5. From Basel: Gruyères Switzerland - Castle, Cheese, Chocolate
Starting at the Basel SBB station we’ll take the train to “La Maison du Gruyères,” a traditional dairy where master cheesemakers will reveal the process behind authentic Gruyères AOP cheese. Watch as fresh milk is transformed into delicious Gruyères, using huge copper cauldrons and giant curd presses. Learn how the region produces around 48 wheels a day, all of which undergo a rigorous inspection by Gruyères AOP before they are allowed to be sold with the official label. After the demonstration, it’s time to indulge your taste buds. Learn to recognize and appreciate the full-bodied, nutty flavor of authentic Gruyères as you sample the cheese straight from the wheel. Next, a short scenic hike will bring us to the delightful town of Gruyere, birthplace of the iconic sweet and salty cheese which shares its name. Nestled within the picturesque Fribourg canton, this medieval town is bursting with rustic charm. Explore the maze of cobblestone pathways, glimpsing panoramic views of the surrounding countryside as you make your way to the hilltop Castle of Gruyères. This stunning fortress dates back to the 13th century, and was once home to the notorious Counts of Gruyères. Now visitors can explore the castle's sordid history, and wander through treasure lined museum rooms and ancient ruins. After the tour we will enjoy a quick lunch stop - but don’t fill up too much! Stomachs full of cheese, we will make our way to our final stop: the Cailler Chocolate Factory. This legendary cocoa wonderland was created by the grandfather of Swiss chocolate, François-Louis Cailler, whose secret ingredients remain in use today. His iconic chocolate is famous for its rich, creamy flavor, achieved by using condensed milk rather than the standard milk powder used in most other brands. Master chocolatiers will show you how to craft your own unique box of truffles, using foolproof ganache techniques. Take your chocolates home, or eat them on the train! After a full day of food and adventure, it's time to head back Your guide will ensure you have a comfortable journey back to Basel.