If youre fit for it, clamber up between the apartment blocks, or better take the bus, to the Exotic Garden. Built into the cliff walls and perched on top is a fabulous huge collection of cacti and succulents which is unequalled in the Med. Entry is about 6 euro Truly spectacular.
Admission price includes entry to the prehistoric museum, but more importantly, to the grotto. Its a guided tour only and they count you in and out so as not to lose anyone. Steps plunge deep down hundreds of feet downwards inside the mountain, which has all the usual stalagmites and stalagtites and culminates in a large atmospherically lit cavern. Takes around 40 minutes in all, and is well worth the wait, unless it puts catching your boat at risk.
On the top of Monaco, don't miss the famous "Jardin Exotique". Monaco is almost all buildings but you'll find some green here. An impressing collection of cacti and other succulent plants. Be careful to your hands !
You'll also get from there the most beautiful view on Monaco and the Riviera.
This place is amazing. A hanging garden in an off-the-beaten path location of Monaco. It's a bit of a slog to find it, but the discovery is well worth the hard work.
Cacti from all over the world are exhibited here, with some cool, funky animal sculptures thrown in for good measure - donkeys, a rhino, etc.
The cute girl holding a flower basket is so welcoming, greeting you at the entrance, beside the souvenir shop.
The pathway leads down, either via a gentle sloping tarmac, or the steps & ladders. There are various places to sit in the shade, admiring the grand views over Monaco & the ocean around. You'll also find several ponds of varying sizes, with real fish ;)
Another treat awaits you at the bottom of the gardens - the warm grotto, with stalactities, stalagmites, and colons! Descend from 110m to 40m via the 300 steps to marvel at the colours, formations - all natural - dating back millions of years!
(I've made more tips on the Garden to accommodate several photos)
Surely you want to see the plants here right?
The lovely arrangements, multi-tiered platforms, wooden bridges, giant cactii...
"Un peu d'histoire... (A bit of history...)
The exotic garden was created at the beginning of the 20th century by the "Prince Savant" Albert 1st of Monaco, also founder of the Oceanographic Museum.
Designed by Louis Notari, then Head Engineer of public works, the Garden has remained practically unchanged since it opened in 1933 after twenty years of work. This genuine hanging garden overlooks the Principality and offers an exceptional view all the way to Italy.
A large number of plants come from a collection which was started at the beginning of the 19th century in Monaco. These plants which are over a hundred years old grow to the same large sizes as they do in their countries of origin.
The Exotic Garden is a service provided by the monaco Town Hall and to date has welcomed over 21 million visitors."
Kids would love this place. There is a lovely little 'girl' with flowers to welcome all at the entrance, just behind the gates. A cute little touch!
Further up you have a massive 'sweet' wrapped up in silver.. available to any kid who can get the wrapper off. This one is a real challenge ;)
Then you have some cool animals hiding in the shade, waiting to be discovered by the kids. There are donkeys (a blue one, and another multi-coloured black one), a 'rare' stripey black & white rhino, some leggy creatures beside the red giant sweet. Can you spot these?
However, the views of Monaco are really stunning, both of the marina & the houses, buildings & streets below.
You'll find many areas to sit down & admire the surrounding beauty, including enjoying the many relaxing ponds full of colourful fish.
(Another tip follows with photos of the views & plants).
Here I've attached some photos of the lovely shaded ponds around this hanging garden. They are well stocked with plants, fish, and naturally birds (looking for prey!).
There's one pond that is located such that it could be viewed from different elevations: from above, by your side, or after descending some stairs, from below!
Excotic garden near the Royal Palace and the Cathedral, a very touristic part of Monaco- Ville
but i'm convinced a perfect beaten path to some highlights with a lot of flora, artistical statues and views on the royal residences like the private rooms of princes Carolina (pic 3)
If your into Cacti of all shapes and sizes this is for you, personally it wasnt for me. The gardens also have a cave system that you can enter with a guide at certain parts of the day. I think the admission was about 6 euros.
The best thing was the views over Monaco, stunning!!!!
Built on the side of a rock, these gardens are known for their cactus collection. They were begun by Prince Albert I, who was a naturalist and scientist. He spotted some succulents growing in the palace gardens and created this garden from them. You can also explore the grottoes here, as well as the Musée d'Anthropologie Préhistorique (tel. 93-15-29-80). The view of the principality is splendid.
Monaco's botanical garden is definitely a sight to see. There are many different species of cacti that bloom at different times of the year. Also, you will be very impressed by some of the views that you can see from the different areas of the gardens.
The gardens are open 9:00 - 19:00
Cost: 6,70 euros per person
Beautiful tropical gardens surrounding the Observatory Cave, featuring weird rock formations. It's small and peaceful. Look out for exotic cactus and flowers! Great view on Fontvielle and huge yachts in the port of Monaco.
In complement to the Jardin Exotique visit, you can also see the Cave. Wait for the guided tour that starts every 30 mn. It has the particularity to be the only warm cave in Europe.