None visit to the city of Telavi would be complete without visit at least one monastery or vineyard from surround. The most important monastery in the area is Alaverdi Monastery. This Monastery and the church are also listed in the Unesco Heritage list.
How to get to Telavi?
From Tbilisi Ortachala bus station there are minibuses or marshrutkas. I’ll recommend go to the station with time by taxi which cost around 10 GEL or 3.5 dollars from the center of Tbilisi.
The label in the bus is written in latin characters but is not easy to find the write place where the bus departure and asking in English is difficult. The bus is located just close to a small business and the schedule is depend on how full the bus is but the first bus is around 8am and next one at 10am. For come back to Tbilisi is more easy because the bus is easy to identify in the small terminal and the schedule is between 1 hour and 1 hour 30 minutes until 18hs. If you lost the last bus there are share taxis as well.
A journey of 3 hours cost around 8 GEL (3 dollars) and the minibus finish in Telavi Station. Usually the tourist ask for the town of Sighnaghi but the minibus pass close to the route to Sighnaghi but it’ll be difficult to call a taxi in the middle of the route.
What to see in Telavi?
The city of Telavi is small, is more than a town rather than a city. Visit everything won’t take more than 2 hours and everything is close each other.
- Castle of Erekle II: An historical fortress built during 1667-1675 which worked as royal residency between the centuries XVII and XVIII. Inside the fortress there is a small museum dedicated to the king Erekle II.
- Platanus Orientalis: A huge tree of 900 years old. According to the legend if you walk around the tree and ask for wish the tree grants it as gratitude for his longevity.
- Historical Center: Just a few meters apart from the fortress we can find a recent resaturated historical center and an old church.
How to go to Alaverdi Monastery?
The best and quick way to go to the monastery is by taxi; for sure there are minibuses as well but if better to avoid the public transport if you don’t have enough time or don’t speak russian. Taxis in Georgia are not expensive and are safe. For the journey of 2 hours included the waiting time I paid 30GEL => 12 dollars but depend of the negotiation skills as well because the ”Touristic” price is round 50GEL
What to see in Alaverdi?
Basically the main attraction is the old catedral built in the middle of XI century which the monastery from the 6th century. The monastery has a museum inside and is surrounded by vineyards which provide wine of high quality because of the ground and weather of Caucasus mountains weather.
The majority of the monastery was closed to the public so the visit is no longer than 30 minutes which is the perfect time if the taxi driver is waiting outside.