Monaco - Part 3 - Jardin Exotique

SEP 16,2015 - SEP 16,2015 (1 DAYS)

France

1 DAYS

Nature

Monaco - part 3: Exotic Garden (Jardin Exotique), 62, Bd du Jardin Exotique, 98000 Monaco.

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Duaration: 1/2 day. Weather: Sunny day. If you visit here in summer, please drink plenty of water. It is scorching hot and gets really hotter than other places in Monaco. A word of caution: The gardens are extremely hilly, and once you walk down, you do need to walk back up, so not advised for people with limited mobility. Public transport: Bus No. 2 arrives to the Exotic Gardens (final stop). There are actually many public lifts for a free use in Monaco, you can always check at any bus stop station - the public transport network displays also where the lifts are. Sometimes it is a bit difficult to find them as they can be hidden between buildings but look for street signs to guide you.

Walking from the railway station: From the Monte-Carlo railway station choose the "Monaco Ville" exit. Take the elevator to floor 2. Turn LEFT Blvd. Renier III. Take the first turn to the RIGHT (stairs) (there is a sign pointing to the Exotic Garden) Chemin de Revoires. You arrive to a sign: right - walk on foot to the gardens, left - elevator. Take the left direction, and, immediately right there is another elevator with the "Blvd. de Belgique" indication. A long corridor leads to very clean and posh restroom. Take this elevator to its most upper floor (press 0) and, after exiting the elevator, cross the road (Avenue Crovetto Frères). Before crossing the road - you have a splendid view of the Prince's Palace and a nice building with round terraces:

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You turn right and climb up the Avenue Crovetto Frères. On your left another nice park: Parc Antoinette. After climbing 200 m. up - you have a gorgeous sight of the Prince's Palace and olive groves:

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We continue climbing and the road changes its name to Boulevard du Jardin Exotique. On our right - a high-rise building - Villa Paloma:

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On our left is a branch of the Nouveau Musee National de Monaco, Boulevard du Jardin Exotique # 56. At last, the entrance to the gardens is on our left (you see many buses around).

Immediately near the cashier - there is a terrace with beautiful sights of the Prince Palace:

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and Port de Fontvieille:

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and Monaco Ville:

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The entry ticket includes visits to the Exotic Garden, the Observatory Cave and the Prehistoric Anthropology Museum. Adults: €7. 20, Children (4-18 years’ old): €3.80, Students (with card, under 30 yrs old): €3.80, Senior (+ 65 yrs old): €5.50. Dogs (of any sizes) are not allowed in the Exotic Garden, a free kennel is provided. Opening hours: The Exotic Garden of Monaco is open all year except for the 19 November (Fête Nationale) and 25 December. January: 9.00 - 17.00, February to April: 9.00 - 18.00, May to September: 9.00 - 19.00, October: 9.00 - 18.00, November to December: 9.00 - 17.00.

Near the entrance:

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We chose the Jardin Exotique for the morning hours, but, the BEST are the afternoon hours - for having magical views from the garden over the Monaco old town, the harbour and the bay - with the sun on your back. The views are really spectacular. Another reason is to avoid midday sun in the summer months when the light is too harsh and the sun too strong. Towards sunset the quality if the light improves considerably.

There are THREE main reasons to vistit the exostic garden of Monaco: 1) The exotic garden, which is a series of cactus plants based on a one-way system slope, you have to WALK down AND COME BACK up A LOT of steps. Visitors who have limited mobility maybe shy away from this. 2) The views from the garden are lovely. The gardens are perched right at the top of the hill behind Monaco, which makes the views over the Principality absolutely stunning. 3) The Observatory caves are quite interesting, especially if you like history/geology. The caves are humid and warm so it really takes it out of you coming back up. You must be in good condition enough to add over 300 steps to climb back when finishing your visit of the caves and the lower levels of the garden. You may remain at the very high levels - it is, still, a beautiful sight to see the Mediterranean and the Royal Palace.

Fontvieille Stadium from the Exotic Gardens:

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Fontvieille Port from the Exotic Gardens:

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Condamine from the Exotic Gardens:

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Le Rocher (Rock) of Monaco Ville from the Exotic Gardens:

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Monaco Ville from the Exotic Gardens:

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The garden is set on a perfect place, with a great view of 180' degrees over Monaco. The garden itself is for Cacti lovers. It provides plenty of photos opportunities. The garden brings together a wide variety of plants known as ‘succulents’ in outstanding open-air surroundings. Succulent plants are ones that have adapted to dry climates in various ways, the most spectacular being the possession of a hypertrophied organ (leaf or stem) to stock water reserves. Cacti (or cactus) make up the most representative family of this group. Wonderful terraces of cactii clinging to the cliff face. They stand out by their absence of leaves, replaced by thorns. Succulent plants from all destinations worldwide, in a micro-climate that favors all the cacti and other fleshy plants. The plants acclimatized in this garden come from various far-away dry zones (hence the term ‘exotic’): the South-West of the United-States; Mexico; Central and South America for cacti and agaves; South Africa; Eastern Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula for the other succulents. In spite of their extravagant shapes, they are plants in their own right, regularly producing flowers in order to reproduce. The flowering period is spread over practically the whole year depending on the place of origin of each species: winter for Aloes and African Crassula, spring and summer for most cacti. This one is much larger than the Jardin Exotique in Eze Village.

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Exhibition of CHARMING paintings in a small museum inside the gardens:

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One of the attractions inside the garden is an underground grotto, but there are 300 underground steps on the way down, and 300 back up again. Every hour guided tour of the cave is included in the price of the entrance ticket. Might be a bit slippery for children and elders. 30 - 40 minutes' guided tour leaving every hour. Free entrance (included in the gardens' ticket price). You can enjoy the view of hundreds of stalactites and stalagmites. The caves themselves are breathtaking. Our only problem was that the tour guide did the tour completely in French. So we only really benefited from it visually. The guide also seemed to take the tour very speedily. The caves were discovered during the years 1916-1920:

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Some of the plants are really lovely and the place was well tended and cared for. We had a lovely walk and the views are really spectacular. Definitely worth a visit !

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