Ask the experts

The Observer / Guradian (UK)
June 6 2004

Ask the experts
Our Lonely Planet experts, Tom Hall and Fiona Christie, answer your
travel queries

[parts omitted]

I plan an autumn trip to Armenia, and want to go by train from there
to see England play Azerbaijan in a World Cup qualifier in Baku in
October. But I’m told I will have to travel via Tbilisi in Georgia
as the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is closed due to a
territorial dispute.

As the situation between the two countries is tense, is there a
problem visiting Azerbaijan with an Armenian visa and entry stamp in
my passport?

Geir Engene, by email

Though you should clarify this with the Azeri Embassy (020 7938 3412)
closer to the time, the only visa stamp which will prevent your entry
into Azerbaijan is that of the breakaway enclave of Nagorno Karabakh,
which you’re highly unlikely to visit anyway.

Otherwise, you shouldn’t have any problems travelling from Armenia
to Azerbaijan via Georgia.

Of the three Caucasus countries, Armenia is the safest and easiest
to visit.

Lake Sevan and the Dilijan forests are wonderful natural sights,
but it’s the history of ancient monasteries at Tatev and Sanahin and
the hundreds of stone monoliths at Zorats Karer that really make the
trip special.

British Mediterranean flies from London direct to Yerevan. Flights
cost from £460, including taxes. Book through British Airways (0870
850 9850; ).

It’s also possible to fly from Cologne to Tbilisi in Georgia with the
German budget airline Germania Express (00 49 805 737 100; )
for £253 return including taxes.

The rival German Wings () flies from London to
Cologne for as little as £4, so this could prove the cheapest route
for you.