Guide to Menton French Riviera

Written by on April 16, 2017 in Provence-Alpes

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.

It’s a sleepy sort of place that’s on the border with Italy and there’s 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.

Menton French Riviera

Menton is famous for the lemon trees that grow here – oranges too! Everywhere there are citrus trees and they smell simply gorgeous.

They’re lemon mad here in Menton and the shops are full of lemon products from candles to creams, jams, liqueurs and anything you can squeeze a lemon into.

Recipe for Menton Lemon Tart

From Sablettes beach you can see Italy if you look ahead and behind you is the beautiful medieval old town of Menton. The town is in an extraordinary location between the mountains and the sea.

There are a smattering of gift shops, art galleries and shops in the old town. For a souvenir, you might want to head to Les Images de Provence, 21 Rue Saint-Michel, which is choc-a-block with amazing table cloths (easy to fit in your suitcase). There are plenty of cafés and restaurants to enjoy dining al fresco, you’ll find there’s something to suit all budgets. And, there’s a great daily market (08h-13h) where you can buy fresh produce – perfect for a beach picnic.

The Baroque church St-Michel-Archange basilica is the largest in the region and its bell tower is a local landmark. The colourful, sumptuous interior was inspired by the Annunziata basilica in Genoa, climb to it via the famous Menton staircase. This is a town that you need to hike up to get around, steep cobbled alleyways lure you to explore but the chest-thumping climb is worth all the effort.

Cool squares and steep narrow streets cascade down to  the sea. The old town of Menton is gorgeous with its  ochre coloured houses all of which have a shade of green or white shutters to filter out the sun. The bell towers of this town stick out above the red tiled roofs. Everywhere you look there are palm, olive, lemon and orange trees and fountains with drinking water.

Head to the very top for stunning views and to visit the tranquil little cemetery where William Webb Elllis, the inventor of rugby is buried.

Menton doesn’t have the reputation of nearby Nice for glamour, it doesn’t have the party life of Cannes and St Tropez but its has bags of charm and the colours of this friendly little town on the edge of the Mediterranean are simply irresistible.

Read about the Menton Lemon Festival – an annual celebration of citrus fruit like no other.
10 things to do in Nice
Fabulous food and wine tours of Nice
The Belle Epoque

Menton Tourist Office

Related Articles

3 of the most beautiful villages in Provence

We look at some of the most beautiful villages in Provence – in a region known for its extraordinary charm, these three stand out… Gordes – the heart of Provence If there is one place on the bucket list of most visitors to Provence, it has to be Gordes. It’s almost like going to Paris […]

Continue Reading

Pain Amour et Chocolat Festival in Antibes

I am a hopeless Francophile, my husband joined me when we married 14 years ago. Any excuse within reason (and a decent airfare from Arizona) and we are on a plane headed to France, especially the Côte d’ Azur. The turquoise sea, rocky cliffs, dazzling sunshine, friendly people, incredible food and wine, it’s sheer bliss. […]

Continue Reading

3 Festivals to enjoy in the winter sunshine on the French Riviera

 Banish the blues with a sunshine trip to the south of France. This time of the year flights are cheap and plentiful and with more than 300 days of sunshine a year recorded along the Cote d’Azur – it’s a great time to soak up a few rays. Here are 3 great reasons to visit […]

Continue Reading

Secret Provence | Cotignac and Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume

Cotignac At first glance Cotignac wows visitors with its large limescale cliffs reminiscent of ancient troglodyte living. Houses are literally carved into the cliffs and anyone can climb the steps that lead up to the old cave dwellings for a 2 euros entry fee during visiting season. The village has 2,300 inhabitants and is typically […]

Continue Reading

Nice Carnival blows the winter blues far away

If, like me, you’re used to grey skies, biting rain, sleet and snow in February – going to the Nice Carnival is the nicest possible shock to your system. I arrived at Nice train station wearing a coat, gloves, scarf and hat. Within minutes they were off and so was the jumper I was wearing. […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top