Monaco’s Green Spaces: Must-Visit Gardens & Parks

For all its luxe appeal, with incredible real estate beauties, and stunning Côte d’Azur coastline, Monaco’s green spaces are undoubtedly impressive. They reveal another interesting side to the principality that is often overshadowed by Monaco’s legal standing as a wondrously glamorous and glitzy French Riviera destination. Living in Monaco means being able to step out into some of the region’s loveliest gardens and appreciate some of Monaco’s true natural beauty.

Related: Monaco and The French Riviera

The Principality of Monaco is renowned for its history of conservation and environmental protection, with reforestation efforts and royalty that has been actively involved in preservation for over 150 years. Perhaps because of this history, the green spaces of Monaco are, by design, wonderfully extraordinary and offer a welcome change of pace from the vibrant harbor and sophisticated energy of cities such as Monte Carlo.

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image credit: www.jardin-exotique.mc

The Exotic Gardens

First opened in the early 1930s and went way beyond the flora of the Riviera. Here, you can see superbly thriving flowers and plants from across the dry regions of the world with cacti and other succulents from South America and the Arabian Peninsula. Within the garden’s prehistoric man lived in the limestone cave which is open to visitors who can go down close to 60 meters towards sea level.

The Japanese Garden

Was designed by a well-known landscape architect, Yasuo Beppo and commissioned by Prince Rainier for his beloved Princess Grace. A small, yet enchanting garden with a lake and waterfall creates a feeling of peace, quiet, and Zen-like calm; a green retreat by the Mediterranean Sea that harmonizes rock, water, and greenery and was blessed by a Shinto High Priest. The garden’s Asian design transports you to the other side of the world with its stone lanterns and bamboo fencing.

The Zoological Gardens

The Zoological Gardens is home to some 50 different species of animals, with a good few exotics, and has been open for over 60 years, built on the Rock of Monaco. Within the park there are green walkways and a pleasant feeling of being in nature right by the city is achieved with greenery on different levels adding to the park’s scenic appeal.

Casino Gardens & Terraces

Are over 120 years old and have starred in several Bond films. Surrounding the Monte Carlo Casino there is a Little Africa garden and terraces of exuberant gardens, lawns, and fountains. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the exquisite landscaped gardens and the artwork piece of dramatic multi-colored tiles by French-Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely create a fantastic space that is a ‘must-visit’.

Fontvieille Park

Is a public park and UNESCO garden with a pretty lake that is perhaps most renowned for its sculpture trail. Pieces of note include the famed Cavalleria Eroica by Arman, a French-born American artist who was a contemporary of Andy Warhol. The park also shows off the renowned bronze sculpture The Fist by César; a moving combination of art, culture, and nature.

credit: www.visitmonaco.com

photo credit: www.visitmonaco.com

Princess Antoinette Park

Is named after the eldest sister of Prince Rainier and has a regal ambiance to it splendidly landscaped gardens. Dedicated to the sacred olive tree, the entrance of bougainvillea gives the park a majestic feel and this green space has also become a favorite for families picnicking on a Sunday. Next to the beautifully manicured lawns there is a fantastic playground and go-kart track for children.

Princess Grace Rose Garden

Is a public park that boasts more than 300 different roses, the favorite flower of American actress turned Monaco royal, Grace Kelly. Built in 1984, two years after her death, by Prince Rainier, this garden is a symbol of endearing love and the perfect place for quiet contemplation.

St Martin Gardens

Has it all, from local flora in abundance, paths that wind round exotic displays, and an amazing view of the Med. On the south-western side of Monaco’s Rock this is a sunny spot for a stroll with shady benches, a pond, and artistic statues within the grounds too. The gardens are also a perfect walk from the Palace to the Oceanographic Museum.

Monaco’s green spaces are not only beautiful, but accessible; promising a rich variety of flora and exotic plants, with artistic interest added, and in many cases inspiring views. These gardens are designed for gentle ambles in nature, lazy days sitting in the shade with the gentle breeze of the Riviera, and for contemplating just how wonderful a place Monaco really is; with riches that go far deeper than the sumptuous real estate and enviable lifestyle this gem of a destination affords.

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