French Riviera: 5 Good Reasons To Go To The Lemon Festival In Menton
In February, the carnival festivities are in full swing on the French Riviera. A complementary event to the famous Nice carnival, the Lemon Festival in Menton is also worth a visit! We have listed for you 5 good reasons to discover this other Côte d'Azur carnival.
1- The citrus pattern exhibition is free
Birthplace of the Lemon Festival in Menton, the Biovès gardens have hosted the citrus pattern exhibition since 1936. It is in the heart of this Menton garden that amazed visitors can discover giant sculptures made of lemons and oranges, some of which require nearly 15 tons of citrus!
These incredible constructions alone justify a trip to Menton during the carnival period. But did you know that since 2022 the exhibition of citrus patterns in the Biovès gardens is free?
While you used to have to pay an entrance fee to enter these gardens, the exhibition is now free to enter. It would be a real shame not to take advantage of it!
2- A visit to these gardens enchants all the senses
After a 2022 edition with a dance and opera theme, the 2023 Lemon Festival surprises again with a musical theme: rock'n'roll and opera. For the organizers, these themes around music are a perfect pretext to complete the walk among the citrus patterns with music broadcast.
As you stroll along the foot of the monumental sculptures representing Madame Butterfly or Carmen, you will thus have the pleasure of hearing the corresponding opera arias!
To the sound of the music, some sculptures seem to come to life like this Carmen that is more real than life... The walk in these gardens therefore enchants all the senses, especially since the flowerbeds are also decorated with a multitude of flowers and citrus fruits.
3- Citrus patterns are very photogenic
The Lemon Festival is of course distinguished from its neighboring Carnival of Nice by its yellow and orange colors. By using citrus fruits to decorate these fixed structures and corso floats, the city of Menton offers photography lovers the opportunity to take great shots.
The oranges and lemons that are in the spotlight during these carnival festivities are indeed extremely photogenic and this, whatever the weather! Beautiful against a blue sky, the citrus patterns in the Biovès gardens are no less spectacular when the weather is cloudier, as you can see in my photos.
So even on days when the sun is not shining, don't hesitate to go and take colorful pictures of these monumental installations!
4- The orchid festival is also free
Another good reason to go to Menton during the Lemon Festival is the opportunity to visit a free orchid and epiphyte plant festival.
This free admission festival is held at the Palais de l'Europe located on one side of the Biovès gardens. The citrus patterns exhibition and the orchid festival are therefore on two very close and easily accessible sites from the SNCF train station in Menton.
If you arrive by train, you will have to walk for only 5 to 10 minutes to get to the gardens and already catch a glimpse of the monumental sculptures composed of citrus fruits...
Inside the Palais de l'Europe, you can discover decorations and floral compositions featuring orchids of different species and all colors. These creations based on epiphytic flowers always follow the same theme as the Lemon Festival (i.e. rock'n'roll this year).
5- A craft market showcases the specialties of Menton
Finally, the last of the 5 good reasons to go to the Lemon Festival in Menton is to discover and bring back typical artisanal specialties from this city.
All along the alleys of the Biovès gardens but also inside the Palais de l'Europe a craft fair awaits visitors throughout the carnival festivities.
You can buy Menton lemons PDO as well as products such as lemonade, limoncello, lemon or orange jam, artisanal cookies with local flavors and many other delicacies ... What to bring back typical southern specialties and a little sun Mentonnais in your bags!