Leif Erikson or Leifur Eiríksson (c. 970 – c. 1020) was a Norse explorer from Iceland. Also the first known European to discover continental North America before Christopher Columbus.
According to the Icelandic Sagas, he established a settlement at Vinland, identified with the Norse L'Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland in modern-day Canada.
Later archaeological evidence suggests that Vinland may have been the areas around the Gulf of St. Lawrence and that the L'Anse aux Meadows site was a ship repair station.
Leifur was the son of Erik the Red and Thjodhild. He was a Viking in the early days.
The known strictly historical mentions of Vinland are found in the work of Adam of Bremen c. 1075 and in the Book of Icelanders compiled c. 1122 by Ari the Wise. According to the Saga of Erik the Red, Leif saw Vinland for the first time after being blown off course on his way to Greenland.
During one of the explorations, they discovered that the land was full of vines and grapes. Leif thus named the land Vinland. There, he and his crew built a small settlement, which was called Leifsbudir. After having wintered over in Vinland, Leif returned to Greenland in the spring with a cargo of grapes and timber. On the return voyage, he rescued an Icelandic castaway and his crew, earning him the nickname "Leif the Lucky"
Want to visit Leif's birthplace in Eiriksstadir West Iceland?
Mountains and Fjords - Guided tour