Mom lifting a baby sitting on on a grass with a view of Kazbegi, Georgia Mountains

Visit Kazbegi, Georgia: The Ultimate Travel Guide (Family Friendly)

Are you planning to visit Kazbegi, Georgia, and looking for an ultimate travel guide? This post covers everything you need to know to plan your visit to one of the most beautiful parts of Georgia.

Kazbegi it is an exciting adventure with stunning natural scenery, delicious local cuisine, and a unique cultural experience. When visiting Georgia (Country), you must plan a visit to Kazbegi.

Nestled in the heart of the Caucasus Mountains, Kazbegi is a small town that attracts hikers, mountaineers, and adventure seekers worldwide.

Many, including myself, claim that it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Whether you’re looking for a challenging trek or a leisurely getaway from busy Georgia cities, Kazbegi has something for everyone. It is only a 3-4 hour drive from Tbilisi (Georgia’s capital), which is not too bad.

My husband and I both grew up in Tbilisi, Georgia. We met in the USA, and only after a few years of marriage and two kids did we have the pleasure of visiting Georgia this summer (2023). Seeing Kazbegi was our must-do in the Georgian Itinerary, and I can safely say it did not disappoint.

In this travel guide, I am breaking down all you need to know about Kazbegi to plan your perfect getaway to Georgia’s one of the most picturesque parts. This guide will include how to get to Kazbegi, where to stay, what to eat, and what activities to do there.

Read: How to Spend 3 days in Tbilisi Georgia

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission for any sales made through such links – at no extra cost to you.

Is it Named Kazbegi or Stepanwminda?

Kazbegi and Stepantsminda refer to the same place. People use both interchangeably, so do not get confused about this.

The town’s official name is Stepantsminda. It was initially renamed Kazbegi in 1925 and changed to Stepantsminda in 2006; this is how it’s referred to on maps.

In practice, however, most people refer to the townlet (and the surrounding area) as Kazbegi. And you will also see me refer to it, Kazbegi, in the article.

Why Visit Kazbegi, Georgia?

Kazbegi is a must-visit destination for those seeking a true Georgian outdoor adventure. The Kazbegi National Park offers a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks, all with stunning views of the mountains and valleys.

Additionally, Kazbegi is a great place to experience Georgian culture, with traditional architecture, local crafts, and delicious cuisine.

Here are some of the main highlights why you should visit Kazbegi:

Stunning Mountain Scenery

Kazbegi is known for its jaw-dropping scenery.

Mountains, including Mount Kazbek, the third-highest peak in Georgia, surround the town.

The Gergeti Trinity Church, located on a hill overlooking the town, is another highlight of the region’s stunning scenery. (discussed in detail below)

 mount kazbeg view in Kazbegi Georgia

Outdoor Activities

Kazbegi is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The region offers a range of activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

The Kazbegi National Park, located near the town, is a popular destination for hiking and camping. The park is home to various wildlife, including bears, wolves, and lynx.

Kazbegi Georgia scenary of mountains and horses eating grass

Rich Culture

Kazbegi is also rich in culture. The town is home to the Khevi people, who have unique traditions and customs and are known for their hospitality and friendliness.

The best way to experience their culture is by visiting a local guesthouse or attending a traditional Georgian feast.

Delicious Food

Georgia is known for its delicious cuisine, and Kazbegi is no exception. The region is famous for its khinkali, a type of dumpling filled with minced seasoned meat (lamb or beef and pork mixed), or you may choose filled with cheeses or potatoes.

Another local specialty is khachapuri, a cheese-filled bread staple of Georgian cuisine. Visitors to Kazbegi can also sample local wines known for their unique flavors and high quality.

Besides Khinkali or Khachapuri, you will find other Georgian specialty foods in Kazbegi restaurants and hotels.

Best Things to Do in Kazbegi, Georgia

If you are planning a trip to Kazbegi, there are some must-visit places that you shouldn’t miss. In this section, we will highlight the top three areas that you must add to your Itinerary.

Visit Gergeti Trinity Church

Gergeti Trinity Church is a 14th-century church located on top of a hill overlooking the town of Kazbegi. The church is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area and is a must-visit place for anyone visiting Kazbegi.

mom standing in the middle of a gergeti highway holding a baby smiling with the backdrop of gergeti church

You have two options for getting here: hiking up the mountain or driving to the church. Once you reach the church, you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

While we would have preferred to hike for the best experience, we drove instead because we were traveling with kids. We left our hotel (Rooms Hotel Kazbegi) early and were by the church in about 15 minutes.

I cannot speak of what it looked like later in the day, but it felt like we had this paradise ourselves in the morning.

When you visit this place, please respect nature, the church, and the people working there.

Visit Mount Kazbek

Mount Kazbeg is one of the highest peaks in the Caucasus Mountains, with an elevation of 16,581 ft. It is a popular destination for hikers and mountaineers and offers some of the region’s most spectacular views.

If you are an experienced hiker, you can climb to the mountain’s summit, but to ensure safety, you can always sign up for a guided tour to Mount Kazbeg.

If you are not up for the challenge, you can still enjoy the views from the base of the hill—like we did!

kazbegi travel guide mentioning Mount kazbeg and picture displays the road with cars and Mount Kazbeg

Explore Gveleti Waterfalls

Gveleti Waterfalls are located in the Gveleti village, about 7 kilometers from Kazbegi. Lush green forests surround the waterfalls, making them popular destinations for hiking and picnicking.

The waterfall is approximately 98 feet high and cascades into a tranquil pool below. Visitors can enjoy a short hike to reach the waterfall from the village of Gveleti, which takes less than 1 km. The path to the waterfall is relatively easy, and visitors can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Take a Day Trip to Juta Village

Juta is a small mountain village only a 30-minute hike from Kazbegi. If you have a half-day without little ones to go on a scenic adventure, I highly recommend this.

Due to stunning views of the Caucasus Mountains and the Gergeti Glacier, it is a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts.

Unfortunately, we did not have an opportunity to visit Juta this time due to traveling with little kids, but this is still high on our bucket list! I know a few people who visited it, and they highly rated the experience.

You can start your trip by driving to Juta Village or taxiing. From there, you can hike or arrange horseback riding.

The hike is short, but at a high altitude, so you may need to stop frequently for some rest. Also, remember that roads could be stiff or slippery depending on the weather, so grab your hiking shoes for this adventure.

Up on the hill, you will arrive at the Fifth Season Hotel, where you can arrange a stay or just enjoy delicious food with stunning views.

You may arrange a private or group Tour to Juta with knowledgeable guides to help you navigate and have the best experience.

Best Juta Hikes

  • Abudelauri Lakes – group of three stunning lakes with crystal clear water.
  • Gergeti Trinity Church – Mentioned above
  • Gergeti Glacier is a beautiful glacier located at the foot of Mount Kazbek.
  • Truso Valley is a picturesque valley with hot springs, waterfalls, and abandoned villages.
  • Gveleti Waterfalls is a beautiful waterfall located close to Juta village.

Best Time to Visit Kazbegi

One of the most important considerations when planning a visit to Kazbegi is the time of year. The weather can vary greatly, and choosing the right time is essential to ensure an enjoyable experience.

The best time to visit Kazbegi is during the summer months of June to September when the weather is mild and pleasant.

During his time, the average temperature is around 68-77°F, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking and sightseeing.

The weather in Kazbegi can be harsh and unpredictable during the winter months of December to February, with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures.

This can make traveling and exploring the region challenging, so it’s best to avoid visiting during this time unless you are specifically interested in winter sports.

Kazbegi Tourism

The peak tourist season in Kazbegi is during the summer months, with many visitors flocking to the region to enjoy the mild weather and stunning scenery. As a result, prices for accommodation and tours can be higher, and popular attractions can be more crowded.

If you prefer to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful experience, consider visiting Kazbegi during the shoulder seasons of May and October. The weather is still pleasant during these months, and fewer tourists make exploring the region at your own pace easier.

Safety & Tips

When planning a trip to Kazbegi, consider the region’s safety. While the area is generally safe for tourists, there are some things to remember.

The roads in and around Kazbegi can be treacherous during the winter, with heavy snowfall and icy conditions. If you’re planning to travel during this time, ensuring that your vehicle is equipped for winter driving and has experience driving in these conditions is essential.

Additionally, if you plan to hike or explore the mountains in Kazbegi, you must be aware of the risks associated with high-altitude trekking.

Take appropriate precautions and always follow the advice of experienced guides to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

How to Get From Tbilisi to Kazbegi?

Kazbegi is located in the northeast region of Georgia, about 153 km from the capital city of Tbilisi. The town is easily accessible, and several transportation options are available.

Visit Kazbegi By Car

One of the most popular ways to get to Kazbegi is by car. If driving from Tbilisi, you must take the Georgian Military Highway, a scenic route that passes through the Caucasus Mountains.

The journey takes around 3.5 hours, and there are several stops along the way where you can take in the stunning views.

One of my favorite stops was the Ananuri Fortress. It is very convenient and does not take much time if you are traveling with kids. But there are other breathtaking stops that you should consider during your drive to Kazbegi.

Visit Kazbegi By Marshrutka

You can take a marshrutka from Tbilisi to Kazbegi if you prefer not to drive. Marshrutkas are shared minibusses that operate on a fixed route and are a popular mode of transportation in Georgia.

The journey takes around 3.5 hours, and marshrutkas depart from the Didube bus station in Tbilisi.

By Taxi

Another option is to take a taxi from Tbilisi to Kazbegi. Cabs are more expensive than marshrutkas but offer a more comfortable and convenient option.

The journey takes around 3 hours, and you can negotiate the price with the driver before you start.

Visit Kazbegi By Group or Private Tour

If you prefer a guided adventure, you can join a group tour that will take you to Kazbegi or choose a private tour.

Tours typically include transportation, accommodation, and guided tours of the area. This is an excellent option for seeing the sights without worrying about planning your itinerary.

No matter your transportation option, the journey to Kazbegi is scenic, and you will be rewarded with stunning views of the Caucasus Mountains. Below are some of my top recommended tours in Kazbegi.

Where to Stay in Kazbegi?

When planning a trip to Kazbegi, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is where to stay. Fortunately, plenty of options are available to suit all budgets and preferences. Here are some of the best accommodation options in Kazbegi:

Luxury Stay

There are several high-end hotels if you want a luxurious stay in Kazbegi. Some of the best luxury hotels in Kazbegi include:

Rooms Hotel Kazbegi: This stylish boutique hotel is located in the heart of Kazbegi and offers stunning views of Gergeti Trinity Church.

The hotel features modern rooms, an indoor pool, and a vast sun deck. We stayed here, and it was worth every penny. I would highly recommend staying here if you want to combine luxury with scenic natural views.

The owners also have multiple properties in Tbilisi if you would like to check those out.

father and son holding hands walking on the sun deck of Rooms Hotel Kazbegi

Budget & Local Homestays

While I loved staying at the Rooms Hotel in Kazbegi, it is a pricey option, and if you are looking for more budget-friendly stays, there are some great hotel and guesthouse options, too. I could recommend checking a few:

  • Chemodann Kazbegi
  • Hilltop Kazbegi
  • Step-Inn Kazbegi

For a truly authentic experience in Kazbegi, consider staying in Kazbegi guesthouses. Local families run these homestays and offer a unique insight into Georgian culture and hospitality.

No matter what your budget or preferences, there is an accommodation option in Kazbegi that is perfect for you.

Where to Eat in Kazbegi?

We ate our food at the Rooms Hotel Kazbegi. Their menu was too good, and the terrace seats were too comfortable to go elsewhere.

My favorites were cheese-filled khinkali, khachapuri, and Mchadi (cornbread) with beans! Not to mention, their all-inclusive breakfast buffet had everything possible to satisfy hunger in the mountains.

However, if you are staying somewhere other than this hotel, there is no shortage of good food in Kazbegi. You will find many local places offering delicious food. Here are some of the recommendations:

  • Maisi Kazbegi Restaurant – Maisi is a show kitchen restaurant in Kazbegi, Georgia. They specialize in local Georgian cuisine with a contemporary fusion, and their menu changes every two months. The restaurant was born in August 2021 in the backyard of Kazbegi hut/cabins, and it makes the most of the products of local farmers.
  • The Cozy Corner – The restaurant offers brunch, lunch, and dinner and is on the bank of the Tergi River, surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape. It is in front of the road leading to the Gergeti Trinity Church and Mountain Kazbek.

Local Cuisine of Kazbegi, Georgia

Khinkali

Khinkali is a Georgian dumpling typically filled with spiced meat, such as beef, lamb, or pork, and sometimes mixed with herbs or vegetables.

The dumplings are boiled and served hot, and you eat them by holding the stem and biting into the top of the dumpling, being careful not to let the juices spill out. K

hinkal is a must-try dish in Georgia; you can find it at most restaurants in Kazbegi.

four khinkali on plate: Must try food when visiting Kazbegi, Georgia
Khinkali

Mtsvadi

Mtsvadi is a Georgian shish kebab made with marinated chunks of meat, typically pork or beef, skewered and grilled over an open flame. The heart is seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes onions or other spices. Mtsvadi is a popular street food in Georgia, and you can find it sold by vendors in Kazbegi.

Khachapuri

Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian cheese bread often served as a snack or appetizer. The bread is filled with cheese, eggs, and butter and baked until golden brown.

There are many variations of khachapuri, but the most common one is the Adjarian khachapuri, which is boat-shaped and has a raw egg cracked on top of the cheese mixture before baking.

khachapuri - Georgian cheese filled bread
Khachapuri

Georgian Wine

Georgia is one of the oldest wine-producing countries in the world, and Georgian wine is known for its unique flavor and production method.

Georgia wine is made using clay vessels called qvevri, which are buried in the ground and used to ferment and age the wine.

There are many different varieties of Georgian wine, including red, white, and amber wines, and you can find them at most restaurants and shops in Kazbegi.

We enjoyed our delicious Georgian wine on the hotel terrace, which tasted divine with those views.

hand holding a georgian wine "Kindzmarauli" with a kazbegi mountains behind.

Cultural Tours

Kazbegi is also rich in culture and history, with many ancient landmarks and traditional villages. One of the most popular cultural tours in Kazbegi is the tour of the Ananuri Fortress and the Zhinvali Reservoir. The tour takes you through the ancient fortress and offers stunning reservoir views. Another popular cultural tour is the tour of the Dariali Gorge. The tour takes you through the beautiful gorge and offers stunning monument views.

In conclusion, Kazbegi offers a wide range of activities for travelers of all interests. Whether you want to hike through the mountains, capture stunning photographs, or learn about the region’s culture and history, Kazbegi has something for everyone.

Kazbegi Packing Essentials

When packing for your trip to Kazbegi, it’s essential to keep in mind the weather and activities you’ll be participating in. Here are some critical items to consider bringing with you:

Clothing

  • Comfortable hiking shoes or boots with good traction
  • Warm layers such as a fleece jacket or sweater
  • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
  • Hat and gloves for colder weather
  • Lightweight, quick-drying pants and shirts for hiking

Overall, Kazbegi is a stunning destination that is well worth the effort to visit. With its breathtaking natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and friendly locals, it’s sure to be a trip you’ll never forget. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your adventure today!

FAQs: Visiting Kazbegi Georgia

What Are the Top-Rated Hotels in Kazbegi?

Kazbegi offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury. Some top-rated hotels in Kazbegi are Rooms Hotel Kazbegi, Hotel Porta Caucasia Kazbegi, and Intourist Kazbegi. These hotels offer excellent amenities and services to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.

How Many Days Should I Plan For a Trip to Kazbegi?

To fully explore Kazbegi and its surrounding areas, we recommend planning a trip for at least 3-4 days. This will give you enough time to visit the must-see attractions, hike in the national park, and experience the local culture and cuisine. We only had two nights and three days. While we would have enjoyed a few more days to explore more, I think it was still a reasonable amount of time.

Can I Visit Kazbegi as a Day Trip Only?

Yes! While I reccomend spending at least 2 nights, it is possible to visit Kazbegi in just a day on your own or arrange a tour from Tbilisi to Kazbegi.

There are several group and private tour operators offering full-day tours from Tbilisi to Kazbegi, allowing you to explore the beautiful natural landscapes and cultural attractions in the region within a day.

These tours typically include transportation and visits to key sights such as the Zhinvali Water Reservoir, Ananuri Fortress, Gudauri slopes, and Kazbegi itself.

Is Kazbegi a Safe Place to Visit?

Kazbegi is a safe place to visit, and the crime rate is relatively low. However, taking necessary precautions and being aware of your surroundings is always a good idea, especially when traveling alone at night.

What is the Weather like in Kazbegi?

Kazbegi has a temperate climate with warm summers and cold winters. The best time to visit Kazbegi is during the summer (June to September) when the weather is pleasant and the hiking trails are open. However, be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and carry warm clothing even during summer.

What are the Must-Visit Places in Kazbegi National Park?

Kazbegi National Park is home to several stunning natural attractions worth visiting. Some must-visit places in the park include Gergeti Trinity Church, Gveleti Waterfall, and the Dariali Gorge. You can also go hiking on the many trails in the park to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

What is the Best Way to Get Around Kazbegi?

Hiring a car or taxi is the best way to get around Kazbegi. If you are on a budget, you can also use public transportation like marshrutkas (minibusses). However, be prepared for long waiting times and crowded buses during peak season.

When do you plan to visit Kazbegi? What is something from this guide you will put in your must-thing to do while there? Please comment and share this article with anyone interested in visiting Kazbegi, Georgia.

Conclusion: Visit Kazbegi Georgia

Here it is. Your ultimate guide to visit Kazbegi, Georgia. This was the highlight of our Georgian trip, and I highly recommend that anyone visiting Georgia visit.

Kazbegi promises an unforgettable mix of natural adventure and cultural experiences. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely family getaway to unwind and relax or are up for more adventures, Kazbegi is a place to be.

If you explore more of Georgia, you may also like our 3-Day Tbilisi Itinerary.

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