The sunny south of France obviously has a sense of charm, attracting tourists and socialites from near and far to crowd beaches and flood cities. We avoided Nice and Antibes because of the crowds, parking and general tourist madness in June/July, but Menton was pretty laid-back at this time of year. I really loved the architecture, pastel buildings and warm colours in Menton. The streets are peppered with proud palm trees and little alleyways open to the wide expanse of the Mediterranean as you near the coast. Keep your eyes peeled for historical statues, fountains and the beautiful rugged mountains in the background.
It was just a little 15 minute walk from our campsite to the city (such a great campsite location meant free parking and no transport costs!). The city is small but has everything you’ll need. The main beachfront walkway is called the Promenade du Soleil and it hugs the Baie du Soleil. Along the coast you’ll see plenty of restaurants and bars. Keep walking east and you’ll get to the Musée du Bastion Jean Cocteau. The museum is housed in an old fort which is cool to see. Although, I didn’t go inside (I was too busy enjoying the sunshine). Further along you’ll come to a small harbour and another beach called the Plage des Sablettes. This is more of a sandy beach, but it can get crowded quite easily. On the eastern side of the beach are more boats at the main port, Port de Menton Garavan.
More things to see
If you’re more of a goal-driven adventurer, here are some things you can make a bee-line for (links go to Google maps):
- If you like strolling through graveyards, the Old Chateau Cemetery has great views (and stairs to climb to get there!)
- Plant lovers might like to try out the Jardin Botanique et Exotique Val Rahmeh. The gardens house many exotic and tropical plants, a variety of water lilies, palm trees, bamboo and edible plants.
- Basilica St. Michel is in the city and definitely worth going to have a look at. In fact, you might even stumble across it like we did.
- Les Jardins Bioves is also difficult to miss, with great mountain views.
Planning a trip to Menton? I recommend checking it out during a shoulder season