Rauðisandur – Red Sand Beach in Westfjords, Iceland

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  • Local tip: Walk all the way to the ocean for the best views of the beach and surrounding area.
  • Steep gravel roads lead to the beach.
  • GPS: 65.46537, -23.98784

A ten-kilometer long beach stretch in the Westfjords, with red and golden sand, looks beautiful. Rauðisandur beach has a reddish hue to it in certain conditions. The magnificent hues of the beach differ with the weather and the daylight. This beach does not offer adventurous activities to do such as snorkeling or a boat ride. It is a place where huge cliffs rise from the beach to offer breath-taking scenery. Located beside Látrabjarg, Europe’s highest bird watching cliffs, the Rauðisandur attracts travelers throughout the year. The cliffs of Látrabjarg are home to millions of seabirds with guillemots, razorbills, gulls, and fulmar. From May to September, you can get a view of puffins flying around Rauðisandur beach and over the Látrabjarg hills. You can also witness the grey or harbor seals bobbing in the water or moving out the sands. By any luck, you could get a glimpse of whales jumping in the ocean.

Places Around Rauðisandur

Rauðisandur is different in color from other beaches in Iceland as the Westfjords are no longer volcanically active. Visiting the place provides a peaceful environment with tall cliffs and flying birds. While exploring the Westfjords and nearby places, you can visit Patreksfjörður, a town in Westfjords which has become a tourist destination. If you are on a tour around Iceland or on a weekend trip to the Westfjords, you can look for accommodations in Patreksfjörður. This beautiful town is surrounded by giant mountains and the vast ocean. Here you can find campsites, guesthouses, and hotels for accommodation. It also has a swimming pool, cafes and restaurants to make your trip comfortable.

While visiting the Westfjords, you will find a beautiful valley known as Kirkjubólsdalur. The river Kirkjubolsa runs through the Kirkjubólsdalur valley. This valley is an awe-inspiring place for adventure enthusiasts and avid travelers. It has good hiking and biking trail to make your trip adventurous. Visiting this valley offers a great view of the surrounding mountains, such as Gongudalshorn, Breidhorn, Hadegishorn, and Grjotskalarhorn. This valley is a common trail for people who travel to the Kaldbakur, the highest mountain of the Westfjords.

Travel to Arnarfjörður, the second-largest fjord of the Wesfjords, which is known as one of the most beautiful fjords in Iceland. The diverse landscape, majestic mountains around the Arnarfjörður offers a beautiful landscape view. Dynjandi waterfall is located in Arnarfjörður and is considered the most beautiful location in the Westfjords by many locals and travelers. 

Rauðasandur red beach in the Westfjords of Iceland

How To Reach Rauðisandur Beach

Reaching Rauðisandur is not that easy because of the gravel road leading to the place. Drive on Ring Road 1 towards the north, if you are starting from Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. Pass through the town Borgarnes. Drive for few kilometers after you cross the Borgarnes town. Take a left turn to head on to Road Number 60. Drive on this route for a few hours until you reach Vattarnes. Pass through this location and start driving on the Route 62. Move on this route and turn towards the left to drive on route 612. Keep driving to reach Rauðisandur. The drive is pretty hairy in places too with steep drops and not much in the way of barriers.

Drive slowly and carefully as this area does not have paved roads, you will find gravel roads leading to Rauðisandur. You will be driving up on the mountain on a very bumpy gravel road. Once you read the end of the mountain it is time to go down to the beach. The road that leads down from the mountain is considered to be one of the hardest roads to drive on in Iceland. The steep hills and the bad gravel road makes this an thrilling experience, especially if you are driving a large car like camper van. Once you are down from the mountain you can park your car in the small parking area.  There is a small cafe at this place where you can sit and enjoy the sea tides. You can also find a great campsite next to the beach. We recommend that you walk along the beach until you reach the sea to get the best views of the red sand beach and surrounding area. The soft sand and bristly seashell residues often shroud quite precious objects washed ashore by the sea, even Whalebones sometimes.

You can visit this place during any month of the year but the gravel road and the 180-degree turns on the roads become risky during rain or winter season.

Map of Rauðasandur

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