Even though nearly everyone in the world loves the taste of chocolate, few people have been on a tour of a chocolate factory. Visiting the locations at which the chocolate that everyone loves is created is an experience that cannot be beaten. Seeing the overall journey that a cacao bean takes from the initial supplier to the chocolate factory where it is processed and turned into the confections that hit the store shelves is nothing short of a wondrous experience. From the cacao cultivation of ancient cultures in South America to the highly refined chocolate processing techniques used today, there is a vast treasure trove of interesting information to be learned about chocolate creation provided by chocolate factories.
So this brings up a question: Is the experience the same everywhere that you go? Are some chocolate factories more exciting or interesting than others? The answer, as with most questions of that type, is yes. The world’s best chocolate factory tours are found at far flung destinations, but every single one of them is worth visiting for vastly different reasons. Here are a few of the world’s top chocolate destinations harboring some of the world’s best chocolate factory tours.
Chocolate factory tours in Switzerland
- Confiserie Sprungli (Zurich, Switzerland) – Open since 1859, a vacation in Zurich will allow you to tour this chocolate factory that specializes in truffles. Pick-up a rental car from the Zurich Airport and make the 25 minute drive to indulge.
- Maison Cailler (Broc, Switzerland) – Now owned by Nestle, this factory provides visitors a tour which has been described as a chocolate theme park.
- Stettler Chocolate Factory (Geneva, Switzerland) – A famous historic chocolate factory sporting unique flavors in their chocolates such as plum, whiskey, champagne, and rum. The tour includes a thorough tasting and a complete history of the factory.
Chocolate factory tours in Belgium
- Museum Temple of Chocolate (Cote D’or, Belgium) – This tour is provided by the Cote D’Or Chocolates company and was created specifically to teach people about the history of chocolate through a interactive tour.
- Choco-Story: The Chocolate Museum (Bruges, Belgium) – Travel to Bruges and tour this is a large museum devoted to chocolate and its creation. This includes a full history of the plant, the economy of chocolate, and the history of the consumption of chocolate. This also includes a large library which stores books and articles about cacao and chocolate.
- Cyril Chocolat (Samree, Belgium) – Beginning with a small film about cacao, this tour also includes a tasting of pralines and chocolate bars after showing how they are created. A tea room is also provided for visitors and the tour lasts a total of around forty five minutes.
Chocolate factory tours in Germany
- Chocolate Museum Cologne (Cologne, Germany) – This is a smaller factory in the alluring city of Cologne, but it is one of the best in the world. Windows allow visitors to see all of the individual steps of the process of turning the cacao bean into a finished chocolate bar. Tour includes a history lesson about chocolate from the time of the Mayan’s through contemporary chocolate use.
- Halloren Schokoladenmuseum (Halle, Germany) – One of the oldest chocolate factories in Germany, the founding can be traced back to 1804. The museum provides a thorough overview of the production of various types of chocolate and has an emphasis on early techniques and production styles.
- Wawi Schokoladenwelt (Pirmasens, Germany) – A full museum and factory viewing which provides a general overview of the history of chocolate and the history of the factory itself. Production facilities are available for viewing through glass windows. There is also a factory outlet shop and a café on location.
Chocolate factory tours in the United States
- TCHO (San Francisco, United States) – A newcomer to the chocolate scene (but well worth a visit). The factory creates unique combinations of flavors and provides a free tour to visitors.
- Mast Brothers Chocolate (New York City, United States) – This tour offers a full behind-the-scenes look at what goes on inside their factory. A smaller factory than most of the others on this list, they make chocolate exclusively using organically farmed beans coming from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Madagascar.
- Hershey’s Chocolate Factory (Hershey, Pennsylvania) – A staple of the world chocolate scene, this factory is a can’t-miss.
Recommendations for Touring the World’s Best Chocolate Factories
This article has gone over some of the world’s best chocolate factory tours. With that being said, it is not always viable for everyone to visit locations in other countries. The trips may be worth it, but the money might not be there. If that is the case, try and look for local chocolate factories in the area in which you live. Another thing to keep in mind is that these chocolate factories are nearly always located near larger travel destinations. It makes sense to plan the chocolate factory tour of your choice as part of a larger travel plan that encompasses everything the destination has to offer.
Enjoying chocolate is one of the best luxuries that we have in the modern world. For those of you who want to learn more about the history, there is no better way to learn than to visit one of these chocolate factories and take a tour. Taking one bite of a freshly made chocolate bar is often enough to make the trip worth it. The chocolate industry is a huge economic driver in the world and provides billions of people with enjoyment on a daily basis, learning more about the history of the use of cacao and chocolate is a great way to enrich that enjoyment. Let Auto Europe help your plan your next chocolate-centric trip. Make reservations securely online, or call us toll-free 24/7 at 1-888-223-5555.