If you have wondered whether it is possible to obtain Iran Visa on any of Iran's land borders, the answer is DEFINITELY NO.
IT IS MANDATORY TO OBTAIN ANY KIND OF IRAN VISA IN ADVANCE, IF YOU WANT TO ENTER THE COUNTRY ON LAND BORDERS.
To gain entry to Iran through its land borders, you must have obtained your visa beforehand. The only way you can gain entry to Iran on land borders is to have your visa issued by Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs beforehand and to have a valid passport at least for the next 6 months with at least 2 blank pages as well.
In case you have obtained your Visa and your passport meets the above requirements, here are the access points on all of land borders of Iran:
From the earliest merchants seeking fortunes on The Silk Road until today, millions of people have been crossing Iran by land.
Iran shares over a dozen international overland crossing borders which permits overland travelers traveling or crossing in/out Iran by land borders from Armenia, Azerbaijan Republic, Turkmenistan and Caspian Sea in North. Turkey and Iraq in West. Mighty Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman in South. Afghanistan and Pakistan in east.
Iran Popular Borders for Overlan Entry ( Regulations & Visa)
- Land Border Between Iran & Afghanistan
Islam Qala (Taybad) in Iran or Dogharon in Afghanistan; an open and straightforward border, is about 20 km east of Taybad in Iran. Daily regular buses between Herat and Mashhad are available to make your trip easy.
- Iran visas are not issued at Dogharon border.
- Land Border Between Iran & Armenia
Norduz in Iran or Meghri Agarak in Armenia is the only open 35 km long border and routes between Iran and Armenia.
Jolfa is the first tiny city after to border which is reachable by taxies after Iranian border. Once in Jolfa, regular buses to Tabriz and suburbs are available.
On the Iranian side take the Taxi to Jolfa, the first tiny town after the border. From Jolfa buses are regularly ply to Tabriz and suburbs.
- Iran visas are not issued at Norduz border.
- Armenian visas are issued, it’s very smooth except sometimes that the bus leaves you before you have the visa.
- Land Borders Between Iran & Azerbaijan (2 Recognized Crossing Points)
Aslandooz (Astara) in Iran or Astara Lankaran in Azerbaijan .
Jolfa in Iran or Culfa in Azerbaijan which also leading to the exclave of Nakhchivan, from where you cannot enter Armenia and must fly to get to Baku.
- Iran visas are not issued at these borders.
Direct buses between Tehran and Baku, via Astara, are as rarely available. Well, you don’t miss a big chance as crossing the border as a pedestrian is much easier than being in a cross-border bus and having a long delay for a full cavity search.
Nowadays train access to Jolfa is available, but to Astara is promised for future and it is still under construction.
- Land Borders Between Iran & Iraq (4 Recognized Borders)
Marivan (Bashmaq) border is one of the recognized border between Iran and north Iraq, the Kurdish region. It is about 15km out from the border city of Marivan which is reachable by public transports from Sanandaj, Kurdistan, Iran.
If your journey in Kurdistan starts from Sulemaniyeh, it is the best border to cross.
- Iran visas are not issued at Marivan border.
Hajomran border is the other recognized border between Iran and further north Iraq, Kurdish region. It is near Piranshahr city which is reachable by public transport both from Sanandaj and Orumiyeh in Iran.
If your journey in Kurdistan starts from further north Erbil, it is the best border to cross.
- Iran visas are not issued at Hajomran border.
Mehran is one of the recognized borders between Iran and south Iraq, the Arabic part. This border services the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala in Iraq.
- Iran visas are not issued at Mehran border.
Khosravi is one of the recognized borders between Iran and south Iraq, the Arabic part. This border services the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala in Iraq.
- Iran visas are not issued at Khosravi border.
- Land Border Between Iran & Pakistan
Mirjave in Iran or Taftan in Pakistan is the only recognized border along the 830 km border with Pakistan as a straightforward crossing if not necessarily comfortable.
Mirjaveh is 85 km south east from Zahedan (reachable by public transport from there).
- Iran visas are not issued at Mirjaveh border.
- Land Borders Between Iran & Turkey (2 Recognized Borders)
Crossing in/out between Iran and Turkey is a piece of cake. There are two recognized borders:
Bazargan in Iran or Gürbulak (Dogubayazit) in Turkey, where there are hotels, money changing facilities and regular transport on either side of the border, though staying in nearby Maku is more pleasant. Motorists usually cross at Gürbulak and Bazargan.
- Iran visas are not issued at Bazargan border.
Sero in Iran or Esendere in Turkey is the other open border for crossing in/out between Iran and Turkey. Sero, near Orumiyeh in Iran is reachable by public transport from Orumiyeh and Esendere is 40km from Yüksekova, Turkey. There is nowhere to stay on either side and transport can be infrequent.
- Iran visas are not issued at Sero border.
There are two options for travelling by bus. The easier is to take a direct long-distance bus Tehran or Tabriz from İstanbul, Ankara or Erzurum.
Buses to/from Tehran to İstanbul take about 36 to 42 hours and to Ankara, which is nearer is shorter. They leave from both the central and western bus terminals; several bus companies offer the service, but usually it’s just one bus that runs.
Maybe taking a bus to Ankara is better as it is normally full of students and embassy workers, rather than the İstanbul bus, which is full of traders and therefore more likely to be taken apart at customs.
Alternatively, take it more slowly and enjoy some of eastern Turkey and western Iran along the way. By taking a bus to – but not across – either border you’ll avoid having to wait for dozens of fellow passengers to clear customs. It’s usually possible to cross from Erzurum, Turkey to Tabriz, Iran in one day if you start early.
It takes longer in winter when high mountain passes near the border are frequently snowbound.
The train from İstanbul to Tehran via Ankara and Tabriz is called the Trans-Asia Express, which runs weekly in either direction. It is a 2968 km journey which takes about 70 hours and seating is comfortable 1st-class couchettes with four berths.
The Trans-Asia Express is two trains; an Iranian train between Tehran and Van, on the shores of Lake Van in eastern Turkey, and a Turkish train from Tatvan to Ankara and İstanbul. Delays are likely in winter when snow can block the tracks and low temperatures can freeze the plumbing.
- Land Borders Between Iran & Turkmenistan (3 Recognized Borders)
There are three border posts open to foreigners along this 1206 km-long frontier linking Mashhad in Iran and Ashgabat in Turkmenistan; Incheh Borun and Gyzyl-Etrek, Bajgiran and Howdan.
Bajgiran in Iran or Yablonovka Gaudan in Turkmenistan is one of the open land borders between Iran & Turkmenistan. There are public transports from Mashhad to Ghochan and Bajgiran border; it is about 4 hours to Bajgiran from Mashhad and 2 hours to Ghochan. But once you cross into Iran you can share or take a private taxi to the first city (2-hour to Ghochan) and from there take a bus to Mashhad.
- Iran visa is not issued at Bajgiran border.
- Changing transport at all three borders is required.
Sarakhas in Iran or Gudurolum in Turkmenistan is the other border between Iran & Turkmenistan. There is a Mashhad–Saraghs train, but no international trains into Turkmenistan, while Gudurolum is reachable by car or taxi only.
- Iran visas are not issued at Sarakhas border.