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Spotting succulent plants might be the least thing you'll expect to see in Monaco, but you will see bunch of them in Jardin Exotique de Monaco. Literally means 'Exotic Garden” in English, Jardin Exotique de Monaco boast over 7,000 varieties of succulent plant and cacti from around the world, mostly comes from the southwestern part of the US, South Africa, Mexico, and more. Located on the rocky hillside of Monaco-Ville, it doesn't only provide perfect environment for the plants to strive it also serve as one of the best viewpoint in Monaco.
Prickling Charm of Jardin Exotique de Monaco
As mentioned before, Jardin Exotique de Monaco was established by Prince Albert I. In 1912 he bought a piece of land in Les Moneghetti and commisioned Louis Notari the Chief Engineer of Monaco to build a botanical garden. In the late 1860s, several succulent plants were brought from Mexico and added as the first collection. Augustin Gastaud was appointed to be the Chief Gardener of the State Gardens of Monaco and responsible in taking care of the delicate plants. Few years after the botanical garden's official opening to public, new collections from South Africa were added by the first director Louis Vatrican.
Jardin Exotique de Monaco's main charm is obviously its towering cactis and well-maintained succulents. Some plants you usually grow in a small pot are as big and tall as a tree here, it's simply astounding. Some plants bloom thoroghout the year while some don't. It largely depends on their origin as the plants were taken from different continents and countries. Some plants you might notice in the botanical garden are African Crassula, Bougainvillea, and Yuccas.
Jardin Exotique de Monaco is divided into 7 main areas with 4 areas displaying various species of succulent plants and Mediterranian plants. The first area is an area with large collection of blooming succulents. Second area is dedicated for numerous golden barrel cactus in various sizes, from the pot-sized cacti to the enormous, pumpkin-sized ones. Head to the Mediterranian area to see native plants of Monaco, few of the noticeable ones are yuccas and olive trees. The Cereus Alley displaying Cereus cacti in different sizes, some of them grows so tall they gives dramatic touch to the area. If you're looking for a shade, there is one area in the garden sprawled with papyrus trees with a refreshing pool in the center.
One attraction you absolutely shouldn't miss inside Jardin Exotique de Monaco is de la Grotte de l'observatoire et du Musee d'Anthropologie, or more famously known as the Archaelogical Museum. The museum boast large collection of archaelogical and prehistoric artifacts found inside the cave. It also house several other ancient artifacts collected from the Principality and the surrounding area.
How to Get Tickets?
To enter Jardin Exotique de Monaco, you will have to pay €7.20 for adults and €3.80 for children. You can purchase the ticket directly from the ticket booth or book your ticket online in advanced.
How To Get Around?
You only can get around Jardin Exotique de Monaco by walking, enables you to explore the garden with your own pace.
What Should I Wear?
There's no dress code to visit Jardin Exotique de Monaco. It is better to wear long-sleeved top made of light cotton paired with comfortable pants or skirt, since the weather can be hot particularly in the midday.
Best Time to Visit
It is best to visit Jardin Exotique de Monaco in the afternoon. The weather will be much cooler by that time of the day.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, Jardin Exotique de Monaco is pretty much a self-explored attraction. A guide won't be necessary, especially because you'll find most informations you need in this website.
How To Get There?
The best way to reach Jardin Exotique de Monaco is by walking, especially since public transportations are mostly prohibited in Monaco-Ville.