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Raudisandur Beach, also known as Red Sand Beach or Pink Sand Beach, is a beautiful stretch of sand in a remote and secluded spot in the Westfjords of Iceland. Eponymous to its name, the beach consists of a spree of red sand stretching 10 km (6.2 mi). Unlike other beaches of Iceland that are black, the beaches at Westfjords are golden or pink. Raudisandur is red, and you may witness different ancillary hues like yellow, blue, and orange while traveling through the exquisite location.

Tours visiting the Westfjords of Iceland

Multi-day tours in the Westfjords of Iceland

Where is Raudisandur Beach Located?


This remote beach is located in Iceland's Westfjords region along the Southern Coast of the Látrabjarg Peninsula. It stretches for approximately 10 km (6.2 miles) from the Látrabjarg bird cliffs to the Skorarhlíðar mountains. Rauðisandur Beach hides its beauty in the westernmost point of Iceland, but visiting this breathtaking destination is worth the trip.

How To Get To Raudisandur Beach?

Raudisandur tides and landscape from above

It's a challenging feat to reach Raudisandur because the road leading to the place is gravel. The road to Raudisandur features mountainous and bumpy terrain, ranking as one of Iceland's most challenging drives. Opt for a sturdy 4WD or 4x4 when renting a car, and inform the service providers that you need a car to cross the rough terrain leading to the beach.

From the Westfjords ferry at Brjanslaekur, follow Road 62 West.

From Reykjavik, drive on the Ring Road, turn north, and pass through Borgarnes. Take a left on Road Number 60, continue driving on Route 62, and take a left turn on Route 612.

Note that the journey can be challenging due to steep drops, so drive with caution.

Upon arrival, you'll find parking options near the Franska Kaffihúsið (French café) or the Melanes campsite. The most convenient way to access the beach is by walking through either of these places. Signs will guide you from the campsite to the beach, a short half-hour hike that may require crossing a shallow river to reach the Red Beach.

General Information About Raudisandur Beach

Location Westfjords, Iceland

Length 10 km (6.2 miles)

Accessibility Car and ferry

Time to visit Year-round

Activities Photography, wildlife-watching, hiking, sightseeing

What is Rauðasandur Beach Known For?

Raudisandur's pink sand and blue water from above

Rauðasandur Beach captivates visitors with its striking, fiery red color. This unique color contrasts beautifully with the surrounding black volcanic rock formations and the vastness of the North Atlantic Ocean, creating a breathtaking panorama. What sets Raudisandur apart is its redness, as opposed to the black sand beaches that are prevalent in Iceland’s South Coast. 

Raudisandur changes its color with daylight, and the primary reason for this fascinating alteration is the shattered scallop shells accumulated on the beach over the centuries. As the scallop shells are reflective substances, they reflect the sun’s light on a sunny day and the beach appears to be glowing. 


Raudasandur, Iceland by Filip Kulisev :Amazing Planet


Although the red sands of Raudisandur are world-renowned, the color of the sands depends upon the time of the day you visit. In case you visit Raudisandur Beach on a cloudy day, the color of the sand will seem gray and muddy. On the contrary, if you see the beach on a sunny day, the sand will seem to have red and pinkish hues. The color of the sun on a sunny day is so breathtaking that you feel like you are in paradise.

Nestled among the remote and rugged terrain of the Westfjords, Rauðisandur Beach gives out an aura of tranquility. It’s far enough from major tourist hubs, which helps to preserve the area's natural beauty and offers a peaceful escape. The beach is accessible by a scenic hike along a rugged trail, adding an element of adventure to the experience. The trek rewards hikers with amazing views of the beach and the surrounding mountains.

History of Rauðisandur Beach

Bright Raudisandur sands and azure water streams from above

Raudisandur’s Geology

The sandy and ethereal-colored sands of Raudisandur are natural phenomena caused because there is no volcanically active substance underneath the region anymore. In summer, the beach gives off a tropical and Mediterranean vibe. Walking along the beach until you reach the sea is worth it as the sea provides the best views of the red sand beach and its surrounding areas. The soft sand, coupled with gritty seashell residue, often serves as a warehouse of precious objects washed ashore by the sea. People even find whale bones sometimes.

Early Settlements

Rauðasandur Beach's history also echoes the human interactions with its environment. The coastal location has served as a landing point for sailors, hosting various settlements over the centuries. There's even a suggestion that it derives its name from an early settler named  Ármóður Rauði Þorbjarnarson or Ármóður the Red. Today, the beach lies as a testament to the enduring acts of nature and a place where the magical red sand, the rugged cliffs, and the boundless sea create sights to behold.

Interesting Facts About Rauðisandur

Raudisandur's diverse landscape from above

Despite having an immensely tranquil and serene ambiance, Raudisandur has been the crux of one of Iceland’s most notorious crimes. The Murders at Sjounda took place at the Sjounda farm just beside Raudisandur in the early parts of the 19th century. The tale, with all its reality, seems like an extraction from a dark, romantic novel. 

It is said that in the early 1800s, two families resided on the small farm of Sjounda. Bjarni Bjarnason lived with his wife, Guoron Egilsdottir, and Jon Porgrimsson lived with his wife Steinunn Sveinsdottir. The first covert and poignant death in the place occurred in 1902 when Jon went missing. People believed that he jumped off a cliff. After that, three months later,  Guoron unexpectedly expired. But, surprisingly, the local priest could not pinpoint anything unusual about her death. 

It was only in the autumn of 1802 that Jon’s body washed up on the shore of Raudisandur Beach, but none of his bones were broken, and the initial hypothesis that he jumped or fell off a cliff was dismissed. Gradually, the nearby villagers began talking, and there was a buzz of foul play. A few days later, Bjarni and Steinunn admitted that they had brutally murdered their spouses. Both of them were sentenced to death. However, Steinunn passed away in prison, Bjarni was executed, and his head and hands were cut off. The famous murder mystery novel – The Black Cliff by Gunnar Gunnarsson – is based on this true story.

What To Do Near Rauðasandur?

Cozy French Café

Franska Kaffihusio, alternately known as the French Café, is a tiny café overlooking Raudisandur. They serve the most delicious and tasty Icelandic waffles. One prime reason to visit Raudisandur is to go to Franska Kaffihusio and enjoy delightful coffee with tasty meals. The place has a unique vibe that matches immaculately with the serenity of Raudisandur and makes you fall in love with the whole place even more.

Scenic Walks

The beauty of Raudisandur is otherworldly in a literal sense. Even if you don’t want to indulge in any activities in the location, simply observing its beauty is enough to give you peace of mind. A long walk on the beach with the sea beside it is indeed a sight straight from a romantic movie.

You can have a relaxing walk on Raudisandur Beach, and it will be, undoubtedly, an ethereal experience. The soft and gritty sand, coupled with coarse seashells, can offer you an experience of treasure hunting as they hide many precious objects at times.

Historical Remnants

You can also observe the old ruins of Sjounda farm, where the grisly crime scenes happened in the 1800s. The beautiful Saurbaejarkirkja church is also a treat to the eyes and something that you should not miss if you visit Raudisandur Beach.

Saurbaejarkirkja Church in Iceland


The best way to capture optimal pictures of the 10-mile Raudisandur Beach is by taking photographs roughly from the center of the place. You can improve your images by walking to either end of the beach or capturing the scene from an elevation. You can shoot the west where mountains are visible. Moreover, you can try and capture the moonlight, low clouds, evening sky colors, and the beautiful sand of the beach. If photography is your primary motivation to visit Raudisandur, we recommend that you visit the place during the summer.

Bird Watching

Raudisandur is a haven for bird watchers as sea birds hoard the place. You can see a variety of seabirds like gulls, fulmars, etc. while visiting Raudisandur. The migratory birds – Icelandic puffins – also fly to the region between May and September each year. The cliffs of Latrabjarg are famous for being the most prolific seabird colony in Europe. Therefore, Raudisandur becomes an ideal place for bird watching. You should take your camera along and click photographs of these birds, as well.

Seal Watching

Iceland’s beloved animal – the seal – is found all over Raudisandur, and you can easily watch them from the beach. They are entertaining and a sight for sore eyes, in all honesty. You can spot hundreds of seals blissfully sunbathing on the shore. Moreover, if you are lucky, you might spot a whale as well.

Whale Watching

Another fantastic natural aspect of Raudisandur Beach is that it is a fantastic place for whale watching. However, it is not assured that you will catch a glimpse of a whale, but you never know what might be your lucky day at Raudisandur.

Best Time To Visit Raudisandur

Dramatic Rauðasandur Beach with birds at distance

You can visit Raudisandur Beach at any time of the year. However, it is noteworthy to keep in mind that the gravel road and the steep 180-degree turn on the roads may become dangerous during rainy and winter seasons. Moreover, it would be best if you visited the place on a sunny day with low tide.

Where To Stay Near Raudisandur?

Pick from hotels, guesthouses, cabins, or campsites:

  • Hnjotur Guesthouse
  • Fosshotel Westfjords
  • Hótel Breiðavík
  • Hotel Látrabjarg
  • Melanes Campsite

Attractions Nearby

Reykjafjardarlaug hot pool in Iceland
  • Reykjafjardarlaug Hot Pool
  • Franska Kaffihusio
  • Latrajbjarg Bird Cliffs
  • Hellulaug Geothermal Pool in Vatnsfjorour
  • Garðar BA 64 Shipwreck
  • Hnjotur - The Egill Olafsson Museum

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