In our days the Dutch cheese production is in the hands of dairy factories. The Dutch produce and export their cheeses around the world in millions of tonnes every year. The cheese markets of Alkmaar and Gouda have become popular tourist attractions today. Visiting the cheese markets of Gouda and Alkmaar is like travelling into the past. The cheese market of Gouda which was first initiated in 1395 will be visited on Thursday morning. Gouda Cheese is one of the best known and most eaten kinds of cheese in the world. It owes its name to the fact that this Dutch cheese has been traded in the city of Gouda for centuries. Cheese is delivered by horse and cart, then stacked on the ground by the farmers, before being sold in a traditional manner in front of Gouda’s beautiful old City Hall. The farmers and traders ‘clap hands’ to confirm each sale, in what can only be described as a theatrical spectacle. Feel free take your photos and selfies together with the cheese girls and boys, farmers and traders. On
Friday morning the destination of the tour will be Alkmaar. Alkmaar cheese market is the main attraction in town. The tradition of this Cheese Market goes way back to 1365, as there was only one set of scales for weighing, cheese was traded on the Waagplein. The cheese was delivered early in the morning, and the cheese market masters and traders would check to see whether the cheeses had been well stacked. Up to 30,000 kilos, or 2200 whole cheeses, are lined up and waiting for customers. Free time will be allowed to discover the cheese market and the city on your own, embark on a brief guided walking tour through Gouda or Alkmaar by an informative, friendly and professional live guide.