Menton is on the very edge of the Mediterranean, snuggled between Italy and Monaco. It’s an easy day trip from Nice, has beautiful beaches, a fabulous daily market and a gorgeous old town that’s made for wandering.
Menton the town of Lemons
Legend has it that Menton sprung from a lemon. When Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise, Eve took with her a golden fruit. Adam told her to chuck it away in case God got even more angry with them. She buried it in the most beautiful place she saw after crossing mountains and plains and from it grew Menton.
These days Menton is famous for its lemons, praised by top chefs the world over and growing pretty much year-round in the mild climate. Lemon and orange trees flourish in parks and gardens, in streets in the town and orchards around.
Every February the town hosts an amazing Lemon Festival with giant fruit sculptures and parades – it’s an absolute must-see.
What to see in Menton
It was until the late 1800s that Menton became popular with tourists. Royals and aristocracy flocked here, as well as artists, musicians and writers, lured by the light, the sunshine and the beauty of the town.
There’s a strong Italian influence, pale lemon and orange buildings with contrasting pale blue shutters, shady little squares with fountains and winding roads lined with quirky boutiques.
There’s nothing that quite beats sitting at a terraced café, watching the world go by, the church bells ringing, birds tweeting and the scent of blossom and fruit in the air. It’s a chilled place where no one hurries.
Visit the 17th-century Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel via an extraordinary yellow staircase, the Belle Époque covered market with its exquisite smells and vibrant stalls. Experience the Museum of Jean Cocteau - housing the world’s largest collection of works by one of the most multifaceted artists of the 20th century.
Stroll along the Promenade du Soleil where the azure colour of the sea is mesmerising. Laze on the sandy beach, visit the pretty gardens and enjoy 331 days of sunshine!
This storybook town will leave you longing for more.
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