Rightly known as the Pearl of France, the town of Menton stands on the tip of the French Riviera, not far from the Italian border. This sun-kissed place enjoys an exceptionally mild climate, making its land uniquely fertile. A garden town, Menton is covered with magnificent Mediterranean plant life thriving all over its territory. All kinds of virtually tropical species flourish in the town, especially lemon, the ultimate symbol of Menton. This citrus fruit is celebrated each year in Menton between February and March, at a festival in its honour: gastronomic chefs give it pride of place in their dishes while all kinds of sculptures made from lemons adorn the town!
To discover Menton, nothing beats an urban stroll in the Riviera sunshine and a trip to the town's many gardens, listed as historic monuments or remarkable gardens. Treat yourself to a plant-themed walk in the Maria Serena villa and its lush green spaces. This impressive building from the late 19th century stands proud amid the palm trees, sago palms and other tropical plants that have earned the garden its nickname of "little Africa". It's a pleasant place to linger as you enjoy the waltz of colours and scents near the adjoining neo-classical villa. It was built to plans by the architect Charles Garnier, designer of the Paris Opera House. Admire its magnificent, immaculate columns and its spiral staircase, designed by the illustrious Gustave Eiffel!
Continue this flower-themed outing all the way to the Fontana Rosa Valencian garden. You will be surrounded by benches and pergolas, crystal-clear pools, columns and ceramic-tiled fountains: the setting indeed echoes the magnificent Andalucian patios of Valencia.
Continue your tour along the colourful streets, where the façades are painted in shades of pink, pale yellow, cream... Your steps will naturally lead you to the old town: its incredible market under the arches, its ochre façades with pale louvred shutters and windows draped with cloth, its bell towers with glazed tiles, its maze of stairs and the winding alleys cascading down to the sea are all part of old Menton's historic charm.