Kazbegi, in the high Caucasus mountains, is an unmissable place to visit while travelling in Georgia. Definitely, a key part of any itinerary if you are into hiking, mountains and beautiful scenery. Kazbegi is now officially named Stepantsmunda.
Kazbegi is part of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, a 3-hour drive from the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi and one hour from the Russian border.
The main town is called Stepantsminda, where you find accommodation and some basic tourist facilities.
Kazbegi – Stepantsminda village
There is a slow pace to this tiny traditional village and a rural feel that gives you a sense of isolation. A place to contemplate, and relax.
Everything here including accommodation is in easy walking distance.
Perfect to spend time in nature, away from the hustle and bustle, go hiking, chill and enjoy the mountain air and views.
Tsminda Sameba Church
The famous 14th-century holy trinity Church sits on top of a hill directly in front of the great Mount Kazbek.
You need a good level of fitness to walk up the mountain. The walk is amazing, there are marked trails (you will not get lost) through stunning valleys. It is a 1 to 2 hour walk.
The visit to Gergeti Trinity Church can be combined with a longer hike up to the Ortsveri Glacier.
Hiking to Gergeti Glacier
For more adventurous travellers trekking to Gergeti Glacier is one of the most popular things to do in Kazbegi. It’s a tough trek but the landscape makes it worthy. The round-trip trek takes around 8-10 hours.
For people that take trekking and climbing more seriously, you can continue your way over the glacier to the top of Mount Kazbek.
Other day trips from Stepantsminda
Truso Valley, a landscape dotted with ancient towers and unspoiled villages.
Sno valler and Juta village, a stunning valley with great hikes. It’s also the link to Roshka.
Gveleti Waterfalls, both waterfalls are beautiful.
How to Get to Kazbegi from Tbilisi
From Tbilisi Didube Station there are shared minivans (called mashrutkas). You’re likely to hear people yelling “Kazbegi” trying to fill up their vehicles.
This is the easiest, cheapest (~10 Lari) and quickest way to get there, anywhere between 3.5 – 5.5 hour.
From Kazbegi to Tbilisi you just to the inverse. Getting a mashrutkas from the same central area in Stepantsminda. They depart when they are full.
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha