Menton, France: The Pearl of the French Riviera

Menton is regarded as the gem of France and one of its most exquisite regions. Here, with its shuttered homes, terracotta roofs, lovely beaches, palm trees, and lemon gardens, is still the sleepy French Riviera. Menton can occasionally feel more Italian than French due to its proximity to Italy; this is evident in everything from the architecture and culture to the delectable cuisine (hey, pasta and gelato!). Spend two days here, taking in this enchanted seaside town’s scenery, the sun, and allure.

Visiting Menton, France

Menton is an experience in and of itself. Inhale the clean sea air, take in the pastel hues of the homes, take in the scent of the lemon trees, and pay attention to the magnificent Baroque structures. Menton’s meandering, narrow alleyways are full of character and history, evoking the bygone age of the French Riviera. It’s more reasonably priced and less congested than Monaco or Nice, even though they’re relatively close by!

The Pearl of France

You’ll see that the town is a beautiful blend of all the stunning Mediterranean nations as you go around it. Take Spain’s streets with palm trees, the Provencal architecture of France, and the Italian cuisine, for instance. Top of all? Menton boasts breathtaking vistas of the snow-capped Alps behind the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. It makes sense why it’s called the “Pearl of France”!

Menton is famous for lemons

Growing lemons is very important to Menton culture. With more than 316 days of sunshine a year, it’s regarded as one of the warmest spots on the coast, and its unique microclimate is ideal for cultivating lovely lemon trees! They are to be found all over the place: in the parks, on the streets, and dotting the surrounding countryside. While visiting Menton, you should take advantage of all the stores that sell different lemon-related goods. Menton has everything you need, including lemon liqueur, soaps, and olive oil infused with lemon!

Tip: Going at the end of February? Don’t miss Menton’s annual lemon festival, which is a legendary event. Holiday of Citrus

Things to do in Menton

Stroll around Old Town

Menton’s treasure is the old town, which has breathtaking medieval streets and magnificent structures. Remember that pirates created this portion of the town in the thirteenth century as you meander through the labyrinth of little roads! Ascend the steep alleys towards the cathedral, stopping at every turn to take in the magnificent villas, colorful dwellings, and exquisite Baroque structures.

Basilique Saint-Michel-Archange 

Explore the splendor of the Basilique Saint-Michel-Archange at the summit of the old town. This spectacular Baroque cathedral features a unique ceiling mural and a breathtaking exterior and interior. The cathedral also features two distinctive towers: a 53-meter-tall steeple and a 35-meter-tall clock tower.

Climb further to the cemetery where the castle once stood after seeing the cathedral. Here, take in breathtaking views of the Italian coast, Menton’s terracotta roofs and homes, and the sea.

Tip: Menton has a Russian Orthodox church, just as Nice. It’s worth seeing because it’s a different activity in Menton.

Plage des Sablettes 

Plage des Sablettes is a gorgeous promenade hugging the white sand beach on the outskirts of the ancient town. There are lovely fountains, picturesque eateries, and a lively environment here. Families and young people are known to congregate there, and everyone is welcome to take advantage of the facilities. Specific beaches have private areas. This will let you enjoy the sunbeds, parasols, and relatively shallow water while viewing Menton’s vibrant architecture.

Jean Cocteau Museum

Renowned filmmaker and artist Jean Cocteau had a deep affection for Menton. It was, in fact, one of his favorite locations! As a result, the community established a museum in his honor featuring Jean’s artwork. The museum is housed within the Bastion, a 17th-century fort uniquely adorned with exquisite mosaics created by Jean Cocteau. When you visit Menton, check out his genuinely unique art!

Day Trip to Monaco

One of the most glitzy locales on earth is Monaco, a sovereign state! Take the train to Monaco and spend the day there. See the opulent palace and casinos that inspired the James Bond movie, and stroll around the port, taking in the superyachts. There are many tropical gardens to explore, and the climate is lovely, much like the rest of this coastline.

After you’ve finished admiring the lavish lifestyle of the rich and famous, go to the beach’s main strip for a swim in the ocean and a meal at one of the numerous posh eateries. It is a must-see even if you have time to see Monaco on your way to Menton.

Swim at the Menton Beaches

The busiest and most central beach is Plage des Sablettes. There are plenty of other excellent beaches in Menton, France, to check out, though. Menton’s beaches are generally sandier in the east, near Italy, and rockier on the western side. Plage du Fossan and Plage Rondelli are two excellent choices. Fossan is a family-friendly, pebbly place. Rondelli has some lively beach bars and is sandier, drawing a younger clientele.

Best Time to Visit

Visit Menton any time of year; there’s never a wrong time to go! Owing to the distinct microclimate, there is consistent sunshine and comfortable temperatures throughout the year.

The shoulder seasons in the spring and fall are incredibly wonderful because there are fewer people and cheaper prices. Furthermore, it might still be warm enough to enjoy the beach!

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