Cheese Lover's Walking & Cycling Tours in Europe

The traditional way of melting Raclette cheese | Claudio Schwarz
The traditional way of melting Raclette cheese | Claudio Schwarz

Cheese Lover's Walking & Cycling Tours in Europe

People travel for all sorts of reasons: for new experiences, to discover cultures, to soak in views, to tick off European icons, to take great photos for Instagram... However one often overlooked, but very important, reason to travel is CHEESE!
As you well know, Europe is home to many delicious types of cheese. From the well-known mozzarella of Southern Italy to the distinctive Paski Sir hard cheese of Croatia. While it's possible to taste these European delicacies around the world thanks to globalisation, it's certainly a special sensation to eat a gourmet cheese in the setting it's meant for.
What better reason to pick your next walking or cycling holiday in Europe than based on what local cheeses are on offer?
In this article, you'll find a list of cheeses to make any turophile (cheese lover) happy, and the complementary walking and cycling trips to discover them.


Arguably the most famous cheese from Switzerland. It’s a hard, Alpine-style cheese named after the town of Gruyères in the Swiss canton of Fribourg. These are best for melting.
The delicious Beaufort d'alpage cheese
A sub-category of Gruyère is Beaufort cheese, both of which can be tasted on a Tour du Mont Blanc hike.
Cheese display in the Beaufort Valley France |  <i>Kate Baker</i> Walking through the Valley of the Glaciers its worth stopping for a visit to the local cheesemaker |  <i>Kate Baker</i> Beaufort, a local delicacy from the Haute Savoie region of France


Havarti hails from Denmark and is made from whole cow's milk. It has a fresh, creamy, milky flavour and can be paired with pretty much anything.

A post shared by @iloveimportedcheese



‘Racler’ means to scrape in French, and scrape is just what you do with this alpine cheese. It's best eaten after being scraped onto potatoes or bread. It’s crafted from raw cow’s milk cheese, meaning it hasn’t been pasteurised. Try this warm and hearty cheese while hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc. 
The traditional way of melting Raclette cheese |  <i>Claudio Schwarz</i>


It’s a semi-hard, waxed cheese from Spain, specifically the La Mancha region which is between Madrid and Valencia. Manchego is easy to spot as it has a distinct basket pattern on it. It’s made from pure sheep's milk. It has been labelled with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, meaning manchego cheese can only come from this part of Europe.

Manchego cheese from Spain

> View walking & cycling trips in Spain


No European cheese list would be complete without an offering from the Dutch. Gouda is made from sweet, creamy, yellow cow’s milk and is of a semi-hard to hard texture. It comes from the town of Gouda in Holland, which is pronounced How-da. Going to a cheese market in Gouda, in the Netherlands, is a must-do experience for all cheese lovers!


Brie, the ubiquitous disc of soft cheese, can be found around the world but it originally was produced in the region of Brie in France, which is north of Paris between the Seine and Marne valleys. We're not sure about this Scottish meal that features haggis and brie...
Haggis and brie |  <i>John Millen</i>


Similar to brie, Camembert is a soft cheese known for its gooey buttery texture with a pungent aroma. It hails from the Normandy region in France.
Cyclists and pedestrians en route to Mont St Michel in Normandy |  <i>Kate Baker</i>


Have you ever smelt a word? We can with gorgonzola, the stinky blue cheese from Italy that is made from cow's milk. It is produced in the Lombardy region just northeast of Milan, so it's likely to be smelt while exploring Lake Como.
Gorgonzola from Italy


Possibly more pungent than gorgonzola is Roquefort, a blue-veined cheese from southern France. Unlike gorgonzola, Roquefort is made from sheep's milk. Authentic Roquefort cheese is also made on the French island of Corsica.
Roquefort cheese from France


Mozzarella is the key ingredient in pizza, so it's no surprise it comes from Naples on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Mozarella is made from a water buffalo, traditionally the Mediterranean water buffalo. If it’s made from cow's milk it’s called fior di latte.
Delicious pizza topped with mozzarella |  <i>Jaclyn Lofts</i>


The word ricotta derives from the Italian word 'ricotta', which means 'recooked'. It's actually not technically a cheese, more just the whey from sheep, buffalo, goats or cows milk. It was originally produced in the Italian island of Sicily. Delicious.
[EDIT: We heard from former dairy worker Ron, who explained the ricotta-making process in a more technically correct way. Thanks Ron!: You acid coagulate the protein in milk to make cheese from the curds. But 10-20% of the protein stays behind in the whey. This protein can be heat coagulated and when it separates off it is called Ricotta. Great article. Heading off to France very soon to cycle ....... and eat cheese!]
Divine ricotta dish with tomato salad toppings


Double or triple creamed cheese from the Lombardy region in Italy. It's no surprise it's an invention from the Renaissance era given its luscious, creamy, silky and decadent taste. Mascarpone is a staple ingredient in Italian desserts such as tiramisu.
Dining on fresh tiramisu in Italy


Feta is an icon of the Mediterranean, specifically Greece. It was originally made exclusively from goat or sheep's milk, but nowadays can be made with cow's milk. It's packed and aged in salt brine, allowing it to keep for a long time in warmer climates. Best served with olives, even better when cycling and sailing around the Greek Islands!
A local specialty: baked feta cheese with watermelon jam |  <i>Tom Panagos</i>


Halloumi, also known as the 'squeaky cheese' is a semi-firm fresh cheese made from goat and sheep cheese. Its country of origin is Cyprus. Delicious!

A post shared by M A N A (@mana.kwt)


Paski Sir

Croatia is home to the salty Paski Sir cheese, which is a regional cheese made on Pag island. Paski Sir gets its distinct flavour because on Pag, sheep graze on fields of wild sage which infuses the milk with a fragrant and fresh aroma. Buy it locally from roadside vendors.

WOW - who's hungry? Do you have any other types of cheese to add to the list? If so, let us know in the comment section below.
Don't forget to share this article with a fellow cheese lover!
Cheese, Cheese walking tours, Cheese cycling tours, European cheese, Cheese lovers

Comments (2)

Ron Brooks

Great cheese article. Loved reading it. It brought back happy memories of Holland, Italy, France, Spain, Mongolia. I'm a Manchego fan but also adore Roquefort & hard Italian cheeses. We also loved the aged Gouda which tends not to be seen in Australia very much. We have headed off every year (apart from Covid years) for European cycling trips and would not dare measure our cholesterol levels when we return. Cheese from unpasteurised milk is so much better. Can I just say that I don't totally agree with your ricotta description. I have worked in the dairy industry. You acid coagulate the protein in milk to make cheese from the curds. But 10-20% of the protein stays behind in the whey. This protein can be heat coagulated and when it separates off it is called Ricotta. Great article. Heading off to France very soon to cycle ....... and eat cheese.

2 years ago
William from UTracks

Appreciate hearing it Ron! Gorging on cheese is such an integral part of travelling Europe and we certainly miss it when we're not in Europe (especially the local prices!).

Thank for the advice on ricotta...I've edited it accordingly. I'm no match for an expert, I just like eating it :-)

Enjoy cycling France!

William from UTracks.

2 years ago
Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips