Easy walks on Monaco’s doorstep
La Mortola Inferiore
The Hanbury Gardens
The beautiful Hanbury gardens are a sight to behold. Vast and on several levels, today they are operated by the University of Genoa. Originally created by Sir Thomas Hanbury in 1867, the gardens and mansion remained in the family until 1960 when Lady Hanbury sold them to the State of Italy.
It is a magnificent setting to while away the hours, or take visitors and even contains a guest house in which one of my cousins stayed (she won it many years ago in a raffle in the UK). However today the guest house is used to accommodate botanical researchers. You can find a host of information on their website:
The last time we visited there was a café at the bottom of the garden. I don’t see it mentioned on the website so maybe it has been closed.
Remember to take some cash with you as you need to pay to get in – there are the usual reductions though (children under six are free) and you can buy a family ticket if you go as a family group.
Start at the Menton -Garavan station and walk down to the promenade and walk along by the sea in the direction of Italy until you reach Avenue Aristide Briand. Go up this road to the Pont Saint-Louis which is the upper border post with Italy. Keep walking up the road past the turnings for Grimaldi Superiore and La Mortola Superiore. After the Mortola turning, start walking down towards Latte. The entrance to the gardens is just after two bends in the road.
You will need to allow 1-1.5 hours for a worthwhile visit for 95m of a gradient in the garden itself. The garden is open all year round.
The whole walk from the station to the garden and back is 10.5 km with a total positive gain of 380 m and a walking time of 3.5 hours.
If you can’t get any refreshments in the garden you will see a number of places en route that you can stop off around The Hanbury Gardens on the way back to the station.
When walking, I advise taking hiking poles, as they will help you on both the ascents and descents although on this particular walk you can easily get by without them. You’ll need a cap and sunglasses to keep the sun off your face. Remember to take more water than you think you’ll need. This is not a big hike so you’re unlikely to need a map but in case you want to look at the details, you will need the “Nice-Menton” TOP 25 n° 3742 map (can be purchased online or in some newsagents and sports shops) to mark out your trail before you set off.
If you have Strava you can record your walk on this app and it will give you lots of fascinating statistics at the end as well as totaling up the number of km/altitude you do in any given year.
When you’re done, I strongly recommend a foot massage using Young Living Essential Foot Oil (a combo of Rosemary, Peppermint, and Lavender) – your feet will thank you later!
Enjoy the gardens and don’t forget your camera.
Inspiring international lifestyles based on the French Riviera