Menton waterfront, Cote d’Azur, France
© Flavio Foglietta/Getty Image
Gem of the Côte d'Azur. Menton, France
Perched at the eastern end of the French Riviera near the Italian border is Menton, nicknamed the Pearl of France. It’s prized for its beauty and incredible weather, with an average of 316 days a year of sunshine. That helps Menton to grow amazing lemon crops which are celebrated at the annual Fête du Citron, or Menton Lemon Festival. This 17-day extravaganza in February features floats and sculptures created out of lemons and oranges. More than 200,000 visitors marvel at the nearly 150 tonnes of fruit used in the festival.
Owing to its strategic location, Menton and its surrounding area have been coveted by various powers for centuries. The princes of Monaco, Napoleon III, German Nazi forces and the King of Sardinia, among others, have all held sway over this jewel of the Côte d'Azur. These days, Menton has something for everyone - gorgeous gardens, pastel-painted architecture, beaches, cafes, nightlife and of course, lemons.