The small city of Kazbegi (also known as Stepantsminda or სტეფანწმინდა in Georgian)
lies along the Georgian military highway at an altitude of 1740m in the Caucasus mountains, not far from the border to Russia. The city is famous for the nearby Gergeti Trinity church (წმინდა სამება - Tsminda Sameba in Georgian), which lies on a nearby hilltop at 2200m. This is a 14th century Georgian Orthodox church in a very scenic setting among the mountains. To get to the church visitors either take a taxi in Kazbegi and drive on a 6km mountain dirt track, or simply walk to the church from Kazbegi along a steep path. This can be covered in about 40 minutes. From the church there are views of Mt Kazbek, a 5047m high dormant volcano and the 4451m high Mt Shani.
Gudauri is a ski resort between Tbilisi and Kazbegi, located at an altitude of 2200m (skilifts leading up to 3007m). The skiing area has 57km of ski runs and 7 lifts. The skiing season lasts from December until April.
The Russia–Georgia Friendship monument or Treaty of Georgievsk Monument was built in 1983 to celebrate the bicentennial of the Treaty of Georgievsk. It is an open cylinder with wall paintings on the interior side.
Accommodation in Kazbegi:
Being a major tourist centre, Kazbegi has a number of hotels and guesthouses. In Gudauri there are many hotels, apartments and cottages.
How to get to Kazbegi:
Kazbegi is 154km north of Tbilisi along the Georgian military highway (about three hours by car). It can be done as a daytrip from Tbilisi, either by renting a car, going by taxi or with a tour. It's advisable however to spend at least one night in Kazbegi.