People choose travel destinations for a variety of reasons ― weather, financial incentives, special events, convenience, nostalgia, etc. But sometimes the draw is something ... sweeter.
Chocolate tourism is a very real industry as travelers seek out famous chocolatiers, cocoa farms, museums and more to learn about the history and production of this delicious treat (and taste a million or so samples). Fortunately, there are many places where you can taste the magic around the world.
We’ve rounded up 17 great travel destinations for chocolate lovers. Read on for some mouthwatering inspiration.
Home to The Hershey Co., this destination in Derry Township, Pennsylvania, features
Hershey's Chocolate World
factory store and tour,
theme park, The Hotel Hershey and its
and many other attractions for lovers of all things chocolate.
More St. Lucia Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a great city for chocolate lovers. In addition to the delicious cocoa cuisine (shoutout to churros dipped in chocolate), there are also chocolate walking tours and the famous
Museu de la Xocolata,
which covers the history and production of chocolate and houses impressive chocolate sculptures.
Switzerland is an obvious chocolate travel destination. Many of its famous chocolate brands offer on-site factory tours to visitors wanting to learn more about the production (and try some samples). Popular tours include
in Bilten and
More Story continues Bariloche, Argentina
San Carlos de Bariloche, aka Bariloche, is a town in Patagonia famous for its Alpine architecture and chocolate production. Many chocolate shops and cafes, including the popular
line Mitre Street.
More Vienna, Austria
Vienna boasts a rich cultural history that includes the invention of Sachertorte, a delicious chocolate cake that's become an Austrian staple. You can sample this sweet treat at a variety of spots, including
pastry shop and
More Oaxaca, Mexico
There are ample places where cacao lovers can taste delicious chocolate throughout Mexico, but the best destination is probably
the Oaxaca area
. Although it's not a major growing region, Oaxaca's gastronomical history centers largely on cacao. Popular specialties include champurrado (a hot chocolate drink) and mole sauce prepared with chocolate.
More Brussels, Belgium Birmingham, England
In 1824, John Cadbury began selling tea, coffee and drinking chocolate in Birmingham, England, and over time his business grew into the confectionary brand we know as Cadbury. Today, visitors to Birmingham can check out
to learn about the history of the company, shop in the world's largest Cadbury store, sample Cadbury treats and participate in a variety of chocolate-themed activities.
Ecuador produces world-renowned chocolate, and tourists can take farm and factory tours.
in Quito and the Guayas province-based
offer popular tours.
More Cologne, Germany
If you find yourself in Germany, consider checking out
aka The Chocolate Museum in Cologne. The scenic museum presents the global history of cocoa and a look at contemporary chocolate production, as well as a popular cafe and shop.
More San Francisco Vietnam Paris
If you time your Paris visit right, you can experience the annual
Salon du Chocolat
trade fair, which includes fun events like a chocolate fashion show. Paris also has world-class chocolate offerings throughout the year, like the amazing chocolat chaud at
and chocolatiers like
La Maison du Chocolat
in Cusco and Lima, as well as popular chocolatiers like
and cacao jungle tours.
Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa in the world, so the
Ghana Tourism Authority
recently launched its Cocoa Ecotourism Initiative to promote cocoa farms as a tourist attraction. Indeed, travelers can take
tours to learn about the history
and current practice of cocoa production in the country.
More Tuscany, Italy
Although Tuscany is probably best known for its wine, the region also has a lot to offer to chocolate fans. The so-called Chocolate Valley is a triangle between Pisa, Prato and Pistoia that boasts many small chocolate manufacturers, including
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