Guide To Menton French Riviera
Menton is said to be the warmest town on the French Riviera with around 316 days of sunshine a year! During the time of the Belle Epoque, royals from around Europe flocked to the town and luxury hotels and villas were built in a magical setting which you can see to this day.
Its a sleepy sort of place thats on the border with Italy and theres plenty of Italian influence here. In fact it only became a part of France in 1860, before that it belonged to Italy, Monaco and Sardinia.
Enjoy The Gentle Menton Sunshine At La Plage Des Sablettes
Located between Mentons Garavan and Old Port, the beach offers clear, calm, shallow waters for safe swimming and a compact sandy beach for sunbathing and sports.
Excellent amenities are available, including parking, toilets, showers, and change rooms.
In addition, behind the lovely beach is a newly renovated pedestrian esplanade featuring shops, restaurants, and bars.
Relax In The Serre De La Madone Garden
With numerous private and public green spaces thriving in its gentle microclimate, its no surprise that Menton has been labelled a 4 fleurs village since 1984, and was previously awarded the highest honor of Fleurs dOr . Most of the citys gardens are to the east of the town, in the shelter of the Balzi Rossi cliffs.
Initially designed in the 1920s and 30s by renowned landscaper Lawrence Johnstone, the tranquil six-hectare Serre de la Madone Garden harmoniously radiates in terraces set around a double pool.
The sub-tropical garden features a wide selection of unusual and rare plants collected worldwide, including China, South Africa and South America. The curated selection features exotic succulents and cycads, bamboo, umbrella pines, Rosa Chinensis, Arbutus Unendo, Buddleia Officinalis, and Mahonia Siamensis.
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Htel Napoleon 29 Porte De France 06500 Menton France
Truth be told, one of the most luxurious hotels in Menton is that of Napoleon, a four-star establishment which is well-reviewed across booking and review sites. Close to the sea and featuring luxury amenities such as an outdoor pool, 24-hour reception desk, and some rooms offering beachside views, other highlights include free Wi-Fi and a bar on site.
The Best Things To Do In Menton France
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The idyllic French Riviera, the Cote-dAzur, conjures glamorous images of sun-soaked, star-studded beaches, superyachts, Cannes, and majestic Monaco.
This 115km stretch of coast in the south-east of France has dominated imaginations and aspirations since the 1800s. Once a seaside health retreat frequented by royalty and celebrities, including Queen Victoria and Robert Louis Stevenson, this beautiful area eventually became, and remains, the home of aristocrats, a celebrity playground, and a sought-after tourist destination.
Every year, more than ten million tourists from around the globe visit the French Riviera, the second most popular destination in France. Most congregate in Nice, Antibes, Cannes, and Monte Carlo. However, further up the coast is a no less desirable tourist gem Menton, a jewel in the crown of the Cote-dAzurs natural and cultural splendour.
Menton attractions include numerous exquisite and notable gardens, a selection of striking historical locations, and a museum and memorials dedicated to the inimitable and influential French film director, designer, poet, author, artist and original Enfant Terrible Jean Cocteau.
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Menton Is Small Romantic Intimate And The Perfect Place To
Menton is small, romantic, intimate and the perfect place to just get away to at any time of year. It is totally Italian in feel and architecture, though technically still in France. The train ride that hugs the coastline is worth the journey there alone. Don’t travel on a Monday though as it’s hard to find any restaurants open on a Monday evening. It has a beautiful, curved, sandy beach and a lovely park to walk around, with many botanical specimens. The streets are clean, with independent shops, with clementine trees lining the avenues. In Lent its great the visit to see the orange and lemon festival, with the many fruit sculptures in the park. The place is so perfect, I wish I could buy a house here.
Sample Authentic Menton Cuisine
The promenade offers various cuisines, including French, Mediterranean, and Portuguese, from multiple outlets, including Le Carre Plage, La Rascasse, 7th Avenue, and Buddha Beach.
Menton also hosts the renowned three-Michelin star Mirazur, one of the best dining locations on the Riviera and one of the top 50 restaurants globally in 2019. Situated on the hillside among abundant vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens, the eaterys Chef Mauro Colagreco offers a unique and colourful culinary adventure that delights the senses and transforms with the seasons. The restaurants light and sunny interior offer a scenic sanctuary, a panoramic sea and Menton city view.
For a change of scenery, being on the border with Italy, Menton also offers a range of casual Italian restaurants where you can enjoy pasta, pizza, and genuine Italian hospitality.
After a delicious dessert and some Menton sightseeing along the promenade, the quiet streets of Menton Old Town or the undulating paths of one of the many Menton gardens, why not enjoy some retail therapy?
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A Chic Hotel By The Sea
The hôtel Napoléon de Menton is a chic and modern hotel with a tree-lined terrace and a swimming pool. The elegant interiors are characterized by a Mediterranean palette of blues, whites and lemon, with elegant contemporary furniture. The bright rooms feature a similar palette with Cocteau-inspired artwork, a theme that has continued throughout the hotel. Superb.
Top Things To Do In Menton
This historic location winds through aromatic citrus vineyards and impressive, classic baroque architecture. Menton has it all: palm trees, a perfect view, affordable Provençal accommodation, and Mediterranean cuisine. It also boasts a unique micro-climate providing 316 days of sunshine annually, ideal for growing signature Menton oranges and lemons and offering temperate all year-round enjoyment.
In Menton, you will find gracious gardens, a buzzing boulevard, a beautiful baroque cathedral, a fort displaying fascinating surreal art, an engaging museum celebrating one of France and the worlds most extraordinary talents, and lemons: lemon trees, lemon festivals, sublime lemon products and characteristic bright lemon yellow and orange townhouse walls.
So, here is our Menton travel guide our favourite things to see in Menton, France.
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Menton France: A Cultural City Guide
It may be the single passion that I share with Queen Victoria: whenever I see Menton my heart skips a beat. When the widowed monarch arrived in 1882, Menton already had 5,000 British residents busy building mansions and planting tropical gardens. In Europes mildest climate, sheltered by the high Maritime Alps, oranges and lemons bloom even in winter . Picture-postcard pretty, year-round seaside sunshine, Menton is where the British inadvertently invented the French Riviera.
The medieval old town, compressed between two bays, was founded by pirates and warren-like alleys still bear their names. The princes of Monaco owned Menton for six centuries, taxing lemons to fund their sumptuous Carnolès palace.
But Monaco squeezed the pips too hard. In 1848 Menton established a republic, uniting in 1860 with Louis Napoleons France. The Quai Bonaparte, built by the emperor on 16 giant arches, harbours scores of seaside restaurants, irresistible for lunch.
In that same auspicious year came Dr Henry Bennet. He believed he was dying and Menton seemed ideal for expiring in the sun. Within weeks he felt better, possibly even immortal. His book, Mentone and the Riviera as a Winter Climate, sped through six editions. The TB-ravaged upper classes rushed to test the miracle: see Menton and live!
Jean Cocteau Museum
Menton Things To Do Conclusion
Okay, maybe I lied. Maybe you cant see all of Menton in a day, although I stand by the conviction that you can see a heck of a lot.
With its gentle appeal, fine restaurants and cultural attractions, this lovely town on the French Riviera is one worth savouring.
Visit Things to do in the South of France for plenty of ideas on where to go, why to go and what to do there.
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Luxurious Hotels In Menton
Would you like to stay in a hotel? Choose one of the most gorgeous options in Menton. Exotic Garden of Monaco is located in 9.7 km and Prince’s Palace of Monaco is in 9.3 km. The price per day is starting at $100.
is another luxury hotel. The territory includes a solarium, terrace, private beach area. The cost of a room per night starts at $65.
Introducing Menton The Pastel Jewel Town Of The French Riviera
Pretty, picturesque, pastel, and by the sea: it doesnt get much better than this when it comes to the French Riviera, a stunning stretch of coastline thats otherwise known as the Côte dAzur thanks to its stunning sea colour. Comprising of towns and cities such as Nice, Cannes, Antibes, as well as hidden gems such as Saint-Paul-de-Vence and Eze, you certainly wont regret any trip you book to this part of lHexagone.
Menton itself is located around a half-hour train journey away from Nice, and just 10 km away from the tiny principality of Monaco. Once there, highlights of this Italianate town include a museum about Jean Cocteau, a glittering fishing port offering views onto the pastel old town, and the view from the Cemetery of the Old Château, which is hands down the best view to be found in Menton.
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Feel Like Youre Dreaming In The Jean Cocteau Museums
One of Mentons most passionate fans was a renowned and influential artist, playwright, author, designer, and film director Jean Cocteau. The original museum dedicated to his memory and work is located within Mentons 17th-century fort on the harbour wall , the Bastion, a site personally selected by the artist.
The Bastion was initially erected for defence, with the blockhouse variously serving as a salt storehouse, a lighthouse and a World War Two jail. The reception hall, walls, and alcoves of the fort display various of the artists eclectic Dadaist pebble mosaics, created by Cocteau during his personal restoration of the historic building.
Although the museum was formally opened in 1966, a few years after Cocteaus death in 1963, the artist personally selected the colourful pieces for the exhibit. His selection included two paintings, 70 drawings, two tapestries, 11 ceramic works and three lithographs from his Mediterranean period from 1950 until the end of his life. The collection has since been expanded, with the show rotated and updated annually.
An additional modern museum opened in 2011, the nearby Musee Jean Cocteau Collection Severin Wunderman. This second exhibition also includes collector Severin Wundermans extensive Jean Cocteau collection, comprising over 1500 artefacts.
Boutique And Luxury Menton Hotels
When you want the best amenities and the most comfort in your Menton hotel you have plenty of luxury options.Few of the best and most expensive hotels or resorts in Menton area Hotel Belles Rives, Splendid Hotel & Spa Nice and Fairmont Monte Carlo.Which are located in near landmark Fort St. Roch, Monaco Harbour and Cap-Ferrat Lighthouse.Most of these upscale boutique hotel choices are of 4 star and 5 star rating with guest rooms and suites with finest furnishings and decor.Often near tourist activities, offering access to both nearby attractions and public transit.
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Swim At The Menton Beaches
Plage des Sablettes is the busiest and most central of the beaches. However, theres no shortage of other good beaches to explore on your trip to Menton, France. Generally, the beaches are rockier on the western side of Menton and sandier on the east towards Italy. Some good options are Plage du Fossan and Plage Rondelli. Fossan is pebbly and good for families. Rondelli is sandier and attracts a younger crowd, with some fun beach bars.
Be Dazzled By The Menton Lemon Festival
As Europes biggest lemon producer until the 1930s, the intensity of Mentons citrus and lemons have spurred the ongoing tradition of an ever-expanding international carnival.
Every February, Menton celebrates the annual Lemon Festival, the Fête du Citron, by decorating the beautiful Jardins Biovès, an 800-metre promenade in the centre of modern Menton. Lemons, oranges, lights and festive fun, fairy-tale, and fantasy structures and floats adorn the garden and the city in a glorious and cheerful display. The effect is stunning, with 45 kilograms of oranges or 30 kilograms of lemons required to decorate every square metre of each exhibition.
The festival is themed, with a different focus every year. Past examples include Alice in Wonderland, Bollywood, Broadway, Music of the World, The Lion King, Trip to the Moon, Asterix, and Tintin. Menton celebrates Christmas similarly, with gardens of flowers and fruit and extravagant citrus displays and parades.
When not showcasing the citys most famous fruits, the Jardins Biovès features green lawns, exotic plantings, statues, and fountains.
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Apartments Guest Houses And B& b
If you value home comfort, we recommend you book in 1.2 km from the city center. In 17.5 km, there is Cimiez Monastery.
Another nice accommodation option is , with Prince’s Palace of Monaco situated in 9.1 km from it. We can also recommend as a good choice for family holidays. You can book this variant at a price starting at $141 per one night.
Start At The Grimaldi Palace The Palais De Carnols
This pale pink and carved stone former palace was once owned by the Grimaldi family and was their summer residence.
Located on the Avenue de la Madone, Carnolès Palace now houses the Musee des Beaux Arts, the citys art museum, and is set in a garden filled with Europes most extensive collection of citrus trees.
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A Little Menton History
Menton has a colorful history dating back to prehistoric times, in fact its the site of the original Grimaldi Man two paleolithic skeletons that were found. From the Romans to the Prince of Monaco, the area has always been a desired location. But it wasnt until 1861 when it became a popular tourist destination and people began visiting Menton verses Nice and Monaco. And its all thanks to a British doctor who spent time in Menton one winter. Upon his return to Britain he published a paper regarding the health/healing benefits Menton offered due to its mild almost nonexistent winter. It wasnt long before those suffering from tuberculosis and other conditions flocked to the area. These days, those flocking to Menton are a lot getting more than healing benefits.
Hotels Near The Sights
- Do not hesitate to come and visit our jam factory. You will discover the “savoir-faire” of a jam-Producer master. You can come to visit our Factory on Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning Read more
- “This place is temporarily closed.”Read more
- La Maison Du CitronLa Maison du Citron is first of all the transmission of a passion between a father, Laurent Gannac, and his son, Adrien. Originally a landscape gardener and nurseryman, Laurent Gannac is passionate about various citrus fruits. In 1991, the year Adrien was born, Laurent planted his first lemon tree. La Maison du Citron specialises in the production of AB certified citrus fruits, in particular, the Lemon from Menton IGP . From these organic fruits, a range of delicatessen products are made and followingly sold in shops in Menton and Antibes. Enjoy a unique experience during one of the guided tours on the heights of Menton, above the Mediterranean Sea, and succumb to the temptation of a tasting of jam, limoncello…Read more
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Le Bastion Jean Cocteau Museum
The Bastion of Menton was built in 1619 by the Prince of Monaco in order to defend the Bay of Menton. Cocteau thought it would make a good museum space, and undertook renovations. Drawings, tapestries, watercolours, pastels, ceramics, faiences, mosaics made of pebbles and even the staircase was created by Cocteau.
Open all year round from 10 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm.Closed on Tuesday and holidays.
Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden
These beautiful gardens are the legacy of the British aristocrat, Lord Radcliffe, who used Mentons mild microclimate to nurture a lavish garden of exotic tropical and subtropical plants including a profusion of fruits and the rare toromiro tree, now extinct in the wild.
Heres a shock: When I first went on the City of Mentons official website researching more about the Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden, which are named after Lord Radcliffes wife, I learned that it later had another owner, who, and I quote was, The last proprietor, a rich and eccentric British whore, who loves flowers to passion.
All the more intriguing to visit, if you ask me. My gosh, I love researching trips to the South of France.
Address: Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden, Avenue Saint-Jacques 06500 Menton
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Where Is Menton France
The coastal resort of Menton, France, is located on the French Riviera in between Nice, Monaco and the Italian border. Menton is easily accessed by train from Nice and there is a direct bus to Nice Aiport and Monaco. Menton also provides easy access by road and rail into Italy. The A8 highway, which stretches all along the French Riviera stops just outside of Menton and provides easy access to explore Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Mougins, Vence, and down to St Tropez, Cassis and Aix-en-Provence. Menton has a resident population of 30,000 people, which swells to over 80,000 during the summer and during the famous Menton Lemon Festival. For more information on Menton, France, please read our articles on Things to do in Menton France.