Known as the food of the gods, the history of chocolate goes back over 3,000 years to the Maya, Toltec, and Aztec people. The sacred cacao tree from which the cocoa bean was harvested is still revered by today's chocoholics. The mere thought of chocolate can make one's mouth water in anticipation and make a person smile and do a happy dance, not just for its melt-in-your-mouth yumminess but also for its aphrodisiac effects. Chocolate's secret weapon is its feel-good properties, including phenylethylamine and tryptophan—leading to addiction in some folk.

A pagan symbol of spring and fertility, the chocolate egg became a symbol of Christ's resurrection. German immigrants arriving in Pennsylvania brought the tradition of the Easter Bunny bringing eggs across the ocean. Actually, a clever 'hare' started this chocolate fest! Since those early days, this iconic treat went viral around the world in certain religions, with the gift-giving of chocolate eggs taking place on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox (Northern Hemisphere). In 1873, the British chocolatier JS Fry & Sons created the first hollow chocolate easter egg.

For those chasing the delectable taste, aroma, and feel-in-the-mouth delightfulness of chocolate at Easter, you may have to travel to indulge your addiction:

Mmm… Chocolate! Easter Bunny Season - The Wise Traveller - Hollow Easter Eggs

Adelaide, Australia

An Australian institution, the chocolate haven of Haigh's can be found in Adelaide. The oldest family-owned chocolate creators in Australia, they have been producing artisan mouthfuls of smooth chocolatey goodness since 1915. Their factory is only 20 minutes from the city, where you can gawk at the intricate process firsthand and indulge in a tasting session.

Pennsylvania, United States

Have a smile from ear to ear when you check out Hershey's Chocolate World in Pennsylvania. A playground for chocoholics, this is a town made from chocolate: fun rides, shops, movies, and even make-your-own chocolate bar. Take a sick-bag for the journey home when all that eaten chocolate may come back up!


Creamy milk from happy cows grazing in the Swiss Alps helps to make Switzerland a chocolate lover's dream destination. So many brands of sweet Swiss chocolate can be found all over the world that it isn't necessary to pack a suitcase to satisfy your naughty desire for chocolatey gob fulls such as Lindt that is a household name for any chocolate connoisseur with its heavenly creaminess, or Toblerone with its almond and honey chocolate peaks. But, if you happen to be frolicking around Switzerland, head to the esteemed chocolate creators of Läderach in Interlaken, which ranks as one of the best in the world. Skinny bars of luxurious and silky smooth chocolate will have you drooling when you enter their store. Switzerland's oldest brand of chocolate is Cailler, which uses condensed milk, not milk powder, in its glorious recipe. In Broc-Gruyere is the Maison Cailler factory; you can learn the art of truffle making or go on a tasting trip of rich and creamy sensations that will have your eyes glazing over in wonder.

Perugia, Italy

The medieval town of Perugia is the birthplace of the iconic Italian chocolate, Baci, also known as 'Italian Kisses'; have a chocolate history lesson and sublimely suck on delectable chocolates at the Perugina Casa del Cioccolato. You can even attend the chocolatier school if your desire for that perfect melt-in-your-mouth goodness is on your agenda of things to accomplish in Italian style.


Chocolate shops and museums can be found in Bruges and Brussels, with the stand-out museum for tasting this divine treat, Choco-Story, in the picturesque city of Bruges. A feast for the senses, you can attend a workshop, meander the factory, and keep your mouth stuffed with chocolate the whole time. Other brands of chocolate of note are Godiva, Leonidas, and Neuhaus.


Handcrafting perfect chocolate is taken very seriously in France, where it's acceptable to slide a chocolate treat into your mouth at any time of the day instead of eating a proper meal. Chocolate's four thousand-year history is on show at the Gourmet Chocolate Museum in Paris. Tastings and walking out of doorways with bags overflowing with wet dreams of chocolate can be done at numerous shops around the City of Lights. Patrick Roger is famous for his adventurous take on his pralines and applauded for his 'Amazone’—chocolate stuffed with caramel and lime. Sculptured chocolate wonders happen at Jean-Paul Hevin’s choccy store, and the famous shop of Pierre Marcolini is a utopia for hazelnut chocolate admirers. The oldest chocolate shop in Paris is that of Debauve & Gallais, dating back to 1800, and the playful shop of Un Dimanche a Paris is an all-day immersive experience into the world of chocolate. For the traveling chocoholic, the Salon du Chocolat is held annually in late October or early November in Paris.

Mmm… Chocolate! Easter Bunny Season - The Wise Traveller - CioccolaTo Turin

Turin, Italy

Ok, this is not one for Easter, but annually in November, worldly chocoholics gather en masse in Turin for the festival ‘CioccolaTo.' It's a grand affair of everything to do with chocolate with over 120 Italian chocolate makers showing their stuff under one roof. There are educational sections, workshops, competitions, and, more importantly, you can buy chocolate by the kilo. The milky, buttery aroma permeates Turin's streets, where people in a chocolate daze are prone to sugar surges and smiling chocolate-stained lips. Turin is also home to the famous chocolatiers Peyrano, Guido, and Gobino.

Other countries where sucking on a sublime piece of chocolate as a pastime are a highlight include the havens of Granada, Mexico, and Ecuador.

Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller. Check out her website Gail Palethorpe Photography and her Shutterstock profile.