Hiking to The Gergeti Glacier in Kazbegi, Georgia

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

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Hiking to the Gergeti Glacier in Kazbegi, Georga was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done alone!

The idea of my trip to Georgia started mostly because of my desire of hiking to the Gergeti Glacier in Kazbegi. Back then I didn’t know how much I’m going to love this wonderful country.

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

Fast forward, when I was already in Georgia and enjoying my time in Tbilisi, I couldn’t wait for this moment to come.

The day came. I was at the Didube station in Tbilisi and feeling exciting! I didn’t have any idea what was waiting for me and that hiking to the Gergeti Glacier in Kazbegi will turn into one of my most amazing experiences.

The first moment when my heart started to beat faster was when we reached the mountains. God, I was wondering if I am still in Georgia or in heaven? Green and majestic mountains are stretching as far as the eye can see and even beyond! 

I arrived in Kazbegi and went to the guest house I’ve had booked. I just wanted to leave my stuff and go out, go see. I’ve had¬†booked a great guest house to stay at! From every window that you can look through, all you can see is mountains.¬†

There I’ve meet Ivan, a Ukranian guy. I’ve told him my plan, which was to hike to the Gergeti Trinity Church on the same day to see the area. He told me ”for you, it’s not more than 1 hour”, I didn’t even ask him. When I told him that I’m hiking to the Gergeti Glacier on the next day and he told me ”for you, it will be 7-8 hours. I didn’t ask him again, but then I got curious and asked him why did he think so? He replied to me that he saw me walking and the steps I make. That was funny. (He turned out right for both!)

However, I did hike to the Gergeti Trinity Church on the same day to see the area. The trail that goes from the village to the church goes through the forest. You can also take the road that jeeps are going through but through the forest is the short way. Be aware that it can be slippery there.

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

It took me 45 minutes and I was at the church. Beautiful! Also, you can see the whole Stepantsminda from there, snuggled in the surrounding mountains.

One thing was pissing me, though… The clouds! They were all over the peak and I couldn’t see it. Not that the rest was not good enough, it was far more than enough but still, I wanted to see it. Didn’t had any luck with that on this day.

Because I couldn’t just stay like that, I wanted to go up and up, I hiked the next hill and find an awesome spot there. I’ve spent around three hours maybe lying on the meadows all over the church and the hill, thinking about my hiking to the Gergeti Glacier on the next day.

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

The plan was to start my hike at 5:30 am so I can be up at the church at 6:30 am, on time to watch the sunrise from there. I’ve set up my alarm for 4:30 am and of course went to bed at 1:30 am. Couldn’t get any sleep at all.¬†

At 4:30 am the alarm rang, I jumped out of the bed. Fuck!! It was raining. 

I decided that I would wait for a while and if it doesn’t stop, I will still go. It stopped. I started hiking to the Gergeti Glacier in Kazbegi at 5;45 am. Again, I’ve used the short way through the forest and at 6:45 am I was up at the church.¬†

I forgot to mention that when I’ve looked through the window of my guest house to the peak this morning was different, there were clouds but the peak has revealed himself.¬†

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

When you’re hiking up through the forest, you can see beautiful views behind you and¬†Stepantsminda as well, but you can not see in front of you.¬†

That moment!! 

6:45 am at the Gergeti Trinity Church, I was the only person there, except for the people who were camping but they were still sleeping. 

The sun was slowly rising up and the peak was all shining. I was there alone! It was so magical and I feel it so special. My heart was beating fast, my smile was riching my ears, I was truly happy!

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

I enjoyed that moment for a while and then headed up to the Glacier. 

Actually, I didn’t had a map or anything but the trail is obvious so there’s no way to get ”lost”.¬†

I’ve started seeing other people. First a horseman, then other people who were camping and just starting to waking up, but I was still the only one going up. Then, I’ve met a couple of people going down. From where exactly they were going down, I don’t know.¬†

The weather was constantly changing. Sun, clouds, wind, I was hot, I was cold, the usual. 

Gorgeous views all around me. Beauty and peace. 

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

Up, up, up and I made it to the Glacier. 

Actually, I was on the other side of the river before the glacier, because I couldn’t find a spot where to cross it. The bad clouds were all over the peak again, so, unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to see it from there.¬†

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

At some point, it began to blow, a lot. 

That was the moment when I said goodbye to the Gergeti Glacier and headed back. When I was almost at the spot from yesterday, I started to feel how sore my legs are. I got to the spot, laid there and stayed there, lying for one hour or so and rest. Then, I get down to the village and went for a lunch. Khachapuri and a cold Georgian beer after hiking to the Gergeti Glacier, pleasure!

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

Practical tips for hiking to the Gergeti Glacier in Kazbegi (What you’ll need)

Comfortable, hiking shoes are an absolute must. 

Water РThere is a fountain at the church. This is the last place where you can find one. 

Food for energy Рbananas, nuts, energy bars, sandwich, etc. 

Windproof jacket, hat, and gloves, for any case. 

Duration: 7 – 9 hours, depending on your hiking level. You will need about 4-5 hours to get there and about 2-3 hours to return.

Difficulty: I would say normal to medium. The path’s not difficult at all but it’s very exhausting.¬†

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

How to get to Kazbegi 

The most convenient way to get to Kazbegi is from Tbilisi. Marshrutki are departing when full almost through the whole day from the Didube bus station. You can get there by using the subway. The subway stop that you need to is also called Didube. As soon as you leave the subway, you’ll be at the station. ¬†

You don’t need to look for marshrutka, the marshrutka will find you. I’m serious here, the drivers will approach you asking you where you’re going and if they are going to the other direction they will at least point you where are the ones going to your destination. ¬†

The marshrutka journey takes 3 hours and costs 10 Lari (3.50 euro). 

If you’re a group, you can consider getting a taxi. They charge around 100+ Lari but you will have the opportunity to stop wherever you want to, and there are places that you would like to stop by, such as Ananuri Fortress and Jvari pass.¬†

Where to stay at Kazbegi

There are a few options for accommodation in Kazbegi. 

There is one super luxurious hotel which was way out of my budget but also lots of guest houses to choose from. 

As I already mentioned, the guest house that I’ve stayed at was awesome!

hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

I’ve stayed at Anano Guest House for two nights. The guest house is very nice. Wonderful views from every window you look through, calm. The owners are lovely people as well and it’s just 2-3 minutes walk from the ”bus stop”.

The price? It costs about 10 Lari (3.50 euro) per night! 

I’ve ended up paying 80 Lari (which was still not expensive) for two nights but that was so because it turned out that I’ve had booked a room for 4 people just for myself. They don’t have rooms, such as dorms, have this in mind.¬†

So, are you ready for hiking to the Gergeti Glacier in Kazbegi? I can’t wait to go back one day and hike even higher than that.

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hiking gergeti glacier kazbegi

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