Fête du Citron Menton

Menton,  a charming village near the Italian border. It was love at first sight when I came here for the very first time.

Fête du Citron

About a week the “Fête du Citron” will take place.  The theme this year is “The Tribulations of a Lemon in China”. It is a unique event with parades with the most beautiful decorations of citrus fruits accompanied by music and confettis.

Fête du Citron Menton

Menton has the highest temperatures on the French Riviera thanks to the shelter of the mountains in the hinterland. This is the place to spend the winter or to enjoy the early spring sunshine. Thanks to this mild climate, the lemon tree flourish here as the best. During springtime, the village is wrapped in a bright color palette of lemon, orange and tangerines trees.

It is a beautiful backdrop for the annual celebration: Fête du Citron.This “Fete du Citron” is a unique event that existed since 1934 and attracts many visitors each year. There is a sun promenade (Promenade du Soleil), dancers, confettis, folkloric groups, parades and shows. This year the festival takes place from 14 February to 4 March.

On the site of the local tourist office of Menton, you can read the entire program as well as videos, photos and an article about the legend of “the Lemon of Menton.”


A short story of the “Menton Lemon”

The story of the Menton lemon goes back to the 15th century when it was a modest growth. Nowadays  you can find a variety of lemons in the region of Menton, for example the Santa Theresa and the Villafranca lemon. The color is bright yellow and remind me of sunny days at the Riviera. The Menton lemon has a specific taste (rich in acid and essence and and contains a high concentration of essential oil in the peel of the lemon) and has therefore a unique quality.  The production is more than 150 metric tons yearly! It is said that Menton is the only place in the world where the lemons taste delicious. In the 24, Rue St Michel, you can find a the “Au pays de Citron” shop that sells lemon products, for example syrups, liqueur, olive oil, miels.

Fête du Citron Menton

“I had already visited many villages on the Riviera, but this village had stolen my heart.”

Fête du Citron Menton


My day in Menton

The sky was deep blue, the sun was shining, the people were cheerful, the palm fronds waved in the wind.

The houses had the color of the citrus fruits which Menton was known for. Lemon and orange colors. A fruity view.

I strolled around for hours through the narrow streets where every corner or entrance surprised me and where delicious aromas from the houses or restaurants stimulated my senses. I ascended the stairs to the next level in the village and came up in a maze of streets. On the hill I had a breathtaking view of the sea and the mountains. I sat down for a while and made some pictures to capture this wonderful moment. I had already visited many villages on the Riviera, but this village had stolen my heart.


Fête du Citron Menton
Fête du Citron Menton

In the late afternoon I went to the beach where I took a dip in the sea and enjoyed the sun and the languor.  When it was time to go, I grabbed my stuff and headed to the beach bar where I sat in a lounge chair. I ordered a drink and stared at the sea and relived my day in Menton.

In the evening, I walked through the narrow streets and it felt as time had stood still. Laundry hung on the lines in the soft breeze across the streets. The bell tower let me know that it was time for dinner. I choose a little Italian restaurant and after dinner I headed to the beach again where I enjoyed the sound of the sea with the moon as beautiful setting


Fête du Citron Menton

Just a perfect end of a day in Menton. I wasn’t surprised to read that Menton was known as “Pearl of France” these days.

My thanks go to the Office de Tourisme Menton for using the announcement of the “Fête du Citron.”

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Darina Nykl


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