Looking for gorgeous beaches and a killer nightlife but without the ‘lads on tour’? Look no further than Lagos. Situated alongside the Atlantic Ocean in the Barlavento region of the Algarve, this little town in Southern Portugal is already a backpacker’s favourite in the summer months, and having recently spent eight nights there I can totally see why.
With cheap bars-a-plenty and an abundance of great hostels for budget accommodation, this is the perfect place for students looking to party on a shoestring. I stayed at the excellently named Stumble Inn which set me back £16 a night thanks to a deal on hostelbookers.com, however, in the height of the summer season price per night is closer to the £20 mark. Either way, it’s well worth it as the hostel is absolutely spotless (a great plus for Kim and Aggie wannabes like me) and the courtyard at the back is brilliant for a few evening beers before you hit the town.
As I said earlier, there’s no shortage of great bars in Lagos, however, some of the best that I came across were The Jam, Whytes and Inside Out. Steer clear of the nine deadly sins in Whytes if you want to keep anything you’ve eaten in the past three days down though…
The majority of the bars that are dotted about the historical centre of the town close at around 2am, however, for those of you looking to party for a few more hours fret not, as there are two or three clubs and bars that stay open ’til four in the morning.
One such place is the lavish Grand Café. With two, large bars and both a spacious dance-floor and seating area, in the UK you’d queue for hours to get in a place half as nice as it, and then it’d cost you an arm and a leg in entrance fees. Not in Lagos however. Here you’re greeted with a smile from the bouncers and it is all free entry, and even the drinks aren’t drastically expensive; €5 for a short and a mixer being about standard for an upper-end bar.
The crowd in all these places is a welcoming mix of travellers and locals who all just want to have fun, and it’s here that Lagos sets itself apart from places like Zante and Malia which, in the summer months, turn to Britain on sea.
When you inevitably wake up in the morning feeling a little worse for wear, there are plenty of little cafes serving up some hangover food, none any better in my opinion than Café Odeon. Looking like a mere hole in the wall, don’t let this put you off, as the €3 breakfast followed by a dip in the Atlantic Ocean will have you right as rain and ready to party again in no time!
So if you’re looking for a party-holiday without the hordes of tank-topped lads and screaming gangs of girls give Lagos a try, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.