How racy cruises & boozy skinny dips turned historic town near Europe's glam 'golden triangle' into ‘Ibiza on steroids' | The Sun

ON a boat in the middle of the sea, a young woman with just some whipped cream to cover her modesty lies down as another girl grinds up against her and licks it off.

Having been plied with unlimited booze for the last two hours in sizzling sunshine, she proceeds to pick up a shot from inbetween her friend’s boobs, using just her mouth.

Meanwhile, on the upper deck, boys with glistening six-packs drink beer through a bong, while girls in thongs, showing off their perfectly pert bums, are standing over them pouring it into a funnel.

Every inch of the boat is covered in bikini-clad 18-30s, who will no doubt later head to the strip for more cheap booze and dancing, before going for a skinny dip in the sea to end the night.

But it’s not Magaluf, Gran Canaria or Benidorm where this is all happening.

It’s actually the Algarve, in Portugal – usually more famous for its family-friendly beach holidays, golf courses and dramatic coastline.


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With Spanish locals seemingly trying to find more and more ways to stop British tourists hogging the prime beach spots, many young Brits are finding new places to go.

While Premiership footballers frequent the luxury resorts of the Golden Triangle, teens and Brits in their twenties are flocking to Lagos on a speedy two-hour flight from London to take full advantage of the cheap drinks deals and wild parties.

Over the last three years, crime in the historic and picturesque coastal town – whose boozy party strip was described as one local as 'Ibiza on steroids' – has increased by 67 per cent.

In June, Brits were warned they could face extraordinary fines if they make too much noise on the beach, as playing loud music on speakers was banned by Portugal's National Maritime Authority, with fines of up to £3,440, and group fines reaching a staggering £30,953.

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The stunning clear blue waters draw tourists from the world overCredit: Olivia West
Crime has spiked in recent years in the historic Algarve town of LagosCredit: Olivia West

And it seems we might be angering the locals with our wild behaviour.

Born in London’s Brixton but a Portugal resident for most of his life, Wise, 33, has been working for Flamingo and its sister bar Muchaha, next door, since 2018, bringing in revellers off the street with his charisma and charm.

He tells us: "You can always find the Brits p***ing in the streets and in the fountains, so they can be d**kheads too.”

Midnight skinny dips

Sofia, 19, and her pals Ana, 20, Amber, 19 and Rosie, 19, all from Nottingham, came to Lagos for a girls’ holiday, having heard about the city centre’s raucous strip.

The resort is packed full of bars and clubs, like Inside Out and Flamingo, where you’ll get a free shot on entry and five shots for £5.

Sofia tells us: “It’s the place to be – beaches in the day, parties in the night!”

But on their first night out, they discovered they’d timed their trip perfectly for the area’s wildest party of the year, Banho 29, at Praia da Luz, where we meet them having just had a midnight dip in the sea.

“I didn’t even feel cold – it’s the alcohol jacket!” Amber laughs.

Dating back to ancient times and rituals and marking the end of summer, it was believed by locals that taking a purifying sea bath on August 29 was equivalent to taking 29 baths, which helped ward off demons.

While centuries have passed, the midnight swim has remained a yearly tradition – but has turned into a huge, boozy beach party, with people flocking from all over the world.

On the stroke of midnight, hundreds of tourists – many of whom are completely naked – run into the sea, splashing around, jumping on each other and making out as music blares until 3am.

One Brit, who did not want to be named, tells us she’s come to Banho 29 every year since she moved to Portugal four years ago.

“It was meant to be a holistic thing originally, but us Brits have come and made it more of a party!” she laughs.

'Like a cheaper Ibiza'

Mental health nurse student Abbi, 21, from Sheffield, first visited Lagos two years ago with friends, and now works at the Rising Cock Party Hostel in between studying.

The family-owned hostel runs its infamous booze cruise every Wednesday and Saturday, charging partygoers €45 (£38) for three hours of drinking games, unlimited booze and dancing – and Abbi’s job is to “party every night and make sure everyone’s having fun”.

It also runs free bar crawls every night, leaving from outside the hostel, taking revellers from venue to venue, including the Tavern – which was having a neon party when we went.

You don’t have to be staying at the Rising Cock to enjoy the events – although, if you do, you’ll get crepes for breakfast, made fresh by the owners’ mum Fatima, who everyone, including the staff and guests, call “Mama”.

“We had 65 people on a bar crawl last week, and only 50 beds,” Abbi tells us. “I just thought, ‘Where have all these people come from?’”

“It’s such a sick town,” Abbi says. “It’s like a cheaper version of Ibiza!

“The drinks are so cheap here – beyond cheap – and the beach is on your doorstep, the bars are good, the nightlife is unreal, and the food is so good. It’s got every cuisine you could ever think of!”

Drink, drugs… and hot cops

On a night out in Lagos’ city centre, where the streets are absolutely littered with “free drinks” tokens, we spotted a barefoot, drunk guy from London, shouting about the fact he’s lost his shoes – and his phone for the second time in the same night.

It only took us five minutes of standing outside the sports shop, plastered with a huge picture of Cristiano Ronaldo, right in Lagos’ main square, to be approached by a surprisingly dapper-looking man asking us if we wanted to buy weed or cocaine.

And, in one of Lagos' main clubs, we witnessed two girls going into the men’s together, giggling as they took a plastic bag of white powder out.

Despite being told off for going into the men’s toilet, the staff didn’t seem bothered about what was in their hands.

In Lagos, possession is prohibited by Portuguese law, and criminal penalties are still applied to drug growers, dealers and traffickers. 

Despite this, convictions and imprisonments of drug traffickers nearly halved from 2001 to 2015, and police in Lagos – who are infinitely more ripped, tanned and younger than the UK’s force – told us they rarely have to deal with drugs.

In July last year, a group of young British men were charged with around €4,000 of damage, when they broke beds, ripped locks off doors, urinated on curtains and paraded naked in front of other guests in the Apartmentos Regina complex, where they were staying.

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“We are busy most nights, but it’s normally because of the drinking,” one extremely good-looking policeman tells us. “It’s usually incidents that happen, maybe fights or people misbehaving, because they’ve drunk too much.

“Some people don't know how to handle their drink, so sometimes they come here, drink a bit more and get a bit aggressive.

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