Kazbegi Georgia is nestled in the mountains, surrounded by valleys, and is home to maybe the most iconic landmark in Georgia, the Gergeti church. This adorable mountain hamlet boasts many adventurous and worthwhile things to do in Kazbegi.
This stunning area is often a highlight on any Georgian itinerary, and the dramatic Caucus mountain scenery is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. It is especially appealing for those travelers seeking unique and intrepid hikes.
In this Kazbegi Georgia travel guide, find useful on how to reach the mountain village of Kazbegi. mountain village. One of the most popular things to do in Kazbegi is to visit Georgia’s picturesque Gergeti Trinity Church. The views don’t get much better with Mt. Kazbek towering in the backdrop. Adventure hikers can continue farther into the mountains and stand before the Gergeti Glacier. Those looking to delve into the traditional Georgian food scene will have no problems finding some great options for a “supra,” or a shared feast in Kazbegi.
Kazbegi offers many worthwhile day trips. Some of the best things to do in Kazbegi include exploring the nearby Truso Valley, or visiting the cute village of Juta to gaze upon the Georgian “Dolomites” in the Juta Valley.
Here are a few epic things to do in Kazbegi Georgia and the surrounding valleys of the region.
Table of Contents
- Helpful Travel Tips for Kazbegi Stepantsminda
- How to Reach Kazbegi Georgia
- The Best Things to Do in Kazbegi
- Noteworthy Day Trips from Kazbegi Georgia
- Where to Eat in Kazbegi
- Where to Stay in Kazbegi
- Include Kazbegi on a Georgia Road Trip
- The Best Things to Do in Kazbegi Georgia
Helpful Travel Tips For Kazbegi | Stepantsminda
Kazbegi Georgia can be crowded with in the afternoon with those making the day trip from Tbilisi. Many visit Kazbegi to catch a glimpse of the Gergeti Trinity Church snuggled picturesquely against the mountainous backdrop. Those coming on full Tbilisi tours will ultimately spend less than 30 minutes in and around the church. The best way to avoid the day tripper crowd is to visit the Gergeti church early in the morning or later in the evening.
☛ Kazbegi Travel Tip | To have the best experience in Kazbegi plan on sleeping a night or two in the village
In the evening, the town returns to a sleepy mountain village. The Tbilisi day trippers have left, so Kazbegi regains its authentic charm. The nights in the mountains are cold and most people snuggle in their accommodation for the evening, preparing and dreaming of morning adventures.
As it is a mountain village, many things are only open seasonally. The main season and best time to visit Kazbegi is between the months of April until the end of November.
What’s in a Name? Kazbegi vs. Stepantsminda
Since 2006, Kazbegi has officially changed its name to Stepantsminda; however, it is still commonly referred to as Kazbegi by visiting tourists. For simplicity reasons, I’ll stick to the name Kazbegi throughout my Georgia travel blogs.
How to Reach Kazbegi Georgia
There are a few different routes that all lead to Kazebegi Georgia. Both marshrutkas, or small vans, and taxis depart from Tbilisi. Or, choose your own adventure and rent a car. The road to Kazbegi follows the Georgian Military Highway all the way to the Russian border.
Tbilisi to Kazbegi Georgia
Here’s how to utilize the Marshrutkas and Taxis from Tbilisi
✔ More Tbilisi Travel Resources | Best Tbilisi Itinerary in 2 Days | 22 Things to Do in Tbilisi | Best Things to Do Around Marjanishvili Street in Tbilisi
By Marshrutka (Mini-Bus)
Marshrutkas from Tbilisi to Kazbegi are efficient, cheap, and quite easy to navigate once you figure out the pubic transportation system.
☛ Travel Tips for Tbilisi Metro-System | Purchase a Metromani card at any station for 2 GEL (70¢) and load up the card. Each time you swipe your Metromani card, it costs 50 cents and the ride is valid for up to 1.5 hours
The marshrutkas depart from Tbilisi’s northern station, Didube Bus Station. It’s possible to reach the bus station via the Metro Didube Station.
🚐 Tbilisi to Kazbegi | Depart from: Didube Bus Station | Average Fare: 10 GEL ($3.50 USD) | Frequency: Every hour on the hour, during high season, every half an hour | Duration: 2.5-3 hours depending if the driver takes breaks
Taxis offer both day trips to Kazbegi or rides to Kazbegi. Prices will vary depending on the season. These prices are simply for reference, so negotiate before accepting the final price.
- One-Way Fare to Kazbegi: 150 GEL ($51 USD)
- Usually this includes the driver stopping at points of interest along the Georgia Military Highway.
- Drive Time: Around 2.5-3 hours, with no stops
- Round-Trip Day Trip Fare Tbilisi to Kazbegi: 150 GEL ($51 USD)
- Standard time to visit Kabegi is 1-2 hours
Rent a Car to Reach Kazbegi
Most people rent a car in Tbilisi and head towards Kazbegi
- Rental Cost: Standard car rental starts around $35 USD
- 4 wheel drive vehicle is almost essential
- Distance from Tbilisi: Just shy of 100 miles
The Best Things to Do in Kazbegi Georgia
Now with the logistics out of the way, here are some of the best things to do in Kazbegi.
Gergeti Trinity Church
Gergeti Trinity Church is perched on top of a hill with amazing vistas of Kazbegi below. This is a lovely example of a Georgian Orthodox Church, but what makes this one so special is the surrounding Caucasus Mountains. The Gergeti Trinity Church can be reached via a hike or by taxi. This picturesque church is the main draw for day trippers from Tbilisi, resulting it to be one of the most popular, yet crowded things to to do in Kazbegi.
Gergeti Church | Admission: Free to explore the grounds & enter the church | Hours: Daily, 9:00 – 17:00
The church smells of incense and is quite dark, even on the sunniest of days. They offer scarves for covering those who are stopping by and are dressed only in hiking gear. Appreciate the interior, but more so, savor in those epic mountain views.
How to Visit Gergeti Trinity Church
Take a gentle hike to the church, or roll up via taxi.
Kazbegi Hike to Gergeti Church
The gentle hike to the Gergeti Trinity Church starts from the tiny hamlet of Gergeti. The hike can be steep, but is most definitely rewarding. Follow the red and white trail marking system along the way.
First, leave Gergeti and walk next to a small river up to the church. Look for the Gergeti Summer Cafe. Next, follow along the marked path, past some crumbling ruins. On a clear day, see stunning views of Mt. Kazbek.
🥾 Kazbegi hike to Gergeti Church | Duration: +/- 1 hour and 30 minutes | Keep in mind the trail is all uphill! | Start early if you don’t want to share this path with fellow hikers
Taxi to the Gergeti Trinity Church
- Taxi Fare: The taxi fare can range from 30-50 GEL each way
- Try to negotiate, as it really is not a far drive.
- Ask the driver to wait for you to explore the church
- Drive Time: 10 minute drive from the center of the Kazbegi to the drop-off parking lot
Kazbegi Day Hike to the Foot of Gergeti Glacier
With an early start, it’s easy to combine a visit to the Gergeti Trinity Church and the Gergeti Glacier. It can be done in a full one-day itinerary and ended up being one of my favorite things to do in Kazbegi.
After visiting th Gergeti Trinity Church, head towards the large “eye-sore” parking lot. Climb the steep hill to see some of the best views of the church with the jagged Caucasus mountains in the backdrop. Keep following the trail uphill. Eventually, it will diverge into two directions.
To the left, find the lower trail to the Gergeti Glacier. It offers great vistas of the church. Alternatively, the right trail offers better views of the valley. It is steeper, but on a clear day it boasts magnificent views of Mt. Kazbek. Both trails eventually merge at a cross monument, which is a memorial.
💬 Personal Note | I took the Kazbegi hiking trail to the left on the way up and the alternative trail to the right on the way back into Kazbegi
Viewpoint from the Cross Memorial
At the cross memorial, you’ll get the first glimpses of a new shelter: Altihut 3.014. To continue to the glacier, cross the river and head past the modern hut.
From the monument, plan on about one hour more hour to stand at the foot of the glacier
It was pretty cloudy when I visited, but the scenery is quite drastically different than the grassy mountain hillside. I snapped some pictures and savored the views. Along the trail are a few random water falls. The coloring of the red rocks is unique and contrasts with the snowy peak. This barren landscape is so diverse in comparison to the previous section of the hike.
🥾 Kazbegi Hiking Guide | Duration: 3.5 hours to walk from the Gergeti Church to the foot of the Gergeti Glacier at a leisurely pace with lots of photo-op stops | There are multiple places along the route to pitch a tent
Want to Climb the Gergeti Glacier?
From the base of the glacier, it’s possible to head up to the Betlemi hut; however, proper gear is essential. I visited in September, and trekking poles and proper footwear are essential to walk on the glacier.
The gear can be rented from the Altihut 3014 or Mountain Freaks in Kazbegi. Mountain freaks also provides excellent tourist information and services for hikers and mountaineers.
The Betlemi hut is almost another hour and half from the base of the glacier. Plan accordingly to sleep at the hut or have camping equipment with you.
Tips on Returning to Kazbegi from the Gergeti Glacier
If you have some time to spare, stop in at Altihut 3014 for a warm drink and some excellent mountain views. There are games, music, a wood burning stove, and complete with over-priced snacks and beverages. Expect to pay almost double here for drinks and food in comparison to Kazbegi. The air up by the glacier can be damp, so the cozy mountain hut is the perfect excuse to dry off next to a cozy fireplace.
There are opportunities to sleep at Altihut 3014. Prices are steep, but this lodge promotes everything Eco-friendly. The hut is really beautiful and the views are incredible. Even if you don’t sleep here, at least enjoy a warm beverage next to the panoramic windows. A visit to the Altihut 3014 is one of the best things to do in Kazbegi.
🥾 Plan on the hike from Altihut 3014 to Gergeti village will take +/- 3 hours
Personal Notes for Kazbegi Hiking Day Trip | I left my hostel at 8:00 and returned at 17:30. In that time frame, I visited the church, stopped at various viewpoints, relaxed in the grass, and took a ton of photos. I stopped at the base of the Gergeti Glacier and enjoyed the views and a hot tea and snack at Altihut3.014. It can be a fairly exhausting and strenuous day, but so worthwhile!
Noteworthy Day Trips from Kazbegi Georgia
Some of the best things to do in Kazbegi are actually in the surrounding valleys. It’s fairly easy to visit some the most popular Kazbegi day trips via a convenient shuttle, a shared taxi, or by hitchhiking from Kazbegi. The follow day trips from Kazbegi can be done independently without a tour.
➯ Detailed Kazbegi Travel Guide | The Best Day Trips from Kazbegi Georgia
Explore the stunning Truso Valley with a gentle hike or by renting a bike. This is a memorable and rewarding hike past almost abandoned hamlets and bizarre otherworldly scenery. The trail in Truso Valley ends at the abandoned Zakagori Fortress. Find border guards posting up here, keeping eyes on the Russian occupied border of South Ossetia.
Grab some lunch or a beverage and chill out on a strategically placed hammock or bean bag lounge chairs. Enjoy the great outdoor space or continue a little further to a man-made lake. The jagged mountain peaks are beautiful and worth the easy day trip from Kazbegi. Intrepid hikers can continue over the Chaukhi Pass past the Abudelauri Lakes to spend the night in sleepy Roshka.
North of Kazbegi
Closer to the Russian border along the Georgia Military Highway are some more popular spots to visit from Kazbegi. First, the Gveleti Great Waterfall, which actually includes a smaller waterfall as well. Keep heading north along the road to reach Dariali Monastery Complex. Finally, at the border of Russia, the Dariali Gorge.
Where to Eat in Kazbegi
Kazbegi has a few impressive restaurants to participate, or maybe indulge, in a typical Georgian feast, or “Supra.” Simply put, one of the best things to do in Kazbegi is to eat!
The traditional food here is budget friendly and the portions large. Don’t forget there’s a chance you will be showered with that incredible Georgia hospitality. These are some of the best Kazbegi restaurants to refuel after hiking Kazbegi.
Kazbegi Good Food & Sleep
This gem, Kazbegi Good Food & Sleep, is located right off the bridge, was my favorite Kazbegi Restaurant. Order inside next to the tiny kitchen and then head outside and snag an outdoor table. The portions are large and the wine is excellent. Or maybe it was because the wine is served in generous carafes.
The servers are so friendly and the food delicious! Georgians are famous for their hospitality, but sometimes it can be hard to find in the restaurants. Here, you are treated like family, and the employees are always smiling. Stick around long enough and the owner may just tap into his secret “chacha stash.”
Restaurant “Cozy Corner”
Restaurant Cozy Corner sits right on the river with great views of the mountains. There is a little stream that runs through the property. On rainy days, there are plenty of indoor tables and is quite cozy with a wood interior. The portions are large and the food is yummy. The servers here are also incredibly friendly!
BeBa Bar, serves up traditional home-cooked meals by an adorable little grandma. This tiny establishment really seems to cater more towards the local crowd and can sometimes “brush off” the tourists. The food is good and this restaurant is popular. It is common that they run out of dishes, so arrive early to have more options. There’s only a few small tables, but if lucky to snag a table, the food tastes just like grandma’s and is prepared with love.
Find them here: Важа-пшавела, Stepantsminda
Where to Stay in Kazbegi Georgia
When it comes on where to sleep in Kazbegi, there are a wide range of guesthouses and hotels in the village and the small hamlet across the river, Gergeti.
Remember, when searching Kazbegi hotels, sites like booking.com will use the alternative Stepantsminda village name instead of Kazbegi. For this list of best things to do in Kazbegi, plan on spending 2 – 3 days in the village.
One of the most popular places to stay in Kazbegi is Rooms Hotel Kazbegi. This luxury hotel tops in 4 stars and has a mountain terrace with views for days. The lodge interior that flows with the exterior are an “Instagrammers dream.”
Guesthouse Ketino Sujashvili | Best Guesthouse in Kazbegi
Guesthouse Ketino Sujashvili is run by Vera, the house mama. She offers up some of the best hospitality I had throughout my entire month in Georgia. She was up early cleaning, cooking homemade breakfast, and helping with itinerary planning. Bonuses to stay here include: she stores luggage for free, offers showers after check-out, and she really is just the sweetest. Seriously, stay here.
The property is a guesthouse with a kitchen in the downstairs. There are dorms and private rooms. A complimentary coffee and tea station are set up all day in the living room, yet another plus on staying here. The guesthouse has two wonderful terraces, each with a different view. Mt. Kazbek can usually be seen in the morning when it is in its full glory, avoiding the clouds.
Vera makes a traditional Georgia breakfast, 15 GEL ($5 USD), and it is a true feast. The food is delicious and is an excellent value for the money. She allows you to take the leftovers for lunch on hikes. I never had to purchase any sort of lunch with Vera’s breakfast.
Detailed Directions: Guesthouse Ketino Sujashvili
Guesthouse Ketino Sujashvili is actually located on the opposite side of the river of Kazbegi in Gergeti Village. A lot of people seem to get lost, so hopefully these detailed directions help.
- Turn left before the Restaurant Panorama Kazbegi.
- The guesthouse is located on Guramishvili Street.
- Look for a tiny wooden sign with the street name and follow the arrow.
- The house number is 12, and she has a small sign on her gate.
Include Kazbegi on a Georgia Road Trip
There are plenty of things to do in Kazbegi, so why not include it as a stop on a Georgia Road Trip? Either head back to Tbilisi and include some stops along the Georgia Military Highway. Wine lovers can head into Georgia’s famous Kakheti Wine Region. The road that connects Kazbegi and the hilltop village of Sighnaghi is breathtaking and full of worthwhile pit stops.
En route find a plethora of wine cellars, the beautiful Ikalto monastery, the Ananuri Fortress Complex, and the controversial friendship monument. This road connects two of my favorite regions in all of Georgia.
If heading back to Tbilisi, don’t leave this bustling city without visiting a local market, slurping up Khinkali, or relaxing in the stinky sulfur baths.
Awesome Things to Do in Kazbegi Georgia
In conclusion, there are so many diverse things to do in Kazbegi and the surrounding valleys. It’s ideal to spend a few days here, but if on a time constraint, at least spend one full day appreciating this mountain village.
It’s easy to reach Kazbegi from Tbilisi via a marshrutka, taxi, or by car. Many taxis include tour stops. Some of the top things to do in Kazbegi include a visit to the iconic Gergeti Trinity Church. Intrepid hikers can continue on to the Gergeti Glacier. Grab a tea or drink from the modern Altiuhut 314
One of the best things to do in Kazbegi is visit the stunning Truso and Juta Valleys, which are easy to reach as a day trip from Kazbegi.
After all those Kazbegi hikes, indulge in some traditional Georgian food and enjoy a “supra” with fellow adventurers. Take the road less traveled and tack on a scenic road trip along the Georgian Military Highway. Kazbegi is the perfect gateway to experience the beauty of the Caucus Mountains encircling Mt. Kazbek.
Have you visited Kazbegi Georgia? Have you completed anything from this “Things to Do in Kazbegi List?” Did you take some day trips from Kazbegi? Let me know in the comments below!
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