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Introducing Astara

Astara has one of Azerbaijan’s nicer beaches, but being a border town you’d be unwise to linger too long here and there’s little else to do except cross the border (8am-noon & 2-5pm, variable) to Iran. Note that midrange hotels in Azerbaijani Astara are generally better value than the equivalents in Iran’s namesake town.

If you’re arriving from Iran as a pedestrian you emerge through an oddly unmarked metal doorway into a nest of waiting taxi drivers. Contrary to their assertions, it is very easy to walk to the central square (less than 10 minutes, straight ahead up Heydar Әliyev küç). Close to the square, Kapital Bank has an ATM that accepts international cards and you can change money on the Iranian side.