Kazbegi Bicycle Tour is one of the most exciting choices in our offer. We crafted the tour so it is perfect both for families and individual travelers. Despite the high elevations, the rides are pleasant and don’t require any special preparations.
- Duration: 4 days
- Difficulty: easy
- Price: 200 EUR/person
- Bicycle rental
- Professional guide
- Vehicle support
- Travel insurance (required)
Kazbegi Bicycle Tour – tour highlights
Kazbegi and the Gergeti Trinity Church
The official name of this little town is Stepantsminda, but it seems that both locals and tourists prefer the old name: Kazbegi. It emphasizes the connection to the mighty Mount Kazbek (5033m) that rules over the area.
The town (it feels more like a bigger village) offers splendid views of the Caucasus mountains, a scenic route (the most dramatic part of the Georgian Military Highway), but it’s most prominent attraction is the Gergeti Trinity Church located on the hill above the town at the height of 2170m. The silhouette of the church against the background of the Kazbek mountain makes you wanna get there as soon as possible. Despite the height, it is relatively easy and safe hike in good weather conditions.
The Dariali Gorge lies in the last part of the Georgian Military Highway on the Georgian side. It stretches between Kazbegi and Russian border. This scenic route is only 10 kilometers long but the views it offers are simply amazing. Walls of the gorge reach even 1800 meters at some points. The Terek River meandering at the bottom of the gorge completes the picture. Multiple stops for photography sessions is a must.
There are some other interesting points on this route. They are worth visiting if the time allows. First of them are the Gveleti waterfalls and the second (more interesting and described below) is the Tsdo village.
Tsdo is a tiny, remote village located near the Dariali Gorge. There are only several houses surrounded by high mountains of Caucasus. We will visit the village when returning back from the Russian border. Taking a peek into a peaceful but challenging life of the villagers will show us a real beauty of rural Georgia in this harsh, remote area.
In the evening, we will rest in a guesthouse in Kazbegi, enjoy a supra (traditional Georgian feast) with delicious Georgian cuisine and wine and rest. The next morning will be the time to wave goodbye to Kazbegi and continue our adventure to discover more unforgettable places.
The Sno Fortress is one of the first things we will see when entering the Sno Valley. It is located in the village Sno, on the Sno river bank and visible from a long distance.
The raw shapes and material give it a solemn, medieval appeal, even though it was built only in XVI or XVII century.
Interestingly, the main tower is surrounded by a circular wall.
The fortress was built to protect the valley with its shortcuts leading to the neighboring regions of Khevsureti, Pshavi and Mtiuleti.
Juta Village and Sno Valley
The Sno Valley starts at the Georgian Military Highway only 4 kilometers from Kazbegi and stretches southeast deep into the Caucasus Mountains.
We will pedal slowly along the dirt road to reach Juta village after about 15 kilometers. There are many highly picturesque spots on the way, so multiple photo stops are a must.
In Juta we will make a break and later continue back through the valley to the main road.
After some fun in the evening and rest, we will continue next day to the Truso Valley.
Truso Valley is another very special place on our itinerary. This peaceful valley stretches from the Military Highway in the direction of the border with the separatistic South Ossetia. The ground road through the valley is very scenic. Mineral water springs, geysers, mineral geological artifacts and beautiful serpentines of the river create an unforgettable scenery.
Some monasteries complete the picture at the end of the accessible part of the valley (the rest of the valley cannot be explored because of the Ossetian border). After a break, we will cycle back to the beginning of the valley and further to out guesthouse.
Travertine is a terrestrial sedimentary rock, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from solution in ground and surface waters.
The picture on the left shows an example of one of the many travertines that we will see in the Truso Valley. Besides the white ones, there are also reddish ones – the color comes from the iron compounds present in the mineral water.
The unique thing about the Truso travertines is their surrounding and accessibility. They are not located in a national park, it seems that they are not even protected in any way at this moment (unfortunately). It brings some dangers (you may see a SUV waiting for tourists, parked on one of the travertines), but it creates also some beautiful, authentic scenes, when the cows wander or rest among the beautiful, white fomrations.
Abano Mineral Lake
Soon after admiring the biggest travertines, we will meet another fascinating natural phenomenon – a carbonated, mineral lake. It’s more of a pond than a lake, but it’s not the size that makes it so interesting.
The lake lies at an altitude of 2127 m above the sea level. It takes its origin in the rocks of the Upper Jurassic period. The carbon dioxide pushes the water up, escaping the water with the bubbles visible on the surface and hissing sound.
The deep blue water of the lake contrasts beautifully with the red of the stream flowing out of it (effect of high content of minerals) and the vivid greenery of the grass around.
Watch our movie of the Abano Mineral Lake.
Pristine nature and rural life
Truso Valley is officially uninhabited. The population of the few ruined villages equals to 0 according to official sources. In the season though, the valley is full of life.
We will meet shepherds, who come here with families and their herds of sheep, cows, and horses for the sake of crystal clear water and unpolluted grass.
It is really a pleasure to make a break from cycling here and enjoy the view of pristine nature. The mineral springs, clear rivers, and streams invite you to lie down and rest.
Chapel of Skulls
The “Chapel of Skulls” as we call it, is located above the monastery. The monastery is located close to the nunnery described below. The main building is more modern and rather plain so most of the tourists don’t stop over there.
It is nice though, to make a small detour and visit the place. We don’t know the full story of the skulls yet – it is still to be discovered, but it is a good place for a quiet reflection. the purpose of places like this is to remind us how short and fragile the life is, and that all we try to pursue on a daily basis doesn’t mean that much at the end.
Nunnery in the Truso Valley
The nunnery is located in the Abano village – between Ketrisi and the fortress. We will visit the little church and rest for w while in the nunnery’s garden observing the nuns taking care of the daily routines and meditating on the simple and peaceful life in such remote location.
The nunnery also features one of the best-preserved defense towers – characteristic for the ancient architecture of this region. The nunnery building is very interesting itself – its design blending gracely with the surroundings.
Short rest, a sip of water and we continue our bicycle tour in the Truso Valley.
Zakagori Fortress is the farthest point of the valley we can cycle to. The valley stretches further, but the border with South Ossetia and military post oblige us to finish our explorations here and enjoy the route back. The return road offers different impressions thanks to a different light.
Before we cycle back though, we hike up the hill with the castle and rest a while to enjoy the surroundings.