Armenia - Iran border crossing (Nordooz - Agarak)

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

Post by Mirmiru »

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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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Post by Mrloes »

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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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Post by steven »

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

Post by beyondoverton »

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, 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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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Post by santerironty »


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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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Post by kunibald »

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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Entering Armenia from Iran - Norduz-Agarak

Post by Maxk »


Planning to enter Armenia from Iran in Norduz-Agarak border, does anyone have up to date information if both sides of the border are open 24/7?

At the Armenian side - is it easy to find taxis to Terevan/Meghri ? or I need to order one in advance?
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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing

Post by 12holvoe »

We are planning to enter Iran at this border in a few months. We will have a visa (french passport), but the lady at the embassy told me that they will not put the visa in our passports, but send it by email. She told me that there will not be any problem even at terrestrial border, but she also told me that the visa does not need to be valid for the entire duration of the stay in Iran, and that we can enter the 9th of May with a visa valid until the 10th, which I doubt...

Does anyone have the experience of entering Iran at a terrestrial border with this kind of visa ?
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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing (Nordooz - Agarak)

Post by Kanter »

Hello, I answer here in French, as I did not understand all the details of the question...

J'ai aussi obtenu un visa par l'ambassade d'Iran à Paris. Il est séparé du passeport dans tous les cas, il s'agit d'une mesure générale pour tous les visas, et pas pour un visa spécifique (voir post à ce sujet). Je ne comprends pas la question : le visa est valable 3 mois à partir de son obtention, la date de dernière entrée possible est indiquée dessus. Ensuite, il est valable 30 jours. Si vous devez le prolonger il faudra le faire sur place.
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Re: Armenia - Iran border crossing (Nordooz - Agarak)

Post by Bloo »

Update 11.06.2019
In Yerevan, the lady at the Iranian office in Republic Square told me that the bus for next day is already sold out. So I decided to go for the minibus to the border and boy, was that a good decision.
To get to the mini buses, you take the Yerevan metro to the station adjacent to the train station. You exit the stairs on your left as you come out of the metro, you'll see some mini buses. I was there around 07:50, the minibus left half full around 08:20. Cost was 5000 AMD (around 9 euro). The road is crazy, with a climb over 2300m and another one just before Meghri at over 2500m. The drivers seem to be under the idea that it's some kind of rally stage, so they will go at crazy speeds in to bends, brakes squealing and all that. Deffo not for those faint of heart.
In Kapan, the minibus I was in ran out of passengers, so after half hrs waiting, I was transferred to another minibus coming from god knows where but heading to the same direction. All mini buses go all the way to the border now , so the info about walking or taking a taxi from Meghri is obsolete.
Got to the border around 16:30, fairly straight forward process. 5 minutes for passport check and baggage scan, and I am out. Then, surprise, in the neutral zone, there is a Russian soldier, checking everyone's documents, pedestrians and truck drivers alike. We chat for a couple of minutes, then I head to the Iranian side.
Before entering the customs building they have a small window. Some guy calls me there, I show them the passport, visa and insurance, he waves me through. Probably because I already had my insurance out, the scam guy ignores me. 2 minutes for documents check , get the printed evisa paper stamped and :"Welcome to Iran". I make a beeline for the exchange office inside the building and as I am trying to figure out the rates, a soldier comes and asks me to come back. Apparently I forgot to put my backpack through the scanner. Quick scan and in one minute I am back to the exchange office. I change 20 euro at a meh rate (130k/eur) and start to try and figure out transport.
Back to the scanner guys to ask them for best transport option They call a cab driver, he offers Tabriz for 20 USD, I politely decline because I know I cand find cheaper transport from Jolfa, we agree on 1 mil rial (around 7 eur) to Jolfa. As we were exiting the customs yard, I saw more people and cars, so it's possible I could have found a shared taxi there for 2-3 eur. Anyway, he drops me off in Jolfa, in 2 minutes I am already in a shared taxi (just me and one more passenger) for Tabriz. It costs me 600k rial, so roughly 4 euro, did not try to negotiate. Finally, a bit before 8 PM, I am in Tabriz, not before the driver gave me at least a dozen "omg, we're gonna die" moments. Seriously, Iranians, what's up with sticking 10 cm from the car in front at 130km/hr ?

Anyways, I'd say the minibus option has a few benefits. You arrive in Tabriz at a decent hour, in the city, as opposed to the bus 2:00 am on a highway. The downside is that you'll feel that every driver you have from Yerevan to Tabriz or Teheran has a death wish.
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