Fromage Fanatics Rejoice: 12 Must-Visit Cheese Destinations Worldwide

Woman eating cheese

People travel to visit their favorite theme parks, see their favorite sports teams, and visit historical sites, so why not plan a trip centered around your favorite food? Many locations worldwide can be ideal for cheese enthusiasts, with delis, dedicated cheese shops, and even cheese museums on site. If you, like myself, are a devoted cheese lover, here are the top destinations to satisfy your cravings.

1. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam Cheese Museum
Image Credit: Amsterdam Cheese Museum.

Amsterdam is a European city with a cheese museum in the center. The Netherlands is a renowned producer of this delicious foodstuff, with edam and gouda the most famous products to originate here. I would recommend Old Amsterdam, which is a mature Gouda. The cheese museum on Prinsengracht offers complimentary tastings and an unforgettable cheesy experience.

2. Normandy, France

MAISON DU CAMEMBERT
Image Credit: Maison du Camembert.

This is the home of Camembert, and if you love its creamy style, you must travel to Normandy. In the town of Camembert itself, there is another cheese museum shaped like a Camembert wheel, while President Farm offers tutorials and tastings. It’s Camembert-centric, but this is unmissable if you are a fan.

3. Cheddar, UK

Cheddar Cheese Company UK
Image Credit: Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company.

Without a mutual cheese lovers dating website, many of us have partners who don’t share our enthusiasm. Cheddar in England's western country could be ideal if your traveling companion isn’t sold on a cheese holiday. The stunning limestone gorge contains a vast network of caves where a 9,000-year-old complete skeleton was once found. Leave your partner to explore while you learn about and taste cheddar, Britain’s most iconic cheese.

4. Gruyeres, Switzerland

Gruyeres Switzerland
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Gruyeres is my favorite cheese, so this Swiss town has just been added to my bucket list. Amidst spectacular mountain scenery, Gruyeres has been making the cheese for centuries. Visitors can head to the factory, where there are tours and an interactive exhibition. There are opportunities to taste and buy this wonderful cheese all over the medieval town.

5. Wisconsin, United States

Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery
Image Credit: Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery.

Some cheese lovers say unkind things about the nation’s products outside the United States. As the biggest cheese producer in the US, Wisconsin is out to prove them wrong as one of the best destinations for global tourists. There are many tasty cheese factories to visit, including the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, while Travel Wisconsin has even published a cheese trail, so you don’t have to miss anything.

6. Imsil, South Korea

Imsil Cheese Theme Park
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

In the 1950s, a Belgian priest moved to Imsil and began to produce his own goat’s cheese. The locals were so delighted that they built a theme park in his honor. The theme is cheese, and this 32-acre park has rides, restaurants, shops, and a science lab where you can learn the best cheese-making methods.

7. La Mancha, Spain

La Mancha Windmills Campo de Criptana
Image Credit: Lourdes Cardenal, Own Work – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

The herds of Manchego sheep that roam the plains of this region produce the buttery cheese that bears their name. Whether the original man from La Mancha, Don Quixote, was a fan is still being determined. However, this is a popular destination for cheese tourism, with many opportunities to buy from local producers. 

8. Puglia, Italy

Castel del Monte Andria
Image Credit: Luca Lombardi, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

No article involving cheese would be complete without a trip to Italy. From a tourist perspective, there’s so much to see, so it’s easy to enjoy your favorite food while taking in more conventional sites. For cheese lovers, Puglia comes highly recommended as Burrata and Mozzarella's home, with many small local producers delivering delicious results.

9. Wensleydale, England

Wensleydale Creamery
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

I may be biased towards UK cheese producers, but being based here, I also have first-hand experience with these locations. The creamery at Hawes in the north of England is a must, with the best examples of Wensleydale, a crumbly cheesy classic. Local shops sell the produce, and I’d also recommend the charter market for purchases. The scenery around the Yorkshire Dales here isn’t bad either.

10. Plancherine, France

Tami
Image Credit: OCSO.

Raw milk cheese is made here, and the production values will delight the growing band of eco-tourists. At Tamie Abbey in Plancherine, the cheese is made by resident monks who power their hot water system using methane, a by-product of excess whey. Local shops sell the cheese, which is said to have a nutty and fruity taste. Beyond the cheese, the region is beautiful and fun to explore. 

11. Tillamook, Oregon

Tillamook
Image Credit: Tillamook.

It’s time to stand up for the American dairy industry again as we head to the Tillamook Creamery. This Oregon-based producer churns out over 150,000 pounds of cheese each day. Tillamook has been producing cheese since the 1800s, and their products won an award at the World’s Fair in 1904.

Cheese lovers won’t be able to contain their excitement when they learn that the visitors’ center includes a host of memorabilia, including a butter churner from 1927.

12. Ånäset, Sweden

The worlds greatest cheese slicer in Anaset
Image Credit: Rauenstein, Own Work – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Swedish cheese is often overlooked in favor of produce from neighboring Norway. That’s a shame because the country delivers some great styles, including Vasterbotten and Adelost. The Swedes gained their revenge when they erected the world’s biggest cheese slicer– a Norwegian invention. It’s a seven-meter tall structure located along the E4 highway in the village of Ånäset, and no cheese-related vacation would be complete without a visit. 

Author: Matt Harris

Title: Writer

Expertise: Sports, music, travel, food, trending topics

Bio:

Matt is a journalist who began his career writing for print media in the 1990s. After filing cricket reports for local newspapers, he contributed to many periodicals in the spheres of sport, collecting, and food and drink. Having attended hundreds of concerts and sporting events, he now focuses on music as well as sport, and is happy to have lasted through to the digital age.