After breakfast, meet your guide and driver for your transfer from Tbilisi to Mount Kazbegi. On the way, you
will stop and visit the Ananuri Castle with another stop for lunch at a local tavern. About 99 miles north of
Tbilisi, at the foot of Mount Kazbegi, you will stop for the day in the little town of Stepantsminda. Renamed
from Kazbegi in 2006, this small town still goes by both names.
Situated high on the Aragvi River, not far from the Zhinvali Reservoir, is the Ananuri Castle. Actually a fortress
complex, the oldest part dates back to the 13th century. The complex is split into two parts, the northern tower
(“Sheupovari”) which is open for touring and the southern tower which is mostly in ruins. There are two
churches on the property, the larger of which is covered in intricate carvings and inside houses ancient vibrant
fresco paintings of religious figures. By the eastern wall lay several tombstones, some of which belong to the
former Dukes of Aragvi.
Exeter International Extraordinary Experience
This afternoon for lunch, you will participate in a khinkali master class with a local family, where you will be
making Georgian dumplings. Also called kalakuri, the dish consists of minced meat, usually lamb, beef or pork
(or a mix of those three) traditionally spiced with onions, chili pepper, salt and cumin. However, modern day
khinkali can be just about any spiced, minced meat wrapped in dumpling dough.
Locals of the small village of Stepantsminda live at one of the highest inhabited points in the Caucasus which
leaves them somewhat isolated from the outside world. This however, has allowed them to preserve the
uniqueness and authenticity of a bygone era. They are very hard-working, decent, and fearless peoples yet
extremely hospitable at the same time.
Upon arrival at your hotel, check-in, where the rest of your evening is at leisure.
Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (7-8 Hours)
Hotel: Rooms Hotel Kazbegi (Or Similar)