Time flew quicker than we thought with our busy schedules and my partner, and I realized we hadn’t taken a vacation together in over a year. We wanted to remedy the situation, and both had an opening in late October to take five days off. It’s an ideal time to travel in Europe, but if you want to find beach weather, it’s tricky. We wanted to relax and hangout at a beach or pool with warm enough weather for bathing suits, flip flops, chaise lounges, and water that wasn’t too cold. After obsessively researching beach resorts in Greece, Spain, and Italy, the Algarve region in Portugal had the highest average daily temperatures (high 60s to low 70s Fahrenheit), plus more sunny days and less wind that period of the year than the other destinations. Boasting a rugged coastline with dramatic cliffs, breathtaking beaches inside hidden coves, caves with sparkling azure water of the Atlantic Ocean, and an ideal climate of over 300 sunny days a year (more than California), one could easily understand our attraction to the area. Like many appealing resort areas, it’s become a victim of its own success, paving the way to overdevelopment with thoughtlessly designed bland condos and inexpensive all-inclusive resorts attracting mass tourism. However, among the cookie cutter hotels and resorts and restaurants there are some hidden gems, and we scored big time by finding three of them.