Notes From The Road| Visit Menton

A beautiful little jewel of a city in the South of France, Menton has the best of all worlds. A sunny warm climate mostly year-round, sandy beaches by the Mediterranean sea, colorful historic buildings in the old town, and delicious French and Italian cuisine. Today’s travel post is Notes From The Road| Visit Menton.


Visit Menton France


Menton is one of the best kept secret vacation spots in the south of France. While tourists flock to Nice, Cannes and Monte Carlo, Menton is not half as busy and much more affordable.



The climate in Menton is spectacular, it has more sunny days {over 316 days of sunshine a year!} than any other place along the Cote d’Azure. The town retains that sweet  sleepiness of the French Riviera, with its shuttered candy colored villas, terra-cotta roofs, gorgeous beaches, palm trees, and lemon gardens.

Breathe in the fresh sea air, enjoy the pastel colors of the houses, smell citrus from the lemon trees, and admire the grand Baroque buildings. The narrow winding streets of Menton ooze with charm and history. Menton has incredible views, you will be looking out over the blue Mediterranean sea, with the snow-capped alps behind it. It’s no wonder it’s called the ‘Pearl of France’!


Menton Beach


Notes From The Road| Visit Menton


Things To Do In Menton


Walk Around Old Town


The old town is the gem of Menton, founded by pirates in the 13th century.  Walking from the base near the ocean, you’ll discover narrow little winding streets and passageways with quaint candy colored buildings that take your breath away. Climb the steep streets all the way to the cathedral, admiring the pastel colored houses, the grand villas, and the beautiful window boxes spilling with bright flowers around every corner.


Notes From The Road| Visit Menton



A market is held every day in the old town, inside an indoor hall built in the 19th century. Vendors sell a range of delicious local products including cheese, meats, fruits and vegetables, I suggest you buy what looks delightful and have a picnic for lunch!

TIP: It’s an uphill climb, somewhat of an easy hike, so be sure to take your time and wear good walking shoes instead of sandals or flip-flops.



Menton Church


Basilique Saint-Michel-Archange


When you reach the top of the old town, discover the beauty of the Basilique Saint-Michel-Archange. This 17th-century Baroque cathedral has an ornate facade and interior, complete with a magnificent ceiling mural. Don’t miss the organ that dates to 1866.

After your visit to the Basilica Saint-Michel-Archange, climb to the top of the hill, to the cemetery where the castle used to be. The cemetery is filled with beautiful marble and stone mausoleums and tombstones, urns, flowers, and statues. From here you’ll discover the most gorgeous views across the terra-cotta roofs and houses of Menton, and views across the ocean.



Plage des Sablettes


A stunning boulevard at the edge of old town that borders the sandy beach, Plage des Sablettes is known as “the” place to gather for fun. Beautiful fountains, scenic restaurants and a truly Mediterranean atmosphere makes this a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can see all the overhanging white canvas sun protectors for shop windows on the boulevard right above the beach in the photo below.


Notes From The Road| Visit Menton


Jean Cocteau Museum


Legendary French artist, filmmaker, poet, playwright and designer Jean Cocteau loved Menton. He was a close friend of Picasso and Coco Chanel. His most famous work is the novel, Les Enfants Terribles, which he wrote in 1929 while detoxing from his opium addiction. After his first visit to Menton in the 1950’s, he befriended the mayor of Menton, who asked him to design the Wedding Room in the Town Hall, which the artist decorated with frescoes. The mayor declared him and honorary citizen. The Jean Cocteau Museum was completed in 2011 and has over 1,000 works by the Cocteau including paintings, drawings, poetry writings, designs and films. Cocteau’s work is eclectic and well worth a visit on your trip to Menton!

TIP: Make sure to check about opening days and times.


Le Val Rahmeh-Menton Garden


The beautiful Le Val Rahmeh-Menton Botanical Garden has such a rich history as well as gorgeous plantings. Built for a noble Menton family as an estate with extensive gardens, it was later acquired by General Lord Percy Radcliffe, and his wife Rahmeh Theodora Swinburne. They commissioned an architect to redesign the house in a Provencal Italian style. Sadly Lord Percy’s wife died unexpectedly before it was completed, it was named Val Rahmeh, which means “valley of tranquility” in Arabic, in memory of her. In the 1950’s the estate was bought by Miss May Bud Campbell, a wealthy English woman, who added rare plant species from around the world to the gardens.


Menton Gardens

The famous lily pads in the pond at the Val Rameh botanical gardens.


Love of Citrus


Menton is world-famous for its lemons and oranges. You will see them everywhere, in the public parks, along the winding streets, in pots and in the ground in private gardens.  If you visit Menton, be sure to visit some of the many small lemon shops, they sell the most amazing lemon products. From lemon soaps, to lemon-infused olive oil to lemon liqueur, each one makes a fabulous souvenir and gift.


Notes From The Road| Visit Menton


Fête du Citron is a legendary lemon festival held in Menton every year at the end of February. Celebrating citrus during Carnival time, there are daily parades with decorated floats covered in citrus and dancers in citrus inspired costumes. The festival lasts more than 15 days, it attracts lots of visitors, and aside from the floats and costumed dancers in a daily parade, has a famous orchid exhibition and different things to do each day. There are ballet performances, orchestras, exhibits and discovery tours and hikes to attend.

Lemon Festival Menton


TIP: Even though the weather is most likely mild during the day, it can cool down quickly at night. {we have the same temps here in Southern California} Be sure to take a jacket or warm sweater, and wear layers!


Shop ’til You Drop


Menton has a bevvy of wonderful small shops selling local artisans wares, lemon products…and everything you will love. Let’s face it, when you are in France even shopping at the super market is fun.

Au Pays du Citron is a wonderful shop at 22 rue Saint Michel that sells products made with the famous Menton lemons. Locally made Limoncello and lemon-scented jams are a treat. I love their lemon scented perfume, too!



Also, since Menton is on the Italian border, you can be in Italy in about 15 minutes by train. The first town on the Italian side is Ventimiglia, it’s great to visit on Friday when they have a huge open-air market. Not only are there amazing Italian foods such as authentic olive oil, cheese, meat & and pasta, many vendors sell Italian shoes, bags, and clothes. You can enjoy a delicious meal at a number of great restaurants near the market. End with a gelato.



{P.S. Inspired by the colors and beauty of Menton and Fête du Citron, our new Potpourri de vacances Menton is here just in time to bring it’s delightful scent to your home for this season. The delicious bouquet of rose and lily notes create the heart of the scent – green muguet, fresh cyclamen and citrus add a captivating fragrance. An alluring way to brighten your interior. }


Menton French Pot pourri



I hope you’ve enjoyed our virtual trip, and this post Notes From The Road| Visit Menton. Maybe you’ll visit Menton too. In the meantime, thanks so much for joining me today for a little bit of arm chair travel, and beautiful spots around the world to visit therapy!


Visit Menton, France


What is your favorite town to visit in France?




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9 thoughts on “Notes From The Road| Visit Menton”

  1. Carol, I agree! Every one of the towns in France has something special. And, spoken like an artist, that light, it is something in Menton, it plays off the water and the pastel colored buildings so beautifully!

  2. Alice Genzlinger

    Not able to physically go to Menton but what a delightful armchair visit. I close my eyes and can almost smell the scents of Minton. The colors, the beautiful blue ocean. Hope springs eternal.

  3. Oh Alice, I’m so,glad you enjoyed this little virtual visit! The colors are spectacular, it’s warm with a slight breeze, and it’s a lazy, gorgeous kind of town with a pace of life that is slow, like Carol mentioned. Happy we got to join together and visit from our armchairs!

  4. Nancy Brantley

    Love seeing these places because I have never been. I love the colors of Minton.

  5. noreen

    Thank you Lidy for this lovely visit, so many interesting facts about Menton, by the way I can just smell the lemons! My favourite summer fragrance being L’Occitane Verbena!

  6. Laurie G

    Lidy this little trip to Menton was such a pleasure as I sit drinking my morning coffee enjoying some sunlight in the three season room. I am hoping to go back to Provence in 2023 and would like to visit the perched villages at the Côte d’Azur. One of my favorite seaside villages in the region is Antibes. I had a wonderful solo stay there and explored on foot everywhere I could, just drinking in the history, art, food and beautiful setting. Then from there I took the train to AIX for a wonderful trip with a small group of ladies. It was a magical time! Thank you for taking me back!

  7. Sharon Crigger-Stokan

    Oh Lidy what a delightful arm chair visit to Menton!! The pictures are so inviting. “Menton, take me away!” Thank you for taking us on this beautiful journey – it was almost like being there!

  8. Jean Van

    Bonjour, Lidy,
    Loved all the photo’s and wish I had gone there when I was in France, maybe next time, lovely place~~~~~~
    I want to wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Hug’s,
    Alway’s, Jean~~~~~~~~~~~

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