Gardens of the French Riviera and the Menton Lemon Festival13th Feb 2025

Gardens of the French Riviera and the Menton Lemon Festival



With elegant gardens, dazzling azure skies and a stunning coastline which inspired a generation of artists, the French Riviera has retained its glamorous allure for over a century. We visit some of the finest gardens that were created here in this sun-kissed playground of the rich including those of Thomas Hanbury and the Rothschilds.

In February, the town of Menton hosts the colourful Lemon Festival, one of the largest and most colourful events on the south coast of France, and a wonderful tonic at the start of the gardening year. Elaborate floats and imaginative sculptures in dazzling shades of orange and yellow are paraded through the Promenade du Soleil in Menton, bringing huge bursts of colour and a lemony zest to the early spring, with a carnival spirit and joie de vivre that is typically French.

In addition to a full day of fruity fun in Menton, we visit some of the finest gardens that were created here in the 19th century. Clos du Peyronnet in Menton is a private garden reflecting the passion of its owner who takes full advantage of the climate to nurture exotic plants, South African bulbs being a speciality. At St Jean Cap Ferrat we visit the exquisite gardens of the Fondation Ephrussi de Rothschild which contain many interesting plants and are surrounded by marvellous sea views.

Just over the border in Italy are the incomparable Hanbury Gardens (La Mortola), arguably the greatest of all the Riviera gardens, in the richness of their collection and the unforgettable power of their presence. We also visit the Jardin Exotique d’Èze, which offers the chance to discover exotic plants and the history and traditions of the village of Èze, along with the Villa Thuret at Cap d’Antibes, Serre de la Madone in Menton, the parks and gardens of Monte Carlo and the tranquil gardens of La Mouissone.


6 Days



Full Price£1995

(includes flights)

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    What to Expect

    • Sit back and enjoy all the colour and spectacle of the Menton Lemon Festival
    • Cacti of every shape and size in Èze
    • The richness of the plant collection at the Hanbury Garden
    • Marvellous sea views and opulent surroundings in St Jean Cap Ferrat
    Castle Display, Lemon Menton Festival

    Departure Routes

    LocationPickup TimeDropoff Time
    London Airport08:0019:00
    Nice Airport12:0016:00

    ** Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure. **

    Day by Day Itinerary

    We fly from London to Nice, where on arrival we will enjoy a lunch in a local restaurant before travelling to the historic garden of Serre de la Madone, created by American Lawrence Johnston, who travelled the world over a 30-year period seeking plants to acclimatise here among the ancient olives. Johnston was also responsible for the quintessentially English garden at Hidcote Manor and the contrast with Serre de la Madone could not be greater. This is a place of luxuriant and exotic beauty, a tropical forest planted on the shores of the Mediterranean. Please note entry to the garden involves an uphill walk with a number of steps.

    Following our visit we continue to our comfortable accommodation in Nice. A welcome dinner in a local restaurant is included this evening.

    Meals includedLunch, Dinner

    View of Nice

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