Rauðisandur (Red Beach) is a 10 kilometer stretch of a beach on the south coast of the West Fjords (Vestfirðir) in Iceland. And, yes, the sand is red, at least in certain conditions. On sunny days, it is quite a sight to see as it scintillates like a shoreline covered in diamonds. Sunny days are by no means a constant in Iceland. But, don't let that stop you from going to Rauðisandur. This amazing beach is like an instrument being played by high and low tides as well as lights and shadows. The sands are equally impressive on rainy days, constantly changing colors from red to yellow to white to red to black – with amazing hues ranging throughout this magnificent display. Rauðisandur has many qualities that we love to experience on our travel. It is a peaceful and photogenic place. Although it takes only a few hours to drive from Reykjavík today, a few decades ago it was a very isolated place.
Take care on the steep road down the slope to Rauðisandur
But, take care. The gravel road leading to the beach is very steep and narrow, with 180° turns. No rails. Take your time to drive down the slope. You will find a café on the beach where the locals will tell you how best to enjoy this tranquil site and its amazing tales and stories.
Apart from tales of trolls and otherworldly figures, Rauðisandur is the area where Iceland's most legendary act of crime, The Murders at Sjöundá, happened. It is a true story of darkness, intrigue, and passion. The whole drama was described it one of the best novels by an Icelandic writer, Svartfugl, by Gunnar Gunnarsson. A novel that was first published in Denmark in 1929 and was quite successful in Europe in the thirties.
Take a stroll on the beach to enjoy this magnificent beach Rauðisandur
Taking a stroll along Rauðisandur is kind of interesting. You can enter the sand from the Café and also from the farm Melanes, which is probably better. The soft sand and coarse seashell fragments often veil quite precious objects washed ashore by the sea, even Whalebones – or a bottled message. But remember to follow the flow of the tide as there is a significant difference between low tide and high tide. Rauðisandur is part of the Westfjords drive and road trip if you are looking for information about getting there and when to travel to Rauðisandur.
Nearby places of interest