Menton must be a laidback, sleepy sort of beach town for much of the year, but for few Sundays it draws thousands for La Fete du Citron - their annual Lemon Festival. Menton lemons are supposed to be super delicious (so sweet you can eat them as you would an orange) and the locals are fiercely proud of them. It's estimated that 145 tonnes of citrus fruits go into the festival each year, being used either in the central garden featuring giant sculptures/displays or in the giant floats that are paraded through the towns main streets. And have no fear, the fruit doesn't go to waste, it's all sold (for a bargain price) to locals or visitors at the end of the festival.
The festival has much more of a small-town, local vibe - much less polished then those of nearby Nice, but not at all less fun! The locals really get into it, singing along on the floats, parading and dancing in the streets - their sense of fun and energy are really infectious. I was continuously being dumped on with handfuls of confetti, but didn't care - I joined in and tossed more back at them! (I was still finding bits of confetti in my coat and bag for the next week!)
Parade over, I wandered through the quaint town streets, armed with a delicious (and well deserved) pistachio ice cream. As it was Sunday most of the stores were closed, but it was lovely and peaceful and a place I could see myself enjoying a whole lot if I had more time to spare! The beach front was quite beautiful, the promenade ending at a sort of lookout/park where people could just mill around and soak up the sun. I will however say, that an attempt to relax on the pebble beach didn't last all that long - I think we are so very spoiled with our fine sand beaches in Sydney!
Where are some of your favourite beaches in the world?