Menton is on the borders between Italy, the Principality of Monaco and the Earldom of Nice. It is a Town of Art and History, about 50 kilometres away from the Les Pinèdes campsite. The town is garden paradise, as well as a unique showcase for the architectures that have shaped this secret part of the Riviera. Here visitors can enjoy a stroll in the footsteps of many famous names. The fragrances, colours and peacefulness of Menton, as the geographer Elisée Reclus points out, have made the town “the pearl of France”. You'll notice that three streets are named after pirates who once sailed in the Mediterranean: Lampedusa, Capodana and Acqasoma. Legend has it that they helped to found the city.
Another legend says that Eve founded the town after she was expelled from Paradise with Adam. She took with her a lemon, which she buried in Garavan Bay, after her long journey. The climate and landscape reminded her of her lost Paradise. And so Menton was born.
There was a time when the town was largely dependent on citrus farming, but unfortunately little by little it fell into decline. Today, the Menton lemon has IGP status (Indication Géographique Protégée: Protected Geographic Origin) and the inhabitants are being encouraged to plant the region's typical trees (orange, lemon and other citrus trees).
Every year in February, lemons are in the spotlight! For two weeks, you can enjoy the world of citrus fruits, including evening events to the sound of music, a visit to the citrus pattern exhibition in the Biovès gardens (in the daytime and/or in the evening with the Gardens of Light), and not forgetting a trip to the Crafts Trade Fair and the Orchids Festival to experience some unforgettable fragrances.
Menton, a city of culture
For lovers of art and culture, Menton has plenty to offer. Officially listed as a Town of Art and History since 1991, along with Nice and Grasse, you can read the words "Atrium civitas" ("City of Arts") on the town hall pediment.
In Menton you can visit the Monastery of the Annunciation, the St Michel Archange Basilica, the indoor market, the Jean Cocteau Museum, the Bastion, the Salle des Mariages (painted by Jean Cocteau in 1958), the Palais de l’Europe and L’Odyssée, as well as the castle and the old town.
The famous gardens of Menton
For lovers of gardens, Menton has several exceptional examples on offer with a wide range of plants and rare species. The view alone is worth the visit.
Don't miss the Serre de la Madone, the Fontana Rosa, a Valencian garden dating from the 1920s, the Villa Maria Serena with its magnificent palm grove and garden, the tropical garden of Val Rahmeh and the Palais de Carnolès with its citrus garden containing some 140 varieties.