This tour introduces the region of Kazbegi - the high-mountainous part of Georgia in the northeast of the country. Officially, this area is called Khevi, which in Georgian means "gorge," but everyone is used to calling it Kazbegi after the name of the mountain Kazbek. Here runs the Main Caucasian Range, and through it, the famous Georgian Military Road. The terrain in Kazbegi is exceptionally picturesque, and these places are known for their pristine nature; the mountains, gorges, passes, rivers, and forests are the masterpieces of the region. Getting to know Kazbegi will be an amazing journey above the clouds. The starting point can be either Kutaisi or Tbilisi. When departing from Tbilisi, the route will pass through Mtskheta, and soon after that, the Georgian Military Road will begin, which is guaranteed to leave no one indifferent. As A. P. Chekhov rightly noted, this road must be "experienced," and the surrounding beauties and "impressions are so vivid that everything experienced seems like a dream." We will climb up the Aragvi River gorge, overcome the legendary Cross Pass, and then follow the turbulent Terek River into the stunning Darial Gorge. On the way, we will stop at the Zhinvali reservoir located on the Aragvi River; the turquoise smooth surface of the lake surrounded by mountain peaks is picturesque in any season.
We will pay special attention to the fortress of Ananuri, located on the shores of the reservoir and belonging to the early feudal era. The fortress belonged to one of the influential feudal clans of late medieval Georgia - the Aragvian eristavs, and served as a defense outpost, blocking the road leading from the Darial Gorge. Kazbegi is famous for its mineral springs with a high iron content, and on the way, we will try water from different sources. At the foot of the Cross Pass is the ski resort of Gudauri, where we will stop at a panoramic platform and continue our ascent.
Another observation deck awaits us before the pass with an amazing panorama of the Darial Gorge and the majestic Kazbek. Don't be surprised if a cloud passes below you or a mountain eagle flies by. These panoramas will be some of the best photos from your travels. The highest point of the Cross Pass is 2385m, and it is the geographical boundary between Asia and Europe.
Next, we head to Stepantsminda, the administrative center of the district, formerly known as Kazbegi, where we check into a cozy hotel and continue our sightseeing program. The hallmark of Stepantsminda is the Holy Trinity Church (Tsminda Sameba) in Gergeti, located at an altitude of 2170m at the foot of Kazbek. Built in the 14th century, this shrine is the only cross-domed church in Khevi. You can hike to the church (about 6.5 km one way) or take an off-road vehicle. The church offers a stunning view of Stepantsminda and the neighboring ridges. Words cannot describe these beauties, you must visit them.
After Gergeti, we will visit the big and small waterfalls of Gveleti, which we will reach by off-road vehicle and then walk approximately 1.5 km along a picturesque trail that noticeably ascends up the slope of the Gveleti Gorge. After climbing to the waterfalls, we will return to Stepantsminda for rest and overnight stay. The morning awakening will be painted with bright colors from the stunning view of the sparkling glaciers of Kazbek in the rays of the rising sun.
Even more vivid emotions will be given by the Truso Gorge, where the Terek River (in Georgian, Tergi) originates from the glaciers of Kazbek. We will reach the gorge by off-road vehicle and this route is not included in any of the typical tourist routes. Truso Gorge is a beautiful secluded corner of Georgia, where you come face to face with pristine nature. Here you will not meet tourists, and the pure mountain air and the absence of extraneous sounds make the surrounding reality seem like an illusion at first. Vertical cliffs go up to an immense height, against the background of which green hills silver down to the plain, cut through by the sparkling sleeve of the turbulent Terek; and here it is just you and nature. The territory of the gorge is rich in mineral springs, which is why it is often called the "valley of narzans." We will try water from different sources on the way to the ruins of the Zakatgori fortress.
The most vivid impressions await you on a hike to the bottomless lake of carbonated mineral water with excellent taste. There is no other amazing place like this in Georgia! The splendor of nature will make you revere this indescribable beauty, sometimes with overwhelming emotions that burst from within. A trip to Kazbegi will convince you of the enormous creative power of nature and fill it with positive energy, and for someone it will become a reason to look at the surrounding world differently.