georgia country travel tips

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Truso Valley Hike

Truso Valley is a hightly recommended hiking tour in Georgia Country. Not just for passionate hikers but also for every traveler who want to dive in into georgians Caucasus nature. Majestic views on the number of interesting sights in the Truso valley awaits you on this gorgeous day hike, including snow-capped mountains on all sides, mineral springs, melting glaciers and abandoned villages. While the walk has a significant distance (22km), the elevation climb is just about 460m in total and for the most part you’ll be walking along the valley floor.

Truso Valley Hiking Information © Georgia-roadtrip.com

When to do the Truso Valley hike

The hike through the Truso Valley can just be done from early May to late September. In May and September before heading out you should check with the Kazbegi National Park Visitor Center in Stepantsminda that the roads are open. 

What to take with you

You need good hiking hiking shoes, waterproofs, high factor sunscreen and a water bottle, though a small one is fine, as there are plenty of clean mountain streams where you can refill your bottle. Bringing a packed lunch is a good idea but if you forgot it, no problem. You can buy some small snacks and drinks towards the end of the hike. Because the endpoint, Zakagori Fortress, is near the next South Ossetia valley, there are patrols. Take your passport with you to identify yourself.

How to get to Okrokana (Starting point)

To get to Okrokana you can either take a taxi or one of the daily buses operated by Mountain Freaks or Mountain Travel Agency. Both are located in Stepantsminda. Please note: It’s advisable to book some days in advance. You can also easily drive here by yourself, though once you turn off the main road at the village of Kobi, the road to the Okrokana is unsurfaced and can be tough going after heavy rain. 

Truso Valley route description

From the village of Okrokana, cross the bridge to begin the hike. Head left up the hillside and follow the unsurfaced road along the river. The river curves around to the left with extraordinary rocky cliffs on the opposite side. You will then cross a bridge over a stream before crossing over the river itself, after which the Truso Valley widens and impressive snow-capped peaks come into view on all sides. 

 

When you reach the small footbridge crossing the river to a small campsite cross that and continue up the side of the hill and walk along the ridge before descending to the famous Abano Mineral Lake. Don’t be cheated it’s not really a lake, a large pond at best. But it’s a gorgeous geological wonder, where carbon dioxide bubbles gently rise from the depth and the clear, lifeless water flows down into the river below.

 

Continue along this side of the river (you may find yourself having to navigate your way through some bogs and lots of curious cows in early summer) until you reach the village of Ketrisi, with its notably pristine watchtower and dozens of collapsing houses which most of them abandoned these days. Beyond Ketrisi you’ll continue along the middle of the valley and pass two monasteries (one for monks, one for nuns) and a few truly remote houses. As you approach the end of the valley, you’ll see your end point at the top of a hillside to your right. 

truso valley hike georgia
truso valley kazbegi day trip
Photo credit with special thanks to Thomas

These are the atmospheric ruins of the Zakagori Fortress, which towers above the valley floor and can be climbed easily if you are not too exhausted. There is a georgian army post at the base of the fortress and it’s not possible to go beyond this point unless you have a permit. Be sure you have your passport with you as you may be asked to identify yourself by soldiers on patrol here. However, it’s normally no problem to climb the fortress before heading back.

 

On the way back, cross the small bridge at Ketrisi and return along the other side of the river. This gives you some very different perspectives of the gorgeous landscape and lets you see the base of melting glaciers during the summer month, as well as various sulphur springs running over rock that create unusual visual effects. You’ll rejoin the original path into the valley at the campsite, from where it’s an easy walk back the river to Okronana.

Kazbegi National Park Visitor Centre

kazbegi visitor center

The Kazbegi National Park Visitor Centre is a very modern tourist office located near the main road in Kazbegi. The staff speaks english and can help you with any issue. They organize guides, taxis and offer time tables for public transportation

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