The Exotic Garden

This “extraordinary garden” brings together thousands of so-called “succulent” plant species. It was inaugurated in 1933 and boldly established on the side of the rock, where it has flourished, now drawing admiration from all over the world. 

It is a kingdom showcasing the exuberance, strangeness and surrealism of nature. Sixty metres under the ground, a prehistoric cave unveils its spectacular lime formations, formed over millennia.

The Exotic Garden

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. 
             
The enormous trees which line the paths of the Exotic Garden illustrate the age of the collection which served as the basis for the creation of the garden at the instigation of Prince Albert I. Opened to the public in February 1933, and supplemented in the 1960s by a botanical centre and specialist tree nursery, the garden is one of the Principality’s most visited tourist attractions. 

The Observatory Cave

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 metres, 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 metres to a depth of 40 metres (around 300 steps). The chamber plunges down almost to sea level and is regularly explored by local cavers.
 
 The presence of prehistoric humans in the region of the cave is confirmed by the bones of the animals that they ate. These remains also illustrate the climate variations that have taken place over the last 250,000 years.

 The collections of the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology complement a visit to the cave perfectly.  hours and fees

  Accessibility: Pushchairs are not permitted in the garden (they may be left at the entrance).
Due to the topography of the garden, accessibility for wheelchair users is limited to the flat area at the entrance to the exhibition hall.
The stunning panorama over the Principality and the Riviera is accessible.
Wheelchair users enjoy free entry and reduced rates are available for their companions.
People with disabilities will be charged a reduced rate on presentation of their disability card.
The Cave is not accessible by wheelchair and people with reduced mobility will find access difficult due to the numerous steps and narrow passageways).