Telavi (Georgian: თელავი) is the main city and administrative center of Georgia’s eastern province of Kakheti. Among the best-known regions of Georgia where wine (Georgian: ღვინო) is produced, further divided onto smaller regions of Telavi and Kvareli… Etc… Etc… – Wikipedia says.
You can use Google search and find a lot of those sentences there… But what I’m going to do now is to tell you what I discovered and how I fell in love with one of the oldest cities of Georgia – Telavi, the place that is located 62 away from my native city Tbilisi. Maybe after reading this piece you will also share my emotions and pay it a visit.
I always knew that Telavi was beautiful and rich city with mountain sights, but in Georgia, generally, it’s common for every place, you need a better reason than beauty to get surprised. The first time I took an interest in Telavi was while reading the book of a Georgian contemporary writer. In this book the story forms in a little, European-styled town, full of wide streets, night bars, interesting and open-minded people, great food and godly wine… All this was about Telavi. After few days, the very writer who was born and grown in the city became my boyfriend. Not because of my eminent excitement and curiosity of Telavi, but anyways… In that way, I gradually became closely acquainted with the city.
For history lovers Telavi is the best place to visit. Here you can find some of the oldest monuments of Georgian history.
– Fortress of first Kakhetian kings “Dzveli Galavani” (old walls) is dated by IX-X centuries, in view of the fact that Telavi served as a capital of kingdom of Kakhet-Hereti.
– 900 year-old giant plane tree is also a must see while visiting Telavi. Be sure Kakhetians will tell you many legends about that tree;
– Another fortress called “Batonis Tsikhe”, the fortress of master, which stands untouched since XVII century;
– One of the oldest churches in Georgia of the Holy Trinity (VI century);
– And of course, greatest of all, the talisman of the city, park Nadikvari. Nadikvari is the best place for relaxing and thinking. To be honest, this is where I wrote the first pages of my book. The narrative of my book flows in Telavi. This park is a huge box of inspirations. You can be sure muses will murmur to you while taking a walk in the foggy and mysterious park.
– Besides that, Nadikvari frequently hosts many cultural events, music concerts, performances and other attractions. But, that’s not all. This little city holds an immense building-can you imagine what it is? A theater. For the city of 20,000 inhabitants, this fact is really a matter of pride.
After the reconstruction on early 2000s, Kakheti and especially Telavi became a touristic hub of Georgia. Tourists from all over the world join fancy wine tours and historic sightseeing visits to discover one of the richest and oldest region of Georgia. You can find cheap guesthouses as well as luxury hotels there. I definitely advise to visit “Chateau Mere” and “Lopota Lake”. In Chateau Mere you’ll have the possibility to taste best Georgian wines and food. Maybe you will also meet the owner of the hotel who will show you his wine cellar and probably serve you himself. Kakhetian hospitality is worth experiencing, believe me.
As of Lopota, it is a Resort and Spa with huge recreation area. I can surely tell you that this is a small paradise on earth surrounded with Caucasian mountain range.
Though, to be more poetic, Telavi is the second Shire from Lord Of The Rings. Do you remember those tiny, hospitable, funny, cheery, little-bit lazy, grouchy and gourmand Hobbits? If yes, you can consider you already know citizens of Telavi. If you visit, maybe you’ll make friends with adventurous Bilbos, Frodos and even Galdalfs. And those cute, comfortable, clean houses and loveliest nature? Oh, therefore I felt in love there (you decide with whom – with the writer or Telavi city).