Distance from Tbilisi: 155 km
Hours to drive: 2 hours 30 minutes
Best time to visit: spring, summer, autumn, winter
Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi) - is a small town in the Mtskheta-Mtianetiregion of north-eastern Georgia. Historically and ethnographically, the town is part of the Khevi province. It is the center of the Kazbegi Municipality.
Gergeti Trinity Church - is a popular name for Holy Trinity Church near the village of Gergeti in Georgia. The church is situated on the right bank of the river Chkheri (the left tributary of the river Terek), at an elevation of 2170 meters, under Mount Kazbegi.
The Gergeti Trinity Church is built in the 14th century, and is the only cross-cupola church in Khevi province. The separate belltower dates from the same period as the church itself. Its isolated location on top of a steep mountain surrounded by the vastness of nature has made it a symbol for Georgia. The 18th century Georgian author Vakhushti Batonishvili wrote that in times of danger, precious relics from Mtskheta, including Saint Nino's Cross were brought here for safekeeping. During the Soviet era, all religious services were prohibited, but the church remained a popular tourist destination. The church is now an active establishment of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church
Mount Kazbek - is the third-highest peak in Georgia (after Mount Shkhara and Janga) and the seventh-highest summit in the Caucasus Mountains. Kazbek is also the second-highest volcanic summit in the Caucasus, after Mount Elbrus. The summit lies directly to the west of the town of Stepantsminda and is the most prominent geographic feature of the area. Mount Kazbek is the highest peak of Eastern Georgia. The name in Georgian, Mqinvartsveri, translates to "Glacier Peak" or "Freezing Cold Peak". The Vainakh name Bashlam translates as "Molten Mount".
Betlemi cave monastery is one of the holy places in Georgia. It`s at the altitude of 4100 meters, on slopes. According to known sources, it had been a quite large monastery since VI century. Nowdays, this cave can be reached only by experienced and well-equipped groups. That`s why it had been unknown for such a long time! It was finally discovered during World War II by the expedition, which was held by Alexandra Jafaridze, but only in 1999, it was possible to hold a liturgy there.