Rauðisandur

Soak up awe-inspiring views as you walk along this red sand beach in the Westfjords.

Westfjords
Seaweed on the shore of the Rauðisandur beach
The Rauðisandur beach with blue sky
The Rauðisandur beach from above
Seaweed on the shore of the Rauðisandur beach
The Rauðisandur beach with blue sky
The Rauðisandur beach from above
Seaweed on the shore of the Rauðisandur beach
Best time to visit
Summer
Open
Every day
Parking
Free
Charging station
No

Look out for wildlife and uncover intrigue at Rauðisandur beach, Iceland

If you’re heading to the remote Westfjords, make sure to check out Rauðisandur. This beach in Iceland is one of the few that doesn’t have black sand, as the region is no longer volcanically active. 

On a sunny day, with the reddish-golden beach stretching into the distance, you might even think you’re in the tropics. If you ignore the temperature difference of course! 

Rauðisandur (or ‘Rauðasandur’) beach – meaning red sand – probably got its name from the color of the sand. But there could also be a connection with Ármóður the Red, a Viking who was one of the first settlers in the area. 

As well as the reddish hue of the sand, Rauðisandur is also known for the locally famous murders at Sjöundá. This farmstead, near the beach, was once home to two married couples. It’s thought that two of them had an affair, which lead to them killing their spouses. Luckily, the beach’s murderous days are well and truly in the past.

When you’re walking along the beach, it’s worth keeping an eye out for seals bobbing in the water. Look closely and you might even spot whales! 

Why not also visit the Látrabjarg bird cliffs? During the summer, they’re one of the best places to see puffins in Iceland and are just an hour’s drive away. 

How to get to Rauðisandur, Iceland

If you’re on a road trip in the Westfjords, you can get to Rauðisandur beach by following road 612 west towards Látrabjarg. About 38 km (24 mi) before Látrabjarg, turn left onto route 614. 

Follow this gravel road for roughly 11 km (7 mi) and it will bring you to Rauðisandur. If you want to make this journey, hiring a 4x4 vehicle is a must. And take care, as the road leading down to the beach has some steep drops and tight turns. 

When you get to the coast, the road splits in two. Head east and you’ll come to Melanes campsite. Or go west to visit Saurbæjarkirkja, a small wooden church near Saurbær farm.

Other attractions near Rauðisandur

Puffins on the Látrabjarg sea cliffs

Látrabjarg

Go puffin watching and hike clifftop trails at Iceland’s westernmost point.

49 km (30 mi)

View
Multiple cascades of the Dynjandi waterfall in summer

Dynjandi

Check out this bridal veil waterfall in Iceland, a jewel of the Westfjords.

101 km (63 mi)

View
The town of Ísafjörður on a sunny day

Ísafjörður

Connect with Icelandic culture and enjoy local cuisine in the unofficial capital of the Westfjords.

154 km (96 mi)

View
The village of Hólmavík at sunset

Hólmavík

Delve into tales of witchcraft and go whale watching from this small village in the Westfjords.

225 km (140 mi)

View
Puffins on the Látrabjarg sea cliffs

Látrabjarg

Go puffin watching and hike clifftop trails at Iceland’s westernmost point.

49 km (30 mi)

View
Multiple cascades of the Dynjandi waterfall in summer

Dynjandi

Check out this bridal veil waterfall in Iceland, a jewel of the Westfjords.

101 km (63 mi)

View
The town of Ísafjörður on a sunny day

Ísafjörður

Connect with Icelandic culture and enjoy local cuisine in the unofficial capital of the Westfjords.

154 km (96 mi)

View
The village of Hólmavík at sunset

Hólmavík

Delve into tales of witchcraft and go whale watching from this small village in the Westfjords.

225 km (140 mi)

View