Fifty shades of green: Red Sand Beach, or Raudasandur. | Encaustichris

Fifty shades of green: Red Sand Beach, or Raudasandur.

In this blog I would like to take you to the Westfjords, to the bottom part.

The West Fjords are (geologically) the oldest part of Iceland, and at the same time the least populated part.

There is no volcanic activity on the Westforden.

A large part of the Westfjords is adjacent to the coast, so there is a lot of beach to be found.

And where you are on a volcanic island like Iceland, many black beaches expect this is not the case in the West Fjords.

Red Sand Beach, the name says it all, is a red beach, or orange/pink, depending on the sunlight.

Raudasandur, or raudisandur (both names are used interchangeably in Iceland) is a ten kilometre long beach.

To get to this beach, you have a long way to go from Reykjavik.

You first follow the ring road (1), and turn to Borgarnes to the left to route 60, which leads you into the Westfjords.

Route 60 is already a beautiful route, which leads you along the coast, and along the way you will want to stop several times to enjoy the views.

The road is almost completely paved, and great to drive with any car (in summer).

You can also take the ferry to the Westfjords, you'll have the chance to see whales or dolphins, but miss the beautiful views.

Assuming you're driving: road 60 turns Flokalandur into road 62, and follow it towards Patreksfjordur (our base for this visit).


From Patreksfjordur follow road number 612 (see above) to go to Red Sand Beach.

This road eventually leads you to Látrabjarg, a viewpoint where you can find lots of puffins.

Road 612 is partially paved, and here too you drive along the water, but now through the fjord: the Patreksfjordur.

In the water here you can see several salmon farms, and beyond that you look out for the beautiful views and the mountains.

However, we turn down to Road number 614, which is a gravel road.

I recommend driving this road alone with a larger car, not necessarily a 4x4, but not a Suziki Alto, just to mention something.

Road 614 is known as “the scariest road on the Westfjords”. In the video below, you can see why it's called that:

On these types of roads, I'm completely in my element, especially when it's wet, and therefore more exciting to drive.

We drove twice to Red Sand Beach: the first time it rained quite a bit, and then this road is really challenging, I understand why this is called the scariest road (not everyone is so crazy to enjoy it.!).


At the bottom of the road (you rise first, and then descend properly) follow the sign that leads you towards the campsite (turn left).

At the campsite, which is at the end of the road you will find a tiny little shop, and there are (paid) toilets.

From this point, your walk to Red Sand Beach starts.

You will walk through the grass, where you will be greeted by a waterfall:


You have to cross the water, but before that there are some big boulders, that's good to do.

And then after five minutes, you'll be on Red Sand Beach:


The beach is 10 kilometres long, and after a mile or five you can find seals on the beach.

We didn't hit them because the weather wasn't good, and the tide became: we didn't walk that far.

But what a beautiful beach!

The sand really turns red, and you'll find many shells, big, heavy shells.

And also very nice shells, although we found only a few of them:


As always, when I'm on the beach I came back with some shells.

The joke we made several times during the holiday was that I had to bring an extra suitcase for the shells and pebbles, and pieces of lava I had collected.

Of the red shell we found both 1 that was whole, and they are now shining here.


The tide was fast, so we couldn't walk on the beach for too long.

Too bad, but we enjoyed it very much, and the next time we can take a look at the ebb times and tide times so we can look for the seals.

By the way, the beach turns red due to the lava. Lava can be different colors depending on the temperature it had when it solidified.

That's how I found black, red, yellow, white, grey lava.

Whether the name of the beach is borrowed from the color of the sand, or the name of an old viking is not entirely clear, but it doesn't matter to me either: the beach turns red, so Red Sand Beach is appropriate anyway.

After a nice cup of coffee in the mini shop we left again, through the lovely hairpin turn road back to our temporary shelter.

Red Sand Beach, highly recommended!

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