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Five Deliciously Cheesy Travel Destinations

Cheese board featuring three Wisconsin cheeses

One of the greatest things about travel is getting to taste the food of another part of the world. Different countries, and even different regions of the same country, have their own unique foods that only they offer.

 Wisconsin, United States

Wisconsin made brie, blue cheese, and gouda on a spring cheese plate with lemon verbena jelly, orange rounds, and pistachios

A cheese plate of all Wisconsin-made cheeses | Photo Credit: Image courtesy of The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Wisconsin takes pride in its cheese. They even sport cheese-shaped hats to games of their football team, the Green Bay Packers. 15% of all American milk comes from the state of Wisconsin,  and over 350 award-winning cheeses come from this state. They lovingly refer to themselves as “cheeseheads,” and their state as “America’s Dairyland.” Their love of cheese is immense, and the cheese they produce is delicious, making this a key travel destination for cheese lovers both from the United States and from elsewhere.

Normandy, France

Normandy France

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of campersite.be

Many visit Normandy for its history and beautiful coastline. What it’s also known for, however, is cheese. Normandy produces a variety of cheeses, but it’s mostly known for Camembert. In fact, in the village of Camembert, there’s even a cheese museum in the shape of this bloomy rind cheese! You can also visit the house of the reputed creator of Camembert, Marie Harel, as well as several cheese farms where you can learn about the rich history of Camembert. There are plenty of other regions in France where you can learn a lot about cheese, but how can you resist a cheese-shaped museum?

Alkmaar, Netherlands

Alkmaar Netherlands

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of Huffington Post

Alkmaar is home to one of the oldest cheese markets in Europe, and still carries that market’s original traditions to this day. Every Friday from April to September, cheese carriers can be seen toting large wheels Dutch cheeses (including Gouda, Edam, and Beemster) on wooden carriers like they did in 1593. They even go so far as to dress like cheese carriers did in 1593, making the whole experience more authentic to the viewer. This is one of few places in the world where you can not only learn about the cheese history of the region, but actually experience it, making it a destination cheese lovers really shouldn’t miss.

Emmental, Switzerland

Emmental Switzerland

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of Contented Traveller

Often times, when people think of Swiss cheese, they think of a cheese filled with holes. This originated in Emmental, Switzerland, and though this cheese is sold all over the world, the place where you can experience Swiss Emmentaler in its truest form is Emmental. They even have an app for tourists that details the walking and biking cheese trails of the Emmen Valley. But the true piece de resistance is Cheese Street. There, you can walk through the valley and see its history, but also milk cows and make your own cheese. This is a town that loves its cheese, and is devoted to teaching others about it, making it a great travel destination for any cheese lover.

Parma, Italy

Indian Parmesan_ Il Parmigiano Indiano

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of LUZ

Home of Parmigiano Reggiano, this region of Italy has a rich history when it comes to cheese. A woman even traded her home in for 53 pounds of Parmigiano Reggiano a year in 1254, putting this cheese on the map and immortalizing it in many ways. To this day, every cheese labeled as Parmigiano in Europe was made in this region of Italy. You can see how its made in various factories across the region, and learn more about its history in the Museo del Parmigiano Reggiano. This is a cheese with a history and legacy above the rest. It is a cheese almost every cheese lover is familiar with. All of these things make it a can’t-miss area of travel for any cheese lover.

The world is full of delicious cheeses, and beautiful cities, regions, and countries that celebrate their local cheese. Think of that next time you’re planning a vacation, and sure to have a wonderfully cheesy time.

Photo Credit: Featured image courtesy of The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Amanda Doughty

Amanda Doughty considers cheese to be an essential part of her upbringing, as her family owns Anthony's Italian Kitchen, an Italian restaurant in Portland, Maine. Currently she studies creative writing at Emerson, where she is considered an outcast for refusing to touch the disgusting pizza in the Dining Hall. She admits that is a bit of a food snob, especially when it comes to pizza and cheese.