The earliest and most complete information we have about Vinland the Good is found in two sagas, Greenlanders' Saga and The Saga of Erik the Red which tell of the Viking discovery of North America. The two accounts were written independently, though both tell of things which took place in the early 11th century that were passed down by word of mouth in Greenland and Iceland until they were written down in the 13th century in Iceland. Both give general descriptions of the native peoples the Vikings met, relative sailing distances, and landscape features which help us determine the location of Vinland. But the two versions are also contradictory in a number of ways, and while they provide much information about the new lands, they do not conclusively resolve the question, "where was Vinland?"
Greenlanders' Saga describes a voyage made by Bjarni Herjolfsson, the first Norseman to see the shores of North America, and the subsequent voyages of Leif Eriksson, his brother Thorvald, his sister Freydis, and the Icelandic merchant Thorfinn Karlsefni.
It describes hostilities with skraelings, the Norse term for the native peoples they met in the lands visited south and west of Greenland which they called Vinland and Markland. This saga places Erik the Red's family at the center of the Vinland voyages.
In addition to these differences, the two sagas also describe different places where the Vikings traveled. In Greenlanders' Saga, Leif Eriksson builds several houses and calls the camp Leifsbudir, and all the subsequent voyagers use this same location. In The Saga of Erik the Red, two settlements are mentioned, one in the northern part of Vinland called Straumfjord, and one in a more southerly location called Hóp. If there were a number of settlements, then Vinland was a region, not a specific settlement.
Based on the saga evidence alone, one might imagine the Vikings sailed far south along the coast of North America. However, the sagas' unclear and inconsistent descriptions of Vinland geography probably resulted from elabortion and distortion introduced during the two hundred years when they were passed down orally in Greenland and Iceland. For these reasons the sagas are viewed as only one of several sources regarding Norse activities west of Greenland.