Armenia - Iran border crossing

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Mirmiru
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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Postby Mirmiru » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:40 pm

I crossed the border AM --> IR last March with a French passport and a French car.
2 quick Armenian customs controls (declaration + inspection of the cargo). And then, surprisingly, the control is handed over to Russian border guards (2 passport controls + more serious inspection of the cargo). I understood it because I saw a portrait of Putin on the wall!
On the Iranian side, relaxed officers (watching football on TV or their smartphones) repeating the traditional "Welcome to Iran"' 3 passport and car registration controls. The customs officer was very helpful. It took him quite a long time to fill in the carnet de passages (register and stamp). He didn't know anything about car insurance. He even thought the CPD was an insurance! He gave lots of phone calls and arranged a meeting with an insurance bureau in a neighbouring village. No inspection of the cargo, just a single question about alcohol. No questions about my route in Iran. I didn't see any exchange office. Maybe because I didn't ask.
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Mrloes
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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Postby Mrloes » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:53 am

We crossed the border from Armenia to Iran this June travelling by bus from Yerevan.* Everything went very smooth on both sides, the people at the border were friendly. No questions, just the guy from the "1 USD travel insurance scam" (see above), who happily jumped up when he saw us, but we politely told him that we had insurance and I showed my European health insurance card and we walked away again.

On the Iranian side, a guy approached us and we exchanged some dollars for quite a good rate at that time. Not as good as we later got in Tehran at the black market, but still really fair.

This was one of my favourite border crossings because of the beautiful scenery on the way to the border. So try to arrive during the day!

*An Iranian company, tickets were about 42 euro pp, we just walked in at a travel agency in Yerevan who bought the ticket at another agency specialised in travelling to Iran, might be cheaper to buy it directly from them. The Iranian agency was located somewhere behind the Republic square on the side where the Post Office is. Look for Persian writing :)
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steven
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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Postby steven » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:05 am

Was the bus a direct Yerevan-Tehran bus? how long did the journey take?
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beyondoverton
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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Postby beyondoverton » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:44 am

We crossed the border mid-September. There are different companies offering daily service from Yerevan to Tehran. It's about 24-hour journey depending on situation at border. The cost varies (we found one company which charged 25,000AMD and another one 15,000AMD). They all leave from different places in the city usually in the morning, so best is to walk into a travel agent and ask them to book for you (no additional charge - we used Tatev Travel). The buses are very comfortable and offer complimentary drinks and some snacks. But there is no WiFi in the bus despite them widely advertising it.

The drive to the border is very long because the region is mountainous and the road goes literally up and down for like 400km. Which makes it dangerous - we saw the remains of a few cars in the crevices along some of the curves. But the scenery is magnificent.

The bus stops often for toilet breaks, breakfast, lunch, dinner...it even stopped once because its cooling system stopped working.

We passed through several small towns before we reached the border. Inevitably they looked very 1960-70s Soviet style but they were impressive because I had never seen old Soviet block of apartments perched on the rocks in the mountain.

The border crossing was surreal. It was not so much the passport control but walking through into no-man’s land for almost 1 km. In total darkness. There are locals crossing back and forth with little carriages offering to help with bags. The Armenian passport control actually took as long as the Iranian one (although on the Iranian side we had to go through two passport controls, I guess for extra security). But on both sides they were very courteous. Once in Iran, we had to further wait for the bus to pass customs control - and that could take hours!

There are guys offering to exchange money on the Iranian side. You should, as you will need the money on the way and it's not straightforward to do it once in the country anyway (no designated exchange bureaus usually). But I would not exchange more than 10-15$ per person. Iranian money could be quite confusing at first; be careful with official vs street exchange rate.
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santerironty
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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Postby santerironty » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:59 pm

28.9.2018

Yerevan-Tabriz
Royal Safar Iranian
Office in Yerevan: ‭+374 94 070089‬
Other phone numbers:
Armenia: 099929050 / 096929050
Iran: 09143929050 / 88544952
Telegram: +989142419050

Yerevan-Tabriz: 12000 dram
Yerevan-Tehran: 15000 dram

Tehran-Yerevan: 1800000 rials
Tabriz-Yerevan: 1000000 rials

I bought the ticket in Yerevan but agreed to hop on the bus in Goris. This worked very well as I was given the phone number of the driver so I could contact them at all times. The driver did not speak English but there were passengers ready to help in English, Armenian and Russian. The bus is a comfortable Iranian VIP and supposedly should have wifi, although this was not available at the time. If your destination is Tabriz, you will be left in the outskirts of the city. There are taxis readily available.

The border crossing was easy. Finnish passport, Iranian visa obtained in Istanbul. No questions asked on either side. On the Iranian side, just before the queue to passport control there is a sign on the wall that says "visa issuing". There was a door next to it but it was closed; it was about 9:30pm. No opening/closing times of the visa office shown but they might open it when a visa is needed. This shows that it should be possible to get a visa on arrival at Agarak/Nordooz border. Health insurance desk is available. After having been stamped into Iran, your luggage will be x-rayed but not necessarily checked thoroughly. Men will approach you and offer a travel insurance but it's best to ignore them. There is a currency exchange bureau; the rates are better than the official rate (1€=50000IRR) but worse than the street rate (1€=200000). As of September 2018, the rate offered in the exchange bureau is roughly 1€=140000 but this can change. No sim cards available at the border.
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kunibald
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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Postby kunibald » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:52 pm

Can confirm the information above as of 22.10.2018. No health insurance scam even though the guy was there. No questions asked, backpack not searched. Crossing took some hours though, mostly waiting for the bus to come. Communication in the bus was difficult.
Bus arrived in Tabriz at 01:30, dropped me at the highway, no taxis waiting. So try to get some number in Tabriz (and some farsi notes saying that you want to call someone) and someone to pick you up (which I luckily had). The first hour after the border the cellphone network was not working.
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