DescriptionAt the tip of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula about 25 kilometres (16 mi.) off Hwy. 430 on Hwy. 436, L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site is the only authenticated Norse site in North America.
According to sagas, the Vikings explored and exploited the resources of the region known as Vinland more than 1,000 years ago. Excavations have disclosed the size and location of the buildings that formed the resource camp. Discoveries include the remains of sod houses, a small forge for smelting iron, several workshops, a bronze cloak pin and a spindle whorl.
Replicas of the Vikings' Scandinavian-type sod houses have been constructed. The visitor reception center has an exhibit detailing the Norse presence in North America. Costumed interpreters explain the function of each building. The Viking site at L'Anse aux Meadows has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). A walking trail follows the shoreline.
Picnicking is permitted. Guided tours are available. Allow 2 hours minimum. Daily 9-5, late May-early Oct. (also 5-6, mid-June to late Sept.). Admission to the park is free in 2017 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation. Otherwise, admission $11.70; $10.05 (ages 65+); $5.80 (ages 6-16); $29.40 (family, maximum two adults and five children). For information write L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, P.O. Box 70, St. Lunaire-Griquet, NL, Canada A0K 2X0. Phone (709) 623-2608 May-Oct., or (709) 458-2417 off-season.
Excavated by archeologists in the 1960s, remnants of a Norse settlement proved that Vikings had visited the New World nearly 500 years before Columbus.