Exotic Garden of Monaco
Exotic Garden of Monaco (62 Blvd. du Jardin Exotique, Monaco) — Spread over an area of approximately 15,000 m2, the Exotic Garden is home to a thousand cacti and other succulent plants with stems or hypertrophic leaves which store water. Originally from the planet’s main semi-arid regions, these plants still produce plenty of flowers. The principal flowering seasons are winter (January–February) for South African succulents such as Aloe and Crassula, and spring and summer for cacti, a family native to the American continent.
At the base of the cliff on which the Exotic Garden is situated (called “the observatory” due to the long-standing presence of a small astronomical observatory), at an altitude of 100 meters, there is a subterranean chamber equipped to receive visitors. The limestone rock, carved out by water containing carbon dioxide, is studded with caverns adorned with geological formations bearing evocative names: stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, columns, soda straws. Expert guided tours of the cave are included in the entry ticket for the Exotic Garden. The tour travels from a depth of 98 meters to a depth of 40 meters (around 300 steps). The chamber plunges down almost to sea level and is regularly explored by local cavers.
Admission: €7.20 (adult), €5.50 (seniors); €3.80 (children 4-18 years & students), free for children under 4 years. Hours vary – check the Exotic Garden’s website for an updated schedule: www.jardin-exotique.mc