Lemon Festival 2021

10:00am 13 Feb - 11:00pm 28 Feb, 2021
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Menton, France

Lemon Festival 2021: The World of Lemons At Fête Du Citron

Fête Du Citron, also known as the Lemon Festival, is a strange annual event that takes place in the city of Menton, France. The festival welcomes more than 200,000 visitors each year and is made up of more than 300 professionals and over 145 tonnes of citrus fruits. The festival features a number of free and ticketed events throughout the entire festive period, which are open for all to enjoy. 

This unique event made Menton the largest exporter of the lemons. Every year, it is celebrated with a different theme as 2019 was themed on “Des Mondes Fantastiques” (Fantastic Worlds). Today, there are tons of statues and structures made with oranges and lemons.

Several statues represent the artistic skills of the people, and the Mediterranean Sea becomes the center of attraction for these days.

The festival is followed by different events like Corsos des Fruits d’Or (Procession of Golden Fruit Floats), Jardins de Lumières (Gardens of Light) and the various exhibitions around the city. 

‘Beneath the zest of oranges and lemons lies one of the world’s greatest festivals’

Your experience at the Lemon Festival

People out there celebrate the event similar to the carnival. In fact, it looks like as it also has the gigantic floats made of the citrus fruit. These floats are accompanied by the music groups, dancers, fire-eaters, entertainers, and folk groups. All of them add value in the carnival, making it huge.

Don’t be a watcher only, join the carnival. Celebrate it to the core by dancing and attending events like musical gatherings, etc.

In the end, it is all about the celebration and how much you love lemons. Some people can get claustrophobic due to the temperature or too many people. You can find the places with a few crowds by joining the excursions. Overall, the festival is a must for at least a one-time experience of life.

Best views of the Lemon Festival

Lemon Festival takes place in the French city of Menton. The main events take place at the Biovès Gardens (Avenue Boyer, 06500 Menton, France) and the Promenade du Soleil (Prom. Du Soleil 06500 Menton, France). The seafront is another spot to watch the festival.

What to wear

It may still be cold in France at this time of the year. Wear layers to cater for the potentially changing weather conditions.  

What to pack

Pack some sunnies, sunscreen and a good camera to capture the beautiful statues.

Buy tickets

The festival features a number of free and ticketed events throughout the entire festive period, which are open for all to enjoy. You can buy the tickets at the event.

Lemon Festival 2021 Event Schedule

The annual Menton Lemon Festival features a range of main events throughout the two-week event. The Exhibition of Citrus Patterns takes place at the Biovès Gardens and showcases nearly fifteen tonnes of citrus fruit, which have been specially crafted into mind-blowing sculptures and patterns. 

Garden of Lights: Get ready to amaze yourself with the majestic lights and structures made through citrus fruit. The Gardens of Lights take place each Friday at the Biovès Gardens and showcase the unique light up patterns and unusual sounds.

Golden Fruit Parade: For the colorful celebrations, schedule one day for the parade. The parades take place on each Sunday throughout the Festival period at the Promenade du Soleil (seafront) and showcases an endless parade of coaches and cars, entertainers, brass bands, folk groups, dance troupes, magnificent citrus fruit floats and more. 

Night parade followed by fireworks: The Night-Time Parades take place on each Thursday of the festival period; showcasing brass bands, orchestras, folk groups, dancers and more. The parade concludes with fireworks at 10.30 pm.

Top Tips

Plan Prior: All events happen on different days from February mid to the 1st week of March. Research them before and create a suitable schedule for your family and especially the kids. Your hotel may be able to suggest a great schedule according to the event when you book.

Join a Guided Tour: There are several guided tours and excursions for the tourists. Therefore, do not miss your chance for them as they can be the insightful and most fun part of your journey too. 

Visit the Garden of Lights: Go to the garden of lights and exhibitions of the festival. 

History of the Lemon Festival

The festival dates back to 1928 when Menton’s lemon export was at its peak. It started off with a flower and lemon exhibition in the gardens of the Hôtel Riviera. After its success the event expanded to the streets of Menton and has bel held every year ever since. Today it is the second biggest festival in the area after the Nice Carnival.

Things to do in Menton

The waterfront town of Menton features a range of things to see and do. The city is home to a number of scenic gardens, such as the Val Rahmeh-Menton Botanical Garden, Serre de la Madone and Jardins Biovès. The picturesque gardens are known for their exotic trees, rare subtropical plants, water features and more.

You can also find historic churches and cathedrals such as the Basilique Saint-Michel-Archange, a 17th-century Catholic church featuring historical artefacts. The town features a number of museums such as the Bastion Museum and the Jean Cocteau Museum, showcasing the works of Jean Cocteau. 

Located along the French Riviera, you can also find a number of beaches and glamorous beach resorts throughout the town. A number of excursions and day trips to surrounding areas such as Monaco and Nice are also available. 

What to eat in Menton

We recommend you try local delicacies that are lemon related like the jams, liqueurs, lemon-infused olive oil and lemon biscuits.

Other food worth trying include a ravioli dish (barbajuan), a tomato tart (pissaladière) and chickpea pancakes (socca).

How to get there

The town of Menton is located on the French Riviera in southeast France. 

By Plane

The closest airport is Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE). It takes about half an hour to get to Menton from the airport. 

By Train

You can also travel to Menton via train, arriving at the two main train stations. Menton Station is located 200 metres from the Biovès Gardens and is located in the centre of all the processions. Menton Garavan Station is located 1km from the Italian border and around 3km from the event. 

Getting to the event

Official festival shuttle services will be available throughout the event period. Shuttle buses run between the Gare routière and the Vallée du Careï Motorway Exit on Festival Sundays between 9.30 am and 1.30pm, and 3.30 pm to 6 pm. 

Shuttles also run between Esplanade Francis Palermo and the Rondelli Stadium, and between Koaland and the Val d’anaud Stadium from 9.30 am to 2 pm and 3.30 pm to 6 pm. 

On Thursdays, a night shuttle service will also be available, leaving from Biovès Gardens and running between the centre and Menton Valleys’s and the town entrances from 10.15 pm. 

In addition to the festival shuttles, you can also purchase tickets for the ‘Zestbus’. Day tickets are 5 euros and give you unlimited bus trips all day long. You can purchase day tickets from the Menton Tourist Office, at the Zest Shop or on board the bus.

Where to stay

The city of Menton boasts a range of accommodation options. The town features 30 hotels offering a total of 1194 rooms, a campsite with 131 pitches, 4 residential hotels, 2 holiday rental residencies, 3 holiday homes and 5 bed and breakfasts. 

The closest hotels include Hotel Chambord, Grand Hotel des Ambassadeurs, Hotel Richelieu Menton and Hotel Le Moderne; located just a short walk from the Biovès Gardens. You can find all the nearby sleeping options here: 

Hotels in Menton

How to get around

The town is not very big so it’s easy to get around by foot, with the shuttle buses or taxis.

Do you enjoy food festivals? Check out La Tomatina in Spain or the Battle of the Oranges in Italy.

Photo credits: TAS LIFE, Festivals around the world, Reflectionsenroute, Arbee Cp, Dolce Vita
Words by: Stella Lincoln at Educator House and Academist Help

France Travel Tips:

Plan ahead: Book your perfect trip with our France travel guide and destination information. Does France require a visa? Check the visa requirements before you get caught up during your travel.

Stay safe: Even the best-laid plans can head south. battleface can help you stay safe in dangerous or hostile situations as well as that epic road trip or catching a few waves. How to stay safe during Lemon Festival 2021? If you’re not covered for your trip yet, get your quote here.

Spend money wisely: Take public transport and dine in from time to time are common saving tips during traveling. How to spend money wisely in France? Make use of technology. There’s an app for everything.

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