Tag Archives: Golfe Juan-Vallauris

Menton – Travel Log 28

Menton is reachable by car along the A8 motorway, or if time isn’t pressing you could take the coast road. We however went by train. An adult return fare from Vallauris-Golfe Juan to Menton is €14.66 for a journey that takes just over the hour.

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Menton Railway Station

The area itself has been inhabited since pre-historic times but only gained some importance when under Roman influence. However it was in the 11th century that an initial permanent settlement was created. Since then control of the town passed from one noble to another until after the French Revolution when it was annexed to France.

From around the late-1800’s tourism became a major factor in the town’s growth. This was mainly due to Doctor James Henry Bennett who encouraged tuberculosis sufferers to visit the area as a way to improve their health.

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Doctor James Henry Bennett

The town was popularised by English and Russian aristocrats who constructed luxurious villas, hotels and palaces. A frequent visitor was the writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Queen Victoria also visited Menton.

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The Winter Palace                   The Orient                               Le Balmoral

We stayed at Le Balmoral – a quaint hotel. Certainly not to the standards of hotels that I have been used to in Australia: for one thing there were no beverage making facilities in the room nor a fridge, but classed as a 3 star hotel so perhaps being France it doesn’t qualify for those facilities. The staff, on the other hand were friendly, helpful and efficient. We had dinner at the hotel on the first night of arrival [Monday 18th] and the food was superb. Breakfast the following morning was another story and was most disappointing. The single room I occupied was another let down. Although the room in itself was adequate the bed was possibly intended for a child. It was extremely low and narrower than one would expect a normal single bed. The rate for the night was €87 which I thought was high for a 3 star hotel and for the “lack” of facilities in the room. Oh! They did have a TV – at least that was something.

However I didn’t go to Menton for the hotel. I spent most of the time walking around the town sight-seeing; and there was so much to see.

Although Menton is nice to visit in summer, I am told the best time is February for their Lemon Festival. I guess I will be heading off again then to witness this event, although I shall not be staying at Le Balmoral.

As pictures speak louder than words here are a just a few snaps of the place for your pleasure:

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A word about the beaches they are consisted of a conglomerate of stones rather than sand – so a bit tough on the feet. If you are after sandy beaches then you won’t find any until you reach Golfe-Juan.

If the beaches aren’t for you then there is a vast array of boutiques, shoe shops, museums, galleries, cafés, restaurants, and gardens, as well as a casino to keep you more than occupied.

Menton is a beautiful town, one worth a visit, and even worth returning to.

For more information check out the Menton Visitors’ Guide at:

http://www.tourisme-menton.fr/

Until the next time – Happy Travelling!!

 

RLB – Tomewriter

 

 

 

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Valbonne, south of France – Travel Log 25

I had heard so much of Valbonne from a friend who had visited it earlier this year. He was catching up with friends who own the Auberge Provencale. I thought, as I was staying with my mum and sister not too far away at Golfe Juan-Vallauris, that I too should go and take a look at the place and see what all the fuss was about.

A food and craft market is held there every Friday, so my sister and I set off on that particular day to have a browse and kill a few hours.

Ironically at the time I hadn’t realised the Auberge Provencale was the place my friend was referring to and as I snapped away with my camera the restaurant came into frame [it’s the building furthest in shot behind the orange building:

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We didn’t visit as we only stopped for a coffee in the square, but in the spirit of friendship I’m adding their website herewith: http://www.auberge-provencale-valbonne.fr/ Trip Advisor gives it a four star rating and it does look nice so perhaps on another visit we might make a point of going there for a meal.

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Valbonne is a small town that is located about 14km from Antibes and about the same distance from Cannes. As with most of the towns in this part of France they are all quite old dating back to the times of ancient Greece and Rome. Valbonne was occupied by both civilisations.

The market and local shops are quite diverse and some good quality products are on sale. Whilst my sister checked out and purchased a variety of olives, cheeses and other delicacies I had a look at clothing. However not finding anything for me, I did end up purchasing a beautiful pashmina scarf for my wife [she did love it].

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After walking around for a couple of hours it was time to head back to Golfe Juan. We took the same route back as coming along the D3, D35, and D135 skirting the town of Mougins before heading back through Vallauris. The route is extremely picturesque through some beautiful high-forested areas and as you approach the south the glistening Mediterranean comes into view from behind the tree line beckoning you to it.

RLB – Tomewriter

 

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