Kazbegi National Park
Located on the North hillside of Great Caucasus Mountains at an altitude of 5,047 meters above sea level, Kazbegi Protected Area is covering a total of 78 543,4 ha. It comprises a park 35% of which is covered by forest and the rest territory encompasses alpine pastures, snow-covered peaks, spectacular gorges and canyons carved from the rock by the Tergi River. The whole gorge is mainly constructed with basalt formations such as quartzite, carbonaceous clay shale of the lower Lias age and argillaceous sediments of the lower Toarcian age. Basalt sections and lava layers are easy to notice in the cliffs.
Kazbegi National Park vegetation cover is distinguished by its diversity. 105 species of wood plants, 1347 species of alpine, subalpine, xerophytes, plants of other ecological communities can be found here, 26% out of them are endemic. The forests are mostly located on the steep slopes: Litvinov’s birch (Betula litwinovi), Sosnovski’s pine (Pinus sosnowskyi), Junipers (Juniperus - 3 species), Sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides). There is a very rare large grove of Sea-buckthorn nearby the settlement of Stepantsminda. Caucasian rhododendron (Rhododendron caucasicum), Oriental beech and high-mountain oak are widespread in vast areas.
Kazbegi Natural reserve is the best environment for Fauna-Georgia’s Red List species, such as brown bear, lynx, East Caucasian tur (Carpa cylinricornis), chamois (Rupicarpa rupicarpa), etc. and birds of prey included in the Red List of Georgia, such as the Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) and Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), Caucasian Black grouse (Tetrao mlokosiewiczi) and Caucasian Snowcock (Tetraogallus caucasicus).
Kazbegi also is a former name of Stephantsminda townlet, 14 km away from Dariali gorge and Larsi check-post bordering Russian Federation. Stephantsminda has rich tourism potential due to its diverse set of historical-cultural attractions and breath-taking nature. Kazbegi and Gveleti glassier trails, walking passes to Devdoraki waterfalls, Sno, Trusso and Juta canyon trails, and hiking pass to Chaukhebi Mountains make the area Must Visit. Don't forget to visit Abano alpine lake, Gergeti Mount and if you are lucky with weather, see magnificent view of His Majesty Kazbegi Glacier.
Historical monuments, such as the fourteenth century Sameba temple, tenth century Garbani church, Sioni three-parted basilica, Akhaltsikhe basilica and seventeenth century Sno castle are very interesting for the visitors as well. Religious traditions and habits of the local people that is a mix of Christian and Pagan habits attract the visitors.
The local people call themselves the Mokheves (habitants of the gorge). Like the Tushetians and partially, like the Khevsurs, the independent highlanders lived beyond the Caucasian watershed range for centuries and protected Georgia from the northern side. They managed the main way to Georgia – narrow and deep gorge of Dariali - today here is Larsi border check post with Russian Federation.
The Mokheves keep old traditions and habits like to highlanders of other mountain regions of Georgia. They are are hospitable and rightly business oriented people. It is safe to travel independently here.
Visitor center: Stepantsminda, Vazha-Pshavela str. N62 X - 470645 Y – 4722185
From Tbilisi to village Stepantsminda driving distance is 150 km (3 h)
To book private tours, please, follow the links below or contact us here:
Full-day trip to Khevi Province
One-day winter tour to Kazbegi
2-day Tour to Kazbegi
3-day Kazbegi Trekking small group tour
5-day Glimpse of Georgia private tour
7-day CLIMBING MT. KAZBEGI small group tour
7-day Small-group tour from Tbilisi Visit Georgia
8-day Classic Tour to Georgia private tour from Tbilisi
5-day Georgian Wonders private tour from Kutaisi
11-day Azerbaijan-Georgia small group tour from Baku
11-day Georgia-Armenia small group tour from Tbilisi
10-day Explore Georgia private tour from Tbilisi
14-day Georgia-Armenia private tour from Tbilisi
15-day Caucasus Pearls - Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia small group tour starting from Baku
15-day Georgian Holidays from Tbilisi