Why are Menton’s beaches closing down at the end of August?

menton beach

A decision from Menton City Hall to close eight of the commune’s beaches at the end of August has caused an uproar amongst beachgoers and businesses alike.  

A mandate from the Mairie de Menton has dictated that the town’s eight public and private beaches will be closed from 31st August for updates and improvements.  

The decision has left many scratching their heads and others angry that the town would choose to start works while the high season is still in full swing, risking a loss of income money for businesses that rely on the summer tourist trade to get them through the year.  

Space for improvement 

Facilities on the town’s beaches are due for a refresh. In general, those who make their livings from them, as well as those who go simply to enjoy them, agree the works are welcome.  

Renovations on the roads, lighting, green spaces, infrastructural networks and decks will certainly give the area a boost, modernising the beaches and making them more desirable, in line with the other high-profile destinations along the coast.  

Bad timing 

It’s the timing of the works, however, that is more questionable. The authorities have said everything must be removed from the beaches by the designated closing date, such as beach loungers, tables, chairs and the like. 

“We will have to close before the 31st August deadline to have time to dismantle our furniture and remove everything. These specifications are too imposing, too expensive and not viable,” said Michèle Leoni, the president of the Union of French Riviera Bathing Establishments to France 3 Côte d’Azur.  

Furthermore, Leoni estimates she will have to chip in over €700,000 to finance her part of the project.  

The other controversial aspect is that whilst the beaches will be closed to all from 31st, the works aren’t due to begin until the second half of September, with a planned start on 18th. Those two extra weeks would have allowed the businesses to finish the end of season rush, though even then, many complain that September is traditionally an excellent month for them.  

Many beachgoers are also in agreement, with one telling France 3 Côte d’Azur, “I find it hard to understand why we want to raze everything on this beach. We have to let the beach attendants and restaurateurs work!” 

Despite the outcry, it seems to be a done deal, and so far, the Mairie has made little in the way of comment on the decision, leaving everyone involved wondering how this will play out. 


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Photo source: Norbert Széplaki, Unsplash 

Monaco takes a firm stance against deep sea mining

monaco deep sea mining

Monaco reaffirmed its strong position against deep sea mining at a meeting of the International Seabed Authority, expressing concern about the “absence of robust regulations and necessary environmental safeguards”. 

The 28th session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which was held from 10th to 28th July in Kingston, Jamaica, saw representatives from nations worldwide discuss draft regulations on the use of deep seabed mineral resources.  

Monaco, which is an ipso facto member of the ISA due to its adherence to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, argued that “no work plan could be approved without a clear regulatory framework based on reliable scientific data”, according to a government spokesperson.

The Principality’s delegation present at the meeting knuckled down further on this stance, adding that “it [Monaco] defended this position independently of any specific terminology or potentially ambiguous linguistic nuances”.  

The Principality was supported in its opinion by several other delegations, according to government sources, who joined Monaco in its “concern over the potential approval of a work plan for the use of these resources in the absence of robust regulations and necessary environmental safeguards”. 

A government statement released after the meeting called on the ISA to “continue its work on this very sensitive issue at future sessions”.  

Monaco was, incidentally, among the first members of the ISA to join the “Call for the Deep” coalition of states including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Micronesia, Finland, France, Germany, Panama, Portugal, New Zealand, Switzerland and Vanuatu who advocate for the protection of the deep seabed.  

As per the government communiqué, “The coalition indicates that a precautionary approach should be taken to devising a way forward in deep seabed mining.” 

Meanwhile, the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco has released a fact sheet on the risks posed by deep sea mining. The full report can be found here


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Photo source: Fernando Jorge, Unsplash

How to contribute to Les Voiles Blanches Bettimaski charity toy drive

voiles blanches

Les Voiles Blanches Bettimask, the local annual toy collection, is back. This year, a pirate ship will travel port-to-port, gathering gifts to donate to the Lenval Foundation. Here’s how you can get involved.  

The Pirate Blanc – or White Pirate – of Les Voiles Blanches Bettimask will be collecting booty in ports up and down the coast in the name of charity from 25th August to 10th September. 

The “ship” will go to 20 ports in the Bouches-du-Rhône, Var, Alpes-Maritimes and Monaco to fill its chests, with the sole purpose of distributing them to hospitalised children in the region.  

Last year, more than 1,800 toys were collected through the efforts of Les Voiles Blanches Bettimask, and then distributed via the Lenval Foundation.  

To join in the fun, people are invited to drop new, unwrapped games or toys at two “safes” set up in Monaco. You can find one at the Mairie and the other at the Condamine Market.  

Click here for more information.


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Photo source: Mairie de Monaco

Football: Monaco debut new away kit against Arsenal

Aleksandr Golovin in action against Arsenal in the Emirates Cup

AS Monaco released their new away kit and then debuted it the very same day as Les Monégasques came up against Arsenal in the Emirates Cup on Wednesday.

Monaco’s collection is complete. Having already released the club’s home kit, and then a third kit, in collaboration with the Oceanographic Institute, the away kit is now on the market.

Italian kit manufacturer Kappa have gone for a simple but stylish design with a black and gold colour scheme. The front of the kit also subtly integrates a map of the Principality, whilst the motto “Daghe Munegu” (“Go Monaco!” in Monegasque) is engraved on the collar.

Photo source: AS Monaco

The away jersey is now available to purchase either online or at the club’s official shop on Promenade Honoré II. Prices start from €85.

After the release, it was only a matter of hours before the Principality club debuted their new kit as AS Monaco, continuing their pre-season preparations, were in action in the Emirates Cup at the Emirates Stadium in London on Wednesday 2nd August.

A penalty shootout defeat against Arsenal

Against elite opposition in Arsenal, Monaco were composed and took control of the game on multiple occasions. Youssouf Fofana opened the scoring for Les Monégasques, diverting a strong Mohamed Camara cross past Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal then hit back just before half-time through Eddie Nketiah, just moments after new signing Philipp Köhn made a stunning close-range save. The Swiss goalkeeper’s early performances have shown much promise.

Monaco then could, and perhaps should have, taken the lead just after the break. Takumi Minamino crossed for Wissam Ben Yedder, whose shot rebounded off the post.

The scores were level at the full-time whistle, meaning that the winner of the Emirates Cup would be decided by penalties. Minamino missed the only penalty in a high-quality shootout, meaning that at their home stadium, Arsenal lifted the trophy.

Adi Hütter’s side have one more pre-season game, against Bayern Munich on Monday, before the start of the season. Monaco kick-off their campaign against Clermont Foot on Sunday 13th August.


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Photo source: AS Monaco

Getting to know Monaco: Fontvieille, a neighbourhood reclaimed from the sea

fontvieille monaco

Not too long ago, Fontvieille barely existed. Here’s everything you need to know about the neighbourhood that Monaco reclaimed from the sea.  

The next district to be featured in the Monaco Life series “Getting to know Monaco”, after tours of The Rock, Monte-Carlo and La Condamine, is the relatively recent addition of Fontvieille.

Built from the sea 

Fontvieille is a marvel in that it really wouldn’t even exist but for the sheer will of Monaco’s late Prince Rainier III.  

Work on the quartier was started in 1966 from a design by Italian engineer Gianfranco Gilardini. As the workers clawed land back from the sea, the neighbourhood, which borders on Cap d’Ail, began to take shape. For years, it was considered the “industrial zone” of the Principality, and many overlooked this vibrant area until recent times. Now, however, it is home to 4,420 residents, making up 12% of the population.   

The port, attractive due to its position and protection from strong winds, is perhaps the most well-known feature of Fontvieille. As interest began building amongst new residents, bars and restaurants began to move into the area. Today these addresses count the excellent Beefbar, Le Rouge et Le Blanc wine bar and Les Perles de Monte-Carlo, which serves locally grown oysters and other amazing fresh seafood for reasonable prices, amongst their biggest draws.

The Port of Fontvieille is found at the foot of the cliffs below the Palais Princier de Monaco. Photo source: Mony Misheal, Unsplash

Sports, nature, events and more 

But it is not all about the port. Fontvieille is also where the annual International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo and New Generation Circus Festival take place. The purpose-built big top, called Le Chapiteau, invites talent from all over to perform their amazing feats in front of live audiences each January. 2024 is the 50th anniversary of the event, so this year’s plans will no doubt be extra-special.

The Big Top also plays host to numerous other events and conferences throughout the year. You can almost always be guaranteed to find something on.  

The district is home to the Stade Louis II, the 16,000-person stadium that is home to local football club AS Monaco and a popular venue for several athletic events each year, such as the Herculis track and field event, which attracts top runners and athletes from around the world.   

The neighbourhood, Stade Louis II and Chapiteau as seen from above. Photo source: Mony Misheal, Unsplash

Fontvieille is also a place for nature. Amongst its attractions is the Princess Grace Rose Garden, which was opened in 1984 as a tribute to the late princess by her husband, Prince Rainier, and boasts 4,000 roses from over 150 species, as well as the Zoological Gardens, a lovely sanctuary for abandoned animals, those taken by customs or just exchanged with other parks.   

Thanks to its setting against the cliffs of The Rock, the neighbourhood is surprisingly rich in biodiversity, despite its largely urban context. The Captain’Game orienteering course around the port is a great way to get to know the area better and discover the work going on in Monaco to protect its natural world.  

For stamp and coin lovers, the Museum of Stamps and Coins, opened in 1996, has a vast selection of rare and beautiful pieces gleaned from Prince Rainier III’s private collection. It is found on the Terrasses de Fontvieille.  

For the business-minded, Fontvieille is where you will find the forward-thinking MonacoTech “incubator” for innovative young companies and start-ups.

Fly away

Finally, this area is where Monaco’s heliport is. Use of the terminal turns a long slog by car from Nice Airport to the Principality into a super-fast seven-minute journey along some of the most stunning coastline on the planet. It is from here that passengers can also access further flung destinations, such as Saint Tropez, Geneva and Milan.  

People can also take pleasure rides in a chopper. It’s a fun way to spend a few hours, especially with the family.   

Next time, we head north to the Jardin Exotique neighbourhood of Monaco! 


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Photo source: Gabriel Tovar, Unsplash

Golf: Princess of Monaco Cup coming to Casino Square

Prince Albert II competing in the Princess of Monaco Cup

This September, the Princess of Monaco Cup will return for the first time since 2021, bringing golf right into the heart of the Principality.

Sponsored by Monaco Asset Management, the tournament will make its first appearance in two years on 6th September, with proceeds going to the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.

The tournament will be largely held at the Monte-Carlo Golf Club, although a ‘symbolic’ 19th hole will be installed in front of one of the most iconic buildings in this part of the world: the Monte-Carlo Casino. Teams will tee off towards the Casino on a green specially constructed in the heart of the square.

18 teams consisting of three players, including one celebrity, will take part in a competition following the ‘Scramble’ rules, making for a dynamic, fun and fast-paced game.

Richard Dunne and Russell Martin amongst past participants

This year, the Princess of Monaco Cup will celebrate its third edition. In 2019, €330,000 was raised to help renovate the Municipal Princess Charlene Pool in La Turbie, as well as finance a five-year project at the Awutu-Breku School in Ghana.

Whilst the identities of the celebrity competitors for this year’s edition are yet to be revealed, the tournament has had no difficulty in attracting big-name stars in the past. Former Formula One team owner Eddie Jordan was involved, although not competing, in the 2021 edition. Former LA Dodgers baseball player Russell Martin, former Ireland international footballer Richard Dunne and former England rugby international Dan Luger all took part two years ago.

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Photo source: Fondation Princesse Charlène de Monaco