Sunday, 14 December 2014

Exotica in Monaco

Dramatically positioned on a high cliff overlooking Monte Carlo and the port of Fontvielle, the Jardin Exotique de Monaco (Exotic Garden of Monaco) must be one of the most well sighted gardens in Europe. As well as stunning views over the small principality, the garden also has sweeping vistas along the French Mediterranean coast towards Italy in the east.


Looking up to the top of the garden

Based on a design by local engineer Louis Notari the garden was first opened to the public in 1933, and since that time it has welcomed over 21 million visitors. With current visitor numbers averaging 300,000 people a year the garden has been designed to include wide paths to allow the easy movement of the many tour groups that descend on the garden.


The royal family of Monaco on a formal visit to the garden in the 1960s

The garden includes a fine collection of cacti and succulents which are easy to see as you descend down the gardens zig-zag paths. Luckily most of the plants are well labelled or else keen gardeners (like me) may have been tempted to climb over the safety rails in search of illusive identification tags.


The view from the top
There are many fine gardens located on the Riveria and this succulent garden is well worth a visit. An entry fee is charged and there are parking stations near to the entrance.

TIP: Try and get to the garden right on opening time, lunchtime, or late in the day, that way you avoid the tour bus crowds.


Link to the garden's website http://www.jardin-exotique.mc/en/

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