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.
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Home to The Hershey Co., this destination in Derry Township, Pennsylvania, features Hershey’s Chocolate World factory store and tour, Hersheypark theme park, The Hotel Hershey and its “chocolate spa,” and many other attractions for lovers of all things chocolate.
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Museu de la Xocolata
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.
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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 Maison Cailler in Broc, Läderach in Bilten and Camille Bloch in Courtelary.
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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 Mamuschka, line Mitre Street.
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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 Demel pastry shop and Hotel Sacher.
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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.
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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 Cadbury World 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.
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Ecuador produces world-renowned chocolate, and tourists can take farm and factory tours. Pacari Chocolate in Quito and the Guayas province-based Chchukululu offer popular tours.
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If you find yourself in Germany, consider checking out The Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum 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.
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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 Angelina and chocolatiers like La Maison du Chocolat and Jean-Paul Hévin.
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Peru has “ChocoMuseos” in Cusco and Lima, as well as popular chocolatiers like Roselen, and cacao jungle tours.
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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.
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 Amedei.
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