Moutiers (Moûtiers with the original spelling) is a French village located in the Savoie department and in the Rhone-Alpes region. This 4,150 inhabitant (called the Moutiérains) village is the capital of the Tarentaise, which is one of the six provinces of Savoie. The Tarentaise roughly corresponds to the Isère Valley. From Moutiers you can access to the “3 Valleys” ski area, and to the National Park of Vanoise which is at the border between France and Italy.
Despite its small size, Moutiers is a lively village from where you can do a lot of activities. Located in the heart of the Alps, at the entrance of the National park of Vanoise, it is the right place to be for ski and outdoor activities. It has also a rich cultural heritage, as part of the Tarentaise history. It is well linked to other Savoy towns, (27km from Albertville (N90)), and to ski resorts.
Moutiers is a very affordable village which gathers the same assets as renowned ski resorts. However, because it does not have its own ski resort, house prices are quite low. While the French average for a property in 2009 was €3,197 /sq m, it is between €2,500 and €3,000 /sq m in Moutiers’ area. It can be an excellent alternative if you like the mountain and lake environments, without the crowd of a ski resort. Furthermore, as 66% of residents are tenants, Moutiers offers great rental opportunities.
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Culture, art and historical heritage: due to its former status as the capital city of Tarentaise, Moutiers boasts some historical monuments that are worth visiting. Do not miss for instance the Saint-Pierre Cathedral. All the works done during the centuries have transformed this cathedral to give it today a composite architecture. It is interesting to see the pace of the time through the works. You can also have a look at the 6th century bridge that crosses the river. The former bridge was in wood, but it had to be rebuilt in stones because of the floods.
Good food: in Moutiers you will find the same traditional dishes as in the whole Rhone Alpes, such as the Raclette, the Tartiflette, etc. However, people from the Tarentaise will tell you that this is not the local gastronomy. Indeed such dishes originally come from Switzerland. In the Tarantaise Valley they are proud of their local produces. They pick up mushrooms (boletus) and blueberries in the mountains. If you have the opportunity, try to attend the Tue cochon celebration. It is the day they kill and cook the pork, and usually all the village participate to the event and they all have a big party afterwards.
Street markets: each small village in France usually has its street market; Moutiers is not an exception! It is both an economical tool, as local producers sale their produces, but it is also the opportunity to meet and have a good chat. It is for you the opportunity to meet with local people, while tasting the local flavours. You might end up in the café du coin, drinking a glass of Rhone Alpes wine with some nice locals.
Activities: from Moutiers you have a large choice of outdoor activities the all year long. In winter you have easy access to ski resorts (Rhone Alpes’ ski resorts are among the biggest and the best ones in Europe!). In summer you can either do water sports in the surrounding river (canoe, rafting, etc.), either go to neighbour towns to take advantage of their lake. You have also the possibility to go to the National Park of Vanoise which is very close by the town.
Apartments: they represent 86% of dwellings in Moutiers. They are mainly located in a residence, with a lift and an entry phone. They are usually quite spacious, and come with a living room, a separated kitchen, a big room and one or more additional rooms, a bathroom and an independant toilet. The advantage of being in a small village is that all amenities are at a walkable distance, and all apartments can have their private parking, and sometimes garage.
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