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General

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane. Pityful a rethoric question ran over her cheek.

Check-in time

From 15:00

Check-out time

Until 11:00

Cancellation / Prepayment

If canceled or modified up to 7 days before date of arrival, no fee will be charged. If canceled or modified later, 100 percent of the first night will be charged. In case of no-show, the total price of the reservation will be charged.

Children and extra beds

All children are welcome. There is no capacity for extra beds in the room.

Pets

Pets are allowed.

Accepted credit cards

This property only accepts cash payments.

Facilities

  • Air Condition
  • Catering services
  • Free toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Heating
  • Ironing board
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Telephone
  • TV
  • WiFi

Activities

Guided tours, walking, climbing

Internet

WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge.

Parking

Free private parking is possible on site (reservation is not needed).

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Telavi

Telavi

The largest town in Kakheti, Telavi is set in the vineyard-strewn Alazani valley, between the Gombori Mountains and the Caucasus (visible to the northeast). It’s the perfect base for exploring the histori- cal, architectural and viticultural riches of Kakheti.

Telavi was one of Georgia’s main medieval trade centres, but it was caught in the on- slaught of the 13th-century Mongol invasion and then was twice devastated by Persia’s Shah Abbas I in the early 17th century (Abbas killed around 60,000 Kakhetians and carted another 100,000 off to Persia). In 1744 Nader Shah of Persia installed the local prince Erekle II in Telavi as ruler of Kakheti. In 1762 Erekle united Kakheti with Kartli, to the west, as a more or less independent state, ruling with a progressive Westernis- ing policy. Erekle still occupies an honoured place in Kakheti annals.

Harvest Time

A very good time to visit Kakheti is during the rtveli (grape harvest) from about 20 September to 20 October, when grapes are picked and pressed, to the accompaniment of feasts, musical events and other celebrations. Many accommodation places can organise for you to join in the harvest and the partying.

Sports and nature

Telavi is home of several of the region’s world-famous wineries, art museums, castles, and a theatre highlighting folk singing and dancing. Telavi is located on the crossroad of the region and is an ideal place to stop for a lunch or an excellent jumping-off point for two or three-day excursions.

Batonistsikhe Castle

Batonist- sikhe was the residence of the Kakhetian kings in the 17th and 18th centuries, built when King Archil II transferred his court back to Telavi from Gremi in 1672. Inside the castle yard is a Persian-style palace that was rebuilt by Erekle II, who was born and died here. Its central throne room holds many historical portraits including one of Erekle himself (above the throne).

The castle precinct contains the re- mains of the dilapidated Archil Church and a single-naved royal chapel, with holes for firearms in the walls, built by Erekle II in 1758. Included in the admission price are an art museum, with Georgian and western European paintings, and a history museum, in ugly modern buildings behind the palace.

Ikalto Monastery

This monastery, beautifully situated in a cypress grove 8km northwest of Telavi, was one of two famous medieval Georgian aca- demies, the other being Gelati. Shota Rus- taveli, the national poet, is thought to have studied here. The monastery was founded in the 6th century by Zenon, one of the 13 Syrian fathers. Six hundred years later, King David the Builder invited the philosopher Arsen Ikaltoeli to establish an academy here, where the doctrines of Neoplatonism were expounded. In 1616 the complex was devas- tated by the Persians.

The main Transfiguration Church was built in the 8th and 9th centuries, over an earlier church where Zenon was buried. The brick cupola and whitewash were added in the 19th century. To the east, the small Sameba (Trinity) Church dates from the 6th century but has been extensively rebuilt over time. Check the interesting small re- lief of three saints at the top of its facade. The single-naved Kvelatsminda (St Mary’s Church), to the south, dates from the 12th and 13th centuries. The roofless building be- hind this was the Academy.

Alaverdi Cathedral

At the beginning of the 11th century, when Georgia was entering its cultural and political golden age, King Kvirike of Kakheti had a majestic cathedral built – at 50m high it remained the tallest church in Georgia for nearly a millennium. Alaverdi Cathedral (h8am-7pm), 20km northwest of Telavi, is Kakheti’s main spiritual centre. The exterior is classically proportioned with majestic rounded arches but minimal decoration, typical of Kakhetian churches. Inside, the structure has a beautiful spacious harmony, and light streams in from the 16-windowed cupola. The cathedral was damaged by several earthquakes and a severe 19th-century whitewashing. Some frescoes were uncovered from beneath the whitewash in 1966. Note the 16th-century St George and dragon over the west door. The Virgin and Child above the altar is from the 11th century.

Other buildings in the cathedral compound include the summer palace of Shah Abbas’ governor (now restored as the bishop’s residence), a bathhouse, a bell tower and the Alaverdi Marani winery (not generally open to visitors).

The September festivities of Alaverdoba last three weeks, with people coming from remote mountain areas to worship and celebrate.

Gremi Monastery Complex

This picturesque brick citadel stands beside the Telavi–Kvareli road, 19km from Telavi. Kvareli-bound marshrutky from Telavi will stop here.

From 1466 to 1672 Gremi was the capital of Kakheti, but all that remains of its mar- ket, baths, caravanserai, palace and houses after its devastation by Shah Abbas in 1616 are some not-very-distinctive ruins. The citadel, however, still stands. By the road below it stands a large portrait of the Kakhetian Queen Ketevan, who was tortured to death by Abbas for refusing to renounce Christianity. Within the citadel, the Church of the Archangels was built in 1565 by King Levan (who is buried inside) and contains frescoes painted in 1577. You can climb up in the adjacent 15th-century tower-palace: a structure in one room was thought to be a bread oven, but on examination turned out to be a tunnel. Although not yet fully excavated, it’s thought to emerge in the yard outside – from where another tunnel leads down to the foot of the walls where in past centuries the Intsoba River flowed.

Nekresi Monastery

Nekresi’s early Georgian architecture and the views across the vineyard-dotted Alazani valley from its hillside-woodland site are marvelous. The monastery is 4km off the Kvareli road from a turning 10km past Gremi (Kvareli-bound marshrutky from Telavi will drop you at the turn-off ). Vehicles must park 1.5km before the monastery, but from there marshrutky (1 GEL return) shuttle up and down the hill from about 8am to 5pm.

One of the very first Georgian churches was built at Nekresi in the 4th century. In the 6th century one of the 13 Syrian fathers, Abibos, who converted many of the high- land Georgians, founded a monastery here. Considerable repair and reconstruction has been done in the last few years.

The first church you reach at the monastery is a three-church basilica from the 8th and 9th centuries, with a plan unique to early Georgian churches, the three naves being divided by solid walls into what are effectively three churches. Nekresi’s tiny first church stands in the centre of the complex, immediately above the church shop. It’s an extremely small basilica, many times reconstructed, with unusual open arches in the walls. Inside, steps lead down to a lower chapel or vault. Beside this church is a reconstructed 9th-century bishop’s palace complete with a marani (wine cellar) and a 16th-century tower. Immediately east is the main Church of the Assumption, another triple-church basilica from the 6th to 7th centuries, with some 17 th-century murals adorning its smoke-blackened interior.

Tsinandali

This village, home of a famous white wine and site of the Chavchavadze family estate, lies 7km southeast of Telavi. Prince Alexander Chavchavadze (1786–1846) was the son of Georgia’s first ambassador to Russia and godson of Catherine the Great, and also a poet and antitsarist activist (for which he spent time in exile). His daughter Nino married the Russian poet and diplomat Alexander Griboedov in the family chapel here.

In 1854 Lezgin tribesmen from the Dagestan mountains ransacked the Chavchavadze house, kidnapping 23 women and children. Alexander’s son David had to mortgage the house to raise the ransom. The hostages were returned, but David was unable to repay the loan and the house passed to Tsar Alexander III. The main room of the house is now a museum, with interesting paintings and photos of people and events associated with the house, including the Lezgin raid. It also stages some good art exhibitions. The tour includes the Tsinandali Winery, founded by Alexander’s father in part of the 200,000 sq. metre park, which no longer makes wine but has a 16,500-bottle collection dating back to 1814.

The park is beautifully laid out in an English style, with venerable trees and exotic plants such as ginkgo, sequoia and yucca.

Akhali (New) & Dzveli (Old) Shuamta

The churches of Akhali (New) Shuamta and Dzveli (Old) Shuamta are fine works of Georgian architecture among beautiful woodlands off the Gombori road west of Telavi.

The convent of Akhali Shuamta, 11km from Telavi, was founded in the 16th century by the Kakhetian Queen Tinatin and is now a convent again after serving as an orphanage in Soviet times. Wait at the inner gate for one of the nuns to greet you and show you the church (some of them speak English). The church has a cruciform design with a high cupola and large crosses in- scribed on its extremities. The fine 16th century frescoes portray Tinatin, her husband King Levan II and their son Alexander, as well as biblical scenes. Tinatin and the poet Alexander Chavchavadze are both buried here.

The three stone churches of Dzveli Shu- amta, 1.8km up the road past Akhali Shuamta, formed part of a monastery founded way back in the 5th century. Nearest to the road is a three naved 5th- to 6th-century basilica, in a style typical of the earliest period of Georgian Christianity. The next is a 7th- century tetra conch church with a plan derived from the Jvari Church near Mtskheta.

Nightlife

Georgia’s wine country, its easternmost region of Kakheti is a land of hospitable, openhearted and straightforward peoplewho live surrounded by rugged mountains, ancient castles, magnificent churches, and drink wine to praise the almighty for each harvest of their nurturedgrape yards. Kakheti is unquestionably a must-see for any visitor to Georgia. With its generous landscapes and people, Kakheti offers an unforgettable experience to its first-time visitors and those who are well acquainted with its heart-warming culture.

Kakheti Wineries

Visiting a few of Kakheti’s wineries is a must while you’re here. Evidence of winemaking in Kakheti goes back about 7000 years, and with 225 sq km of vineyards today, this is a region where wine plays a big part in daily life even by Georgian standards.

Georgian wine always used to taste sweet to Western palates, but Russia’s ban on Georgian wine imports in 2006 spurred production of more refined wines using modern technologies, bottled for Western and Asian markets and typically selling at 10 GEL to 20 GEL in Georgian wine shops. Meanwhile, the age-old local method of fermenting wine in qvevri (large clay pots buried in the ground) continues unabated, producing quite drinkable, very inexpensive wine that’s normally sold in plastic con- tainers. In a qvevri, the crushed grapes are fermented for around six months before the juice is drawn off to make wine, and what’s left is distilled into the potent, grappa like chacha.

Around 500 of the world’s 2000 grape varieties are Georgian, and 38 of them are used in commercial production today. The most widely used are the white Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane, and the red Saperavi. The fragrant white Kisi grape, grown only around three villages near Alvani, has a growing band of fans. Some European grapes are now grown too, so you may come across blends such as Saperavi-Merlot or Rkatsiteli- Chardonnay.

Kakheti’s five main appellations of origin are Tsinandali, producing a dry white from Rkatsiteli grapes mixed with 15% to 20% Mtsvane; Mukuzani (quality dry Saperavi reds); Kindzmarauli (dry and semisweet Saperavi reds); Akhasheni (dry Saperavi reds); and Napareuli (whites and Saperavi reds).

Many Kakheti wineries welcome visitors for tours and tastings, and some even have hotels or guesthouses. It’s generally best to call ahead, in the morning or the day before, to arrange tastings.

Adventure

Kakheti is one of the most beautiful and diverse areas of Georgia. Its stunning landscapes include the snow-covered Caucasus Mountains, with peaks reaching up to 4,500m, next to the incredibly fertile valleys, fields, and even semi-desert areas of Dedoplistskaro and Sagarejo. With such a variety of climates, altitudes, and landscapes it’s perfect for hiking, biking, and trekking.

Culture & history

The largest town in Kakheti, Telavi is set in the vineyard-strewn Alazani valley, between the Gombori Mountains and the Caucasus (visible to the northeast). It’s the perfect base for exploring the histori- cal, architectural and viticultural riches of Kakheti.

Telavi was one of Georgia’s main medieval trade centres, but it was caught in the on- slaught of the 13th-century Mongol invasion and then was twice devastated by Persia’s Shah Abbas I in the early 17th century (Abbas killed around 60,000 Kakhetians and carted another 100,000 off to Persia). In 1744 Nader Shah of Persia installed the local prince Erekle II in Telavi as ruler of Kakheti. In 1762 Erekle united Kakheti with Kartli, to the west, as a more or less independent state, ruling with a progressive Westernis- ing policy. Erekle still occupies an honoured place in Kakheti annals.


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