How To get from Sheki to Telavi A Vagabond Life
How To get from Sheki Azerbaijan to Telavi Georgia
We crossed the Azerbaijan / Georgia Border at the more remote northern Balakan / Lagodekhi which was very easy and straightforward.
This is how to get from Sheki Azerbaijan to Telavi Georgia.
Make Your Way To Balakan
From the Central Bus Station (Şəki Avtovağzalı) in Sheki catch the mini bus to Balakan, which is 16km from the Azerbaijani border.
The Sheki bus station is well organised and it is easy to find the right bus, at the time of writing there were 2 buses per day, the one we caught at 10:10AM and one at 14.00PM.
The cost was 4AZN per person and for and extra 2AZN the mini bus driver offered to take us and a few other travellers all the way to the border – perfect.
The drive to Belakan and then onto the border took a bit over 2.5 hours and travels through some beautiful countryside with many roadside stalls selling fresh produce.
We were dropped right at the border just before 13:00.
Catch A Taxi From Balakan To The Border
If your mini bus drops you at Balakan it will drop you near a market and roundabout with a huge Azerbaijani flag, from here you can catch a taxi to the border. The price to the border can be negotiated however 5 AZN seems to be the average rate.
Proceed to the Azerbaijan Border Control
Enter the border control area through a pedestrian gate to the right of the main gate. Then walk up the many long sloping steps to border control.
Within a few minutes we were stamped out of Azerbaijan and on our way to Georgia.
Proceed to the Georgia Border Control
Up more steps and across a pretty river and you will reach the Georgian border control. Just before you pass through passport control there is an office where you can change money. There is also an ATM a couple of hundred metres over the Georgian border.
At the Georgian border control they scanned our bags and checked our passports and voila we were in Georgia.
Get to Lagodekhi
Lagodekhi is the closest town in Georgia to the border and where you need to get to to catch onward mini buses. Once you cross into Turkey you will be approached by a number of taxi drivers offering to take you to Lagodekhi – prices ranged from 12 GEL to 5 GEL.
We teamed up with a couple of other travellers and shared a taxi all the way to Telavi for 60 GEL. Split between four of us the price of a taxi all the way to Telavi was only slightly more than if we had caught a taxi to Lagodekhi and then a mini bus…and so much more convenient as the taxi took us straight to the door of our guest house.
If you choose to get a taxi to Lagodekhi it will drop you at the mini bus station where you can pick up a bus to your onward destination. By the afternoon things get a little sleepy at the two border towns so it is advisable to cross the border by early afternoon so you ensure you get a onwards mini bus.