

If you are happy with everything you have read so far, and meet all the essential criteria, please apply by completing THE ONLINE FORM AVAILABLE HERE and submitting it by 31st January 2024.

Important notes about the application form:

  • Only completed applications received this way will be considered.
  • You should be able to save your work in the form and come back to it.
  • Use the form to tell us about yourself, your reasons for applying, and your skills and work experience which are relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • You are asked for the period(s) you will definitely be available for the 3 month placement. Please note that the wider your availability the more likely we will be able to offer you a placement.
  • You are asked to upload a CV. It is essential that this CV meets the following criteria or we may disregard it: It must be a PDF file, and only one A4 page. It must give a clear account of your education, training and work history, including your highest level academic qualifications and grades, names of employers, nature of employment (eg full/part time, paid/voluntary), job titles and all start and end dates. In the online form you can refer to education, training and experience mentioned in the CV, and explain to us why it makes you suited to the role.
  • You are also asked to provide contact details for two referees, at least one of whom was your manager or supervisor in a work context (preferably both), and to confirm that they are aware of your application, expecting us to be in touch and able to reply to our questions by the deadline given (9th February). We cannot progress applications missing references.
  • When you submit the form your answers will be sent to us, and a copy to yourself.
  • We do not have time to chase for missing answers, referees, CVs etc, so please make sure your application is complete. Missing information will mean we cannot shortlist you.

After the application deadline of 31st January we will shortlist and then hold interviews, usually by Zoom, during February. We expect to be able to make the job offer by 1st March. If you will need to know sooner than that, please let us know.

Thank you for your interest! We hope you will apply….

[Please note that if you enquire about working with us or send us an application we will keep your name and email address on file so that we can let you know about placement opportunities here. Just let us know anytime if you’re no longer interested. Read more about how we handle personal data here.]

What our previous volunteers say…

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