Menton also known as “The Pearl of France” is a hidden gem often overshadowed by flashier Cote d’Azur towns such as Monte Carlo, Nice, Cannes, and St. Tropez. Only a scenic 30 minute train or bus ride from Nice, Menton offers a remarkable old town, sand and pebble beaches, a historic covered daily market, and the stunning Basilique Saint Michel overlooking the port.
Every February, Menton holds their world famous lemon festival where 140 tons of lemons and oranges take over the city of Menton in the form of floats and sculptures. An event not to be missed if you happen to be in the area and the second largest event of the Cote d’Azur region – even more popular than the well known formula one race in Monte-Carlo.
Of the many things to see in Menton I believe that there are three things you cannot miss. These are as follows: the historic covered market, the Basilique Saint Michel, and the Old Chateau Cemetery. The market is the easiest to get to as it is located at the start or bottom of the old town. Both the Basilique and the Cemetery however, are going to require some serious uphill walking so be prepared and wear appropriate shoes. The views from the Cemetery cannot be beat and are undeniably the best in the city so the walk is well worth the effort.
If you are interested in spending more than just a couple of hours in Menton, there are many beautiful hotels to choose from lining the promenade with views overlooking the Mediterranean and very near the sights of the old city.
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