Learn about Canada’s surprising Viking history.
Norse legends speak of a strange realm, Vinland, which was discovered by explorer Leif Erikson 1000 years ago when his longship was blown off course journeying from Norway to Greenland in the depth of mid-winter.
The next spring he arrived at Greenland, his ship laden with timber and pulling a boat brimming with grapes.
For centuries, historians sought this mysterious land, but to no avail until, in 1968, archaeologists investigating a group of grassy mounds at L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern-most tip of Newfoundland and Labrador uncovered the remains of an ancient Norse settlement.
Today, you can visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the buildings restored to the timber-and-sod homes they were more than a millennia ago.
Enter the Viking halls and see how these hardy colonists lived, huddle around a crackling fire to hear Ragnar the blacksmith recount tales of shipbuilding.
Then hike spectacular windswept coastlines once inhabited by First Nations cultures the Vikings called the Skræling.
It’s a journey of discovery every bit as adventurous as it was for Leif a thousand years before.
Open from June to October, L’Anse aux Meadows is a 15-hour drive from St John’s International Airport and six hours’ drive from Deer Lake regional airport. The closest town is St Anthony.