Europe for Cheese Lovers: Europe is well known for its love of cheese. Most of the most famous varieties come from this continent. From bustling cheese markets and fascinating museums to small cheese workshops, here are nine of Europe’s best cheese spots.
The 7 Best Destinations in Europe for Cheese Lovers
- Roquefort, France
It’s no surprise that this list starts in France because the town of Roquefort-Sur-Soulzon in the south of the country produces one of the world’s most famous blue cheeses, made from sheep’s milk with characteristic dark blue-green channels of noble mold. You can take a tour of the cellars where the huge wheels of this savory cheese ripen and see exactly how it is made and later taste the finished product.
- Gruyères, Switzerland
This medieval city is a picturesque combination of cobbled streets and lush meadows, but its main notoriety is that, since at least the 12th century, Gruyère hard cheese has been produced here. Visit La Maison du Gruyère to learn about its history before enjoying cheese dishes at the on-site restaurant.
- Parma, Italy
Parma is located in the gastronomic center of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. One of Parma’s most famous products is Parmigiano Reggiano, better known as Parmesan cheese. Factory tours take you through the process of making this hard, aged, and rich-tasting cheese. In all restaurants in Parma, you will find this product, and there is even a whole museum dedicated to this “king of cheeses”.
- Gouda, The Netherlands
Gouda is a Dutch city, but the word is better known by the name of the cheese that originated here. It has everything from museums where you can learn how cheese is made and aged, to cheese-related monuments, cheese events, and even a former cheese weighing house. Don’t miss the lively traditional cheese markets filled with vendors where you can sample many samples and pick your favorites to take home.
- Strefkerk, The Netherlands
If you want to try homemade cheese, you should definitely visit the Dutch town of Strefkerk near Rotterdam. Here you can visit the Booij Kaasmakers farm, which has been producing homemade cheese for over 300 years. You can not only take a tour and try their creations but also join a master class and try to make fresh cheese yourself.
- Asturias, Spain
The region of Asturias on the north coast of Spain is known as the Pais de Quesos, or “land of cheeses”. More than 50 different varieties are produced here, including the smoky Gamonéu and the strong and spicy Cabrales. You can follow the Cabrales Cheese Route to visit dairy farmers, explore the fragrant limestone cheese caves in Asiago where cheeses are stored and mature, and visit cheese factories for a tasting.
- Camembert, France
Camembert in the Normandy region of northern France is another world-famous destination for cheese lovers, thanks to the soft and creamy product to which it gives its name. Here you can explore the beautiful countryside with its many pastures and tour the Maison du Camembert to see how this popular cheese is made and of course, enjoy a tasting. You can also visit Durand Cheesemonger, the last dairy farm that still produces camembert using traditional methods.