The country famous for its tourism offers day trips to many of its interesting locations such as Mtshekta, Signaghi, Gori, Svaneti, Gudauri, Ananuri and Kazbegi.
I was utterly confused as I couldn’t decide on the day trips that I’d like to take and those that I’d want to let go. All of them looked similar and had a historical or religious monument associated to it. I’m more of an adventure seeking person and the only thing that convinced me to choose Kazbegi over other day trips was that it included an optional Paragliding experience on the way.
How to Reach Kazbegi
Private car: Starting from 110 GEL exclusive of the rental 4×4 needed to go up the hill. Great option if you’re traveling as a family or as a group of friends to share the cost. Cost may or may not include a tour guide.
Group tours: Starting from 49 GEL per person, in a mini van, with additional 10 GEL for rental 4×4 to climb up the hill. Inclusive of tour guide services.
Unfortunately, there’s no budget or DIY way to go Kazbegi. No buses or trains take you there and you are kinda forced to take one of the booked day tours to visit the region.
Note: A marshrutka will take you to Kazbegi though from Didube Bus station for 7 GEL but you’ll miss out catching the other stops on the way and you’d anyway have to pay extra for the rental 4×4. Not recommended.
What to Expect
- Beautiful scenery along the way
- Green (or white, if it’s winters) mountains, lovely rivers, cattle and horses
- Winding roads
- Dams, Lakes, Fortresses, and Churches
- Unspoilt, traditional houses
- Paragliding in Gudauri
- Amazing views and ample photography options
Top things to see
1. Xhinvali lake
This is the first stop of the day trip. The lake is an absolute beauty to see. The reflections from the mountains falling into the blues of the lake and the blues from the sky above makes it a picture perfect memory to capture forever, both by camera and one’s eyes.
Stop time: 10 minutes
2. Ananuri Fortress
The fortress was built in the 16th century and is great for climbing within narrow alleys and getting a feel of ancient towers and buildings.
Stop time: 30-45 minutes
If you asked me to choose one favorite stop amongst all the others, Gudauri would be the one. It is simply magical! If you’re not in a hurry, do yourself a favor and stay overnight in one of Gudauri’s resorts. I loved, loved, loved the place! And if paragliding is on your agenda, then here’s where you are going to come to fulfill the adventurous experience. Read about my paragliding experience here in detail.
Stop time: 30 minutes -1 hour
4. Stephsminda Restaurants
After departing from Gudauri, your tour operator will most likely bring you here to order your food from one of the many restaurants available in Stephsminda. However, you don’t eat right away. Instead, you’ll go up Mount Kazbek for your last attraction, Trinity Church, and have your meal on the way back.
*Expect to pay a little more than the Georgian standard as these restaurants enjoy the oligopoly in the area. We ate at Shorena’s bar.
Stop time: 1 hour
5. Trinity Church
The main point of Kazbegi tour is the Gergeri Trinity Church, located on top of Mount Kazbek at an elevation of 2170 meters. Gergeti Trinity Church was built in the 14th century. The view from the top is amazing and I could stay there all day long meditating with the beautiful mountains surrounding me.
I killed it in Georgia and this day trip was my favorite ❤️🇬🇪❤️🇬🇪. What about you? Planning for a trip to Georgia? Then, this is a must place to visit!