Menton Travel Summary

Menton is located on an incredibly scenic section of the French Riviera where the Alps plunge into the shores of the Mediterranean and is nicknamed “the pearl of France”.  Menton’s old town is a cascade of pastel-coloured buildings and churches.   With its Belle Époque architecture, wonderful old port and laid back nature Menton should form part of any tourists itinerary along the wonderful French Riviera.

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The Menton Travel Summary is segmented into 2 key travel themes to immerse you into everything Menton:

  1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town;
  2. What to See

Hope you enjoy it!  Carpe Diem!

1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town

Menton is located on an incredibly scenic section of the French Riviera where the Alps plunge into the shores of the Mediterranean and is nicknamed “the pearl of France”.  Menton’s old town is a cascade of pastel-coloured buildings and churches.   With its Belle Époque architecture, wonderful old port and laid back nature Menton should form part of any tourists itinerary along the wonderful French Riviera.

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The old town is a labyrinth of colourful streets and covered market halls and is characterised by the majestic Saint-Michel Basilica overlooking Garavan Bay and the many exceptional gardens.

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Menton’s climate with 331 days of sunshine per year makes it ideal for al fresco dining and you will find your fair share of high end dining in the old town.

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Menton has won the competition for the best city of flowers in France five different times. Its exceptional sunlight and the subtropical climate make Menton ideal for growing orange trees, lemon trees, palm trees and mimosa.

Owing to its fantastic location on the French Riviera and a stone’s throw from the Italian Riviera it makes a perfect base to explore the both the French and Italian Riviera’s.

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2. What to See

Basilique St-Michel Archange:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Southern France’s grandest Baroque church, the 17th-century Italianate Basilique St-Michel Archange
  • Its olive green and ochre façade is flanked by a 35m tall clock tower and 53m tall steeple (1701–03) and fronted by an attractive square decorated in black-and-white pebble mosaics
  • There is a festival of classical music that takes place every August within the Church
  • The whole ensemble is breathtaking – especially when seen from above, with the Mediterranean glinting in the distance

 

Chapel of the Immaculate Conception:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Built in 1687 it was used by the penitents blancs until the revolution
  • A significant rebuild was required after earthquake damage in 1887, with the new frescoes in the vault by local artists

 

Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • This botanical garden (the Mediterranean branch of the Natural History Museum in Paris) includes a large number tropical and subtropical plants
  • The plants are spread out around an Italian-Provencal-style villa with ochre walls, renovated in the 1920s
  • The garden was established in the late nineteenth century by Lord Radcliffe, a former governor of Malta and was used to grow subtropical and tropical plants
  • Val Rahmeh utilised Menton’s balmy micro climate to grow tropical and subtropical plants from Asia and South America

 

Bastion Museum, Menton:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • The bastion was built in the 17th century by Honoré II, Prince of Monaco, as a fort to defend the entrance to Menton. It now exhibits artwork by Jean Cocteau
  • Jean Cocteau participated in the restoration of the building, which became his last work of art.
  • He designed mosaics, as well as the new windows on the first floor
  • The museum opened in 1966, three years after Cocteau’s death, and showcases ceramics, drawings, tapestries, watercolours and pastels made by him

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