Sightseeing – MENTON (Fête du Citron / Lemon Festival, 15 February-05 March 2014)

Menton, located on the France-Italian border, has one of the highest allocations of sunshine hours in France and it is this climate that favours the growth of tangerines, oranges and one of the symbols of the town – lemons.

In celebration of these citrus fruits and their importance to Menton, each February an annual festival – the Fête du Citron (or Lemon Festival) is held.

Fête du Citron, Menton

Fête du Citron, Menton

There are parades with lights and lanterns, decorated floats in the evening and the central park Jardins Biovès has a display of large sculptures made of citrus fruits decorated in the annual theme.  The Jardins Biovès also has stalls selling citrus-themed products – vintage postcards with lemons, table linen adorned with orange groves, citrus produce including curds, limoncello, marmalades….anything and everything that can be made of citrus is there!

The theme this year is ‘20,000 leagues under the sea’ so it will be interesting to see what is created out of lemons and oranges!  Perhaps a giant octopus?  Or a sunken treasure ship?

Ticket prices range from €5 for kids entry 6-14 years to the garden Biovès sculpture displays, right up to €25 for adults admission to the night parades.  Note: Children under 6 years are free of charge, as well as persons with reduced mobility with disability cards.

the famous Menton citrus fruits

the famous Menton citrus fruits

The train station of Menton (note that the train station you need to stop at is called Gare du Menton, not Gare du Menton Garavan) is just 200 metres from the main garden sculpture display.  Carparking was ample last time we visited with no major  traffic jams from the highway, though there were some street restrictions and detours around the central garden.

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For travellers with baby buggies/strollers, or persons with reduced mobility there is a footbridge and stairs separating half of the garden sculpture display – however, you can exit at the bottom of the stairs and re-enter at the other side where the exhibition begins again.

More information and tickets are found online at the official website www.fete-du-citron.com

 

 

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Sightseeing – NICE (Statue of Liberty replica unveiling – Saturday 01 February 2014)

A replica of the Statue of Liberty in New York is expected to be unveiled this coming weekend in Nice (dependent on weather), as announced by the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi.

The original Statue of Liberty was gifted to the United States by the people of France, and there have since been numerous global replicas. The Nice replica will be unveiled to commemorate 100 years since the First World War.

The exact height of the Nice monument is a secret until the unveiling – it will be smaller than the original New York statue (93 metres ground to torch) but taller than the replica in Paris (11.5 metres). It is rumoured to be at least 15 metres tall and able to be seen from Nice Airport.

The Nice replica will be installed on the Quai des États-Unis.

statue+of+liberty

replica Statue of Liberty coming to Nice, France

Activities/Sightseeing – NICE (Carnaval de Nice, 14 February-04 March 2014)

The Carnaval de Nice 2014 (Nice Carnival) is coming soon and is one of the biggest events on the French Riviera, held this year between 14 February and 04 March.

Until the eighteenth century, the ‘Carnaval’ consisted of masked balls and food fights in the streets of Vieux Nice.  During major military and political turmoil caused by the French Revolution and the First Napoleanic Empire, festivities were put on hold.  In 1830, the first parade was held where carriages/floats were marched past the King and Queen and set the tone for the future of the carnival.

Today, care is taken choosing an annual theme – 2014’s theme is ‘King of Gastronomy’ – and the creation of the floats uses modern technology, textiles and amazing work of sculptors.

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‘King of Gastronomy’ – Nice Carnaval theme 2014 (image courtesy of Nice Carnaval website / Nice Tourism Office)

I highly recommend this event if you live in the region or are visiting.

TIPS:

– Tickets can be pre-purchased online at www.nicecarnaval.com and you print an e-ticket. Saves time having to collect tickets!  Or you can buy tickets from 27 January, at the Tourism Office (Office du Tourism et des Congrès) at 5 promenade des Anglais in Nice (there are various other ticket booths located near the parade route for pre-parade sales but as this is a popular event you will be battling lots of people and congestion pre-parade).  If you purchase online, refer to the parade map in this link to check seat numbers plan-tribune

–  Adult tickets cost €35 for 2 events (excluding Saturdays). Children under 6 years are free of charge when seated on a paying adult’s lap. Kids 6-12 years – tickets cost between €5-€10.  Note:  There is FREE ENTRANCE on 14 February from 8.30pm for the opening of the Carnival, and also 04 March from 8.30pm for the Burning of the King float and fireworks at Place Massena.

– There are rates for persons with reduced mobility and their accompanying person. €5 in standing area, or €10 in reserved seating or €10 in a wheelchair area with raised level.  The wheelchair area will be located opposite the Tourism Office (5 promenade des Anglais).  Carparking with disabled spaces is nearest on rue des Congrès. All of these rates must be booked via French Nice Tourist Office, their email resa.nice@otc.com  If you speak English and need assistance reserving these tickets please contact me on accessriviera06@gmail.com and I can help you.

– Parade routes will be closed 2 hours prior to each parade. Bear this in mind when arriving to the parade by car.

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previous Nice Carnival float (image courtesy of Nice Carnaval.com / Nice Tourisme Office)

– Many Nice hotels offer ‘Carnival’ accommodation rates for families. Some participating hotels are Novotel Nice Centre and Best Western Roosevelt. View accommodation rates online at http://en.nicetourisme.com/special-offer

I am hoping to take my son to the opening evening, and the closing evening so with some planning on how to get there and where to sit, it should be another enjoyable event.

Also, don’t forget to vote for the Carnival Queen!  prizes are up for grabs including restaurant meals, Flower Parade tickets, cookery classes and a stay at the Hotel Beau Rivage. Vote online at http://reine.nicecarnaval.com/en

Happy Carnival!  Here’s to the ‘King of Gastronomy’!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog!

Thank you for reading my blog!   Access Riviera has now hit over 10,500 views since it’s humble beginnings as a source of information for families and travelers with reduced mobility.

Your feedback is always valued and appreciated.  If you have any suggestions, comments or enquiries please continue to contact me on accessriviera06@gmail.com

Many thanks,

Rebecca at Access Riviera

Activities – Wheelchair-accessible nature walk (VILLENEUVE LOUBET)

The French Riviera has numerous great parks and outdoor areas for recreation.

Here is a suggestion for a family-friendly park which can be accessed with baby buggies/strollers, or wheelchairs.

Parc Vaugrenier has a children’s playground, wheelchair-accessible toilets, a lake with birdlife, wooden confidence course and bushwalks.  See the attached map for details of a wheelchair-friendly nature walk to the lake – the pathway is dirt so best avoided after periods of rain.  Carparking for this walk is accessed via boulevard des Groules, with accessible toilets adjacent to the children’s playground.

Vaugrenier_Handicap

(Map courtesy of Villeneuve Tourism)

Sightseeing/Activities – FRENCH RIVIERA MARKETS

I am often asked questions regarding the local markets on the French Riviera – ‘What days are the markets held?’, ‘What is the best time to go?’ etc…

Here is an alphabetical list of some of the main French Riviera markets, all information is current and provided by the Tourism Department January 2014.  If you are after more specific information – for example, transport links to these markets – please don’t hesitate to message me at accessriviera06@gmail.com

ANTIBES

Marché Provençal (this is the main market with fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, small goods such as olive oils, tapenades, soaps etc) – Cours Massena – 6am-1pm every day except Monday.  Between June-August (high season), it is every day.  On Tues/Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun in high season there are artisans also selling paintings, crafts, soaps.

Clothes market – place Amiral Barnaud – Tuesday and Saturday mornings

Clothes market – La Fontonne – Wednesday mornings

Clothes market – Les Semboules – Wednesdays 6.30am-2pm

Clothes market – In the carpark on rue Lacan – Thursday mornings

Fleamarket – place Audiberti and boulevard d’Aiguillon – Thursdays 7am-6pm

Night Market (01July-31 August only) – boulevard d’Aiguillon – every day 6.30pm-1am

Fleamarket – place Nationale – All day Saturdays

BIOT

Flowers, clothes, paintings, food – rue St Sébastien – Tuesdays 9am-12.30pm

CAGNES SUR MER

Fruit, vegetables, fish – Cité marchande – Every day except Mondays 7am-1pm (fish also sold every day except Monday 3.30pm-7pm)

Clothes market – Cros de Cagnes, avenue des Oliviers – Tuesday and Thursdays 8am-12.30pm

Clothes & food – parking de la Villette in centre ville – Wednesday 8am-12.30pm

Clothes market – boulevard Kennedy (hippodrome) – Fridays 8am-12.30pm

CANNES

Fruit & vegetables – Forville / La Bocca place de la Poste – Every morning except Monday from 7am-1pm

Fruit, vegetables, clothes – Gambetta – Every morning 7am-1pm except Mondays

Antiques – Forville – Mondays 8am-6pm

Fleamarket – La Bocca place de la Poste – Thursdays 8am-12pm

Clothes market – La Bocca place de la Poste – Saturdays 8am-12.30pm

Fleamarket – Allée de la Liberté – Saturdays 8am-6pm on the first and third Sunday of the month

GRASSE

Flowers during the week; Fruit & vegetables on the weekend – place aux Aires – Every morning except Mondays

GOLFE JUAN

Clothes market – avenue Aimé Berger – Fridays 8.30am-12.30pm

ITALY

I have included these markets as they are very popular for visitors to the French Riviera and can easily be included in an itinerary for a half-day visit.

San Remo – Tuesday and Saturday mornings

Bordighera – Thursday mornings

Vintimille (Ventimiglia) – Fridays early morning until 4pm

JUAN LES PINS

Night Market (01July-31 August only) – promenade du Soleil – every day 6pm-1am

Clothes market – pont Dulys – Friday mornings

MANDELIEU

Food and clothes market – place du marché (centre ville) – Wednesday and Friday mornings

MENTON

Food market at various locations – Les halles every morning; Marché du Carei on Tuesday mornings; Marché du vieux port on Saturday mornings

Fleamarket – place aux herbes – Friday mornings

Fleamarket – esplanade Palméro – the second Sunday of every month

NICE

Fleamarket – Cours Saleya – Mondays 7am-6pm

Flower market – Cours Saleya – 6am-5pm except Monday and Sunday afternoon

Food market – Cours Saleya/Libération/Ray/St Roch/L’Ariane – 6am-1pm every day except Mondays

Fish market – place St François – Every morning 6am-12.30pm except Mondays

Clothes market – place de l’Ariane – Tuesdays and Fridays 7.30am-1.30pm

Clothes market – blvd Paul Montel – Tuesdays and Saturdays 7.30am-1.30pm

Fleamarket – place Robilante – Tuesdays and Saturdays 10am-6pm

Clothes market – Ray – Wednesdays and Fridays 7.30am-1.30pm

Clothes market – Marché St Roch at 150 route de Turin – Wednesdays and Saturdays 6.30m-1.30pm

Antiques – place du Palais de Justice – First and third Saturday of every month

Artists market – place du Palais de Justice – Second Saturday of every month

Postcards/old records – place du Palais de Justice – Fourth Saturday of every month

Clothes market – Nice Village at 273 route de Grenoble – Sundays  7.30am-5.30pm

ST LAURENT DU VAR

Agrobiologique – near Cap 3000 – Tuesdays and Fridays mornings

Clothes, fruit, vegetables – boulevard Pompidou – Sundays 8.30am-1pm

ST TROPEZ

Food, clothes, bric-a-brac – place des Lices – Tuesdays and Saturdays 8am-1pm

SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS

Food and other stalls – place Mejane, Garbejaire – Tuesdays 4pm-7pm

VALBONNE

Fruit, vegetables, clothes – place des Arcades – Friday 8.30am-1.30pm

VALLAURIS

Fruit & vegetables – place de l’Homme aux moutons – Every days except Mondays

Clothes market – avenue de Cannes – Wednesday and Sunday mornings

VENCE

Food and flowers – place du Grand Jardin – Every morning except Mondays from 9am-1pm

Clothes market – place Clemenceau – Tuesdays and Fridays 9am-1pm

Fleamarket – place du Grand Jardin – Wednesday mornings

 

 

 

General Information – Juan les Pins Tourist Office

With the new Palais des Congrès (Conference centre) opening in Juan les Pins, the tourism office has now permanently closed at it’s prior waterfront location and is now located onsite at the Palais.

Juan les Pins Tourist Office (Office du Tourisme et des Congrès)

Previous address:  51 boulevard Guillamont,, 06160 Juan les Pins

New address: 60 chemin des Sables, 06160 Juan les Pins

New phone number: +33 04 22 10 60 01

Email:  accueil@antibesjuanlespins.com

(The Antibes tourist offices are unchanged)