Roquebrune-Cap-Martin lies between Monaco and Menton- and like so many towns on this dizzyingly steep section of the Riviera, has distinct parts-in this case, 3! Perched high above the coast, you'll find the medieval village of Roquebrune, a very pretty and extremely atmospheric 10th century village with spectacular views. Below is the forested headland of Cap Martin, where grand Belle Epoque villas sit beneath the cool pines. Down on the beach you'll find the resort town of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, where most of the accommodation and new apartment blocks sit in front of a stony beach. Be very aware of which part of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin you are booking in or travelling to, for the beach resort and the medieval village are 2 kilometres ( and significant altitudes) apart, and have extremely different characters. There is a train running from Nice, however, the train station is down by the sea meaning a very steep climb if you want to go to the old village. There is a bus (no 100) that will deposit you below the village (but the remaining steps are very steep), or take the bus no.21 from Monaco or Menton. If driving, take either the Grande Corniche road from Nice or the A8 exit off the motorway.
You’ll not go hungry here.Like everywhere on the Riviera you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh seafood, and Menton’s Italian heritage and reputation for citrus-growing ensure that you’ll enjoy great cuisine even in the cheaper restaurants. Head to Quai Bonaparte for some beautiful seafront restaurants; if you want to push the boat out then Mirazur is a must- not only is it the proud owner of two Michelin stars but it regularly features in the list of the world’s top 50 restaurants.
Also see: Restaurants in Menton, France
There are numerous museums and art galleries, including the famous Jean Cocteau Museum and his exquisite gallery in the nearby fort. Notable buildings include the Basilique-Saint-Michael-Archange, a spectacular baroque church with tall belltower. Spend an afternoon meandering through the many botanic gardens, olive and citrus groves, or head up to the old chateau cemetery, where there are some simply spectacular views of the coast as you wander among the headstones.
Also see: Sights in Menton, France
Things to Do nearby
With the sea on one side and the foothills of the Alps behind, it is claimed that sometimes you can ski in the mountains in the morning before sunbathing on the beach in the afternoon. Walkers will find a great base in Menton; you can hike the final stretch of the GR52 to Sospel or visit one of the nearby mountain villages of Gorbio, Sainte-Agnes or Castellar, which are all linked by a network of trails that extend far into the Alps.
Also see: Things To Do in Menton, France
A number of beaches - both public and private - lie along the seafront, backed by a wide promenade just perfect for an afternoon stroll. The pebbled beaches tend to be nicer the closer to the port you are, which also means that they get busier. The headland by the port is home to a small park area with shady trees and a children's play area. There are numerous beach clubs where you can rent deckchairs and parasols or have a long leisurely rose lunch, or muck about in the water on the many water toys for hire.
Also see: Beaches in Nice, France
The closest golf course to Menton is the Golf Club de Monte Carlo (which is actually in neighbouring La Turbie.) This century-old course is rich in history and offers breathtaking views over mountains and sea- at the fifth hole you can actually see three countries at once! See our Golfing Guide for more golf courses on the Riviera near Menton.
Also see: Golf Courses in Menton, France
There is a rather grand casino in Menton, and a nightclub too-although one wouldn't go so far to say that Menton has a thumping nightlife. Head to nearby Monaco for the clubs and live music.
Also see: Bars in Menton, France