Menton, with its 316 annual sunny days, is the most eastern city of the French Riviera, located on the Italian border between Monaco and San Remo. Its Promenade du Soleil ("Sun Promenade"), where the Jean Cocteau Museum is located, reflects the city's pleasant climate and summery atmosphere. The Lemon Festival is Menton's most popular event, which is celebrated over the course of two weeks in February. To honor the local tradition of citrus plantations, which go back to the 15th century (when the first exports are dated), giant floats of different themes are built using citrus fruits and parade through the town.
No need to think twice when it comes to Menton's culinary shining star. The prestigious publication "World's 50 Best Restaurants" named Menton's Mirazur the World's Best Restaurant 2019. Headed by Argentinian Chef Mauro Colagreco, Mirazur is tucked into a mountainous enclave on the French-Italian border. The exquisite dishes being served will satiate your senses so completely you may not even notice the gorgeous panoramic views of the Mediterranean from your table. Take a look at our blog article about the Mirazur Restaurant for more details.
One of the main attractions in Menton is the Saint-Michel Archange Basilica, which is located next to the Penitents Blancs Chapel in Conception square. This square sits atop a set of stairs and has great views of the port, the sea and the mountains. Similarly to other Riviera towns, Menton has a Russian Orthodox church, which was built in the western part of the city in 1892 by Dutch architect Tersling under the instruction of the Grand Duchess Anastasia.
In terms of parks and gardens, Menton is the jewel of the Riviera - it has a total of nine exotic gardens. Thanks to its mild climate, since the 18th century numerous botanical gardens have been able to introduce tropical and subtropical plant species. Some of the gardens include: the Colombières Garden, with mostly Mediterranean species, the Citronneraie Garden, with multiple species of citrus trees, and the Serre de la Madone, a nearly century-old winter garden of rare and exotic plants. Even the famous Spanish writer and politician Vicente Blasco Ibáñez built the Fontana Rosa Garden on his property in Menton, which he dedicated to great literary writers. Next to the Fontana Rosa Garden is the Pian Park, which has 500 olive trees, some of which are over a thousand years old.
Map of routes and landmarks in Menton:
1. Biovès Gardens and Saint-Michel Archange Basilica:
Time: ~ 1 hour walking
The route starts in the florid Biovès Gardens, passes the Barrière Casino and goes towards the Promenade du Soleil. It continues along the promenade until the Jean Cocteau Museum and then heads toward Rue Saint-Michel. On this street you will pass the well-known Place aux Herbes and the Place du Cap squares, before reaching the old port and the Sablettes beach. From the beach you'll see the stairs that go up to the Place de la Conception, where the Saint-Michel Archange Basilica and the Chapel/Chapelle des Penitents Blancs are located.
2. Sablettes beach and the Val Rahmeh, Pian and Fontana Rosa Gardens:
Time: ~ 2 hours walking
Starting at Les Sablettes beach, you'll continue along the seafront walkway (Promenade de la Mer), going up the Av. Saint-Jacques towards the Jardin Val Rahmeh. You'll keep going towards the Jardin des Romanciers in the Fontana Rosa, located on the other side of Parc du Pian and its centuries-old olive trees.
What's most popular in Menton
1. World's Best Restaurant 2019
2. Lemon Festival (February)
3. Exotic gardens
4. Saint-Michel Archange Basilica
5. Sablettes beach
6. Jean Cocteau Museum
The coat of arms of Menton and the flag of Provence-Maritime Alps-Côte d'Azur
With surrounding areas: 75,064
Nearby towns and cities
Ventimiglia, Italy (11 km / 7 mi)
Monaco (10 km / 6 mi)
Eze (19 km / 12 mi)
San Remo, Italy (34 km / 21 mi)
Villefranche-sur-mer (28 km / 17 mi)
Nice (29 km / 18 mi)
Antibes (52 km / 32 mi)
Menton connects with Nice and Monaco by bus line number 100.
The bus company Zestbus also has several bus lines running between Menton, Monaco and other nearby towns.
Menton's train station connects to the railway along the Riviera to Marseille and also east to Italy.
Place aux Herbes (Herb Square)
Saint-Michel-Archange Basilica and Pénitents Blancs Chapel
Surfer at the Marchè/Bastión beach