• KAZBEGI TRAVEL GUIDE

    Sunrise view of Mt. Kazbek and Gergeti Holy Trinity Church from Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) in Georgia
  • KAZBEGI

    Snow capped Mt. Kazbek shining bright at sunrise, as seen from the town of Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) in northern Georgia

KAZBEGI

TRAVEL GUIDE

Easily accessible from Tbilisi, Kazbegi is home to the magnificent Mt. Kazbek and is one of Georgia’s most popular mountain retreats. The term ‘Kazbegi’ commonly refers to both the town of Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi and still called this by many), and the greater Kazbegi Municipality within the Khevi province. Roughly speaking, this area extends northwards from Jvari Pass to the Russian border at Dariali Gorge, westwards up Truso Valley, and eastwards up the Snostskali Valley to Juta.

Bisecting this area is the Georgian Military Highway, a vital road connecting Georgia and Russia on either side of the Caucasus Mountains. A long established trade route, it has led to increased development over the years; trucks constantly ply the main road, and shops, guesthouses, and restaurants are plentiful. This infrastructure, along with the area’s proximity to the capital just three hours away, is what makes it so accessible for many. On the other hand, Kazbegi’s popularity can undoubtedly be attributed to the glorious mountain vistas, natural attractions, and iconic sites found across the region.

In this guide we outline the best things to see and do around Kazbegi. We also provide practical travel info, including the best places to stay, where to eat and how to get there. Additionally, we’ve created a detailed map which can be used online, or downloaded for offline use. We recommend a minimum of 4 days for all of the main activities outlined in this guide, plus extra time if you want to tackle some of the region’s multi-day hikes. If you’re planning a shorter trip, we hope this guide will help you choose something that suits your own interests and timeframe.

WATCH OUR FILM

Watch the behind the scenes version of our Kazbegi adventures on our Instagram stories highlights

Watch the behind the scenes
version of our Kazbegi trip
on our Instagram stories
highlights 

KAZBEGI MAP

Use the map below to help lead you around Kazbegi to all the places mentioned in this guide. You can also download an offline version to Maps.me (iOS/Android). Tap the menu button at the top left for more details, to toggle layers on and off, and switch between satellite and terrain view.


To save this map to use online on desktop or mobile just tap the star symbol at the top. When you open Google Maps on your phone, navigate to ‘Saved’ at the bottom, then swipe along to ‘Maps’ at the top. You’ll find this map in your list of maps.

On desktop, click the three lines at the top left, select ‘Your Places’, then ‘Maps’. Click the map, then scroll down and select ‘Open in My Maps’ to access the interactive version.

Alternatively, just tap the rectangle symbol at the top right of the map in this blog post to view the My Maps version larger on desktop.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to view this version of the map offline, but we’ve created a similar version for offline use as per below.


MAPS.ME

Maps.me is our go-to offline mapping app. We find it straightforward to use for planning routes in advance, as well as navigating on the trail. It doesn’t drain our phone battery, and it’s quick and easy to save and organise ‘bookmarks’. There are many trails already marked on Maps.me, plus you can download and import a KML track of your route to the app. 

To use Maps.me, first download the app (iOS/Android). Hover over the region or country that you want to visit and the app will prompt you to download this map. Once downloaded, it can be viewed offline. 

You can tap anywhere and save it as a ‘bookmark’ by tapping the star symbol at the bottom. Hit ‘Edit Bookmark’ to personalise the bookmark colour, organise your bookmarks into different folders, and rename them. 

You can navigate easily or plan routes in advance by tapping your start point and selecting ‘route from’, then tapping your end point and selecting ‘route to’. Tap the car, walking, or cycling symbol at the top of the screen to indicate your mode of travel. If you want to plot a different route to the one suggested by Maps.me, just tap a third (or fourth, fifth, etc.) bookmark between the start and end points and select ‘add stop’. 

Maps.me shows the distance and travel time, plus elevation profiles for hiking trails. Note that the estimated time isn’t always reliable, but we’ve always found the distance and elevation gain/loss to be largely accurate. It only shows very basic contour lines.

You can track your progress on the trail using GPS. The arrow shows your direction of travel. Tap the compass at the top right of the screen to keep the map in a fixed position (the arrow will rotate). Alternatively, tap the arrow at the bottom right of the screen to rotate the map in the direction of travel (the arrow will stay in a fixed position).

GAIA

Gaia (iOS/Android) is another offline mapping app that is very useful. It shows the contours in much more detail than Maps.me, as long as you have previously viewed the section of map online. With a paid membership you can download various maps in advance for offline use. The app has existing OpenStreetMap trails marked and you can import GPX tracks and view them offline. You can also create new routes online yourself and export them as GPX or KML files. You can navigate easily on the trail using the arrow that shows your GPS location. Unlike with Maps.me, it isn’t possible to quickly check distances between two points (or at least we haven’t figured out a way to do it). There are a lot of useful features in the free version and even more benefits if you have a paid annual membership, so if you spend a lot of time outdoors it is worthwhile learning how to use the app to its full advantage. 

In our experience, Gaia drains your phone battery much quicker than Maps.me, even in flight mode, so it’s best to shut down the app completely each time you finish using it. 

OSMAND MAPS

OsmAnd Maps (iOS/Android) is another great offline mapping app with lots of useful features. In our opinion, it’s not as intuitive as Maps.me, and it has so many features that it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Like Gaia, we recommend checking out the written and video tutorials on the OsmAnd website to learn how to fully use the app. The benefits of the app include being able to plot routes in advance and save them as GPX tracks, and to view detailed elevation and terrain information, including surface types. You can also import GPX tracks. One downside is that the free version does not include contour lines, but these can be added via a paid plugin.


WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN KAZBEGI

There’s plenty to keep outdoor lovers busy in Kazbegi, with everything from easy scenic strolls to challenging multi-day hikes. It should be noted though that most places and activities in this guide are spread out across the municipality and require transport to get to. The exceptions are Gergeti Trinity Church and Gergeti Glacier, both of which can be reached on foot from Kazbegi town (Stepantsminda).

ON FOOT FROM KAZBEGI TOWN (STEPANTSMINDA)

Mt. Kazbek, or Mqinvartsveri in Georgian, watches over Kazbegi from the lofty height of 5054 m. The third tallest mountain in Georgia, it is among the most iconic peaks of the Greater Caucasus Range. The peak is visible from most spots around town (weather permitting of course), and admiring its majesty from a cafe terrace or guesthouse balcony is a worthwhile activity in itself. But for those looking to stretch the legs and get a closer view, we highly recommend hiking up to Gergeti Trinity Church, or Gergeti Glacier beyond.

GERGETI TRINITY CHURCH

One of the most recognisable churches in all of Georgia, Gergeti Trinity Church is perched picturesquely atop a grassy peak, with Mt Kazbek rising behind and Kazbegi town stretched out below. While the 14th century church is as pretty as any in Georgia, it’s this epic location that really makes it shine.

Gergeti Holy Trinity Church surrounded by grey clouds and mist on an overcast morning above Kazbegi in northern Georgia

A view of Gergeti Trinity Church from the northwest, facing away from Mt. Kazbek



Gergeti Holy Trinity Church surrounded by grey clouds and mist on an overcast morning above Kazbegi in northern Georgia

A view of Gergeti Trinity Church from the
northwest, facing away from Mt. Kazbek



HOW TO GET TO THE CHURCH

These days a tarmac road winds up the hillside to the church, making it easily accessible by car. Expect to pay 40 GEL+ for a taxi from town (1740 m) to church (2170 m) and back, including waiting time at the top.

If you prefer more of a challenge, hiking to the church is a great option. There are a few approaches you can take, including a forest trail that criss-crosses the road, and an incredibly steep climb straight up the hillside. However, the best route curves around the southern side of the church and climbs up through a grassy valley past a crumbling watchtower.

We’ve marked this route on our map. Allow around 1.5 hours to get to the church from the main square in Kazbegi town, and a bit less time coming back.

CHURCH VIEWPOINTS

Once at the top it’s worth following the trail around the eastern (Kazbegi town) side of the church to reach a viewpoint (42.6613, 44.6214). From here you’ll have a view of the church in the foreground with Mt. Kazbek rising behind. There is another fantastic viewpoint about 30 minutes’ walk up the hillside to the northwest of the church, on the way towards Sabertse Pass and Gergeti Glacier. To get to it, follow the road and turn left onto a trail leading up the grassy hillside just after the large car park. From the viewpoint (42.66482, 44.6112) Mt. Kazbek will be at your back, and you’ll be looking down towards the church and dramatic wall of mountains behind.

  • One of the best views of Gergeti Trinity Church, seen from the hiking trail to Gergeti Glacier and Mt. Kazbek
  • One of the best views of Gergeti Trinity Church, seen from the hiking trail to Gergeti Glacier and Mt. Kazbek

The great viewpoint about 30 minutes
up the trail from Gergeti Trinity Church



TIPS FOR VISITING GERGETI TRINITY CHURCH

If you want to go inside the church, ensure your shoulders and knees are covered. Women also have to cover their hair. There are aprons at the entrance to borrow if necessary. The church is open daily from 9am – 5pm.

There are public toilets and a water tap near the church.

GERGETI GLACIER DAY HIKE

Beyond Gergeti Trinity Church, a hiking trail continues all the way to Gergeti Glacier at the foot of Mt. Kazbek. This is considerably more challenging than the hike to the church itself. You have to ascend more than 1600 metres to an altitude of 3300 m, and it takes an average of 9-12 hours for the return hike. The reward is fantastic views of Kazbek and the surrounding mountains, and getting up close to the glacier!

A view through the mist of Gergeti Glacier and the mountains behind, seen from the hiking trail above Altihut

A view through the mist of Gergeti Glacier and the mountains behind



A view through the mist of Gergeti Glacier and the mountains behind, seen from the hiking trail above Altihut

A view through the mist of Gergeti
Glacier and the mountains behind



It’s best to get an early start from Kazbegi to tackle this 21 km hike, ensuring you have appropriate all weather clothing and are loaded with enough food and water to see you through the day. The trail is mostly straightforward to follow although it isn’t waymarked in any way, so make sure you have a map of your route and a power bank to keep your phone/GPS charged. If you fancy splitting the hike over two or more days, it’s possible to stay at swish Altihut, or camp at the informal campsite nearby.

For a full breakdown of the hike, check out our dedicated Gergeti Glacier Hiking Guide.

NORTH OF KAZBEGI TOWN (STEPANTSMINDA)

The Georgian Military Highway continues north of Kazbegi town for 11 km before reaching the Russian border at Dariali. The road winds its way through an increasingly narrow gorge, with the landscape differing markedly from the wider valley to the south of Kazbegi. Gveleti Waterfall and the hilltop village of Tsdo are two scenic spots to visit in this area, and Dariali Monastery Complex which overlooks the border is a popular place to visit.

There is no public transport available, but it’s possible to arrange a driver and car to take you to all three places and wait while you explore. Expect to pay up to 80 GEL for a half day trip in a 4×4 Delica (seats 6-7 people). Alternatively, this half day Gveleti Falls and Juta Valley trip is a good option for seeing two of the main highlights around Kazbegi if you’re short on time.

GVELETI WATERFALL

 West of the small settlement of Gveleti, the lovely Big Gveleti Waterfall is hidden up a narrow, steep sided gorge. The hike to reach it is short and relatively easy, with the trail passing various smaller falls and pools of water surrounded by greenery. You can get all the way to the bottom, where the water thunders down and forms a natural pool before rushing down the valley.

Big Gveleti Waterfall thundering down at the end of a dramatic steep-sided gorge in Kazbegi, Georgia

Big Gveleti Waterfall thunders down at the end of a dramatic steep-sided gorge



A person looks up at Big Gveleti Waterfall thundering down in Kazbegi, Georgia

The impressive Big Gveleti Waterfall 



With a good 4×4 you can drive all the way to the end of the track. This leaves you with a distance of just 600 metres to hike and about 170 metres to climb. Otherwise, you can start the hike from the main road, although this adds on an extra 1 km to the distance and another 130 metres to climb. Either way, to get to the Big Waterfall you should take the right fork at the end of the track (shortly after a couple of basic shelters). The left fork leads to the less impressive Small Waterfall. Cross the river on the footbridge, then follow the trail up the right side of the river. There are some sections where you need to climb over or around rocks, but the trail isn’t too difficult.

The river spilling down over rocks next to the Big Gveleti Waterfall trail in Kazbegi

The river spilling down over rocks next to the Big Gveleti Waterfall trail



The river spilling down over rocks next to the Big Gveleti Waterfall trail in Kazbegi

The river spilling down over rocks
next to the Big Gveleti Waterfall trail



It takes around 20-30 minutes to hike to the waterfall from the fork at the end of the 4×4 track, and around 10-15 minutes to walk back. Allow around 1.5 hours, including time at the waterfall itself. And of course, you’ll need more time if you start walking from the main road.

TSDO VILLAGE

Tsdo is one of the Kazbegi region’s most unique villages, perched on a rocky outcrop high above a bend in the Terek River. A number of houses are built along the edge of the hilltop, seemingly clinging on in perilous fashion. On the crest of the hill you can see an altar where a ritual slaughter of lambs takes place once a year. From here the views back towards Kazbegi town and down into Dariali Gorge are impressive, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot some lammergeier (bearded vultures).

A number of houses are built along the edge of a hilltop in the village of Tsdo, in Kazbegi, Georgia

Houses close to the rocky edge in the village of Tsdo



A number of houses are built along the edge of a hilltop in the village of Tsdo, in Kazbegi, Georgia

Houses close to the edge in the village of Tsdo



A dirt road switchbacks up the hillside from the Georgian Military Highway to Tsdo. Once you reach the village, a short walking trail leads past the houses and up the grassy hillside to the best viewpoints near the ram statue.

DARIALI MONASTERY COMPLEX

DARIALI MONASTERY COMPLEX

The imposing pink-hued monastery complex overlooking the Georgia-Russia border at Dariali is very modern by Georgian standards, having only opened in 2011. It marks the furthest point in the Dariali Gorge that most tourists will travel, before turning around and heading back to Kazbegi town. It’s a nice spot for a wander around the grounds, with the huge monastery backed by even more impressive cliffs. You can climb a short distance up the path behind the monastery for a good view to the south; the view to the north is dominated by trucks waiting to pass through border control.

Dariali Monastery in Kazbegi, backed by towering cliffs and close to the border with Russia

Dariali Monastery and its impressive backdrop



Dariali Monastery in Kazbegi, backed by towering cliffs and close to the border with Russia

Dariali Monastery and its impressive backdrop



TRUSO VALLEY AREA

Truso Valley lies in the southwest corner of Kazbegi municipality, closer to Jvari Pass than Kazbegi town itself. It is home to some fantastically colourful travertine mineral springs, the ruins of an impressive hilltop fortress, a few largely abandoned settlements, and a couple of old monasteries. The surrounding mountain scenery is gorgeous, and Truso Valley makes for an excellent day hike that is long, but not too tough. For experienced and self-sufficient hikers, the three day Kelitsadi Lake camping trek offers something a little more challenging. This demanding route climbs to the remote Kelitsadi volcanic plateau, before descending steeply to emerge at the western end of Truso Valley.

TRUSO VALLEY DAY HIKE

Truso Valley is a great choice for anyone looking for an easy day hike with maximum scenic reward. It’s a long one at around 21 km, but the route is mostly flat and straightforward to follow. The hike starts at the village of Kvemo Okrokana, 30-40 minutes’ drive south of Kazbegi town. From here you follow a dirt road most of the way, first through a steep sided canyon, then up the wide Truso Valley itself. The furthest point is the ruined Zakagori Fortress, where you turn around and retrace your steps.

The settlement of Abano in Truso Valley, with the old monastery on the right and Zakagori Fortress seen behind

The settlement of Abano in Truso Valley, with the old monastery on the right and Zakagori Fortress seen behind



The settlement of Abano in Truso Valley, with the old monastery on the right and Zakagori Fortress seen behind

The settlement of Abano in Truso Valley,
with the old monastery on the right and
Zakagori Fortress seen behind



Allow around 6 – 8 hours to complete the hike, including stops along the way. Be sure to have plenty of food and water with you as there are no facilities, shops or services in the valley (besides the small seasonal cafe and cabins at Truso Camping). There isn’t much shade in Truso Valley, and being in the mountains the weather can change quickly, so pack appropriate all weather clothing and be prepared for sun and rain.

For a detailed breakdown of the hike and practical tips, check out our Truso Valley Hiking Guide.

KELITSADI LAKE 3 DAY TREK

Kelitsadi Lake sits just below 3100 m, nestled among shale covered and boulder strewn mountains on a barren volcanic plateau. The scenery is otherworldly. A trek in this remote region is challenging and best suited to experienced and self-sufficient hikers. The rocky terrain at higher altitude means that there is little trail to follow, and water sources are in very short supply. You need to be fully prepared for these conditions before embarking on the 3 Day Kelitsadi Lake trek.

The route starts near the Truso Valley trailhead and climbs to the Keli Plateau, close to the de-facto border with South Ossetia/Tskhinvali Region. The first night is usually spent camping on a grassy plateau, before crossing the Khorisar Pass (3428 m) and descending to camp at Kelitsadi Lake on Day 2. Day 3 starts with a climb to High Esi Pass (3426 m), followed by a long descent through the Esikomi River valley, emerging near Abano and Ketrisi villages in Truso Valley.

For practical tips and a detailed breakdown of the trek, look out for our Kelitsadi Lake Trekking Guide (coming soon).

Looking down on turquoise Kelitsadi Lake from the climb to High Esi Pass in the Kazbegi region of Georgia

Looking down on Kelitsadi Lake from the climb to High Esi Pass



Looking down on turquoise Kelitsadi Lake from the climb to High Esi Pass in the Kazbegi region of Georgia

Climbing from Kelitsadi Lake to High Esi Pass



HOW TO GET TO TRUSO VALLEY FROM KAZBEGI (STEPANTSMINDA)

The starting point for either the Truso Valley hike or the Kelitsadi Lake trek is the small settlement of Kvemo Okrokana (42.5809, 44.4646). It lies at the end of a bumpy dirt track about 5.5 km west of Kobi, a village on the Georgian Military Highway. Kvemo Okrokana is a total of 22 km from Kazbegi town (Stepantsminda), and the quickest and easiest way to get there is by car, taxi, or shuttle bus. If you are on a budget, it is also possible to get there via a combination of marshrutka/hitchhiking and walking.

 Note that the road extends all the way up Truso Valley, but it is only suitable for proper 4×4 vehicles. This means that if you don’t want to walk, it is possible to visit Truso Valley on a ‘Delica’ tour (the ubiquitous 4×4 Mitsubishi vans that seat 6-7 people). Ask at your accommodation about tour prices and booking. A regular car can make it (slowly) along the bumpy road/track to Kvemo Okrokana.

The dirt road to Truso Valley descends back to the Terek River before entering the narrowest part of Kasari Canyon

The canyon road to Truso Valley, suitable for hiking or a good 4×4 vehicle



The dirt road to Truso Valley descends back to the Terek River before entering the narrowest part of Kasari Canyon

The road through Kasari Canyon to Truso
Valley, suitable for hiking or a good 4×4



TAXI

Unless you have your own car, the easiest way to get from Kazbegi to Kvemo Okrokana is by taxi. It takes about 30-40 minutes and should cost around 80 GEL for the return trip. Taxi drivers are usually happy to wait at Kvemo Okrokana while you hike, just be sure to agree on a timeframe in advance.

SHUTTLE BUS

From April 15th to October 31st, Mountain Freaks operate a daily bus to Kvemo Okrokana. This service departs from Kazbegi at 9am and 11am, returning at 4pm and 6pm. It costs 30 GEL return per person, and you should confirm your seat at least one day in advance as they can fill up fast. There’s a minimum of 3 passengers required to operate, and a maximum of 7.

HITCHHIKE AND WALK

If you’re on a budget, the cheapest way to get to the trailhead is to hitchhike along the Georgian Military Highway and get dropped off at Kobi. From here, walk up the valley to the west, past the new cable car station which goes to Gudauri. It’s a 3.6 km walk to the trailhead from the main road.

MARSHRUTKA AND WALK

Alternatively, you can take the Tbilisi bound marshrutka from Kazbegi town, get off at Kobi, then walk. They depart every hour, on the hour between 7am – 12pm, with another 5 departures at various times in the afternoon, up until 6pm. You may well have to pay the full Tbilisi fare (10 GEL).

KOBI-GUDAURI CABLE CAR

It’s also possible to get to Kobi via the Kobi-Gudauri cable car/ropeway, which usually operates in summer as well as the winter ski season. This connects Gudauri on the southern side of Jvari Pass with Kobi on the northern side and takes about 15 minutes. In summer it operates from 1000 – 1800 and costs 30 GEL return.

JUTA VALLEY AREA

The village of Juta lies about 20 km southeast of Kazbegi town (Stepantsminda), close to the spectacular jagged peaks of the Chaukhi Massif (the so-called ‘Dolomites of Georgia’). Unlike Truso Valley, Juta has a number of accommodation options, so you can choose to visit for the day or stay longer. The main day hike in the area leads up Juta Valley, to the foot of the Chaukhi Massif and back. Multi-day hikes are also possible, crossing Chaukhi Pass to end up at Roshka village in the Khevsureti region, or looping back to Juta via Sadzele Pass. Finally, the large stone-carved heads near Sno make an interesting stop on the way to Juta.

SNO HEADS

The village of Sno lies about 8 km south of Kazbegi town, near the start of the Snostskali Valley, and is home to some remarkable stone carvings. Local artist Merab Piranishvili has sculpted numerous stone heads depicting prominent figures from Georgian history. He has been creating the statues since 1984, and the huge granite carvings are scattered across a grassy hillside just outside the village. It’s free to visit at any time, although there is a donation box.

Giant heads carved out of stone sit on the grassy hillside near the village of Sno in Kazbegi, Georgia

The stone heads at Sno are a remarkable sight



Giant heads carved out of stone sit on the grassy hillside near the village of Sno in Kazbegi, Georgia

The stone heads at Sno are a remarkable sight



JUTA VALLEY DAY HIKE

You can get all the way to Juta village by road. From here, a hiking trail leads up the valley towards the pointed peaks of the Chaukhi Massif. The initial climb from the village is quite steep, but the trail levels out at Zeta Camping and then continues gently uphill towards Fifth Season. It takes about 20 – 30 minutes to reach this swish mountain hut, where hammocks, beanbags, and outdoor seating are perfectly situated to soak up the mountain views. You can order food and drinks here (all reasonably priced given the location). It makes a great spot to chill out before or after a hike up the valley.

The trail continues beyond Fifth Season and climbs gently alongside the Chaukhi River. After 3 km or so, you reach a small lake at the upper part of the valley where there’s an A-Frame hut cafe. It takes about 1 hour to get here from Fifth Season and this makes a good turnaround point for day hikers. Note that there are two trails, both of which are marked on our map. One sticks to the left side of the valley and crosses the river higher up, below a waterfall (where it is narrow, but there is no bridge). The other trail takes you to the right side of the valley, crossing the river earlier at an obvious bend (where it’s wider, but there is a makeshift sandbag causeway which may or may not be submerged). Either way, be prepared to get your feet wet.

Allow at least 2.5 hours for the return walk, plus extra time if you want to hang out at Fifth Season or the A-Frame cafe. 

A person relaxes in a hammock with a wide view of Juta Valley and the Chaukhi Massif in the Kazbegi area of Georgia

The view of Juta Valley and the Chaukhi Massif from Fifth Season Mountain Hut



A person relaxes in a hammock with a wide view of Juta Valley and the Chaukhi Massif in the Kazbegi area of Georgia

The view of Juta Valley and the Chaukhi
Massif from Fifth Season Mountain Hut



1 – 2 DAY JUTA TO ROSHKA HIKE VIA CHAUKHI PASS

It’s possible to hike all the way up Juta Valley and over Chaukhi Pass (3340 m) to Abudelauri Lakes and Roshka village in Khevsureti. This is best tackled over 2 days with a night camping at the beautiful Abudelauri Lakes. However, if you don’t have camping gear then you can hike from Juta to Roshka in one long day if you’re a fit and fast hiker. There are lots of accommodation options in Juta and a couple in Roshka – try Guesthouse Roshka or Mindia Guesthouse.

The total route from village to village is around 17 km, with a 1200 metre ascent to the pass from Juta, followed by a 1300 metre descent to Roshka. The mountain views are spectacular, and the trio of colourful lakes at Abudelauri are just as special. Roshka Valley is full of glacial erratics, the huge stones lying scattered across the valley. Note that the descent from Chaukhi Pass to the lakes is relentlessly steep with sections of loose shale, and the hike is best tackled when the pass is snow-free, usually between July and September.

For a detailed route description and planning info, check out our Juta to Roshka Trekking Guide.

The distinctive five peaks of the Chaukhi Massif, near Kazbegi in northern Georgia

The trail from Juta to Roshka leads beneath the distinctive form of the Chaukhi Massif



The distinctive five peaks of the Chaukhi Massif, near Kazbegi in northern Georgia

The trail from Juta to Roshka leads beneath
the distinctive form of the Chaukhi Massif



2 DAY JUTA TO ROSHKA LOOP HIKE VIA CHAUKHI PASS AND SADZELE PASS

It’s only 17 km on foot between Juta and Roshka, however it’s a whopping 170 km journey by road. Therefore, depending on your plans it may be more convenient to return to Juta on foot rather than end your hike at Roshka. To save you retracing your steps (and having to tackle the steep climb on the eastern side of Chaukhi Pass) the best option is to loop back to Juta via the Sadzele Pass (3068 m).

If you have camping gear it’s possible to skip Roshka all together. After camping at Abudelauri Lakes, head back towards the climb to Chaukhi Pass and turn east, following the base of the hill on the northern side of Roshka Valley. A trail is marked on the Geoland paper map #3, although only partly on apps such as Maps.me and Gaia. We’ve marked the approximate route on our map. Note that you’ll need to cross at least one river/stream and as far as we know there is no bridge. Around 4 km from the lakes you should meet the track coming from Roshka. Turn northwest here and continue to Sadzele Pass. If you are staying in Roshka at the end of Day 1, simply follow the dirt road westwards for about 4 km before branching off onto the trail towards the Sadzele Pass.

For more Sadzele Pass route details, check out Jozef’s guide over on Caucasus Trekking.

The jagged peaks of Chaukhi Massif rising behind and reflected in the bold blue surface of Blue Abudelauri Lake

Abudelauri Lakes with the Chaukhi Massif rising behind



The jagged peaks of Chaukhi Massif rising behind and reflected in the bold blue surface of Blue Abudelauri Lake

 The Chaukhi Massif rising behind Abudelauri Lakes



HOW TO GET TO JUTA FROM KAZBEGI (STEPANTSMINDA)

There is no public transport to Juta, so you need to drive your own car, or take a taxi or shuttle bus. Renting a mountain bike in Kazbegi is another option. The turn off for Juta is at Achkhoti on the Georgian Military Highway, about 5 km south of Kazbegi (Stepantsminda). From here it is a further 15 km to Juta village, with about 400 metres to climb over the last 4-5 km. It takes around 40 minutes to drive from Kazbegi to Juta. This can be done in a regular car, although a 4×4 is more comfortable as the road is mostly unpaved.

TAXI

A taxi should cost around 40 GEL for a one way journey, or 80 GEL for a return trip. This will include a photo stop at the Sno heads and waiting time at Juta while you hike up the valley and back. Be sure to agree on a timeframe with your driver in advance.

SHUTTLE BUS

From April 15th to October 31st, Mountain Freaks operate a daily shuttle bus to Juta. This service departs from Kazbegi at 9am and 11am, returning at 4pm and 6pm. It costs 30 GEL return per person, and you should confirm your seat at least one day in advance as they can fill up fast. There’s a minimum of 3 passengers required to operate, and a maximum of 7.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

There are numerous bike rental shops around Kazbegi (for example MTA – Mountain Travel Agency), and of all the places mentioned in this guide, the Snostskali Valley is probably the best suited to biking. You will only have to ride 5 km on the busy Georgian Military Highway before turning off up the valley. Just remember that 400 metre climb towards the end!

HITCHHIKING AND WALKING

You could try hitchhiking or walk all the way up the valley to Juta, but with over 15 km on road it’s a bit of a slog. 

See More From Georgia

A white horse grazing on the grassy slopes of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park
Two hikers traverse the grassy ridge on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail
A view of Tetnuldi peak from Latpari Pass on the Ushguli to Chvelpi hike
The twin peaks of Ushba and Chatyn-Tau, seen from the trail on Day 2 of the Mestia to Ushguli trek in Svaneti, Georgia
A hiker on the steep final approach to Gul Pass, on the Chuberi to Mestia section of the Transcaucasian Trail in Svaneti
Mountains reflected in Kelitsadi Lake on a still morning
Two hikers and a dog rest on a rock in front of an unnamed lake on the Black Rock Lake trek
A hiker climbs the shale switchback trail to Atsunta Pass on the Shatili Omalo trek, with the layered mountains of Khevsureti behind
A hiker descends the switchback ridgeline trail from Chaukhi Pass to Abudelauri Lakes on the Juta to Roshka trek in Georgia
Snow capped Mt. Kazbek shining bright at sunrise, as seen from the town of Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) in northern Georgia
The settlement of Abano in Truso Valley, with the old monastery on the right and Zakagori Fortress seen behind
One of the best views of Gergeti Trinity Church, seen from the hiking trail to Gergeti Glacier and Mt. Kazbek
Hikers descend from the viewpoint at Kojori Fortress in Georgia
A UAZ Buhanka campervan parked at the side of a grassy track to Levani's Lake on the expansive Javakheti Plateau
A person walks beneath the huge dusty sky looking at the seemingly endless hazy view at Takhti-Tepha Mud Volcanoes in the Vashlovani Protected Area
Two people watch something in the distance from outside a parked 4x4 vehicle in the hills of Racha, Georgia.
A white horse grazing on the grassy slopes of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park
Two hikers traverse the grassy ridge on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail
A view of Tetnuldi peak from Latpari Pass on the Ushguli to Chvelpi hike
The twin peaks of Ushba and Chatyn-Tau, seen from the trail on Day 2 of the Mestia to Ushguli trek in Svaneti, Georgia
A hiker on the steep final approach to Gul Pass, on the Chuberi to Mestia section of the Transcaucasian Trail in Svaneti
Mountains reflected in Kelitsadi Lake on a still morning
Two hikers and a dog rest on a rock in front of an unnamed lake on the Black Rock Lake trek
A hiker climbs the shale switchback trail to Atsunta Pass on the Shatili Omalo trek, with the layered mountains of Khevsureti behind
A hiker descends the switchback ridgeline trail from Chaukhi Pass to Abudelauri Lakes on the Juta to Roshka trek in Georgia
Snow capped Mt. Kazbek shining bright at sunrise, as seen from the town of Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) in northern Georgia
The settlement of Abano in Truso Valley, with the old monastery on the right and Zakagori Fortress seen behind
One of the best views of Gergeti Trinity Church, seen from the hiking trail to Gergeti Glacier and Mt. Kazbek
Hikers descend from the viewpoint at Kojori Fortress in Georgia
A UAZ Buhanka campervan parked at the side of a grassy track to Levani's Lake on the expansive Javakheti Plateau
A person walks beneath the huge dusty sky looking at the seemingly endless hazy view at Takhti-Tepha Mud Volcanoes in the Vashlovani Protected Area
Two people watch something in the distance from outside a parked 4x4 vehicle in the hills of Racha, Georgia.

WHERE TO EAT IN KAZBEGI (STEPANTSMINDA)

WHERE TO EAT IN KAZBEGI

(STEPANTSMINDA)

For cheap and delicious food, with excellent service in a no-frills (mostly outdoor) setting, Kazbegi Good Food is the best option. The owner is super friendly and speaks perfect English. Cafe 5047m has a great outdoor terrace with Kazbek views. The food is decent, if a bit pricey. Inside is cosy in colder months, with vintage furniture and a relaxed corner couch area. Across the road, Shorena’s has friendly service, good prices, and tasty food, served in an alpine lodge/bar style atmosphere that is usually pretty lively. Rooms Kazbegi has the best views in town, and their restaurant, cafe, and enormous terrace are open to non-residents. The menu is pricey by local standards, but the views alone are worth splashing out on (or at the very least come here for a drink).

For cheap and delicious food, with excellent service in a no-frills (mostly outdoor) setting, Kazbegi Good Food is the best option. The owner is super friendly and speaks perfect English.

Cafe 5047m has a great outdoor terrace with Kazbek views. The food is decent, if a bit pricey. Inside is cosy in colder months, with vintage furniture and a relaxed corner couch area.

Across the road, Shorena’s has friendly service, good prices, and tasty food, served in an alpine lodge/bar style atmosphere that is usually pretty lively.

Rooms Kazbegi has the best views in town, and their restaurant, cafe, and enormous terrace are open to non-residents. The menu is pricey by local standards, but the views alone are worth splashing out on (or at the very least come here for a drink).

A view of Mount Kazbek and Gergeti Holy Trinity Church, seen through the window at luxury hotel Rooms Kazbegi

Cracking views from the lounge in Rooms Kazbegi



A view of Mount Kazbek and Gergeti Holy Trinity Church, seen through the window at luxury hotel Rooms Kazbegi

Cracking views from Rooms Kazbegi



For a quick snack on the go, the bakery next to the supermarket does excellent khachapuri, as well as other delicious piping hot bread. For self-catering food, this supermarket is probably the best stocked in town.

WHERE TO STAY IN KAZBEGI (STEPANTSMINDA)

WHERE TO STAY IN KAZBEGI

(STEPANTSMINDA)

Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) makes a good base for visiting the region. There are numerous accommodation options ranging from homely guesthouses to swish hotels, and even a funky campsite. It also has the best transport links and tourist services, like restaurants, bars, and travel agencies.

BEST MT. KAZBEK VIEWS

If you’re looking for the best Mt. Kazbek views, opt for somewhere a little north of the town square such as North Kazbegi, or somewhere up the hillside on the east of town, for example Guesthouse Elia, Wooden Hotel Kazbegi, Sabuka Qushashvili or Kazbegi View. Stunning design hotel Rooms Kazbegi arguably has the best view of all, and an enormous terrace from which to enjoy it. Elia Loft has three gorgeous A-Frame houses in a lovely forest setting.

Sunrise view of Mt. Kazbek and Gergeti Holy Trinity Church from Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) in Georgia

Sunrise view of Mt. Kazbek and Gergeti Holy Trinity Church from Kazbegi (Stepantsminda)



Sunrise view of Mt. Kazbek and Gergeti Holy Trinity Church from Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) in Georgia

Sunrise view of Mt. Kazbek and Gergeti Holy
Trinity Church from Kazbegi (Stepantsminda)



ON THE MAIN ROAD

If you want to avoid walking up hills, choose somewhere along the main road such as Wooden Guesthouse or Traveler Kazbegi Guesthouse. Both are very conveniently located close to the Tbilisi marshrutka stand, shops, restaurants, travel agencies, and so on.

GERGETI VILLAGE

There are also plenty of accommodation options in Gergeti Village, which is across the river from Kazbegi and close to the trailhead for the Gergeti Trinity Church and Gergeti Glacier hike. Views from here overlook Kazbegi town and the mountains rising behind (not Mt Kazbek and Gergeti Trinity Church). Options include Guesthouse Ketino Sujashvili, Home of Bella & Tamo, Red Stone Guesthouse, and Kazbegi Cabins.

CAMPING

For camping, check out Camp at Kuro, a little north of the town.

FIND MORE KAZBEGI ACCOMMODATION HERE

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WHERE TO STAY IN JUTA

If you plan to spend a few days in the Kazbegi area, it’s worth splitting your time between Kazbegi town (Stepantsminda) and Juta for two quite different experiences. Staying in Juta also makes sense if you plan to hike from Juta to Roshka, as you won’t need transport to get to the trailhead and can start earlier in the morning. There are guesthouses and hotels in the village itself, as well as Zeta Camping and Fifth Season 20-30 minutes’ walk up the valley.

JUTA VILLAGE ACCOMMODATION

A few good options are MetiTsa, a modern place with nice balconies to hang out on, Hotel Shibi, another modern build with nice balcony areas, and homely Levan & Megi’s Guesthouse.

UNIQUE STAYS IN JUTA

Zeta Camping is a funky option with good views of Chaukhi Massif. They offer accommodation in tents and cottages, with a cafe bar on site, a climbing wall, and plenty of space to hang out. Reach it on foot by climbing the hill from Juta village.

A short walk beyond Zeta Camping is Fifth Season mountain hut. They have the best location in the valley, with exceptional views of Chaukhi Massif and loads of outdoor seating spread around the grass and pond areas. They offer budget rooms with shared bathrooms in the main building, or luxury en-suite double rooms with epic mountain views in two cleverly designed buildings tucked into the nearby hillside. They also have a cafe bar, a cosy indoor fire, and plenty of books and games to borrow.

A person relaxes on a deck chair while enjoying the sunshine and mountain views at Fifth Season Mountain Hut near Juta, Georgia

Enjoying the sunshine and mountain views at Fifth Season Mountain Hut



A person relaxes on a deck chair while enjoying the sunshine and mountain views at Fifth Season Mountain Hut near Juta, Georgia

Enjoying the sunshine and mountain
views at Fifth Season Mountain Hut



HOW TO GET TO KAZBEGI (STEPANTSMINDA)

HOW TO GET TO KAZBEGI

(STEPANTSMINDA)

Kazbegi is about 150 km north of Tbilisi, along the Georgian Military Highway. The road is generally open year-round, but can close at times in winter if there is heavy snow. It takes about 3 hours to drive. Check Holiday Autos for car hire options if you want to self drive the route.

You can take a marshrutka to Kazbegi from Didube Station in Tbilisi (10 GEL, approx. every hour from 0800 – 1900). It takes around 3.5 hours, usually with one toilet stop en route. You’ll be dropped at the bus station (more of a stand really) in the centre of Kazbegi. Return marshrutkas from Kazbegi to Tbilisi leave hourly on the hour between 0700 and 1200, then at 1330, 1400, 1530, 1700 and 1800, departing from the same place.

There are also shared taxis departing from Didube Station. These cost about 20-25 GEL per seat. Alternatively, book a private car and driver with gotrip.ge and make as many scenic stops as you like along the way. This will likely cost around 140 GEL, with door to door service.

In Kazbegi, the best place to find a taxi is in the main square near the bus station. Your accommodation owner or staff will likely also know a driver and be able to arrange a taxi for you.

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KAZBEGI TRAVEL GUIDE

That’s it for our guide. If you have any useful info to add or stories to share, get in touch through the comments section below. Equally, if you have any questions, let us know and we’ll do our best to answer them. And if you’re planning your own trip to Kazbegi, good luck and enjoy!

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