From the World Heritage inscription for L’Anse aux Meadows:
This archaeological site at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland contains the excavated remains of an 11th century Viking settlement consisting of timber-framed turf buildings (houses, workshops, etc.) that are identical with those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland at the same period. The site is thus unique evidence of the earliest known European presence on the American continent.
It is a difficult journey to get to L’Anse aux Meadows. It is a 3-4 hour drive from the nearest city of note in Newfoundland and it is at the most extreme northern tip of the island. Once you get there, the only evidence of the original settlers are some small mounds in the shape of a house. The current buildings are reconstructions based on what they think the buildings would have looked like.
That being said, the historical significance of this place can’t be understated. This is where humanity first met up after going in different directions after leaving Africa. It was the first time Europeans set foot in North America and was the precursor to the eventual colonization of the continent by Europe.
View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada.
View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.