Kazbegi National Park is located on the northern slopes of the mighty Caucasus range and its protected area covers a total of over 8.700 hectares. A 5,047 meters above sea level. Kazbegi mountain (or Mkinvartsveri) is the third highest mountain in Georgia and surrounded by myths and religious traditions.
According to Greek mythology as punishment for teaching mankid how to make fire the Titan Prometheus was chained to a mountainside in the Caucasus for all eternity.
According to Georgian stories it was the icy slopes of Kazbegi to which he was shained. Prometheus (Known as Amirani in Georgia) was supposedly imprisoned in a cave 4,000 meters high. The cave now called Betlemi (Bethlehem) later served as a dwelling for orthodox monks and is said to have contained many sacred relics, including Abraham’s tent and Christ’s manger.
Hot springs and acidic and carbonated lakes surrounded the mountain and earth tremors are fairly frequent. Covered with 135 square kilometers of glacier. Kazbegi is a great place for ice climbing and mountaineering. The Dariali Gorge is an impossibly steep cleft in the mountains connecting Russia and Georgia, running for 18km form Stepantsminda to the Russian Border Zemo Larsi (Upper Larsi).
For millennia this mountain passage has been strategically crucial and has been fortified since at least 150 BC. In places the cliff faces are more than 1.000m high and medieval watchtowers, waterfalls and wildlife make this one of the most incredible roads in the world. The steep of valleys either side of the gorge are great places for bird watching: Eagles, hawks and massive griffon vultures all nest among the rocky outcrops.
The town of Stepantsminda (also called Kazbegi ) itself is charming and wonderful base camp for exploring the region further. There are many guesthouses where locals are happy to treat you like family, rustic and beautiful with views of the mountains and often the picturesque Gergeti Trinity Church.
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