This is most people’s destination on the Georgian Military Hwy: a valley town with the famous hilltop silhouette of Tsminda Sameba Church and the towering snowy cone of Mt Kazbek looking down from the west. Now officially named Stepantsminda, but still commonly known as Kazbegi, it's a base for some wonderful walking and mountain-biking.
The highway brings you straight into the main square, Kazbegis moedani. From here Kazbegis qucha forks to the right, while the main road leads down to a bridge over the Tergi River then continues 15km north to the Russian border in the Dariali Gorge. Immediately after the Tergi bridge a side road turns up to Gergeti village on the west side of the valley, almost a suburb of Kazbegi.