Would You Hike Through Snow-Filled Swiss Mountains For Cheese?

It's a common sight these days: food enthusiasts go to great lengths for that perfect bite. From midnight queues for a trendy pop-up restaurant to traveling across the country to try a new regional fast-food chain, the things some will do for gastronomic pleasure can seem extreme. Yet, even among the most audacious epicurean escapades, imagining a weary traveler forging through the snowy Swiss Alps for a taste of cheese is enough to make you think, "I don't know if I'd go that far for food."

But picture this: you're decked out in your finest winter gear, trekking up a snowy hill with your closest friends in tow. After some grumbling about the cold, you finally reach the top of the hill and are pleasantly surprised at the sight of a warmly lit, welcoming chalet just steps away. You trudge over and are invited in by the hostess, who greets you with wine and cheese — lots of it. This scene isn't just a winter dream, it's part of a unique experience offered by the luxurious Tschuggen Grand Hotel. This trek is more than a journey; it's a quest for the ultimate cheese tasting, set against the breathtaking backdrop of Arosa's snow-clad mountains.

High altitude, high-end cheese tasting

The journey to cheese nirvana is not for the faint-hearted. Participants of the sunset hike to a wine and cheese tasting face the elements, equipped with nothing but their winter gear and a burning desire for stinky cheese. The path is treacherous and the night sky is vast, but the promise of an exclusive cheese experience keeps spirits high. Guided by the flicker of torchlights, each step brings them closer to their goal, a quaint restaurant nestled into the mountainside.

Upon arrival at the host restaurant, Alpenblick, the weary but excited travelers are greeted by the aroma of hot bone broth and the warmth of a rustic fireplace. In addition to their broth and wine, guests can sample an array of cheeses, each a testament to Switzerland's rich cheesemaking tradition. But this luxury comes at a price –- the experience is as exclusive as it is expensive, with stays at the Tschuggen Grand Hotel averaging over $800 per night, and other winter experiences, including a winter walk with campfire, and outdoor fondue and snowshoe hike requiring an additional reservation.

The cheese lover's global itinerary

Luckily, the allure of cheese-centric adventures is not confined to the Swiss Alps. Across the globe, there are myriad ways for cheese lovers to indulge their passion. In the rolling hills of Tuscany, for example, travelers can pair exquisite local cheeses with a family-style lunch, a journey of taste amidst the beauty of the Italian countryside. France, too, offers its own charm with tastings at traditional fromageries, each region boasting unique cheese varieties. In the Netherlands, you can get an even quirkier experience through a cheese farm and clog factory tour, and in Norway, you can sample unique brunost cheese.

For those seeking something a bit more unconventional, the annual cheese rolling event in Gloucestershire, England, provides a playful alternative. Stateside, the cheese trails of California, Vermont, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Massachusetts offer driveable cheese-tasting experiences. This wide array of adventures shows that the love for cheese transcends borders. So the next time you're looking for something to do on vacation, you may just come across a cheese excursion. (And we think you should try it.)