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Forest Conservation Volunteer Project in Portugal - Lisbon

Forest Conservation Volunteer Project in Portugal - Lisbon

Want to turn over a new leaf as a Forest Conservation volunteer in Portugal? International Volunteer HQ’s Forest Conservation project is a great way for volunteers to contribute to the restoration of native forests and wildlife in Lisbon. Volunteers gain conservation and fieldwork experience while learning about the forest and practices that will help it recover from environmental challenges and protect it long into the future.

  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from £883 for 2 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Restore native forests, regenerate natural spaces and promote biodiversity

  • Discover Lisbon’s stunning natural environment

  • Stay in a sustainable hostel only a short walk from the beach

Key information

Protect the planet & preserve nature
Based in a natural park in Lisbon
Dormitory-style hostel
Volunteers aged 18+
Fully hosted experience from £883 for 2 weeks
Durations from 2 - 12 weeks
Portugese language lessons available
Up to 5 hours volunteering per day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who have a good level of fitness, want to spend time doing physical work outdoors and are interested in helping with the ecological recovery of native forests in Lisbon.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Forests and mountains play an essential role in the health of our planet. They perform a wide range of functions for local ecosystems, such as providing natural resources, controlling soil erosion, regulating and filtering water and recycling nutrients. They also aid soil formation, the sequestration of carbon, the filtration of air pollutants, and reduce the risk of fires and floods.

IVHQ’s Forest Conservation project aims to promote the ecological recovery of degraded areas through the restoration of native forests and native species, while involving the local community as much as possible. The project is designed to enhance the area’s natural heritage, reduce environmental damage, regenerate and recover natural spaces, promote biodiversity and restore ecological functions.

As a Forest Conservation volunteer you will study and learn about the forest. You’ll be working alongside the field team of local volunteers, coordinators and other members of the community to make a visible impact. Most of the activities are based in a natural park that surrounds a part of Lisbon. Fieldwork tasks vary depending on the season but may include:

  • Applying control techniques for invasive species that were introduced in the last decades for fast reforestation and are now threatening natural areas
  • Planting different species with diverse methodologies (mostly in autumn and winter)
  • Maintaining planted areas
  • Protecting biodiversity niches
  • Maintaining walking trails

The travel distance from the house to the volunteering site is about one hour by public transport.

Once a month there is an activity out of the city that usually lasts from 2 to 5 days. These field trips take place in different parts of the country, so volunteers may have the chance to explore other villages and areas in Portugal. Volunteers play an important role on these trips by planting on a larger scale in areas that have been degraded due to intensive agriculture, fires or the presence of exotic species.

Please note that the volunteer work while on the Forest Conservation project can be very physical and demanding and, as such, volunteers do need to have a medium level of fitness to take part.

When joining the project in winter, volunteers should be prepared for lower temperatures of between 40-60°F (5-15°C), and come equipped with warm clothing. If you volunteer during the summer, temperatures range between 77-100ºF (25-38ºC), so comfortable and light-weight clothes are recommended.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #13: Climate Action

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #13: Climate Action

Climate change affects everyone, everywhere. 2010 - 2020 was the warmest decade ever recorded and Carbon Dioxide levels have risen to an all-time high. In order to keep global temperatures below the Paris Agreement’s 2 degree Celsius limit, we must take action to educate communities, conserve nature and promote sustainable solutions.

Why do Forest Conservation volunteering in Lisbon with IVHQ?

As a Forest Conservation volunteer in Portugal you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Assisting with conservation efforts in Lisbon
  • Helping to protect and preserve natural ecosystems
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining forest conservation and fieldwork experience
  • Immersing yourself in Portugese culture
  • Exploring Portugal’s natural environment

Volunteer requirements

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers other projects in Portugal which are open to younger volunteers, and also alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.

All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.

Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Kayla Gore
01 Mar 2024

I truly enjoyed my time living by the beach in a beautiful castle like home and commuting on the train daily to my placement. It really gave me the opportunity to explore Portugal as a local. Very safe, I found myself walking to the beach across the street on a nice evening to watch and hear the waves crashing. The staff were amazing!

Benjamin Fiddimore
27 Feb 2024

I gained knowledge about the extent to which food poverty affects Lisbon, as well as the huge volume of food that would normally go to waste. It was great to be able to help impact two problems on one project, and I do think that I genuinely helped the team at my placement to make a difference in the local community.

Sophie Williams
15 Jan 2024

I learned something about the culture in Lisbon/Portugal but I also learned about the cultures of the other volunteers I met while staying in Portugal. To anyone who is hesitant about joining the program, I would tell them to not be afraid to work hard, the work would be easy if they didn’t NEED volunteers but the projects desperately do need help, its not just a holiday, its work.

Ian Wolverton-Weiss
14 Nov 2023

I went in with very little expectations and walked out with a satisfied, sentimental feeling about me. I felt that I had made many connections there and blended into my new environment well, making great memories and friendships that really improved my sense of self confidence and purpose. I would say the most valuable part of the trip was getting to interact with people who had very similar interests and a positive mindset towards the volunteer work and the community environment. I learned that I can free myself of too much stress if I love what I am doing and have a supportive network of peers and leaders. I would recommend giving a program a good consideration, I found that my adventure in Portugal was well worth it.

Martha Crawley
02 Aug 2023

This experience was truly magical. The people I met were so lovely and inspiring. I think I have gained a more positive outlook on life and humanity and also gained independence and confidence with travelling solo and meeting new people. Personally, I have also gained knowledge on how to maintain forests as I chose Forest Conservation. Also just do it because you will definitely not regret it, as I found it so so fun!

Valentina Velazquez
05 Apr 2023

IVHQ was very helpful to guide me throughout the application and preparation process for my trip. They also helped me find projects that were connected under my interests. The local team were both helpful and friendly. I knew I could trust them with any questions or concerns I had. Being able to see all the different creatures that live under the water, and being able to help clean up their environment meant allowing them to continue living a safe life was my favourite moment. I learned that even one small action can lead to a large change in helping the world and the people on it. If you are considering volunteering, go for it! Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary, but you will find that it will leave a good impact on your life and teach you many new things!


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

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Volunteer Abroad in Portugal with IVHQ


The IVHQ Portugal Program is located in and around Lisbon - the capital and largest city in Portugal. It’s a veritable treasure trove of history, culture, breathtaking scenery, exciting nightlife, gorgeous beaches and great places to eat and drink.

Portugal and Lisbon have risen from poverty only this century, so while it is a fantastic and affordable destination to visit, local communities are still facing the lingering effects of previously being one of the poorest countries in Western Europe. Volunteers can have an impact on these communities by supporting local initiatives which aim to improve the lives of Lisbon’s residents and make sure they have access to all of life’s basic necessities.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday, and volunteers need to arrive in Lisbon the day before their orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Lisbon Airport (LIS). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee, however, if you arrive outside of Sunday between 9:00AM - 10:00PM, your pick-up will incur an extra cost of US$65. Volunteers under the age of 18 are required to travel with written consent from both parents or guardians in order to enter Portugal. Volunteers under the age of 18 who require a pre-arranged visa will also need their visa application to be signed by a parent or guardian.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in either Lisbon. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Portugal prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a prearranged location in Lisbon on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Portugal team at the accommodation. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Portugal – an introduction to Portugal, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to project and placement as well as a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to sign up for Portuguese language lessons if you’re on a Lisbon based project, and to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Volunteer schedule example


You will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 6 hours per day. Please note that start times and daily workloads depend on the project that you are participating on.

8:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast is available at the volunteer accommodation
8:30 AM Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
1:00 - 3:00 PM Lunch is served at the accommodation or at your placement. After lunch, you will continue your volunteer work.
2:30 PM Volunteers with afternoon or evening shifts travel to placement and begin work on their project.
7:00 - 9:00 PM Dinner at the volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.


Volunteers have the weekends free and Portugal and Lisbon are full of interesting things to do, see, visit, eat and learn.

Explore the old city of Lisbon and get yourself lost in the small alleys that are seeped with music and delicious food. Be sure to try the local pastry - pastel de nata and listen to traditional folklore music - fado. Lisbon is a vibrant city with many cultural and music events, you can’t possibly be bored here. If it’s nature you’re looking for - it has that too! Sintra Natural Park is only a short drive away and boasts wonderful castles and palaces. Come for a day trip to Arrabida beach and try the well-known local wines.

Volunteers can make travel arrangements further afield once in Lisbon, with the advice and guidance of our local staff.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers on Lisbon based projects will be accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel with other volunteers in Estoril which is a 5 minute walk from the beach. You can expect to share a room with between 3 - 13 other volunteers of the same gender however, male volunteers may share mixed-gender rooms with other guests if the male dormitory room reaches capacity.

Bedding and towels are provided, and there are shared western bathrooms however, they are not separated by gender. Staff will clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy. Please note that there is a 10:00 PM curfew in place at the hostel for volunteers under the age of 18.

WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation, as well as many cafes and restaurants in the area. To keep connected, the local team will provide you with a free local SIM card that you can activate to purchase mobile data for an unlocked mobile phone.

Private double rooms in the hostel, with the use of the communal bathrooms, are available at an additional cost of US$384 (approximately £318). These can be purchased as an add-on via your MyIVHQ account once you have registered for the Portugal program. All accommodation upgrades are subject to availability.

Volunteers travel to their placements from the volunteer accommodation via public transport or by foot.


Portuguese food is delicious and during your time in Portugal, you will be sure to receive some incredible treats.

Most volunteers are provided with three meals a day. Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and generally includes tea, coffee, bread, cheese, ham, spreads, cereal, yoghurt and fruit. Lunch and dinner usually include local staples such as fish and chicken, as well as rice, pasta, vegetables, and salad. If your placement requires you to be away from the accommodation during lunch or dinner, these will be provided at your placement or you will take a packed meal.

Tap water is fine to drink in Portugal, however bottled water is readily available if you prefer and you should budget US$10 (approximately £8) a week for this.


  • USD
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
2 weeks £884 Equivalent to £63/day
3 weeks £1183 Equivalent to £56/day
4 weeks £1482 Equivalent to £53/day
5 weeks £1789 Equivalent to £51/day
6 weeks £2096 Equivalent to £50/day
8 weeks £2711 Equivalent to £48/day
10 weeks £3325 Equivalent to £48/day
12 weeks £3940 Equivalent to £47/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £272) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers on Lisbon based projects and on the Wildlife Conservation project generally find US$65 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses. For those on the Wolf Conservation project, we recommend a weekly budget of US$150.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.

Free-time experiences & tours in Portugal

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Portugal! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Portugal program.

Language Lessons
Language Lessons

Enhance your Portuguese language proficiency at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Portugal.

From £261
Language Lessons
Language Lessons

Enhance your Portuguese language proficiency at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Portugal.

From £261

Portuguese language lessons

Portuguese language lessons are available to all Lisbon-based volunteers, regardless of your Portuguese language ability. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these lessons to allow you to work and communicate more effectively during your program.

If you would like to sign up for the language lessons, simply let your Program Manager know and they will be happy to help you arrange them. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Portuguese and are taught by a professional Portuguese language teacher. Classes run Monday through Friday, the cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers. They are paid for prior to your arrival and the local team will help you arrange a suitable time to complete your lessons during your program orientation.

10 Hours: US$315 (approximately £261)
20 Hours: US$630 (approximately £522)
30 Hours: US$943 (approximately £782)
40 Hours: US$1258 (approximately £1043)
50 Hours: US$1571 (approximately £1302)

Please note, Portuguese lessons are held at the Lisbon accommodation and are not available to volunteers on the Wolf Conservation project.

Check what's required to visit Portugal

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Lisbon
Population 10.46 million
Languages Portuguese
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+00:00

Weather and climate: Lisbon has a Mediterranean climate with dry hot summers and mild winters. During winter, from December to February, temperatures are mild and vary from 8°C to 14°C (46°F to 57°F). Summer, from June to September, is dry and hot with temperatures ranging between 18°C and 29°C (64°F and 84°F). Rainfall is heaviest in December/January and driest in July/August.

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How to get started

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