Menton – the pearl of the French Riviera

Menton on the French Riviera – The pearl of France


With the location on the French Riviera, nestled between the exclusive Monaco and the Italian border, Menton is really in the middle of a lovely part of the Mediterranean coast-line .

Menton with its charming old town, attractive gardens, a wonderful climate, and great restaurants, and with the nickname ‘The Pearl of France’.

Menton is often overlooked in favour of nearby Monaco or the towns of the Italian Riviera, just a few short kilometers away.

This is great for people that want to enjoy the French Riviera without the crowds, so consider Menton as your next South of France destination!

Attractions and Festivals

The most popular attraction is an area, not a specific ‘thing’. The Old Town is very charming, and being compact and most pedestrianised, it’s easy to get around.

Set on the hillside there are parts of the old town that provide wonderful views, though the downside is a lot of walking up hill!

The gardens are another popular attraction. They include Jardin Serre de la Madone, the Exotic Botanical Gardens, the Maria Serena Garden, and Fontana Rosa.

The beaches are also great in here, so bring your swimsuit!


The Lemon Festival

Menton is famous for its annual Lemon Festival.

You’ll see many lemon trees and palms lining the streets and the lemon festival itself takes place over several days in February each year.


Weather and climate

The climate is one of the main reasons why this is such a great place to spend a vacation.

It’s been a tourism destination since the 19th century and was popular with British and Russian aristocrats.

Menton was frequented by TB patients in the latter 19th century who came here for the great climate to recover from the disease.

The reason for this is the town’s warm microclimate.

It’s still a Mediterranean climate but is actually a little warmer than nearby Nice and it’s reputedly one of the sunniest places in France with 331 days of sunshine every year.

Getting to Menton

This city is too small to have its own airport so if you’re flying in from overseas then catch a flight to the Nice Cote d’Azur Airport which is only 40 kilometres (25 miles) to the east.

The flight routes page has more information on this airport and the airlines who fly here. Link: Flight routes page.

To get here you can rent a car at Nice Airport for the drive along the A8, or take a train from Nice.

Like most towns on the French Riviera Menton also has a port – actually it has two – it’s a popular place to arrive to this classy little town by a luxury yacht!

The Municipal Port is right by the town center for easy access to the shops, hotels and restaurants, while the larger Port Garavan is less than a kilometer away.

Hotel Napoleon, Menton

Hotels in Menton

Another indication of the size of this town is its hotels – while Nice has several hundred, it’s has less than fifty here. But what it lacks in quantity is made up for in the quality of the hotels!

Three 4 star hotels including the popular Hotel Napoleon, right on the seafront, which has a cosmopolitan feel.

Princess Et Richmond

Numerous 3 star hotels are actually more impressive than you might expect, such as Princess Et Richmond  and the palatial looking Le Royal Westminster.

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