The marvelous parks and gardens of the French Riviera
Menton is particularly known for the quality of its botanical life and exceptional gardens. The microclimate of the city allows tropical and subtropical species to grow and flourish. However, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and Beausoleil are also rich in great natural habitat.
Menton, ville jardin
Menton is nicknamed “the city of gardens” (Ma ville est un jardin).
Gardens are a real symbol of Menton. Since the 18th century, the city has been famous for its rich botanical life. It is the city where lemon trees grow in the streets. In the 19th century, thanks to the area microclimate, botanists, especially the English, introduced tropical and subtropical species and put together the original plant combinations that make Menton the open greenhouse it is today. Maria Serana, Val Rahmeh, Fontana Rosa, Serre de la Madone, are all dreamlike places where several dozen species of palms tower over old olive trees, several centuries old, and where plants of the southern hemisphere from the Mediterranean coexist. To preserve them, in the heart of the city, the new botanical areas such as Square of the United States and the Campanin Garden were created. With ceramic citrus ornaments and pomegranate trees, these gardens have the typical Mediterranean look.
The preservation of the Serre de la Madone garden, the renovation of the garden Les Colombières and Fontana Rosa, the constant upgrade of the citrus collection in the Palace of Carnolès, are some concrete examples of the improvements made to the local botanical life. The Heritage Department of the city created a tour named “Outstanding Gardens” which enables the general public to discover and view these magnificent spaces.
Finally, the city is classified as a “4 Flowers” town and has been ranked among the best “Villes et villages fleuris” (Cities and Villages in Bloom) for the past 15 years. Since 1995, Menton has also been the winner of the “Grand prix national du fleurissement” (National Grand Prize for Flowering) and a proud holder of the “fleur d’or” (Golden Flower), in addition to receiving the title of “meilleur jardinier de France” (Best Gardener in France).
Flower beds, 7,000 trees, and exceptional gardens cover 46 hectares in total. The city also includes the Pian Park Olive Grove, the Saint-Michel Plateau, and the Ubac Foran Forest.
[From the Ville de Menton website
Crédit photo : © Ville de Menton]
Other remarkable gardens/parks:
- Jardin Clos du Peyronnet
- Jardin Privé Classé Jardin Remarquable
- Jardin du Borrigo (Elisée Reclus)
- Jardins Biovès
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin also benefits from a particularly mild climate favoring the development of abundant vegetation. You can experience the rich flora of this city in different places:
- The Park of Cap-Martin is located on the plateau of Cap-Martin. This public park is home to many centuries-old olive trees, some contemporary sculptures, a celebrity alley with busts of famous people who have stayed in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, as well as several children’s playgrounds.
- The Promenade Le Corbusier, an ancient customs road, is nowadays the main walking path along the Cap-Martin coast. Following the path, you can discover endemic species and exotic plants imported at the end of the 19th century and used for landscaping the gardens of surrounding villas.
- The Cros de Casté Park is located on the heights of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and covers 9 hectares. This relaxation and leisure area has several trails around the military fort on the Maginot Line.
- The Olivier Millenaire, a millennium old olive tree is also located in the village of Roquebrune.
- The Mont Gros arboretum is 700 meters below Mont Agel, and hides an arboretum made up of Mediterranean species developed in partnership with the National Forestry Office and the Principality of Monaco.
The winter garden of the Riviera Palace is an exceptional place mainly due to its size. Built on two levels, it occupies 900 square meters on the ground and is 20 meters in height under a dome. This garden is enclosed by a huge glass window with iron frames, the architecture of which is attributed to Gustave Eiffel.
The Riviera Palace Winter Garden is a real gem: a blend of 18th century botany and 19th century iron and glass industrialism. It is a greenhouse that offers very different perspectives: gallery and rotunda, ogival vault and dome, the stone walls, as well as glass and rock walls.