Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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GiacomoLuppi
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby GiacomoLuppi » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:45 pm

I crossed this border yesterday (4th of April), walking from Azerbaijan to Iran. I didn't find any crowd, I arrived around 4:30 PM and in twenty minutes all was done. Azeri side without problem (passport control and backpack x-ray control), iranian side totally empty, the guard looked new as he didn't know how to do with foreigners. A couple of questions about my itinerary and all was ok.

Be careful if you want to exchange money, they try to cheat with all the zero (example 1.090.000 instead of 1.900.000), take your time and count money by yourself
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Clodo
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby Clodo » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:35 pm

We crossed this border from Az to Iran 5 weeks ago and back 2 days ago. Both at around 10 o'clock with bicycles and two swiss passports. In both ways there were only few people and the passing was smooth.
Enter and exit Azerbaidschan: passport control and printed evisa, when entering Az luggage control, partly with x-ray, partly with a dog.
Enter Iran: passport and visa control about 15 min, some questions about itinerary, profession and purpose of stay, x-ray of luggage. The police officer warned us not to change money in the streets 'because these people are not honest, better go to an official exchange shop'
When leaving Iran x-ray of luggage and 5min passport control, the security guard told us about an incident the day before: they checked an European car, which had a camera in front, always filming and he told us that they had to take away this camera. He seemed sad for the tourists who don't have any pictures of the beautiful landscape now.
All in all it took us not more than one hour for the crossing in both directions
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PIE
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby PIE » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:59 am

Yesterday (Friday 30th June) we crossed from Iran to Azerbaijan with two motorcycles (including carnet de passage). Did not encounter any issues, although the whole ordeal took us almost 2 hours, despite us being the only ones crossing besides the truckers.

Road on Iran side was great. The M3 road on the Azeri side was extremely busy though and in bad shape. They seem to be building a new Astara-Baku highway though.
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Van_Gogh
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby Van_Gogh » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:37 pm

I crossed the border from Azerbaijan to Iran on March 30 by car.

The road from Baku to the border is nightmare, although it seems that they’re building a new highway.

On the Azerbaijan side, you have to pay 4 AZN for "Customs" before entering the border area; keep the litlle piece of paper they give you, you will need it.
Control was okay, around half an hour. They will look in your car, ask for the papers you got upon entering the country and for your Evisa-printout. Everything was pretty crowded, probably due to the Novruz travelers, but I was cleared after around 45 minutes.

The control on the Iranian side is pretty fast and straightforward, the border guards are friendly and helpful, but don't forget to tell them that you*re having a Carnet de Passages! Otherwise, they will not stamp it.
Just go to the Customs office or ask someone to bring you there, you need to ask around a little bit, it is in the "truck area" of the border. Be sure that they stamp everything right and take the right part out, be always with your Carnet! Don't give someone your Carnet, although there might be people around asking for it — they're scammers and will not give it back until you pay some money.

I could not find any exchange office on the Iranian side, maybe beacuse it was already dark. There are people standing at the border gate, but I didn’t asked for their exchange rate.

The official closure time on Iranian side is 6 PM Iranian time, but they will work until everyone is cleared (at least the cars, trucks might have to go on a parking lot and wait till next day), just be sure to enter the Iranian part of the border no later than 5 PM Ir.T.
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Sjaan
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby Sjaan » Fri May 18, 2018 2:11 pm

The Azerbaijan - Iran border crossing in Astara is now open all day (24/7). The border is at a weird place, no signs. Next to the road is a blue-white stone gate, this is where you have to start. We came by motorbikes, we were the only tourists. Just some trucks, but very quiet.
The Azerbaijan part is very well structured. This takes you about 45 minutes. Then the Iran part... It is a chaos. Officials are not wearing a uniform so you don't know who is official and who is not. You enter a very big, strange area with many old trucks and a wood factory (as it seems). It is hard to find your way here, especially because we had to stamp our Carnet de Passage. We took a 'guide', he helps you through the proces and you can tip him as much as you want. Our guide knew very well what to do and was very helpful. Without him, it would have been hard to find the different offices you have to go through.
During the process you have to pay some dollars. Don't know exactly how and why, but we just did it...
This Iranian part took u about an hour, so after almost 2 hours we were happy to be in Iran!

We couldn't find any money exchange office in Astara. Better to ask the 'guide' where the offices are.
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neilstarks
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:32 am
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby neilstarks » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:33 am

glad to report that there have been **MAJOR** improvements at this border crossing. First and foremost the crossings are now 24/365, they are always open.
things to keep in mind when crossing from Iran>AZ:
*if you are an Iranian passport holder, do NOT pre-pay your "exit/khorojee" online, only , I repeat ONLY pay for it at this border. Apparently they are not online and you will be forced to either pay again (its up to 220,000 tooman now {about $35USD}) so preferably not or if your lucky and its regular banking hours, you have to trek to the "Bank Melli" and get an authorization/release on the banks letterhead.
*as mentioned beforehand, do not deal with the goon currency exchange guys at both borders {they will charge an arm and leg, if they dont try to pull those other stunts}. Once you cross into the AZ side (so after you clear their customs and the final officer checks your passport) you will reach a two way, bear right and about ten stores down on your right is a local small market, that guy will exchange dollar>manat at 2 manat per hundred (decent rate) you will get better rates in Baku at some banks and exchanges but if your like me and wanted to get a cold bresky, changing a hundo there wont kill you.
*if you have not arranged transport from Astara to baku, there are these old diesel mercedes that will take you for $80 manat, up to four passengers. You can either get the entire car to yourself or buy a seat for $20 manat , they fill up pretty fast...I happened to get lucky on the return {as on the way in, decided to go visit masaly, would totally recommend it for anyone that has not been there, real chill city in the villages near Lankeran...nice resort called "Vilesh") but I digress, the drivers phone number is {if perhaps your thinking of getting the entire car to yourself, can probably arrange it ahead of time with the guy, sorry didnt catch his name} +99 55-2646944 {or} +99 51-8033838
**Things to keep in mind from the AZ>Iran side
*Your entering an Islamic country, means headscarves for lady's, no shorts for men and try not to smell like you just drank a bottle of gin...{do not bring back and liquir either, dont even try to sneak it, they have seen it all from shampoo bottles to medicine, just not worth it. You can easily get your hands on booze in Iran, fret not, especially in Astara...
*We got back late, so the market dude was not there to buy my left over manat, had to deal with those shiesters on the iranian side, what can you do..?
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Rupert
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby Rupert » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:21 am

Crossed this border by bicycle from Azerbaijan to Iran on a morning in early June 2018. Used the vehicle, rather than pedestrian, lanes. Easiest to find by sticking close to the sea. The process itself, particularly on the Iranian side, couldn't have been simpler.
The Kapital Bank on the Azerbaijan side changed AZ Manat into US Dollars at a good rate and without fuss.
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