Undoubtedly one of my favorite places on the southern French coast: Menton. A beautiful city with the authentic charm of a small village, where the French Riviera is at its best. It is not for nothing that Menton is called the pearl of the South of France. In the city you will find a very friendly atmosphere, especially compared to better-known neighbors Nice and Cannes. Menton is known as ‘the city of lemons’, because there are a lot of lemon plantations.
Pearl of the French Riviera
If you walk through the city, you might notice that this can also be seen in small details on benches and walls. Add to that the colorful houses and the charming harbor, and it’s like you’re in Italy for a while. Not surprising, because the border with Italy is only a few minutes away. Stroll along the boulevard full of cozy restaurants and shops, view the city from the long pier, or visit one of the tropical gardens. Never a dull day in lemon city Menton!
But the town of Menton surprised us the most. Firstly, we had never heard of it (sorry!) And then it turns out that you can also walk into Italy from the coastal town. Best of both worlds. They speak both Italian and French and the inhabitants are incredibly proud of their lemons. Everything, absolutely everything is made with lemon; soap, oil, mustard, jam, of course yes, lots and lots of jam, alcohol and what not. So lemons and Italy (and fantastic Italian food on every street corner), but actually there are (still) two highlights: the first literally, namely the old city center that goes up.
A long climb up through beautiful narrow streets, vistas of the sea and the Italian border, halfway to a small church where life gathers on Sundays and at the top of a small but impressive cemetery. Highlight number two is downstairs and you can’t ignore it: the covered market, one of those Spain is famous for. Screaming market people, vegetables, fish and meat not to be sneezed at and a single stall to queue up immediately. Busy every day of the week as Manton has no supermarkets, but at weekends there are also flea market vendors on the square in front of the market. Don’t miss the ‘Socca’ sold in a stall in front of the market. This chickpea pancake (we can’t explain it any better) is typical Menton and delicious. More tips?
A beautiful town near the Italian border is Menton. Menton is visited by far fewer tourists than the places I mentioned above and is therefore relatively quiet. Menton is very colorful, has a beautiful beach with clear blue water and many cozy streets. You can get lost here and look for the beauty that this place has to offer. Everywhere you see some Italian influences coming back and I always like that.
As far as I’m concerned, Menton really belongs to the most beautiful places on the Côte d’Azur and is certainly one of the most cozy places. Menton is also the end point of the Route des Grandes Alpes, a beautiful route through the French Alps, which starts at Lake Geneva.
Discover the village of Eze
Just a 20 minute drive from Nice you will find the historic village of Eze. Eze is a perched medieval village. It offers beautiful views of the surroundings and the Côte d’Azur and has numerous cozy streets. Eze is located on a cliff 425 meters high and in clear weather you can even see Corsica.
Eze is a popular place to visit and as it is small, Eze will quickly feel way too crowded. But why is it still in the list with the best tips for the Côte d’Azur?
Come early and you’ll have the village to yourself. Eze really belongs to the most beautiful sights on the Côte d’Azur. The center of Eze is car-free, you can park your car at the foot of the village, or you can follow the signs to another parking lot. From this parking lot you can take the shuttle back to the village. The car park costs €6, but you get a ticket from the botanical gardens (which also normally costs €6). And since you will find the beautiful view from that garden, you still want to go there.
In Eze you can simply stroll through the beautiful streets and enjoy the beautiful views. Before you know it, your morning will be over!