Kazbegi, now Stepantsminda may not be the average visitors “must visit” place – with the exception of the drive along the Georgian Military Highway that leads to this frontier town. But on a closer look (read better preparation) at this mountain-town you do realize just how much it means to pause a while, breathe and begin a new journey in a town that doesn’t have more than five restaurants, where any activity is limited to long walks through mountain villages, hiking in the mountains or simply strolling alongside the river and looking up at the snow covered mountains rising above you…
Kazbegi is the kind of place that shakes your prejudices and goads the mind and body into action. It makes you look for things to do – and not just give you a list you can tick off. Here, you see what you see and do what you can do within your time frame and your physical limitations – you set your pace and make up your list.
What Kazbegi does give you is fabulous food, views and opportunities to test your patience and physical strength.
Gergeti Trinity Church
This 14th century church sits at a height of 2170m in the village of Gergeti on the other side of Kazbegi. There are two ways to reach it – one is to trek and the second will cost you 50 Lari and a 4WD. If you are trekking, make sure you start early, carry plenty of water and wear sturdy shoes. It tends to rain often so, carrying a rain jacket is advisable.
If you are short of time, hire a 4WD – plenty to be had in the Kazbegi town square.
Whatever be the method of traveling to the Gergeti Trinity Church, be assured that it is worth the effort. From the mountain top, the entire village looks different – in fact, you get the feeling of being on top of the world, until you see the snow capped mountain rise above behind the church! When it mists up, it is ethereal! The tiny church has some fine paintings, but remember that photography is not allowed inside here. Best, soak up the scenery around you. There is nothing like it anywhere in Georgia.
The town of Kazbegi
The town of Kazbegi is a small frontier town and the launching pad to adventure activities around. Surrounded by high mountains, this little town has one of the best kebab places!
The Russian Border
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.
Devdoraki Glacier, Dariali Gorge and Khdi Gorge are other interesting places to visit if you have the time and the body for it.
For hotels in Georgia, visit HotelsCombined
WHERE TO EAT
1. Cafe 5047m
3. Hotel Khive