Border crossing Turkey - Iran

Border crossing Turkey - Iran

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We always like to be well prepared. That usually puts us at ease. So we drive straight to the border crossing and spend the night 30 metres from the "Kapikoy Gümrük" sign.

Admittedly, there are nicer places. Around 6 o'clock it gets quiet, the last border crossers walk past us, the last overcrowded minibuses roll towards the van.

We cook our camper soul food. The last Italian pasta, the last tomato sauce from Alnatura. Our stock of souvenirs and home-cooked food is dwindling. Today we treat ourselves to "something good" that grounds us, that we know, that doesn't throw us off course any more.

Because that's also important, setting anchors. Because, of course, this is the first really exciting part of our journey. The first "interesting" border crossing. The first country that harbours so much mystery for us. And longing. And anticipation. And yes, a bit of uncertainty too.

We lie in bed like this, I perhaps babble a little more than necessary. Besides, everything has already been said anyway... Gerd calmly remarks that he knows it's my way of relieving stress. He lets me tell the story. But at some point it gets quiet.

The morning

The muezzin wakes me up two hours before the alarm clock rings. Great, I'm awake three hours before the border opens. Wide awake. Gerd does his best, holds me tightly, but I want to get up. He asks me what I'm going to do. Well, I could make coffee, knit a few rounds (my secret meditation) or sort the papers. For the fifth time.

At some point, the coffee is actually steaming in front of me, I'm writing these lines and the knitting needles are waiting for me. Suddenly I become calm. A few angel cards help me, and kind and encouraging WhatsApp messages from family and friends do the rest. The papers are sorted (and divided, because I will be crossing the border with Felix and Gerd separately as pedestrians).

Iran, we are ready. Iran, here we come. Iran, we look forward to seeing you.

We arrive at the border shortly after 8am. It's -11° and we learn that the gates won't open until 9am. So we sit with the heating on and wait. We are the only ones with a vehicle for miles around. Meanwhile, there are plenty of pedestrians.

Shortly before 9, Gerd has to leave me and I drive our Felix across the border with all the paperwork. It's a great idea that the vehicle is in my name.

I drive through a few posts and have to go back again because I hadn't checked whether I had really been stamped out of Turkey. But even that can be sorted out.

The Iranian side is exciting. I can't read anything, but the border officials are very friendly. They check our Felix and stamp the Carnet de Passage. A young man helps me the whole time, walks in front of me, waits with me. I don't know exactly how many times I had to show my passport, visa and carnet. And as I can't read the signs, I don't know whether I've been to customs, the border police or the military every time. But that doesn't matter to me either.

At some point, maybe an hour later, I have all the stamps in my visa and carnet, meet Gerd again and we can set off. Just at the right moment (namely when the young helper wants a lot of money for his services and we have no idea what to do) we meet our Iranian friend. He will accompany us for the first few kilometres and show us hot springs and our first Iranian caravanserai.

Oh yes, Erfan: He organised car insurance for us in advance (ours doesn't cover Iran) and will also help us a little with our arrival over the next few days. But more on that later.

Addendum: Days later we hear that people normally spend hours at the border. We must have been lucky. No vehicle really came after us either. The angel cards must have worked after all.


All the excitement was probably for nothing. I've developed an appreciation for the simple border crossings in the EU. And: despite all the back-and-forth, everyone was very friendly.

PS: Of course there are no photos of the border crossing, but we are happy to share our first Iranian photo.

pure life

pure life

Border crossing Turkey - Iran

Merci for "travelling with us

These weeks we are travelling through Iran. It's possible that we won't be writing posts or that they will be delayed. We first have to see whether we have enough internet or reception and whether it is suitable for us to publish from the country. And whether we will even manage to write down all the fantastic impressions in time.

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24 days ago

Hello Heike, hello Gerd,
booaaah that's exciting! Even as a bystander at the kitchen table at home, you get stomach twinges. Why did Gerd have to cross the border on foot and couldn't stay at Felix? (not that I want an answer from you now!) I can understand your nervousness in the run-up all too well. And then in the first dicey situation after the border controls with the "helper", a local friend right by your side. How nice it is to know nice people everywhere!
Have a wonderful and carefree time in this country that is so unknown to me!

Kind regards

24 days ago
Reply to  Dirk

Hello dear Dirk,

I hope we haven't spoilt your breakfast with our home-made stress.

Why did I have to drive? Our Felix is registered in my name, I'm the owner. And at many borders (it was similar back then in Georgia) only the owner is allowed to drive, everyone else has to take the passenger lane.

That's a bit of a shame, as border crossings are an experience that we like to share with each other. But: it is what it is.

Now we are embarking on an adventure and looking forward to everything that is to come.
Kind regards - Heike

22 days ago

Hello you two.

Uiuiui, that sounds extremely adventurous.

And did you have to pay your "helper" now?
I am very curious to see how you are doing there.
Especially you, as a woman.

And I admire your courage.
I am not a coward.
But that would be too much for me.
Above all, I can't keep my mouth shut.
I would almost certainly end up in prison there pretty quickly.

Take care of yourselves!

LG Rachel