- Encounters with locals
- Hiking / Trekking
- Place or Religious Monument
- Castle and fortress
- Place or Historical Monument
Kazbegi (AKA Stepantsminda) won me over during my trip to Georgia. I immediately fell for this beautiful village's charm, with its stunning, mountainous landscape and incredibly welcoming people.
It's the perfect destination for hiking fans! Mount Kazbek is the second highest mountain in Georgia.
The village has a few good cafes and restaurants where you can recharge your batteries after a day's climb.
I stayed over in a small guesthouse run by Nino, an energetic, fifty-something Georgian who welcomes guests with a glass of wine and tasty, local treats.
Stock up well if you're going on a long hike - it's the perfect time to sample some churchkhela, a dish also known as 'Georgian Snickers'. You'll find it being sold on stalls all over the place and it's a sausage-shaped snack containing nuts glazed with grape juice. They're yummy, but very sweet!
Directly linked to Tbilisi by the Georgian Military Highway, Kazbegi is a lovely mountain village perched at 1,700m. Situated in the heart of the Greater Caucasus Range, its surrounded by summits that reach 5,000m, including Mount Kazbek, the third highest mountain in the country.
On arriving in Kazbegi, I was blown away by a stunning landscape that boasts a 180° view across the mountain range; it's reason enough tovisit the village during a holiday in Georgia. Close by you'll find the Gergeti Monastery, which seems to be balanced on top of its hill. There's lots to do around the village, be it hiking, visiting neighbouring monasteries or enjoying some extreme sports.
Nestled in a valley at 1,700m and surrounded by mountains including Mount Kazbek (5,000m), Kazbegi is an impressive site. The village itself has nothing to write home about - dilapidated roads and houses, with low level cables running haphazardly from one building to the other.
But, once you head out of the village, you'll be met by breathtaking scenery and fresh mountain air - a far cry from the stifling Tbilisi summer heat. Kazbegi's star attraction is the Gergeti Trinity Church, which sits on top of a mountain and can be seen from the valley below. The hike to the church crosses a stunning landscape and the views from the top are magnificent. The church is charming. Make sure you dress appropriately before entering the church. If not, you could be refused at the door (as I was...).
There are plenty of other things to do in the area, be it horse riding, climbing, rafting, paragliding etc. but I'm saving all that for my next holiday in Georgia!