This is most people’s destination on the Georgian Military Hwy: a valley town with the famous hilltop silhouette of Tsminda Sameba Church and the towering snowy cone of Mt Kazbek looking down from the west. Now officially named Stepantsminda, but still commonly known as Kazbegi, it’s a base for some wonderful walking and mountain biking.
Check the list of the activities you can do while you stay in Kazbegi:
Explore Gergeti Trinity
This architectural complex from the XIV century is located in the village of Gergeti, 6 km from the town of Stepantsminda, at a height of 2200 m. The complex includes Holy Trinity Cathedral, constructed in the XIV century, the bell tower built in the XIV century, and clergy houses from the XV century. You can hike up to the complex in about two hours, hire a driver, or even rent a horse!
Easy hike to Gveleti waterfalls
The waterfall is located in the village of Gveleti, 7 km from the town of Stepantsminda. You must first drive through the stunning Dariali Gorge, from which a short, leisurely hike up a narrow footpath leads the way to the Gveleti waterfall.
Taste pkhlovana, Khinkali and other goodness of Khevi cuisine
Every type of khinkali has its own signature detail, for example, mokhevuri is made with cumin, as about Pkhlovana — is kinda khachapuri stuffed with beetroot leaves and salty cheese.
Explore Dariali Gorge
The gorge begins at the confluence of the river Chkheri (close to Stepantsminda) and ends near Upper Lars. The Gorge itself is 11 km long. The confluence of the Kabakhi and Khda rivers is the most narrow and rocky part of the gorge. You will also have an opportunity to see a Georgian Orthodox Church located within the gorge.
Visit Stephantsminda (Kazbegi) Historic Museum
The Museum is located in the memorial house of the Georgian writer Alexander Kazbegi (1848–1890). Together with the library and personal belongings of the writer, the museum houses ethnographic artifacts typical of the Khevi region; archaeological exhibits; religious relics; books, and various works from local artists.
Hike to Devdoraki Glacier
A hiking trail leading to the glacier starts in Stepantsminda and follows the Dariali Gorge. Along the way, you will pass the Gveleti waterfall, as well as a birch forest, and a wide variety of plants typical for the Alpine climate.
The village of Juta is one of the highest settlements (2200 m) in the municipality of Kazbegi and is located 24 km from Stepantsminda (8 km of paved road and the remainder is an unpaved road). The Chaukhi mountain range, located near the village, is situated on the main ridge of the Caucasus mountain range, at the source of the river Bakurkhevi.
Author: Natia Pashurishvili