"No experience is necessary!"
Paragtliding in Kazbegi Paragliding is as close to flying as you can get and a tandem flight puts you in the hot seat giving you the perfect chance to enjoy your first flight leaving the technicalities to your experienced pilot.
Fly Kazbegi offers the best tandem paragliding site in Europe, if not the world. The spectacular views and stable weather conditions puts it right up there. From the perfect take off sites close to the spots around Kazbegi-Stepantsminda, your flight will take you over the ridges with a birds eye view of the places near Kazbegi and above Kazbegi. After a 20 to 30 minute flight, you will smoothly land close to the takeoff area or near Sno valley.
Bookings are essential, do not leave it until your last day as we are dependent on the weather conditions.
So what is it all about?
After a short explanation you and your pilot will take off from a mountain slope under a canopy that resembles a parachute. Once inflated overhead, you will take just a few steps or a short run to take off from the gentle slope, the wind will catch the canopy and you will be airborne. In the air complete control over direction and speed gives your pilot the freedom to soar ridges, rise on warm currents of air and cover distance.
Kazbegi StepantsmindaIs it safe?
At Fly Kazbegi we have a proven safety record from day one which we credit to our staff, professionally maintained and certified equipments and company procedures. Our professional pilots fly up to ten times per day, every day, taking people like you; male, female, young and old on this amazing adventure.
Each passenger is briefed and isssued with helmet and flying suit, all pilots carry complete reserve and communication systems, weather conditions are carefully assessed before we take you up and again on take off. You are assisted by our crew on both take off and landing.
What to wear?
All you need to experience this amazing opportunity is comfy clothing by weather season.
- Short and long-time flights around Kazbegi Valley;
- Video and photo filming of your flight;
- Personal pick-up from your hotel, hostel or guest house;
- Georgian, English and Russian language support;
- Paragliding tours for experienced pilots around Georgia;
- Transfer Tbilisi-Stepantsminda-Tbilisi;
- Hostel & camping for pilots and tourists.
- Local 10-15 min flight - 100 GEL;
- Cross country from Sioni to Kazbegi (25-30min) - 160 GEL;
- Cross country from Sameba to Pansheti (25-30min - 200 GEL.
This church by itself is not very spectacular especially if you've previously visited Armenia. However its locations is nothing short of spectacular.
The church is accessible with 2h of walking (up) from the small town of Kazbegi where plentiful accomodation can be found. The trip can serve as a warm up before longer tracking trips in the area.
I just enjoy walking and meeting people or find nice places; just randomly; in Stepansminda, walking in the narrow streets you come across nice houses and nice people like this little girl who wanted to pose for me (picture 1); I wonder if in many years she will wear black clothes like this lady alone in the street (picture 2).
Nice streets, stones, simple houses in the other pictures.
Walking up to Mt Kazbeg takes three-four hours one way, and that makes a very nice day hike; I mean walking to the feet of Mt Kazbeg, reach the glacier or the base camp from where alpinists climb on the summit.
During the walk you will enjoy various perspectives over the village and the church downward and, upwards, try to spot the summit of this old volcano hidden in the clouds the greatest part of the day.
Along the way, you will see a number of flowers, butterflies, birds. . .
Mt Kazbeg culminates at 5047m and according to legends is home of Prometheus who has been chained there by the gods after he stole them their fire; according to local legends, Abraham’s tent and Jesus’ cradle are also hidden somewhere on the mountain and that may explain why the local mountain guides were reluctant to climb on it in the 19th century.
Mt Kazbeg has officially first been “conquered” by English alpinists from the British Alpine club, but in fact it was a Swiss guide who walked first on this summit; Jakob Müller and many Swiss or French from Savoy alpinists worked as guides for the rich British when it was “fashion” to be explore the summits of the planet.
Nowadays, the locals tell Prometeus is still trying to escape when you hear the impressive noise of the cracking glacier. . .
I did not hear that noise and just made a day trip to the mountain, and enjoyed the thin air at the pass above the glacier and enjoyed even more just walking with the wind playing with my hair. Few pictures from that day hike.
More pictures in the travelogue.
Those who know my VT pages know that I like cemeteries, and here in Kazbegi , on the slopes above the village you find some resting places which give their occupants nice views over the places where they lived (picture 1); the recent resting places are very “private”, surrounded by a fence (picture 2), but there are older ones, very modest ones, marked just by a stone in the grass, with view on the church above (picture 3), or the village below (picture 4).
It seems there are no “formal” cemeteries, a dedicated place where the dead of the village have their resting place; the graves are more or less grouped in several places above the village, but no fence or limit for a cemetery, these are not real cemeteries.
You noticed that the graves are on meadows, and these meadows have to be scythed, and the locals make hay near their ancestors (picture 5).
The Holy Trinity church, built on a hill far above the Terek Valley dominates the village of Kazbegui (renamed Stepansminda in 2006) since the 14th century. One of the characteristics (besides being in a beautiful setting) of this church is that it has a separate bell tower (picture 2), which is not common in Georgia. This tower ahs also been built in the 14th century.
This separate bell tower gives a bit of “lightness” to the church, as it appears overall rather massive when looking from close range.
There are a few wall paints inside the church, and if, in the past, there were Christian art treasures (specially during wars, as treasures from the churches from the plains were brought to safety in the mountains), nowadays, this active church has just a few strange artworks (picture 5) inside.
Tsminda Sameba, the holy trinity church is of course, with the mountains, the place to visit in Kazbegi.
The setting of this church on top of a hill, isolated, far above the village is beautifully impressive, but the church itself has also a few little artistic things worth the walk.
Tsminda Sameba has been built in the 14th century and some of the décor, low reliefs, sculptures of that time are still there; more décor has been added during the centuries.
Look how the main door is framed with a frieze, and at the sculptures near by.
The brown-orange lichen on the green grey stones underline best the old sculptures (pictures 2, 3, 4), a bit altered with time, but clearly recognisable.
At the back, the window is decorated in the same style as the main door (picture 5).
There are lots of small sculptures on the church walls, and it is fun to discover them when walking around.
You cannot miss Tsminda Sameba Church appearing on your left when you arrive by road from the south, or when you walk in the village of Kazbeg, and only the sight may lead you to want to pay a visit to that church.
You can find a taxi or some car owner who will propose to drive you up to the church, but of course, the best is to walk up to the church, a walk through forest and meadows, which will give nice views over the Terek valley, the village (picture 2) and at the end let you discover the church from beneath, “deserving” her (the church) in some way.
The walk up takes a bit more than one hour, on easy paths, locally a bit steep, so, sandals are not recommended (picture 4), and it is better to wear good walking shoes. It is a very pleasant feeling to see the church, coming out from the woods (picture 5), and walk the last part of the trip on the grass.
Kazbegi or Stepantsminda as it has been renamed recently is one of the top destinations when visiting Georgia. Beauty of nature is amazing and this part of the country is connected to Russia through Dariali Gorge (though it has bee closed by Russians under a pretect of planned repair works that continues the third or second year already)....
Rest in the finest Villa of the Duke Chopikashvili, modern archicet composed in yhe renesaince style. with its own swimming pool, Sauna, Bar, the most spectacular view, beatufull garden with waterfall.
The most famous guests of the Villa: Zviad Gamsaxurdia, First President of Georgia;
H.R.H. Jorje and H.R.H. Hellen Bagrations, Grand Dukes of the Spain Royal House, The Descedants of the Bagrationi Royal House
It is worth to see believe me! I'm from Georgia and am used to our natures beauty, but in spite of this the mountain Gergeti and the church standing on the top of it impressed me very much! The view is unforgettable (please see the photo attached and you will believe me immediately)
It’s told by our orthodox ancestors that if you’ll go to visit it on foot three times in your life than you’ll be blessed!
Only thing that I can suggest is to go there in summer cause in other period of the year it’s quit freezing there.
The walking path to the top of Mount Kazbeg (5047m) in search for the rock where Prometheus was chained is known as the Gergeti trek, and over the years has become the most popular walking route in the whole Caucasus. My host quoted more than 10 groups per day. The Gergeti trek can be done with a local guide, but this is not necessary unless you want to get to the very top of the mountain, as the last hour of the trek is possibly on snow or ice. The glacier should be climable without special equipment. Maps of the region can be bought from the WWF office.
The whole trek would take 3-4 days.
An event I had not witnessed in a long time, since i was a kid, during the summer holidays at my grandparents in a remote Transylvanian village – cows returning home at sunset is a daily event for the whole village population. Cows know their way back and always find the right gate to enter.
You can understand how glad I was to be able to see this again.
Visibility over the mountains surrounding the church and over mount Kazbeg is an essential ingredient for the success of the trip. While views over Mount Kazbeg are better in the morning, the church can best be photographed in the early afternoons, provided the weather allows. I would also bet on the charm of a snowy scenery.
The Holy Trinity (aka Tsminda Sameba) church was built in the 14th century at a height of 2170m above sea level, in fairy-tale mythical scenery resembling to a “Lord of the Rings” landscape.
I believe the place was chosen specifically to be seen from far away, to mark “an entrance” and to testify over the centuries about the strong Christian faith of the Georgians.
You can imagine that at this height, and considering its age, the church building could not be neither large nor bear exquisite decorations. It is a rather simple but elegant construction, with primitive drawings over the grey stone walls outside and austere interiors.