Menton is a hilly ancient town on the French Riviera in the South of France. It is a fashionable tourist hotspot and is famous for its beautiful beaches, magnificent mansions, and gardens like the Serre de la Madone garden which displays rare plants. It is home to the Basillique Saint Michael with its 18th century bell tower.
Menton is the last rail stop in the Cote D’Azur region of France before you arrive in Italy and is 21km from Nice. The fastest route is by the high-speed train from Nice which takes about 38 minutes.
Menton is known as the ‘pearl of France’ and is well worth visiting if you like summer villas, picturesque gardens, and stunning architecture. Villa Fortana Rosa is the most famous villa in Menton where you can visit the garden of novels.
Menton is the perfect place to grow oranges and lemons due to its climate as it is known to be warmer than other towns in the Cote d’Azur region. There is even a lemon festival held here every February.
The fete du Citron is an annual lemon festival and carnival event that is organised by the tourist office in the town of Menton every February. The carnival celebrates the annual production of different citrus fruits and speciality lemons. The celebration lasts for two weeks and attracts 240,000 visitors every year from France and abroad. Created in 1934, it is a special event.
Floral processions are organised on the Promenade du Soleil, with a variety of citrus themed dancers, folk groups, floats, and confetti. There is also entertainment from brass bands and entertainers. During the festival, the Bioves gardens are full of citrus fruit which forms temporary sculptures in vibrant yellow and orange colours. Some are 10 metres tall! At night-time, the sculptures come to life and sparkle in their energetic colours and evening entertainment is sometimes held.
There are plenty of things to see and do when visiting Menton France no matter what you are interested in. From the old town and port, fascinating museums and trendy bars, restaurants, and cafes there is something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to see and do:
Visit Menton France is not complete without seeing the two famous ports and marinas in this beautiful town which are surrounded by a stunning landscape. Located in a beautiful part of the old town and facing the mountains lies the old port of Menton. It is an equal mixture of both culture and natural beauty. This old port is famous for its stunning gardens and history. It provides good shelter when the winds are blowing from the South.
The Menton Vieux port provides an outstanding landscape where you can admire the view of the old town and the Basillique Saint Michael. This marina is filled with shops and fantastic restaurants where you can savour the flavours of fresh local seafood.
The baroque roman catholic church of Saint Michael Archangel was built in 1653 and features artifacts and a 17th century organ. The basilica has a high alter in polychrome marble 18th century. Overhangs is a painting of a statue of Saint Michael Archangel ‘treading the demon’ and glided wood of 1820. There are several more outstanding paintings through the chapel and an Italian organ made in 1666.
If you are into classical music, you might want to visit this church in August when they host an annual classical music concert.
This museum displays the work of Jean Cocteau ‘the prince of poets’ and is located on the harbour wall of Menton. The bastion was built in 17th century by Honoré 2nd, Prince of Monaco. The bastion was restored by Cocteau himself where he decorated the alcoves, outer walls with mosaics using pebbles and the reception hall. Three years after Cocteau’s death, the museum opened to the public in 1966. There is a new exhibition of his work showcased every year in the bastion. It is the perfect place to visit in Menton France if you are a history and art enthusiast. Admission to the museum costs 3 euros.
Villa Maria Serena
This beautiful hidden gem is located at the bottom of cliffs that run along the Italian border. The villa was built in 1886 by Charles Garnier for the Foucher de Careil family. It was took over by British banker Henry Konig in 1922 who passed it on the city in 1947. The villa is now used as a location for the receptions of prestigious guests such as Elizabeth of Bavaria, President Rene Coty as well as well acclaimed people of letters and arts.
The botanical garden is the perfect place to visit in Menton France if you are a nature lover because it displays collections of palm trees and cycads, a row of cypresses with exotic species, as well as a dragon fountain and tree. These gardens staged in a place called ‘little Africa’.
Menton is a town filled with culture, history, and natural beauty. Although, it is still a tourist hotspot, it is quieter than Saint Tropez and is busiest during the month of February when the annual Lemon festival is held. This beautiful town is well worth visiting if you want to visit stunning botanical gardens, white sandy beaches, stunning marinas, and museums rich in art and history. Visit Menton France on your trip along the French Riviera. You will not regret it.