The ultimate explorers, the Vikings ventured far and wide to create new settlements and forge new trading routes. They traveled to the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea and across the North Atlantic to Greenland and Newfoundland, establishing settlements along the way. By the end of the fi rst millennium, Viking settlers had begun to assimilate into their new surroundings, whether in Russia, modern-day Ukraine, Iceland or northern France. Yet the Vikings were most at home in the region we know as Scandinavia, bound by a strong sense of family and clan. Theirs was a sophisticated culture, and their legacy in exploration lives on today. To Viking the word “viking” is actually a verb, meaning “to go on a waterborne journey,” whether by river or sea. The farmers would typically “go a-viking” during the period after the spring sowing (while crops were growing), returning for a late summer harvest.