Around 900 , a ship under the command of Gunnbjörn departed from Norway. He lost his course, and the Vikings saw an island (Greenland). The discovery of Gunnbjörn inspired other Normans on new expeditions. The creator of the Greenland colonies, Eric Red, was expelled from Norway around 985. After a difficult voyage, he managed to find the land discovered by Gunnbjörn. Its climate was very harsh, but Eric called it Greenland (“Green Country”). In 986, Eric gathered a group of Vikings, ready to settle on the island. When the team arrived, it was summer, and they managed to establish trade with Scandinavia. Soon, one of the settlers, Bjorny Horlfson, stumbled upon an unknown land, the hills of which were covered with forests (perhaps the northeast coast of America) because of the storm. Horlfson was impatient to come to Greenland to tell others about his discovery.
The son of Eric, Leif Ericson, was the first Viking to enter the coast of America. Around 1000, he visited the regions he named Helluland (“country of boulders”, now Baffin Land ), Markland (“forest country”, Labrador peninsula), and Vinland (“wine country”, possibly New England or Newfoundland ). Erikson’s expedition overwintered in Vinland and returned to Greenland.
Other than those types we had the ones called Norsemen that attacked coastal villages and made pillaging famous. From pillagins to leaving their homeland due to an uncertain overpopulation History.com has the explanations.
History states that, "From around A.D. 800 to the 11th century, a vast number of Scandinavians left their homelands to seek their fortunes elsewhere. These seafaring warriors–known collectively as Vikings or Norsemen (“Northmen”)–began by raiding coastal sites, especially undefended monasteries, in the British Isles. Over the next three centuries, they would leave their mark as pirates, raiders, traders and settlers on much of Britain and the European continent, as well as parts of modern-day Russia, Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland.
The exact reasons for Vikings venturing out from their homeland are uncertain; some have suggested it was due to overpopulation of their homeland, but the earliest Vikings were looking for riches, not land. In the eighth century A.D., Europe was growing richer, fueling the growth of trading centers such as Dorestad and Quentovic on the Continent and Hamwic (now Southampton), London, Ipswich and York in England. Scandinavian furs were highly prized in the new trading markets; from their trade with the Europeans, Scandinavians learned about new sailing technology as well as about the growing wealth and accompanying inner conflicts between European kingdoms. The Viking predecessors–pirates who preyed on merchant ships in the Baltic Sea–would use this knowledge to expand their fortune-seeking activities into the North Sea and beyond.
In A.D. 793, an attack on the Lindisfarne monastery off the coast of Northumberland in northeastern England marked the beginning of the Viking Age. The culprits–probably Norwegians who sailed directly across the North Sea–did not destroy the monastery completely, but the attack shook the European religious world to its core. Unlike other groups, these strange new invaders had no respect for religious institutions such as the monasteries, which were often left unguarded and vulnerable near the shore. Two years later, Viking raids struck the undefended island monasteries of Skye and Iona (in the Hebrides) as well as Rathlin (off the northeast coast of Ireland). The first recorded raid in continental Europe came in 799, at the island monastery of St Philibert’s on Noirmoutier, near the estuary of the Loire River."
The Vikings have left many footnotes in history and larger imprints still as their cultural and historical finds still add to the greater accuracy of earths mapping and became great additions to those circumnavigating the globe striving for accuracy and heritage.
1. History.com Editors. “Vikings.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 4 Nov. 2009, https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/vikings-history.
2. “Viking Expedition to America.” About History, 28 Sept. 2021, https://about-history.com/viking-expedition-to-america/.