After arriving in the town of Kasbegi in northern Georgia, I set out to explore the surroundings. Come with me as I take you on a four-hour adventure to explore northern Georgian mountain food, culture, and attractions in Kasbegi, Georgia!
My guide and good friend Tim from Friendly GE and I kicked off our morning in the town, enjoying a view of Mount Kazbek. The town, which is also known as Stepantsminda, is great for hiking. Hiking to the mountain takes 4 days. It’s also great for enjoying gorgeous mountain vistas. We could see the mountain, which is said to be a sign of God!
As we kicked off our drive to Holy Trinity Church in the mountains, we passed some farms and guesthouses. We took an unpaved road due to construction on the paved road and crossed over a river that streams down from the glacier in the mountains. There were horses and cows in the pastures along the road.
As we arrived at the church, we met a friendly dog and saw some slate rocks, which were beautiful and natural. They’re a natural building material for homes in the mountains.
Holy Trinity Church is also known as Gergeti Trinity Church. It lies in the shadow of Mount Kazbek at 7,120 feet above sea level. The church dates back to the 14th century and is the only cross-cupola church in the area. It’s a popular tourist destination and stop for hikers, who can reach the church in roughly 90 minutes.
The church is beautiful and is decorated with lots of beautiful carvings. It’s made up of massive stones that were brought from the town! According to legend, when Georgia was being invaded by foreign armies, priceless religious relics were brought up to the church, which was built over an ancient pagan temple.
Men must wear long pants and women must cover their heads to enter. They offer scarves and pants for visitors at the entrance. You can’t film inside but it’s very dark and is full of icons and candles. One of the deacons let us film him lighting incense outside.
The view of Kasbegi from the church is incredible. You can see it nestled in the valley, and further down the valley is Russia! After running into the dog again, Tim and I drove back to town via the rocky, unpaved road. It’s steep and full of potholes, but luckily we were in a 4×4!
Back in town, most places were closed, but we came across a guy making tonis puri. I tried some from yesterday’s patch. I loved the crispy, smoky flavor. He’d make us some fresh in about an hour once the tone got hot enough.
At another spot, we tried some salty and creamy local mountain cheese. It only cost us 9 GEL, or about $3 USD. In the center of town, we saw the hotel, restaurant, and monument. Most restaurants don’t open until around 9 or 10 a.m. At Coffee Corner along the main road, we bought some lager and some Turkish coffee. Next to it was the Kasbegi National Park visitors center. There, we enjoyed our cheese! It was delicious, as I’d come to expect Georgian mountain food in Kasbegi to be!
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Also in town is Tbilisi Marshrutka, a transportation service that runs between Kasbegi and the capital. It takes 4 hours and costs GEL 10 or $3 USD. Unfortunately, the bread wasn’t ready yet, so we drove out of town toward a village called Sno. The village of Sno is famous for its water and statues! The route to Sno takes you through a lush valley. There are farms and a fortress and watchtower there.
A local artist has created the Gigantic Sculptures of the faces of famous Georgian poets and writers. They reminded me of the ancient ones I saw in Turkey. They were incredibly detailed and very cool. It was my favorite site in the area. You can leave a donation to the artist in a box there!
Our next stop was Sno Castle, a medieval watchtower built on a craggy rock. The people inside would drop things on invaders from the tower! Then, I tried some ice-cold Sno water before we drove about 30 minutes to the highest mountain pass on the road.
We then drove past a cable car and through a tunnel that goes through the mountain. It’s essential during the winter! Then, we came across a mineral water spring on the side of the road, which has left reddish deposits on the rock!
Near the spring is a market with handicraft vendors! I met a woman who makes wool hats. The hats cost GEL 30/$9 USD each. I bought a black one, but she also has scarves and wool hats that shepherds wear!
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As we continued through the mountains, I couldn’t help but admire the stunning landscape. I could see horses, shepherds with sheep and lambs, and more. We also saw a Soviet monument that commemorates the 200-year anniversary of Georgia being incorporated into the Russian Empire.
Next to the Russia-Georgia Friendship Monument in Ganisi is a market with vendors selling clothing, fruit, and honey! The chestnut honey was thick and pasty, and only about GEL 25/$8 USD. The mountain flower honey was also delicious! I had to buy some!
The Russia-Georgia Friendship Monument depicts the history between Georgia and Russia. It’s very colorful and was built in 1983. There are depictions of traditional scenes and more modern ones. You can also see the difference between the Russian and Georgian Orthodox churches. The monument stands on the edge of a gorge at the Gudauri View Point. You can go ATVing, horseback riding, and paragliding if you want!
From there, we drove through the ski resort town of Gudauri, to the Smart supermarket to get some food! Inside, they have a bakery selling lots of pies and breads. I got some lobiani, which is a pie stuffed with a garlicky, spicy bean paste. It only costs GEL 3/$1 USD. I loved the fluffy bread. It’s a great example of the type of Georgian mountain food you’ll find in Kasbegi, Georgia. It’s basically Georgian fast food!
I hope you liked coming with me to try north Georgian mountain food in Kasbegi, Georgia! If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave me a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my upcoming travel/food adventures!