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An update from Evaneos
Telavi

Telavi (Georgia)

Practical information about Telavi

  • Family
  • Encounters with locals
  • Viewpoint
  • Mountain
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Music
  • Museums
  • Castle and fortress
  • Place or Historical Monument
3 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
160 kilometres from Tbilisi by car
When to go
All year round, though it's more pleasant in summer
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Telavi

Travel writer
25 travel articles

Telavi is a small Georgian city lying 160 kilometres northeast of Tbilisi, the country's capital.

My suggestion:
Telavi is located in the province of Kakheti, a region which specialises in wine-growing. With 294 different varieties of grape cultivated in Georgia, you're sure to be able to find something to suit your tastes! Wine-lovers will not be disappointed.
Summary:

Out of all the places I've been to this year, Georgia is one of my favourites, and this is largely down to the legendary hospitality of the Georgian people. When the locals here invite you to their table to drink tea or share a bite to eat, there is no hidden financial motive involved. It's simply genuine curiosity and the desire to spend time socialising and finding out how other people live.

What a pleasure it was to encounter such genuineness again, especially after the time I spent in Southeast Asia, where I often felt like I was viewed simply as a kind of walking wallet.

If I had to choose one thing that really sums up the three days I spent in Telavi and which I remember most about my time there, it would be the warm hospitality of the locals. The first day I was there I met a Georgian student who invited me back to meet his family. We then spent the evening cooking a typical local meal and enjoying some good home-made wines. The following day I walked to Nekresi Monastery. Noticing music in the distance, I approached closer so I could hear it more clearly and came across a family of 25 celebrating the birth of a baby around a large table. Within two minutes, I found myself invited to join them in eating, drinking, dancing, and even playing music together with them. The family couldn't speak a single word of English and only very little Russian.

This experience I had in Telavi represents my favourite memory of Georgia. I encourage you to do as I did and meet the locals; the Georgians really are a generous and jovial people.

Musical improvisation with local Georgian people in Telavi
Timothée D. Travel writer
285 travel articles

Telavi, capital of the wine-producing Kakheti region, has no particular draw - but its central location makes it an ideal base for exploring the area.

My suggestion:
Amongst the region's must-see attractions are the David Garedja and Alaverdi monasteries.
Summary:

At first glance, Telavi, a sleepy town of 20,000 inhabitants, is no different from any other mid-sized city in Georgia. The town centre is fairly plain - the Soviet influence is a little more pronounced than elsewhere, and apart from a few churches and a royal residence dating from the 17th Century, there is a relative lack of historical sites.

However, despite this minor historical shortcoming, I fell in love not only with the panoramic view which Telavi offers of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, but with its central location at the heart of one of Georgia's most attractive regions: the Kakheti. It's here in the rolling hills of the wine-producing countryside that you'll find some of the country's most important monasteries, which are well worth a visit.

Telavi with the mountains in the background