France’s best cheese routes

Four famous cheeses of Normandy, squared pont l'eveque, camembert cheese, yellow livarot, heartshaped neufchatel and view on promenade and alebaster cliffs Porte d'Aval in Etretat, Normandy, France

All eyes will be on Paris this summer for the Olympic Games, but if the thought of France fills your mind with food, then there are fantastic routes you can follow to discover the country’s best cheese.

So, pack up your caravan or motorhome and hop across the Channel to taste everything from Camembert to Comté on the cheesiest of adventures.

La Route des fromages AOP de Normandie

The first itinerary on our list is La Route des fromages AOP de Normandie, with the region being home to four PDO cheeses.

PDO stands for protected designation of origin, meaning this specific type of cheese can only be made in this one place.

As well as sampling Camembert de Normandie, Livarot, Pont-l’Evêque and Neufchâtel, foodies will want to try the apple cider, scallops and herrings the region is also known for.

Of course, the cider should be reserved for when your caravan or motorhome is safely parked up for the evening and you won’t be driving anywhere.

La Route des fromages AOP de Normandie takes in four villages, but there’s also coastal walks, beautiful countryside and plenty of heritage sites to discover in this part of France.

Les Routes du Comté

Comté is a pressed cheese made from cow’s milk and comes from the mountains of the Jura region, where you can visit farms, fruit groves, dairies and cheese caves to see how it’s created and stored.

It’s become a favourite cheese of chefs all over the world, but nothing compares to trying comté in this beautiful area of France.

After some time visiting the different comté producers and sampling their wares, you’ll become familiar with the variations, which can be a result of the time of year and maturing period.

To mix things up a little, cheese lovers can also try Morbier and Bleu de Gex, which both hold PDO status, as well as the famous Cancoillotte.

La Route d’Auvergne

As you traverse the valleys, lakes and gorges of La Route d’Auvergne’s dramatic landscape, there’s no fewer than five PDO cheeses to enjoy.

Saint-Nectaire is a soft, mild and creamy cheese, whose rind is never the same colour, while Cantal has a fresh buttery taste, which becomes fruitier and more intense with age.

Fourme d’Ambert is produced at 1,968 ft of altitude, Salers can only be made between mid-May and mid-November and Bleu d’Auvergne is one for blue cheese lovers.

While you’re in this area steeped in cheesemaking tradition, try Gaperon, which is flavoured with cracked peppercorns and garlic for something a bit different.