Sunbathing the Icelandic way – Red sand beach (Rauðisandur) | Bite of Iceland - Travel Blog

Sunbathing the Icelandic way – Red sand beach (Rauðisandur)

Posted on Nov 7, 2016 in Travel Bites | 23 Comments

Do you want to try sunbathing the Icelandic way? Raudisandur | Red sand beach | Westfjords

Would you even think that some of the most beautiful beaches in the world can be found in Iceland? When you are planning to visit them, instead of a sunscreen, remember to pack a warm cap and a scarf. You gonna love it! Rauðisandur (Red Sand Beach) is a jewel in the crown among these truly magical beaches.


Rauðisandur (Red Sand Beach) is a very famous beach located in a remote area in the Westfjords. It’s adored both by tourists and Icelanders. Its fame seems fully deserved because this is an absolutely incredible place. Rauðisandur simply delights with its fairytale aura. What’s more, it is ten kilometres long, very wide and lies at the foot of extremely steep mountains.

Raudisandur | Red sand beach | Westfjords

As a matter of fact, this beach is not very Icelandic. In Iceland, beaches are usually dark and devilled black. In this case, it’s something completely opposite – fine symphony of colours. Rauðisandur means ‘red sand’ in Icelandic. But in fact, it’s only one of its magnificent faces. Everything depends on the capricious, yet stunning Icelandic light. The beach looks completely different when it’s cloudy, sunny or foggy. Time of the day plays a huge role too.

We visited this place at the end of September, after the season, so we had the beach just for the two of us. We spent there almost three hours, unable to leave this captivating place. We witnessed a magical spectacle. WE arrived there late in the evening, just before the sunset, so the sand was changing colours like crazy. The shades were literally whirling, from purple to orange, then amber and delightfully honey-like.

Raudisandur | Red sand beach | Westfjords

The Red Sand Beach is not gloomy like another our favourite beach, the one in Vík. But it still has a very disturbing aura. Sometimes the waves sound extremely threatening here and they tend to be really huge. This place mesmerises like a spell casted by a highly skilled witch, so you can stare at Rauðisandur almost endlessly.

Farm by Raudisandur | Red sand beach | Westfjords

In addition, the whole area close to the Red Sand Beach is a true gem. Several dozen kilometres from here you can see dramatic cliffs called Látrabjarg. It is the westernmost part of Europe and there are literally thousands of birds nesting in the summer. And when it comes to getting to the beach, this route will increase your heart beats, especially one of its fragments. This part of the road is considered to be one of the steepest in Iceland. So get ready for some fun! The road is beautiful and really crazy, so you must slow down to 20 km/h. And as it often happens in Iceland, you can forget about any barriers, even with a company of a murderous abyss below. Happy sunbathing!

Road to Raudisandur | Red sand beach | Westfjords

Iceland Map Raudisandur | Red sand beach | Westfjords

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23 Comments

  1. Rose
    November 7, 2016

    I still remember this part of the road and be like 90degree vertical ohh no lol.. Anyway we had fun in westfjord, we were amazed that one guy was actually made a key turn on that vertical we thought it was a movie scene lol..

    • Adam, Bite of Iceland
      November 8, 2016

      It’s really steep – that’s true. And we were travelling there in a really small car – Hyundai i10 but we did it 🙂 Westfjords are one of our favourite parts of Iceland.

  2. Karolina
    November 15, 2016

    It looks absolutely stunning. I am planning to visit Iceland in 2017 and you blog seems like a good guidance what I should see there! 🙂

    Do you know is renting car in Iceland expensive?

    • Adam, Bite of Iceland
      November 15, 2016

      Hi Karolina! Great that you found our blog interesting 🙂 As far as renting a car is concerned, it all depends what kind of car. The cheapest costs around 35 Euro, but it’s a bargain price. Usually you have to pay 50-60 Euro for a small car per day. And 4×4 costs from 80 Euro till even 350 Euro (for a Land Rover or Jeep).

  3. Doreen Pendgracs
    November 23, 2016

    Interesting post, Adam I always thought Iceland was mainly ricks and waterfalls. Have never seen a photo of a beach there before, so it was nice to see — red sand and all!

  4. Debra @ Traveling Well For Less
    November 24, 2016

    The red sand beach looks gorgeous. Love the first photo where you’re wearing a red jacket, nicely done. 🙂 Very surprised to learn that Iceland has a beach. I was supposed to go this month but had to cancel. Hopefully next year. 🙂

    • Adam, Bite of Iceland
      November 24, 2016

      Thank you Debra! In Iceland there are quite many beaches, most of them are black. Enjoy Iceland when you get there 🙂

  5. Chris
    November 24, 2016

    Iceland has such dramatic coastline (we loved it), but this is different to anywhere we got to!

    Most beaches we saw were rocky and as you said, black.

    Another beautiful spot!

  6. The Travel Ninjas
    November 24, 2016

    The red sand beach looks cool. We hope to make it to Iceland someday. It looks absolutely beautiful!

  7. Amy
    November 24, 2016

    A lot of the traits of this incredible beach remind me of the coast of PEI here in Canada, the red sand and cliffs, although the landscape here is much more dramatic! The roads are almost other worldly, it is no wonder Iceland is getting so much coverage lately, it is absolutely spectacular! Would love to visit someday and experience this beach for ourselves!

    • Marta, Bite of Iceland
      November 30, 2016

      I’m sure that you would love it :-)! We wanna visit Canada one day, it’s high on our travel bucket list 🙂

  8. Mimi
    November 26, 2016

    These pictures are amazing. Red sand beach is stunning. This is a day trip? How many days I need the country if I want to try to include this in my trip?

    • Marta, Bite of Iceland
      November 30, 2016

      Hi, Mimi! We are glad that you like it 😉 If you want to include the Westfjords in your trip, then you need at least two weeks. We spent 12 days travelling only in this region.

  9. Mar Pages
    November 27, 2016

    Wish I had gone to the The Red Sand Beach, it looks more impressive than the black sand beach that I saw actually. I do miss the peaceful and slightly desolate views of the sea from Iceland’s beautiful beaches.

    • Marta, Bite of Iceland
      November 30, 2016

      We love both, red and black 😉 It’s so difficult to choose which one is prettier!

  10. neha
    November 28, 2016

    Wow..that road is really crazy..but looks like you had a lovely time driving through. And the beach looks beautiful too…but I have always wondered, apart from sinking in the natural beauty, how else would you enjoy on a beach where it’s cold..you can’t get into the water

  11. Ami
    December 2, 2016

    I did not realise that you can do sunbathing in Iceland. Thanks for introducing their unusual beaches to us. Did not realise they had such unusual and unique ones. I think I might just need more days here than I anticipated 🙂

  12. Soumya Nambiar
    February 14, 2017

    This red sand beach is so gorgeous. I would love to try sunbathing in Iceland one day. 😛 That is definitely going to be an experience. From the photos, it does not look like it has a disturbed aura.

  13. Perfect Places To Visit
    June 16, 2017

    This was just what I was on the look for. I will come back to this blog for sure!