Nice walk in an almost abandoned valley full of interesting travertine formations.
Nice walk in Kazbegi area in an almost abandoned valley towards South Ossetia borders.
Except for the nice nature, there are also peculiar travertine formations due to local mineral springs, geyser, ancient towers and several abandoned settlements.
It is not possible to explore the whole valley; you have to turn back at the ruins of Zakagori fortress, where is the Georgian border post.
Duration: 6 hours
It takes 6 hours to walk from Kvemo Okrokana village to the ruins of Zakagori fortress and back.
Mostly comfortable walk on the dirt road without major elevation change, but still - it´s 22 km.
Entrance to Truso valley, the source of the Tergi river lies on Georgian Military Highway, some 20 km south of Kazbegi at the Kobi village.
You can ask your marshrutka driver to drop you there.
However, it's much better to start the walk in Kvemo Okrokana village 4 km deeper in the valley.
So I recommend taking a taxi. We were quite unlucky with the drivers on Kazbegi main square; they kept asking 60-80 GEL for a one-way ride.
The only driver willing to take us for a reasonable price (40 GEL) was well-known "Vasil the Schumacher" (+995 599 918787).
2018 edit: This year, Mountain Freaks - Mountain Travel Agency organizes a daily bus which takes tourists to Kvemo Okrokana village. It departs twice a day, at 9:30 (return at 16:30) and 11:00 (return at 18:30) from their office in Stepantsminda. Price of the return ticket is 30 GEL and the bus departs when there are at least three passengers. It can take only 7 people, so during the high season (Jul, Aug), I recommend to book it at least one day in advance.
How to leave Truso valley:
If you want transport both in and out of the valley, prices are luckily not so crazy.
Most of the drivers are willing to take you there, wait for you for the whole day and bring you back for 80-100 GEL.
Description of the route
The walk starts at the almost deserted village Kvemo Okrokana. Follow the road by the river - you will pass several abandoned houses and eventually enter beautiful Kasari canyon.
After a few kilometers, you cross a bridge to the right bank of the river.
Shortly behind the bridge, the trail turns to the west and the whole valley opens up before you. Here you can see the first travertines, formed by local mineral springs.
The ones here are mostly orange and white. There are also several small mineral springs emerging in the area.
On the opposite bank, you see a small basin filled with water - looks inviting, but the water is icy. Still, it could be a nice option on a sunny day.
Follow the main road and you will soon come to another group of forming travertines, this time of mostly red color.
The mineral water here bursts from a pipe (the place is also known as a “geyser”).
Further down the road lies Ketrisi village, mostly in ruins, but few houses are still occupied. At the end of the village, cross the bridge to the left bank of the river.
Here you will find several monasteries. First, you see a pink one, then you will come to a very nice, newly reconstructed nun´s monastery.
Nuns are friendly, it´s even possible to rest in the garden.
Then it´s only a short walk to the ruins of Zakagori fortress.There is a soldier´s post below the fortress - you cannot venture deep into the valley,
but you are allowed to climb the hill and explore the ruins. There is no reason not to - view from the top is pretty nice.
You can't continue any further unless you have a permit (the procedure to get is described under treks
exploring the area more deeply such as here). If you don't have it, you will have to return the way you came.
It could be a good idea to make an arrangement with your taxi driver to pick you up at Kvemo Okrokana village or even deeper in the gorge.