Day Tour in Georgian Mountains
For winter holidays in Caucasus and especially in Georgia, guests may find interesting visiting mountainous regions, such as Kazbegi. If you are mainly based in Tbilisi for your vacation but would like to go to the mountains, below are our recommendations:
Photo by Ilona Margalitadze
To go to the mountains, we recommend you leave Tbilisi at 9:00am. Oh… and make sure you have a good breakfast before you leave. It will take 2-2.5 hours drive by car while you will be gazing at beautiful nature outside Tbilisi on the way to Kazbegi region. We advise you to be realistic and check the weather beforehand and don’t expect warm weather in this area! When driving to the north-Eastern part of Georgia, you should know that you will be passing through the Russian military road, which sometimes is also called Georgian Military Road. This road is very symbolic one, as it played an important role back in the economic development of Transcaucasia and in the Russian-Circassian War in the 18th century. Anyway, the main thing you will remember from this road is the amazing beauty of the mountainous landscape which will accompany you during your entire travel.
While driving this road which has been around since the 1800s and is still uniquely serving travelers, you get the feeling that it is only barely clinging onto existence. If it was unused and neglected for a year, seems that the mountains would reclaim it entirely back.
When you arrive to Kazbegi city you might want a coffee or some food if you didn’t have breakfast in the morning. One of the best places here is cafe 5047. The name is associated with the height of Kazbegi mountain, which sounds Mkhinvartsveri in Georgian (oh no, don’t try to pronounce it).
Under Mount Kazbegi on a smaller mountain at an elevation of 2170 meters there is Gergeti Trinity Church which is a must-visit sight in this region. If you choose to reach the church on feet, you need to be prepared for two hours trip, or else you can ask local people to take you there by car. It will take you one hour by car and if you are OK with the Soviet car Niva, it will cost you ~ 50 GEL ($28) or ~ 70 GEL($40) on any other car all the trip to and from the church. The church was built in the 14th century, being in isolated location on top of a steep mountain surrounded by the vastness of nature it has become a symbol for Georgia.
While Georgian nature, local people and “fairy-tale” landscape will entertain you, we recommend you also visit the Dariali Pass/Gorge, which is famous for being one of the most romantic and impressive places in the Caucasus region. It is on the border between Russia and Georgia, about 10 km away from Kazbegi.
After visiting this spot you can return to Tbilisi and be at your place at around 8:00pm and start sorting and sharing the photos of Caucasian enchanting beauty.