From CruisersWiki

Jump to: navigation, search
Port of Entry
43°46.35′N, 07°30.35′E Chart icon.png
Vieux Port, Menton

Menton lies on the Mediterranean coast of France, close to the port of San Remo just the other side of the border with Italy. Since Roman times, the town has occupied a strategic position along the Via Julia Augusta, the former Roman road leading eastwards from Arles all the way to the Italian peninsula. From the 13th century onwards, ownership of the town shuttled between the Genoese, who built the first castle here, the Principality of Monaco and the Kingdom of Sardinia until, along with Nice, it became a part of the French republic in 1860. Like Nice and Cannes to the west, it became a popular resort of the European aristocracy during the 19th century, when most of the palatial villas and hotels were built. The town's exceptionally mild climate makes it especially suitable for the cultivation of citrus fruit and lemons are an important export. Lemon is also used in the manufacture of Eau de Menton, a tangy perfume redolent of gin and tonic without the tonic, and in the construction of huge, 10 meter high floats during the annual Fete du Citron, when unsold stocks of lemons are used as an innovative if impermanent construction material. The old port in the town is wonderfully situated under the Italianate-style houses climbing the hill. There is also a newer, purpose-built marina at Menton-Garavan a few hundred metres NE of the old port, just before the border with Italy. Many yachts only visit Menton if intending to cruise eastwards around the Gulf of Genoa, rather preferring to head straight down to Corsica and Sardinia from Cannes, Antibes or Nice. If so, they miss out on a lovely old town, which is less touristy than its glitzier neighbours to the west and thus retains much of the character that so appealed to the 19th century aristocrats. Not for nothing is it known locally as Perle de la France (Pearl of France).


M15 Marseille to San Remo
British Admiralty
1974 Toulon to San Remo
1998 Nice to Livorno


The predominant pattern during the summer months is coastal seabreezes, however Menton can be affected whenever there is a strong mistral blowing down the Rhone Valley (although winds here are rather less strong than in the Rhone delta). Less frequently, Menton may be affected by the scirocco, a hot southerly wind that blows up from the Sahara and can last for several days, depositing its cargo of dust over everything in sight.

Sources for Weather forecasts:


See France.




Also see World Cruiser's Nets


If aproaching from the west around Cap-Martin, the harbour of Menton will not be spotted until you reach the end of a two-mile long beach, the Promenade du Soleil, when the south breakwater of the old port will come into view. The entrance faces NE at the end of the breakwater. The second marina, Port de Menton Garavan, lies several hundred metres NE of the old port. The entrance is on the eastern side.


See France.


The arrivals quay of the old port is immediately to port once inside the entrance. The arrivals pontoon at Port de Menton Garavan is immediately to starboard once through the entrance. In both cases, it is probably wise to call on channel 9 in advance of your arrival, especially during peak season. Telephone number of the old port is :+33 (0)493 35 80 56 and Port de Menton-Garavan:+33 (0)493 28 78 00.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

The marina in the Vieux Port of Menton has a total of 593 berths, of which 444 are claimed to be reserved for visitors. In practice, the berths further into the harbour are usually occupied by smaller local vessels and yachts will generally be directed to berths along the outer end of the breakwaters. The harbour is sheltered in all winds, although the outer end of the breakwater can experience a slight popple with the afternoon seabreezes blowing into the bay. In the old port, you are just a short walk from the old town and it is a worthwhile trade off between character and all mod cons.

The newer marina of [[Port de Menton Garavan has a total of 800 berths, of which 144 are reserved for visitors. Click on the link for separate page.


No anchoring allowed in the bay.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


Travel hoists at Port de Menton Garavan]] (up to 100T) and crane (up to 5T).

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel at Port de Menton Garavan. Water and electricity in both marinas.

Things to do Ashore


The old town is a delight to explore, a real maze of tall, narrow, Italianate buildings clustered along narrow streets shaded by arched traverses. A pleasant walk is up the old Sentier de Oliviers, perhaps to picnic in the park under 1,000 year old olive trees on the terraces climbing up the hill. Nearby are the wonderful botanical gardens of Val Rahmeh, first established by Sir Percy Radcliffe in the early 20th century. Another wonderful garden is that of the Villa Fontana Rosa, built in 1922 by the Spanish novelist Blasco Ibáñez. Before descending again, it is worth visiting the twin cemeteries beautifully sited on top of a hill, where many of the former distinguished aristocratic residents of Menon are interred in tombs with breathtaking views over the harbour. In the unlikely event that you are in Menton during February, you can witness the astonishing spectacle of the Fete du Citron (Lemon Festival), when huge floats bedecked with the eponymous fruit are hauled round the town.

Menton old town from the harbour
Reception quay, old harbour
Menton Lemon Festival

Grocery & Supply Stores

Supermarket and other provisions shops in the town.


Numerous restaurants close to the waterfront.


In Port de Menton Garavan.


Motorbike & Car Rentals

Rental outlets in the town.

Garbage Disposal

Bins near the Vieux Port and in the marina.


List transportation (local and/or international.)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See France.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Menton and this page's details validated:

This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Atheneoflymington

Personal tools
Friends of Cruisers Wiki