Menton Pictures, France

Menton's main park, Cote d'Azur, France

Central park, Jardins Biovès (Biovès Gardens), Menton pictures, bordered by the Casino at the beach end and the main road, Ave. du Verdun, along the west side.

Menton Pictures: why go the distance?!

Menton town centre buildings, Cote d'Azur, France

. . . these are town centre offices, . . .

Menton is a charming, relaxed little town 35 minutes by train from Nice, situated between Monaco and Italy. The last town east on the Côte d’Azur, it’s not a wild and exciting party place like Nice, nor as overbuilt and expensive as its neighbour Monaco, but does offer a couple of decent beaches ranging from gravelly sand to smallish pebbles, backed by the requisite beach bars and restaurants, some fine gardens, a wacky annual festival called La Fête du Citron, a fine Old Town climbing the hill and a spectacularly pleasant micro-climate.

Menton's Old Market, Cote d'Azur, France

As for Menton’s town generally, well it’s got some goodies worth a look. This one’s the covered market that seems to be disused at present, adjacent to. . .

Menton Pictures: some sights

Plage du Fossan beach, with Jean Cocteau museum and mountains, Menton, Cote d'Azur, France

. . . the large and quite grotesquely inappropriate Musée Jean Cocteau spoiling Fossan beach on Menton’s coastline, IMHO.

Menton plaza and town view, Cote d'Azur, France

The plaza adjacent to the parking area, port and Plage du Fossan.

Touristy Rue de Saint Michel, Menton, Cote d'Azur, France

The main tourist street in high season, with mandatory living statue.

La Fête du Citron, Menton

A huge dragon covered with oranges and lemons, Lemon Festival, Menton, Côte d'Azur, France

One of many themed structures during the annual Lemon Festival (Tribulations en Chine was the theme in 2015) as Menton celebrates a spectacular micro-climate that permits it to grow oranges and lemons.

Outdoing Nice’s Carnival in length at 18 days long the Lemon Festival includes an eccentric citrus-heavy parade with samba-ish dress codes.
Cleverly the Menton council schedules the cheerful Fete du Citron to coincide with Nice’s Carnival so visitors can easily take in both events without breaking a sweat. Stay in Nice – where there is way more accommodation and other facilities, then hop on a train to Menton for one of the procession days. Don’t even think about taking a car there during festival time as parking is near impossible.
However, visitors who wanted to drive along the coast to take a wander around, for example, Cap Ferrat, Eze and Monaco could try parking in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (a small town in the SNCF rail line between Monaco and Menton) and jump on a train there for the very short ride to Menton.

Menton Parking

The Bastion, Menton, Cote d'Azur, France

The Bastion, a sort-of-fort that was the first line of defence for Monaco a few hundred years ago.

For those in search of free, off-street parking try the large quai to the left of The Bastion . The free parking next to varied yachts is still close to either Les Sablettes or du Fossan beaches. Go right and it’s pay up time.

Menton port, fountain and best parking, Cote d'Azur, France

Looking towards Italy.

Free parking to the right, pay parking left of the fountain or beside Les Sablettes beach beyond the yacht marina. Finding a parking space otherwise in Menton, even out of season, is a pure time-waster. The elevated autoroute in the background is the A8 as it enters Italy but it is also possible to enter Italy along the coastal road straight ahead in the photo.

How to get to Menton?

Train

Menton station, La Gare de Menton is about 35 minutes from Nice but services are a little unreliable and look appallingly dirty on the outside though actually the carriages are quite comfortable inside. Note that Menton has a second, smaller station to the east and just 500m from Italy, Menton-Garavan.
The estimated time to Menton from Paris via TGV to Marseille is 7 hours; from Marseille 3. 5 hours. There are also many trains from Vintimille/Ventimiglia in Italy.

Bus

There is a regular shuttle service (every 30 minutes in season/festival time) running to Menton from the airport. Buses leaving the airport also travel to Nice railway station.

Car

Easily accessible from the Côte d’Azur via Nice/Cannes/Eze/Monaco etc. on one of three driving routes:
The A8 autoroute is the fastest, get off at exit 59 on the A8 motorway (the last exit before Italy); the Moyenne Corniche from Nice (half way down the mountain side) is spectacularly beautiful and quite fast as it winds around cliffs; the Basse Corniche (from Nice port) is the interesting low road that takes in all the famous names – such as Villefranche and St Jean Cap Ferrat – and offers good views too but has a fair amount of traffic and stoppages en route.
From Paris estimated driving time is 9 hours via autoroute.

Lemon Festival Parking

A special free car park is open on the three festival Sundays, the parade days. It is the Intermarché Shopping Centre car park, located at the beginning of the industrial area, near the motorway exit. This car park is free and a regular shuttle service runs from it into the town centre.

Air

The nearest airport is Nice, about 35 minutes drive/train journey depending on who’s at the wheel, which route is chosen or if the train driver has a lunchtime hangover and decided to stay at home.