The main city of Telavi municipality and the whole of Kakheti, with a population of 20 thousand. Located on the picturesque slope of the Gombori Range, in the Alazani Valley. At the same time you can admire the greenery of the valley and the slopes of the Caucasus.
Wines of Kakheti know the whole world. But besides the wineries, there is a shale-marble combine, factories: for the production of silk threads and clothing, several agricultural enterprises. In recent years, the city has greatly changed, completed large-scale restoration of the historic center.
Climate in Telavi
Subtropical. Dry and warm summer, the average annual temperature is 22-25 degrees. Winter temperatures are extremely rarely below zero. Almost half of the May and June days are rainy, these are the wettest months. The local warm climate is attractive for tourism all year round.
How to get there?
From the subway station "Samgori" in Tbilisi every half an hour there are minibuses. The largest number of minibuses depart from the bus station Ortachala, from 8 am to 8 pm. Two roads lead to Telavi: one goes around the Gombori Range, the other goes directly, depending on this, the time varies from two to three hours. A good alternative is a taxi from the Isani metro station: at a cost per person - about the same as in a minibus, however, they wait for 4 passengers, but they go by a short road, and by long bus.
Where to stay?
Four-star hotels are available: Schuchmann Wines Georgia, Lopota Lake Resort & Spa, Savaneti Teliani Valley; several three-star: "Chateau Mere", "Zeus Olimpo", "Kakheti", "Alazani Valley", "Ikalto" and others, many guest houses.
Begins in 1801, from the moment of joining Russia, although for the first time the settlement was mentioned in this place in the I century. At that time, it was a large shopping center. Twice in history, in the XI and XVII-XVIII centuries, it was the capital of the Kakhetian kingdom. After the invasion of the Mongol-Tatars, the city lost its meaning. Since the second half of the XV century. separated into a separate kingdom, Kakheti waged grueling wars of independence with the Iranian and Turkish invaders. In the XVII century. the royal residence was moved to Telavi and the city began to flourish again.
Here were filmed episodes of the most popular film of George Danelia "Mimino".
Sights of Telavi:
In the center is located the main attraction Batonis-tsikhe, the residence of the kings of Kakheti. Impressive five-meter fortified wall with towers. Above it is a monument to Telavi-born, "little Kakhetians", as he was called, to a brilliant commander and a wise reforming governor Irakly II.
Nearby is the monastery of John of Zedaden, founded in VII. Square construction 13 by 13 meters and a height of 11 meters. Nearby there is a source of healing water. Turkish invaders severely destroyed the monastery in the XVIII century., In the XIX - it was completely restored.
A living business card is a huge plane tree, it is 800 years old. One of the versions of the origin of the name Telavi is from the "body" (in Georgian, "tree"). But, of course, the main natural sight is Alazanskaya, or, as Georgians call it, the Kakheti Valley.
Excursions in Telavi
Telavi is very convenient for excursions in the surroundings, from here you can go to explore the most interesting sights of Kakheti.
In the village of Alaverdi there is a similarly-named cathedral of the 11th century, a tall building for those times. But the inner part of the temple is especially striking: the unusual dome creates a feeling of immense space. On the Debed river you can see an interesting medieval bridge.
Nearby (at a distance of 8-10 km) - Ikalto Academy (by the name of the nearest village). Historians suggest that the poet Shota Rustaveli passed through it.
Ujarma and Bochorma are bastions protecting Kakhetian lands from enemies. Ujarma is more lucky in terms of tourism: now it is located on the Tbilisi-Telavi highway passing through the beautiful Gombori Pass, so it’s easy to get into it. Bochorm is a little bit away from the “trodden” tourist routes, and the ascent to it will be about 2 km, but history buffs will get great pleasure.
From the mountainside on which Bochorma stands (1000 meters), the surroundings are perfectly visible. From the X century. an unusual six-pointed church with a painting of the 12th century has been preserved to this day; remnants of many economic and defensive structures, including the three-story royal palace. Under Irakli II, the fortress was restored, and for a long time it defended Kakheti from invasions by foreign invaders.
Two monasteries, called Dzveli and Akhali (translated as "old" and "new"), are partially preserved in Shuamt. The first refers to the V-VII, the second - to the XVI century. New monastery acting. There is a legend that Queen Tina, the wife of King Levan, dreamed in her childhood that she would build a temple. And later, when she was driving through Georgia, she recognized the place she had seen in a dream. Subsequently, Tina took monastic vows in this monastery.
A nationwide shrine is a monastery in Bodbe. The baptist Nino Cappadocius is buried here. Having passed all of Georgia with a sermon, she died here in the year 335 at the age of 60 and bequeathed to bury herself in this land. The legend says: when King Mirian wanted to rebuild her in the then capital Mtskheta, the ark with the remains could not be moved. Currently, the monastery acting (female).
An interesting architectural monument is the royal residence of Gremi. It was founded by King Levan. He also built the church of the archangels Michael and Gabriel. Levan and is buried here.
Nekresi fortress was founded in the VI century. Despite the repeated raids of robbers and brigands, some of the buildings are well preserved: churches, towers, labyrinths.
Climbing to fortresses located at a considerable height is not very simple, but the scenic views opening are admirable and make you forget about fatigue.
A popular form of tourism is the so-called wine tours. At present, the issue of introducing the Kakhetian technology of cooking wine in earthen vessels Kvevri into the UNESCO World Intangible Heritage is being considered. Telavi itself is the largest center for winemaking: “Marani” (Telavi Wine Cellar), “Georgian Wine Spirits”, “Chateau Telavi” are large plants for the production of wine.
In the vicinity are Tsinandali, Vazisubani, Mukuzani, Gurdjaani - settlements that are immortalized in the names of famous wines. All of them "lined up" in a row along the Telavi-Tbilisi highway.
At 35 kilometers - another wine center - "Kindzmarauli Corporation" in Kvareli. You can visit the lake Kvareli, surrounded by mountains from all sides.
Kakhetian cuisine is considered less interesting in comparison with other regions of Georgia, but meat dishes are perfect for exquisite local wines, the whole secret is in choosing the right piece of meat. But sweets - undoubted masterpieces: pelamushi and churchkhela have to try it here.
• If you are staying in a private house, ask the owners to find a driver with a car or a taxi driver to travel around the surrounding sights - this is much more convenient and more profitable than using public transport.
• Do not forget about the "right" clothes and comfortable shoes.