Menton is the "The Lemon Festival Capital of the World", located very close to the border of France and Italy and in many ways is more Italian than French. It has its own microclimate, generally milder than the rest of the French Riviera, and became in the late Nineteenth Century a place where Northern Europeans with TB came to either regain their health or to die. As a result its cemetery is filled with the graves of notable Englishmen, Germans, Russians. The old town is largely pedestrianised which adds to the charm of this sedate resort.
Menton - Old town viewed from port
- A8 Exit Menton. Follow signs for Centre Ville.
- Bas Corniche from Monaco or Italy (Ventimiglia)
- Train from Monaco/Nice or Ventimiglia
Menton has a curious one way system, it is probably a good idea to park near the port and not attempt to drive anywhere else. Although the climb up to the cemeteries is steep on foot it is considerably better than attempting to drive it.
Menton is reasonably compact and most points of interest are within walking distance.
Note that attractions such as the cemeteries and the churches are up steep hills and many steps however the views that can be gained are well worth the effort.
Being so close to the Italian border, one can literally walk to Italy. This is definitely more of a novelty than of use and trips in to Italy to the nearby towns or further afield should be made either by rail or by road.
- Jean Cocteau Museum Although it was previously in a bastion near the port, the new museum is a purpose built building designed by the Italian Architect Rudi Ricotti and houses an incredible modern interactive display of drawings, ceramics, tapestries and a large mosaic by the artist.
- Salle des Marriages In the town hall, the civic wedding hall is decorated completely in murals by Jean Cocteau.
- The charming old town is compact and largely pedestrianised.
- Several impressive gardens dotted through the town including those at Garavan (Olive trees in Parc du Pian, Jardin Exotique, Villa Fontana Rosa).
- Casino and the magnificent hotels Royal Westminster and Ambassadeurs.
- Cimetière du Vieux Chateau Russian Orthodox chapel, grave of William Webb Ellis - founder of Rugby football, view over town.
- The perched villages inland (Ste Agnes and Gorbio).
- The Mare Nostrum brewery in Castillon.
- Fête du Citron There's a lemon party and you're invited! Lemon-related festivities over several days in February. See the official website of the festival here: Fête du Citron
- Festival de Musique de Menton is a music festival running through the last day of July to the middle of August. The music is primary classical, with artist and symphony orchestras from all over the world.
- Citrus products
In Ventimiglia (Italy), about 7-10 km east of Menton, a market is held every friday which is located around the main park and the roads by the Mediterrean sea.
There are numerous good restaurants in the Old Town and down towards the port, which offer good value for money. Expect to pay €15-€20 for the cheapest three course meal set menu. Higher priced menus are, of course, also available.
- Le Balico Place aux Herbes in the Old Town tel: 04 93 41 66 99. Closed Tuesday(?). Local Menton Cuisine - menus €20-€50 plus à la carte.
- Le Nautique 27 Quai de Monléon by the port tel: 04 93 35 78 74. Closed Sunday evening and all day Monday(?). Seafood speciality - menus 20-50 plus à la carte.
Behind Menton in the village of Castillon is the "Mare Nostrum" microbrewery. A rather yuppie sort of place but the beer is very good.
- Hotel Booking Menton - Tourist office of Menton - Official Website, 8 avenue Boyer, ☎ +33 4 92 41 76 76, . checkin: 2PM. edit
- Best Western Hotel Prince De Galles, 4 Avenue General De Gaulle, ☎ 33 4 93282121 (fax: 33 4 93359291), . checkin: 4PM; checkout: 12PM. edit
- Hotel Napoleon, 29 Porte de France, ☎ +33 4 93 35 89 50 ([email protected], fax: +33 4 93 35 49 22), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. edit
- Royal Westminster, 1510 promenade du Soleil. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. edit
- Résidence Maeva Les Citronniers. Located in the heart of the town centre and 500 m from the old town and old harbour. Air-conditioned, self-catering apartments. 300 m from the beach. edit
- Hotel Mediterranee, 5 Rue de la Republique, . checkout: 12pm. edit Located between the old town of and the newer shopping area, and a short walk from the train station. Rooms are air conditioned and the hotel has a superb roof-top terrace for sunseekers during the day or for those requiring a much needed refreshing beverage!
- <sleep name="Camping Municipal Saint Michel" alt="" address="Plateau St Michel" url="</sleep>Located at the end of the Route des Ciappes de Castellar, a decent camping lot with access for autohomes. The city is reached by either following the road, or taking the ~450-step stair down to city level, about 100 meters from the police station.