Simple stroll to a couple of charming waterfalls and both ends of forked Gveleti valley.
About 7km north of Stepanstsminda village, at both ends of the forked valley, lies a couple of nice waterfalls known as Gveleti. To reach them, one doesn’t have to walk far; it’s a pretty easy stroll - so easy that I initially didn’t want to include it here. Still, if you have few extra hours to spend in Kazbegi, this place is worth a visit.
Walk from the main road to both waterfalls and back takes 1 hour. If you take a taxi deeper into the valley, both waterfalls can be seen in 30 minutes.
Seriously - I had to create a new difficulty category just for this walk.
There is no public transport to take you from Stepanstsminda to the Gveleti valley. If you are on a meager budget, you can hitchhike - there is lots of traffic on the main road and it shouldn´t take long until someone picks you up.
If you are in a larger group, it´s usually more convenient to take a taxi. Not only will the driver bring you closer to the waterfalls, but on the way back you can visit other interesting spots in the area such as Tsdo village or Dariali gorge. If usually costs 20-30 GEL.
Walk start at the mouth of Gveleti valley, near the main road. Follow the dirt road into the valley; you will pass an abandoned camp on the left side and several empty cabins. After some 800 meters, canyon ahead splits into two branches - the main road turns into the left one, but we will keep this one for later.
Look for a stone with a big red arrow on it on the right side of the road - it shows the trail to the bigger waterfall. Use the small footbridge to cross the river and follow the small path heading deeper into the valley. Sometimes it´s a bit steep, but nothing an average pensioner wouldn´t handle. Watch out for raspberries!
After some 10 minutes, you will reach the bigger waterfall. It´s a pleasant place, suitable for a picnic. Best time to see it is in the late morning when the sun shines right into the gorge - especially if you plan to batch in a little lake below the waterfall.
To visit a smaller waterfall, return to the dirt road and follow it into the left valley. It disappears almost immediately so follow the small footpath. Soon, it will bring you to the second waterfall. This one is smaller and not so inviting as the sun almost never shines here. That´s why most of the people don´t bother to come here. But you aren´t like most of the people, are you? :)