How did famous Vikings, like Leif Eriksson, the first European to set foot in North America, live? What was their day like and how did they dress? At Eiriksstadir, a replica of the homestead thought to be ‘Leif the Lucky’s’ birthplace, you will not just see, but experience all of the above.

Based on archaeological finds, Eiriksstadir is an exact replica of the longhouse where Leif Eriksson, also known as Leif the Lucky, is believed to have been born around year 970-80. Because of the historical accuracy, the site often receives groups of university students and archaeologists. “The house is built exactly the way it would have been, so if you are an archaeologist doing an excavation, it might help you visualise what you are digging,” says museum manager Bjarnheidur Jóhannsdóttir. “For the average tourist, it is just like entering a different time; we have the fire going and it is quite dark, because you had no windows at that time – it’s like you are leaving the 21st century when you come into the house.”

Eiriksstadir: Visit the home of a Viking

During a visit, a guide takes visitors through a half-hour tour of the house. All guides are dedicated ‘Viking nerds’ dressed in authentic Viking gear and ready to share quirky, odd, and fascinating facts about the life of the Vikings. The tour also involves numerous replicas of tools, weaponry, and clothing items, which allow visitors to touch, feel, and try items normally only seen behind glass in museums.

Eiriksstadir: Visit the home of a Viking

Next to the farmstead, guests can view the remains of the original longhouse as well as the green expanse of the Haukadal Valley, which provided one of the main passages through Iceland during Viking times. “Almost all of the inhabited farms in the valley are mentioned in the sagas,” explains Jóhannsdóttir, who lives in one of them with her husband and “five sheep – just to blend in”.

To honour a growing enthusiasm for Viking life and history among its visitors, Eiriksstadir offers free entrance to everyone who shows up in original Viking costume.

Eiriksstadir: Visit the home of a Viking

Viking enthusiasts visit and gather at Viking festivals at Eiriksstadir.

Leif Eriksson, known as Lucky Leif, was the son of Eirik the Red. He is believed to have been born at Eiriksstadir about 970-980, but as a child moved with his parents to Greenland. According to the sagas, Leif discovered North America in the year 1000.

Instagram: @Eiriksstadir
Facebook: eiríksstaðir

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Receive our monthly newsletter by email

    I accept the Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy