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Nothing Bitter About the Lemon Festival in Menton, France!

Published on February 25, 2016 by Ralph and Karen

Just before you cross over into Italy and still within the Cote d’Azur, lies the tiny French town of Menton with a population just under 30,000. Pleasantly situated along the French Riviera and right in between Monaco and the Italian Riviera, the lovely town of Menton offers both its residents and visitors a place filled with outstanding cuisine, beautiful gardens, and of course the highly anticipated annual celebration of the Lemon Festival. Historically, Menton was a favorite of the Brits for holidays and retirement back in the mid 1900’s and still to this day remains a favorite now for those very reasons among several others.

Menton Lemon Festival- plants

Taking place this year starting on Saturday, 13 February and lasting until Wednesday, 2 March, roughly 230,000 people from all over the world will make their way to Menton in order to celebrate a time chock-full of all sorts of structures – houses, model Eiffel Tower and more – covered in lemons, along with marching parades that fill the streets, masked dancers adding to the flare of things, and a certain sense of charming fun that seems to exude the town’s every street corner and alleyway. Join in on all of the fun during the musical parades and take some time to wander about the Bioves Gardens, which are full of the numerous structures mentioned, all adorned in citrus fruits and sure to make for quite the photo op.

Menton Lemon Festival - Eiffel TowerMenton Lemon Festival - olive oil displayMenton Lemon Festival - Dutch display

Being so close to other popular destinations in both France and Italy such as Nice (21 km) and Ventimiglia (11 km), it is more than possible to stay in either of those towns if you find you need to escape the large crowds of Menton during the Lemon Festival [both have frequent train service – best way to avoid parking problems]. However, if you do desire to be right in the midst of all the ongoing fun during the festival, plan on booking your accommodation in Menton as early as possible and be prepared for fun events from morning until night!

What Else Does Menton Have to Offer?

menton-bay & town-view

If you are unable to make it to Menton during the Lemon Festival this year or simply want to catch the tail end of it and stick around afterwards for a bit more exploration of this charming old medieval town, you’ll be happy to find the area has plenty of things to see, do, and discover. Be sure not to miss the following fantastic experiences available while there…

Musee Cocteau Collection Severin Wunderman: Stunning from its exterior to its interior, this art museum boasts an extremely impressive collection fully dedicated to the French artist Jean Cocteau. Established not long ago in November of 2011 and beautifully situated right along the beach, this is an absolute must for first time visitors of Menton.

Basilica St. Michael: Architecture lovers will particularly appreciate a visit to the magnificently structured and designed Basilica St. Michael. Dating back to the early 1600’s and still perfectly intact, you are going to want to get your camera ready for this well worthy visit.

Palmes Beach: No trip to the southeastern coast of France would ever be complete without an exploration of some of its many breathtaking beaches. Menton is fortunately home to the stunning Palmes Beach where restaurants, activities, and gorgeous inviting waters are in no shortage.

Mirazur Restaurant: In between all of that exploration and discovery of Menton, you are sure to work up quite the appetite. Luckily, Menton is home to some outstanding fine dining options that help to add a little more charm to your trip. One of these is Mirazur, where you can enjoy not only delicious menu items but also some of the best views of the French Riviera available to you. Indulge, relax, and sip on a refreshing glass of French wine as you watch the sun slowly dip below the horizon during a romantic sunset dinner.

No matter when you decide to make your way to lovely Menton, France or what you plan on filling your days with while there – Lemon Festival or not – you are guaranteed to leave with unforgettable memories and remembrances to look back on for many years to come. Oh, and don’t forget a bottle or 2 of the local limoncello!

Meet The Author
Hello! We are Ralph and Karen, an Anglo-American couple who fell in love with Paris and France over 20 years ago. Work-related trips brought us here, but we kept coming back for holidays, then extended visits, and then… In 2005, we decided nothing was stopping us from buying a place of our own in Paris. Lots of research, learning, and many kilometers of sneaker-rubber later, we put our house in the United States on the market. It sold in 10 days, and we found our apartment in Montmartre two months later. After a massive, year-long renovation project and its many challenges, we hit our biggest bump yet. As it turned out, we had to stay based in the US after all. Our lovingly remodeled apartment in Paris became a place where we returned only for short visits. In 2008, we started renting to guests—travelers like we once were (we always preferred apartments over expensive, cramped hotels). And the rest, as they say, is history. Le Trésor de Montmartre has proved quite popular, to the extent that we have trouble finding a break in the booking calendar to stay there ourselves! In the midst of this, we found Nice. After several holidays in and around Nice, we thought, why not buy a pied-à-terre in the area? Despite the challenges involved in renovating from afar—which we knew very well at that point—we jumped in again in late 2010. After another renovation, another year, and hundreds more gray hairs between us, we added Le Trésor de Nice to our rental portfolio. A year so so later we picked up 3 other apartment to manage. We hope you find the properties inviting, and hope even more that you will come see them for yourselves! Please get in touch with questions, or to book your stay at one of our apartments. We’d be happy to share our insider knowledge of these places we love so much.
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