If you had three guesses to say Georgia was famous for, and you thought – the culture, the food, and the mountains, you’d be right on all counts.
But covering all three points would just take way too long.
So, for time’s sake, let’s focus on the mountains in this article.
And to be even more precise, we’re going to focus on the top three highest mountains in Georgia.
Which are as follows:
- Mount Shkara – ~5,193 meters.
- Mount Janga – ~5,059 meters.
- Mount Kazbegi – ~5,047 meters.
So, if you’re not afraid of heights, read on to see what makes these mountains so special.
Let’s begin! Starting with…
1. Mount Shkhara
Mount Shkhara is the single highest point in all of Georgia (and 3rd in the Caucasus region) – standing at around ~5,193 meters.
First climbed in 1933, the nine-peak mountain is based on the central range of the Caucasus, and no words can do it justice.
But we’re going to try anyway.
It’s located in the central Caucasus, is built of granite and crystal shale, and is widely considered as one of the most technical and difficult mountains to climb.
What’s even more impressive about this mountain is that the highest living settlement in Europe (Ushguli) is just below its slopes. This small village is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List and is as remote as it gets.
It’s unspoiled by tourism (because of how hard it is to get there!), and the stone Svanetian towers are largely untouched. While getting there might prove to be a challenge, the bright side is that you won’t ever forget this journey.
2. Mount Janga
Yes, Janga, not Jenga.
Though looking at the pictures, we wouldn’t fault you if you said it’s eerily similar to a Jenga structure. But this is no simple structure, as the peak reaches up to ~5,059 meters above sea level.
The second highest mountain in Georgia has slopes that are heavily glaciated and lies on the border of Svaneti (region within Georgia) and Kabardino-Balkaria (Russia).
But what actually makes the mountain so famous is the dormant volcanoes that are hidden under the ice caps. Goes without saying that climbing it is no easy task. And those wanting to reach the top should be prepared with the right equipment and mindset.
3. Mount Kazbegi
Last but not least, mount Kazbegi (or Kazbek, also known as Mkinvartsveri – meaning “Glacier Peak”) is one of the more well-known sights within the country.
Standing at around ~5,047 meters, the Mountain is located just 10km away from the Russian border. Though it’s the 3rd tallest mountain in the list, it’s as Georgian as it gets.
It’s associated with Georgian folklore, in that the Georgian version of Prometheus was chained on the mountain in punishment for stealing fire from the gods. The surroundings are a nature reserve of subalpine forests and alpine meadows and carry significant importance culturally.
And finally, the mountain itself is often compared to an old man’s face with a white beard—since Kazbegi is covered in snow all year round.
This is only a small list of the highest mountains in the country. And it’s hard to do them justice with just one article.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to add a new travel destination to your bucket list and heights don’t scare you—know that Georgia is always an option and will be waiting for you with its unique mountains!
This post was written by our contributing writer Irakli.