Exploration of North America

The exploration of North America by non-indigenous people was a continuing effort to map and explore the continent of North America. It spanned centuries, and consisted of efforts by numerous people and expeditions from various foreign countries to map the continent. The European colonization of the Americas followed.

Pre-Columbian exploration

According to the Sagas of Icelanders, Norse sailors (often called Vikings) from Iceland first settled Greenland in the 980s. Erik the Red explored and settled southwestern Greenland, which he named to entice potential Icelandic settlers, eventually establishing the Eastern and Western Settlements, which were abandoned around 1350.

L'Anse aux Meadows, an archaeological site on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland, and a second site in southwestern Newfoundland, are the only known sites of a Norse village in North America outside of Greenland. These sites are notable for their possible connections with the attempted colony of Vinland established by Leif Erikson in 1003