Greater Caucasus Culture & history

Our most recommended Greater Caucasus Culture & history

From Tbilisi: The Best of Kazbegi and Gudauri Mountains

1. From Tbilisi: The Best of Kazbegi and Gudauri Mountains

Discover the magic of the mountains on a full-day guided trip from Tbilisi. Visit Zhinvali Reservoir, Ananuri Fort, Gudauri, the Cross Pass, Kazbegi National Park, and the famous Gergeti Trinity Church. Admire panoramic views and old forts, and have the chance to sample the local cuisine. Start your tour at your hotel or holiday apartment if you choose the private tour option, or at a central meeting point in Tbilisi if you opt for the shared tour. Then, head northward and enjoy stunning views. Stop at the Zhinvali Reservoir, a calm lake surrounded by green hills. From there, discover the impressive Ananuri Fort. Explore the remains, the yard, and the old tower while your guide tells you the story of this place. Continue along the Georgian Military Highway to see more scenic and interesting spots, including a mineral spring that is believed to have healing powers, before reaching Gudauri and the Cross Pass. Take in the views at the Soviet Monument of Friendship, and marvel at the panoramic views of mountains and gorges from one of the best panoramic platforms in Georgia. Stop at Kazbegi, the center of the region and home to the famous Gergeti Trinity Church. In the summer, you can choose to hike to the church or go there by car. On the way back, your guide will show you the locals' favorite restaurant, where you can try authentic mountain-style khinkali dumplings (included in the shared tour; at your own expense on the private tour) before you return to Tbilisi.

From Tbilisi: Ananuri-Kazbegi Mountains Cultural Tour

2. From Tbilisi: Ananuri-Kazbegi Mountains Cultural Tour

Head north from Tbilisi along the Georgian Military Highway, the only road connecting Georgia to Russia through the high Caucasus Mountains. First you'll visit Zhinvali Dam, a hydroelectric dam on the Aragvi River. Despite its artificial origins, the reservoir blends in with the surrounding environment perfectly and delights visitors with its turquoise waters. As you descend to the shores of the reservoir you will notice the ruins of a church from a settlement that was relocated out of the flooding area of the dam.   Next, visit Ananuri Fortress, known for its stunning panoramic views. It was built by the Dukes of Aragvi and its earliest parts date back to the 13th century. After this, you'll explore Gudauri, a ski resort located in the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. The slopes of Gudauri are completely above the tree line. Discover the Treaty of Georgievsk Monument, built in 1983 to celebrate the bicentennial of the Treaty of Georgievsk and ongoing friendship between Georgia and Russia. Inside the monument is a large tile mural that spans the whole circumference of the structure and depicts scenes from Georgian history. Finally, you'll visit Gergeti Trinity Church. The church is located under Mount Kazbek, and served as a popular waypoint for travellers on the road connecting Russia and Georgia. At the end of the day, return to Tbilisi.

Kazbegi, Stepantsminda, and Gudauri Tour

3. Kazbegi, Stepantsminda, and Gudauri Tour

You will depart from Tbilisi early in the morning, in the direction of Kazbegi. On the way, there will be some very interesting places to visit. Ananuri Fortified Castle Ensemble is a sixteenth-century castle complex on the Aragvi River. The fortress stands beside the famous Georgian Military Highway, overlooking the large Jinvali Lake. Its high, turreted stone walls protect two churches, a watchtower, and a reservoir. The main church facade is beautifully carved with animal, floral and Celtic style patterns. Next stop on the way is Gudauri, a remarkable ski resort in Georgia. The resort is at the altitude of 7,217 feet (2,200 meters) above sea level. The first lower lift station is at 6528 feet (1,990 meters ) above sea level and the last, or top, the station is at a 3,306-meter called summit Sadzele. The resort offers high-quality skiing opportunities, with the ski season lasting from December through April. From Gudauri, you'll continue your trip to Gergeti Trinity Church. At an altitude of 7,119 feet (2,170 meters), the twelfth or thirteenth-century monument was erected on the southern slopes of Mkinvarcveri. Gergeti Trinity Church is an important temple, remarkable for its beautiful scenery. The Gergeti Trinity Church is set poignantly on a hill directly below the towering white massif of Mount Kazbek, which sits at 5,033 meters. On top of all this, you will also have the opportunity to partake in the best tandem paragliding in Georgia. The spectacular views and stable weather conditions put it right up there. From the perfect take-off sites close to the spots around Gudauri, your flight will take you over the ridges with a birds-eye view of the places above Jvari pass or Aragvi Valley. After a 20 to 25 minute flight, you will smoothly land close to the takeoff area or near the road in the valley after your exhilarating cross-country flight.

Ananuri, Gudauri, and Kazbegi Private Tour

4. Ananuri, Gudauri, and Kazbegi Private Tour

After meeting your driver, take an exciting drive north along the Georgian Military Highway into the high Caucasus Mountains. This spectacular highway winds its way through sheer mountains on a route that runs for 220 km from Tbilisi to Russia and dates back to the 1st century BC. Pass by the Zhinvali Dam hydroelectric dam and reservoir on the Aragvi River which blends in with the surrounding environment perfectly. Enjoy the view of the turquoise waters from Ananuri Fortress, a popular tourist sight with stunning, panoramic views. Descend to the shores of the reservoir until you reach Ananuri fortress, built by the Dukes of Aragvi and eith parts dating back to the 13th century. Admire the two fortifications joined by a crenelated curtain wall and the well-preserved, large square tower, known as the Sheupovari. Continue along the highway towards the Gudauri ski resort situated in the Stepantsminda District at an elevation of 2,200 meters above sea level. Visit the Georgievsk Monument which was built in 1983 to celebrate the ongoing friendship between Georgia and Soviet Russia. Peek inside the monument to see a large tile mural that spans the whole circumference of the structure and depicts scenes of Georgian history. Travel onward to the 14th-century Gergeti Trinity Church, located under Mount Kazbek above the town of Stepantsminda and which has for a long time served as a popular way-point for travelers on the road connecting Russia and Georgia.

Kazbegi: Tour from Tbilisi to the Caucasus Mountains

5. Kazbegi: Tour from Tbilisi to the Caucasus Mountains

Take off from Tbilisi to the Zhinvali reservoir, Kazbegi National Park, Gudauri, and more on this multi-stop guided trip. Take in unbeatable views of local spots, village landscapes, and Mount Kazbegi. The trip starts with a 40-minute drive from Tbilisi to the Zhinvali reservoir. The huge lake around the forest-rich hills offers beautiful landscapes at any time of the year. From here you can already smell the mountains. Not far from the lake, visit the historical sights of Ananuri Fortress. Built in the Middle Ages, this fortress complex served the most important defensive function in the region. This is the only complex in Georgia that has survived to this day and is almost in its original form. Stop near the friendship monument in Gudauri next and get some free time to explore. You can join paragliding with local instructors (costs not included) or just relax and take photos. Enjoy panoramic views of beautiful mountain systems in several directions around. The road continues in the direction of Kazbegi through a pass with a maximum altitude of 2,379 meters above sea level. There, you'll see only high mountains and small villages around. Finally, visit Stepantsminda, the administrative center of the municipality. Choose to visit Gergeti Church, which is not only an important religious place but also a place with scenic views of Kazbegi. Before returning to Tbilisi, you can have a relaxing time on the veranda of a hotel, drink coffee or tea, and see the Mkinvartsveri (Mount Kazbegi).

From Tbilisi: Full-Day Snowshoeing Tour to Kazbegi

6. From Tbilisi: Full-Day Snowshoeing Tour to Kazbegi

Start the tour early in the morning with a pick-up from your hotel in Tbilisi. Head to the north of Tbilisi through the Georgian Military Road. The road runs between Tbilisi (Georgia) and Vladikavkaz (Russia) and follows the traditional route used by traders and invaders throughout the ages. On the way to Mt. Kazbegi, enjoy views of Ananuri Fortress arising above Jinvali Lake and surrounding the mountain area. Farther on, the road continues to the Gudauri Skiing Resort located 120 kilometers north from Tbilisi at a height of 2,196 meters (about 7,200 feet). It is a young and rapidly developing winter resort located on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. Here, one can reach the summit of Mount Sadzele taking an aerial lift at an altitude of 3000 meters. In just a few minutes drive, one can reach Cross Pass, the highest point of the Georgian Military Road (about 2400 meters). From Cross Pass with the Serpentine Road, arrive down to the small village of Stapantsminda at the foot of Mt. Kazbegi from where you will start the snowshoeing tour to the awesome Gergeti Trinity Church. Walking up to the church takes 1 to 2-hours of winter hiking through the snowy forest up to the hills. The difference of altitude from Stepantsminda to Gergeti Trinity Church is 400 meters. Reaching the main highlight of the day, Gergeti Trinity Church (2170 meters) overlooks the area proudly as a steady symbol of Georgia. Enjoy the stunning views in a fabulous atmosphere. Due to your wish and possibility, it's available to prolong your trip after covering the main area and examine your opportunities  beyond. By the church as an award, you will have a warm coffee with a light snack and hot drinks overlooking the Tergi River gorge and village Gergeti covered with deep snow. After the trip, you will be driven you back to Tbilisi. On the way back, due to your wish, have a short stop at Ananuri Fortress. (16th to 17th century).

From Tbilisi: 2-Day Tour to Mount Kazbegi

7. From Tbilisi: 2-Day Tour to Mount Kazbegi

Day 1: Tbilisi - Jvari - Ananuri - Jinvali lake - Gudauri - Cross Pass - Stepantsminda (1740 meters) Depart from your hotel in Tbilisi at 09:30, driving a distance of 180 kilometers. Begin your tour by visiting Jvari Monastery (6th-century), built on the top of the hill above Mtskheta and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After visiting Jvari Monastery, drive further through Georgian Military Road to Ananuri Fortress (14th to 18th-century) situated at the bank of the picturesque Jinvali Lake. Enjoy great panoramic views. This Ananuri architectural complex belonged to the House of the Eristavi of Aragvi - a violent local ruler. The characteristic architectural design of the late medieval period includes a fortress, two churches, an old watch tower, prison and civic buildings. On the way to Stepantsminda visit Gudauri Ski Resort, located on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, along the Georgian Military Highway near the Crosss Pass, at an elevation of 2,196 meters above sea level. Arrive to the village Stepantsminda (1.740 meters) at the foot of Mount Kazbegi (5.047 meters). Here, you can either hire a 4WD car and drive up to the Gergeti Trinity Church (2.170 meters) or one can go for a walk and reach the church (it takes about 1 to 1.5-hours for a walk). Gergeti Trinity (Sameba) Church was built in the 14th-century. From the church on one side, you can explore the summit of Mount Kazbegi and from other side, find a wonderful view of the river Tergi Gorge and its surrounding area. Overnight in Stepantsminda. Either in a family type guesthouse or 3-star/plus hotel. Day 2: Stepantsminda - Beautiful Waterfalls - village Juta - Stepantsminda - Mtskheta - Tbilisi (approximately 180 kilometers) Visit beautiful waterfalls near Kazbegi and continue your way towards the village Juta (on 4WD car), one of the highest villages in Europe (2100 meters).The main attraction in this area, except for the above mentioned village, is a mountain Range Chaukhi. On the way back to Tbilisi, visit old capital of Georgia, Mtskheta. Some monuments found in the city are UNESCO World Heritage Site listed. In Mtskheta, visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, built in the 11th-century, the main church of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept. Though the site itself is even older dating back to the early 4th-century and surrounded by a number of legends associated primarily with the early Christian traditions. At the end of the tour, arrive back to Tbilisi and be dropped off at your hotel in Tbilisi.

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What people are saying about Greater Caucasus

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 187 reviews

Best one-day tour. You will see highlight spots in Georgia. The perfect option for solo travelers. This trip also includes 1 meal you can enjoy local food. Our guide Irakli is the best. He is nice and full of knowledge. I enjoy how he tells the story of the country and all the places we went to so much. I'll definitely tell my friend and family to use this service.

This was a really lovely day getting out of the city and seeing the mountains up close and personal. Irakli was a great guide, very friendly and fun to spend time with. The 4WD ride up the bumpy road to the church was especially memorable! Bring a snack with you if needed because lunch is pretty late in the day. Would highly recommend this to everyone!

I would like to express our gratitude to Georgi for giving us a memorable experience ever! Great place, hospitable service, brings us good food (Khachapuri) and ofcourse communication wise. I will definetely come back in future! Thank you!

Our tour guide was flexible and really went out of his way to make sure we were comfortable on our trip- he answered all our questions and catered the information based on our interests!

Excellent experience, unforgettable beautiful journey! Everything was well organised and we had a greatest khinkali. Thanks to our guide Zezva, everything went great! Xenia & Alex