A sun-drenched valley could not be called anything other than “lemon country”! Bordered by Italy and at the gates of Monaco, known worldwide for its citrus fruit, Menton is both an artistic pool and a paradise at the water’s edge in the heart of the Côte d’Azur dolce vita. Discover our Top 10 things to see and do in Menton!
STROLL AROUND OLD-MENTON
Enjoy the exceptional dolce vita in this pearl of the French Riviera!
A “Ville d’Art et d’Histoire”, Menton’s old town has a special atmosphere, with narrow cobblestone streets and squares with Baroque charm. A multitude of shops and restaurants enliven the ochre façades of this old town with its Italian touches. Along the alleyways, head for St. Michael Archangel Basilica, one of the most impressive sacred buildings on the Côte d’Azur. A little higher, an exceptional view awaits from the Vieux-Château cemetery at the top of the old town. A must-do walk in Menton.
BE GUIDED ROUND MENTON’S GARDENS
Head off to find the Riviera’s green diamonds!
An exceptionally mild microclimate and more than 310 days of sunshine a year, is what attracted so many botanists to Menton. Botanists – especially British – who during the 19th century brought in many rare tropical species for the original gardens that today still flourish in Menton. During your stay, visiting Menton’s gardens is not to be missed. During guided tours you’ll discover some exceptional gardens such as the citrus garden at the Palais de Carnolès, the Maria Serena or Fontana Rosa gardens, and the Jardin des Romanciers.
KAYAK IN THE BAIE DE MENTON
An original activity for admiring the beauty of Menton from the sea…
Looking back at the old city under the sun, paddle a single or double kayak for an unforgettable trip on the calm sea! The Centre Nautique de Menton has all the equipment you’ll need to learn, improve or simply to have fun in a sea kayak… while discovering the contrast between the sea and mountains. Other water sports in Menton include towed craft – a buoy or air stream –thrills guaranteed!
ADMIRE VIEUX-MENTON FROM PORT DE GARAVAN
Renowned for being one of the most beautiful harbours on the Côte d’Azur, the Port de Garavan offers an unusual landscape and the most beautiful view of Vieux-Menton. A medieval bastion at the entrance, you penetrate a world of serenity, between the sea and old and modern boats. In the mornings you can also buy fresh fish from the local fishermen!
VISIT MUSÉE COCTEAU
A multi-faceted artist, Cocteau has always had a special relationship with Menton.
It is to the Côte d’Azur architect Rudy Ricciotti that we owe this intriguing unstructured slab of glass and concrete, so well integrated into the landscape. The 2,700 m² Musée Cocteau contains an incredible collection donated by Séverin Wunderman, dedicated to Jean Cocteau, and exceptionally laid out. Don’t hesitate to visit his museum in Menton, together with the Musée du Bastion developed by Cocteau, and the Salle des Mariages in the Hôtel de Ville de Menton, decorated by the artist himself.
DO YOUR SHOPPING IN THE HALLES MUNICIPALES!
Between the port and Vieux-Menton, the Halles de Menton are full of colours and flavours!
Impossible to visit Menton without making a gourmet stop at the Marché des Halles. Inaugurated in 1898, the Marché des Halles is open every morning from Tuesday to Sunday. It has some beautiful stalls with fruit, vegetables, flowers, cheeses, meats and fish. The warm welcome of the local merchants and producers offers a glimpse of Menton’s conviviality and specialities you just have to try: barbajuans, pichade, socca, or fougasse mentonnaise… to name but a few.
CELEBRATE AT THE FÊTE DU CITRON
A unique annual event in Menton in February.
Since 1930, the Fête du Citron has been the emblem of Menton: at the end of the winter, this both traditional and original event attracts record crowds. The whole town of Menton turns yellow and orange. Floats with 150 tons of citrus fruit made by some 300 people parade through the streets for two weeks. And at nightfall, the gardens are illuminated with ephemeral sculptures created with citrus fruits. An event not to be missed in Menton.
TASTE LEMON CONSERVES
Don’t leave Menton without having tasted the delicious citrus conserves made by Maison Herbin!
By visiting the Herbin jam factory in Vieux-Menton, you will be immersed in the country’s traditional and gourmet flavours. Lemons are present in all the top restaurants, it is also a delight in jams and marmalades – try it! Maison Herbin is labelled “a living heritage business”, with more than 100 flavours of jam to try! Why not take the opportunity to visit the factory behind the store – it’s free!
SWIM ON THE PLAGE DES SABLETTES
An ideal place for a relaxing day under the sun in Menton.
Attached to the Port, Menton’s large sandy beach is 350 meters long and wide as well. Families will love the beach with its calm clear water with a magnificent view of the Italian mountains and the colourful houses in Menton. Choose either a public or private beach – it’s up to you!
CROSS THE BORDER OR EXPLORE THE COUNTRYSIDE AROUND MENTON
A change of scenery just a few kilometres from Menton!
You can see it from the old town or the port: a few hundred meters away, the Italian border separates Menton from our Ligurian neighbours! Not far away, there are charming Italian villages to explore. Try a ristretto or eat a delicious pasta dish in Grimaldi, Ventimiglia or San Remo. Another possibility, discover the Menton countryside and its hilltop villages: Sainte-Agnès, Castellar, Saorge, La Brigue, Tende, Sospel and Breil-sur-Roya.
THE TOP 10
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN MENTON
Residents and visitors to the Côte d’Azur, discover the selection of places, recommendations and favourites of the Côte d’Azur France community of ambassadors.
By Côte d’Azur France Ambassadors
MENTON and its
You will also like!
TOP INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN MENTON
Languishing along the Côte d'Azur, the beautiful city of Menton has an amazing array of lovely colours. Grab your camera or your smartphone, have a lemon ice cream on the way, and follow me through the narrow streets of Menton! Ready to post your photos? Don't forget to tag the @VisitCotedazur account and use the official hashtag #CotedAzurFrance !
DISCOVER MENTON'S GARDENS
Menton’s gardens are undoubtedly worth a visit during your stay on the Côte d'Azur! Between Belle Epoque and sensory journeys, the gardens in Menton will transport you into lush worlds with exotic and lemony fragrances. A desire to discover new plants or simply to escape for a moment? Here is a selection of Menton’s not to be missed gardens.
FOCUS ON LA FÊTE DU CITRON IN MENTON
A unique event: the Fête du Citron in Menton. For more than 15 days, enjoy a traditional festival – day and night - that both young and old will love. With the brightly coloured exciting parade of the Fête du Citron, come and celebrate the end of winter on the Côte d'Azur. Every year in February, thousands of spectators from all over the world come to see the amazing floats made from lemons and oranges.