How do JO&SO find the hotels that featured on this website?
Growing up we were fortunate to travel a fair bit around Portugal, and we have never stopped exploring, so we know our beautiful country pretty well. When we started JO&SO, we first focused on those places we already knew of and loved. We also talked to our friends and family to try to get as much inside info as possible. We keep a list of places we want to visit, we call this our <joandso-fontello><joandso-fontello>Watchlist .
What makes Portugal unique?
Portugal's highlights include its beautiful beaches, historic cities, delicious cuisine with traditional solid roots, excellent wine, fado music, art, football, and cultural festivals. It is also known for its rich history of exploration and maritime discovery. Additionally, Portugal is famous for its cork production, which is used for various products such as wine bottle stoppers and flooring.
Can JO&SO help me organise my trip to Portugal?
We don't provide bespoke travel advice or personal recommendations, nor do we work as a travel agent. All our top tips are already available for free on this website to help you plan your trip.
Check out our shop for more insider tips and easy-to-digest formats such as PDFs and Google Maps.
If there's an article you would like us to write about on joandso.com, please let us know.
When is the best time of the year to visit Portugal?
We believe March to June and September to November are the best times to visit Portugal, offering milder weather and fewer crowds. While summer is ideal for beach and outdoor activities, temperatures can often reach the 30s Celsius. Furthermore, destinations such as Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve can get crowded during the high season.
Can I pay JO&SO to feature my hotel?
We strictly don't let a place pay its way to be featured on our website. Everything we feature on joandso.com has to be 100% because we like it. We also review our lists regularly. On JO&SO, we only feature what we consider to be the best boutique hotels, guesthouses and holiday rentals in Portugal. You can submit your place for us to review here.
What are the must-see attractions in Portugal?
Some of the must-see attractions in Portugal include the historic cities of Lisbon and Porto, the Douro Valley wine region, the beaches of the Algarve, and the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Sintra and Évora.
Can I recommend JO&SO some hotels in Portugal?
Sure, you can submit a hotel here. 🙂
What are some traditional Portuguese dishes and food delicacies?
Traditional Portuguese dishes include Bacalhau (salt cod), fresh grilled fish, seafood, Cozido (meat stew), Caldo Verde (kale soup), Frango Piri-Piri (spicy roasted chicken) and rice-based dishes such as Arroz de Marisco (Seafood Rice). The most famous sweet treat is Pastel de Nata (custard tard), but a little-known fact is that chocolate mousse is a prevalent choice in Portuguese restaurants.
Can JO&SO recommend family-friendly boutique hotels in Portugal?
Yes, here are some boutique hotels in Portugal that are great for families.
When’s the best time to visit Portugal?
It depends on what you’re looking for. Our favourite months are May, June, September and October because it’s quieter and the weather is still great. Note that July and August are busy and hot. However, there are plenty of sunny and warm days in the winter in the Algarve which can be lovely especially if you come from colder countries.
What is the weather like in Portugal?
The weather in Portugal varies depending on the region and season. The southern coastal Algarve is known for its warm and sunny weather, while the northern areas, like Porto, can be cooler and more rainy. Overall, Portugal has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers.
What are some common Portuguese phrases that I should know as a tourist?
Some common Portuguese phrases that you may find helpful as a tourist include "Obrigado/a" (thank you), "Bom dia" (good morning), "Por favor" (please), "Fala inglês?" (Do you speak English?), "Sim" (Yes), “Não” (No) and "Onde fica?" (where is it?). Many Portuguese are comfortable speaking English and Spanish, while others can speak French.
What's JO&SO's favourite region in Portugal?
We genuinely love all of them. Lisbon and Porto are the cities where we spend most of our time, and they're both fantastic in different ways. We love the Algarve's beaches and laid-back nature; it smells wonderful too! But then we are also very passionate about sleepy Alentejo (South) and the stunning Douro (North). The Azores are magical. It's hard to pick 🙂
Do JO&SO visit places anonymously?
Yes, many times.
Can JO&SO recommend travel guides about Portugal?
Sure! To begin with check our book The 500 Hidden Secrets of Porto by JO&SO. It might be the best travel guidebook about Porto but we might be a little bit biased. 😉
We own and recommend the following guides:
Portugal: The Monocle Handbook: Your guide to the best hotels, restaurants, beaches and design, by Tyler Brûlé, Andrew Tuck, Joe Pickard
LOST iN Lisbon: A City Guide
Lisbon (The Monocle Travel Guide Series) by Tyler Brûlé
The 500 Hidden Secrets of Lisbon by Miguel Júdice
We did a video with the lovely folks at Condé Nast Traveller, where we talk about the neighbourhood where we grew up:
Foz do Douro, Porto, by JO&SO: Off the beaten track
Do JO&SO charge any booking fee on their website?
We don't charge any booking fees when you book a hotel through our website. However, we may include affiliate partner links that allow us to earn a small commission from sales, without any extra cost to you. Rest assured that everything we recommend on our website is because we love it. By booking through us, you are also supporting what we do and helping us to maintain an ad-free with no paid content.
Will JO&SO feature a hotel if invited?
We sometimes accept hotel invitations but will only visit it and feature it if we love it. Our rule of thumb follows these two questions, 'Would we come back?' and 'Would we recommend it to a friend?'
Do JO&SO only feature luxury hotels in Portugal?
On joandso.com we feature all kinds of places to stay in Portugal. It could be a luxury five-star hotel, a boutique hotel, a simple guesthouse or even a tent in the middle of nowhere. We look for beautiful design, thoughtful service and good energy.
Do JO&SO stay at all the places featured on this website?
We (Joana and Sofia) personally try and test all the places marked as <joandso-fontello><joandso-fontello>Visited. We want to experience everything first-hand to ensure that we only recommend hotels in Portugal that we would suggest to our friends. We also want to showcase the soul of the places, which could never happen if we didn’t stay there. We also feature the hotels in Portugal that are at the top of our <joandso-fontello><joandso-fontello>Watchlist and that we look forward to visiting next.
I love the places that you feature but can you recommend a villa with a pool in Portugal?
On joandso.com we mostly feature hotels and guesthouses, but sometimes we also include villas. We have written about what we consider the best holiday rentals in Portugal, you can check it out here: Where to Stay in Portugal: Handpicked Holiday Homes, Apartments and Villas.
Can you recommend restaurants in Portugal?
Under each hotel review (the hotels marked as <joandso-fontello><joandso-fontello>Visited), we sometimes recommend a couple of restaurants. Just scroll down or select 'Local Tips' from the sub-menu. Sometimes in our articles (in the Journal) we also mention our favourite places to eat. Also check out our Lisbon TipMap, Porto TipMap, Comporta TipMap and our paperback book 'The 500 Hidden Secrets of Porto'.
What are JO&SO's favourite hotels worldwide?
We love travelling and between the two of us, we have visited over 30 countries. We always try to find special places to stay. Below are the hotels that hold a special place in our hearts:
Papaya Playa Project – Tulum, Mexico
The Siam – Bangkok, Thailand
Zeavola – Phi Phi, Thailand
Bann Makok – Koh Kood, Thailand
Bambu Indah – Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Villa Jacaranda – Varkala, Kerala, India
HOSHINOYA Tokyo – Tokyo, Japan
Hudson Central Park – New York, USA
Soho Beach House – Miami, USA
Home Hotel – Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Soho Hotel – London, UK
Babington House – Somerset, UK
Is there a website similar to JO&SO in other countries that you recommend?
We think Portugal has an incredible amount of gorgeous small hotels and guesthouses, especially in proportion to the country's small size. We have yet to find other websites similar to JO&SO in other countries, but we like the selection of boutique hotels on Best Boutique Hotels Worldwide.
What are the best hotels in Portugal?
In our opinion, the best hotels in Portugal are about much more than just stars. When searching for the best hotels in Portugal, we always aim to find special places – a stunning five-star hotel, a gorgeous boutique hotel, a simple guesthouse or even a secluded rural cabin. For us, the best hotels in Portugal stand out for their beautiful design, thoughtful service, and positive energy.
On our website, you can browse the best hotels in Portugal by region, or you can categorise by type: best hotels in Portugal with unique design pieces, best hotels in Portugal with a swimming pool, best rural and farmhouse hotels in Portugal, best five-star hotels in Portugal, best spa hotels in Portugal and so on. We hope you find the perfect hotel in Portugal for your stay.
Please note we aren't able to offer bespoke travel advice or recommendations, nor we provide these type of service. If you have a question that is not listed above, you can message us here.