Experience life as it would have been for the Vikings back in 10th-century Iceland.

Eiríksstaðir is an old turf house at the end of a lonely dirt road in Dalabyggð in West Iceland. 

It’s one of the places in this part of Iceland that ‘Lucky’ Leif Eiriksson may have been born.  

‘Lucky’ was the guy from these parts who may have discovered America, centuries before Columbus did. 

There’s a museum back in Búðardalur, the Lief  Eiriksson Center, that lays out the case for Leif and his dad, Eric the Red, reaching North America 500 years before anyone else.

Back in Eiríksstaðir, Bjarnheiður Jóhannsdóttir greets guests in traditional Viking clothing.

She opens the door to the hut using set of keys that look like they are straight out of a Harry Potter movie and ushers you into the gloom.

After lighting a fire, Bjarnheiður tells you tales from the old sagas in the darkness as the fire crackles and rain patters on the sodden roof.

Bjarnheiður also takes the time to point out the craftsmanship that went into making the hut and the clothing they wore. 

Like with all the Icelandic sagas, re-telling Leif’s tale, the Grænlendinga saga, helped people pass the time during bleak winters.

It also connected them to a heroic past, inspiring them to carry on when times were hard.

It is a tradition that is still strong in Iceland today.

How to visit Eiríksstaðir

Where: Haukadal, 371 Búðardal, Iceland

When: 10am to 4pm, June through September

Website: eiriksstadir.is

Icelandic Saga & Heritage logo

For more information about exploring Iceland’s Saga Trails and the country’s Viking history, visit sagatrail.is

Main image: Bjarnheiður Jóhannsdóttir stands in the doorway of Eiríksstaðir