Visit Jardin Exotique de Monaco
The Jardin Exotique de Monaco is of course located in the principality of Monaco on the Mediterranean coast between Nice and Menton. It is a stunning garden with fabulous sea views.
Explore the Jardin Exotique de Monaco
The Exotic garden of Monaco is a fabulously mature exotic garden which grows along the edge of a cliff overlooking the bay of Monaco. Not only do you see hundreds of cacti and Mediterranean plants of a size you will rarely if ever have seen before but the view over Monaco and the French and Italian Riviera are simply stunning.
The exotic garden was started in 1933 but many of the cacti and succulents come from a collection which was started in 1895. The maturity of the plants on display is therefore a key feature of this garden which contains more than 1000 species of cacti and succulents.
The garden covers 3 acres and as it is on the edge of a cliff it is quite steep. The plants have been incorporated into the rock of the cliff in a way that looks completely natural and with time and age they have grown and spread to incredible sizes. You will recognise many plants that you have in a small pot at home and are the size of a tree here.
At the top plateau of the garden there is a panoramic view including the Rock of Monaco, the Port of Monaco and Monte Carlo. The view extends as far as Italy.
The garden is split into seven main parts. The first part of the garden is a range of giant flowering succulents which lead to an area of panoramic views over Monaco and the bay below. As well as the cactus flowers various bougainvillea add their jewel-like colour to the garden.
Next is the turn of the huge Cereus and the Cereus alley. These tall thin cacti are perhaps the most dramatic in the garden.
Next is the grusonii valley full of these round pin-cushion cacti in sizes from small to huge. The next spot is a cooler area to the garden with a pool and a mass of papyrus. Lastly there is a mediterranean area with yuccas and olive trees and plants that you will see as you drive through coastal Provence.
When you have finished your tour of the garden there is a large cavern that you can visit. The cavern is at the bottom of the garden, down a lot of steps and is full of stalactites and stalagmites. Be warned it really is a lot of steps.
There is also an anthropology museum with archaeological remains found in the Principality and nearby.
If you have been inspired to start your own exotic garden there are succulents and cacti available to buy in the shop, as well as gifts, drinks and snacks.
Jardin Exotique de Monaco Gardening Guide:
The garden is open every day except 19 November (National Holiday) and 25 December.
Admission charges are 7.20 euros for adults and 3.80 euros for children. Under 4s are free. The admission price includes admission to the cave and the anthropology museum.
January, November and December: 09.00 to 17.00
February, March, April and October: 09.00 to 18.00
May to September: 09.00 to 19.00
Address: Jardin Exotique de Monaco, 62 Boulevard du Jardin Exotique, B.P.105 MC 98002, Monaco
Gardens to visit nearby
In the beautiful hill village of Eze there is another equally stunning exotic garden, the Jardin Exotique d'Eze which also has great views over the Cote d'Azur.
Be sure not to miss a visit to the superb Gardens of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild near to Nice. These are one of the best in France.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.