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Náttfari (c. 835–?) was a crew member who escaped his master, Garðar Svavarsson, and may have become the first permanent resident of Iceland in the 9th century.[1]

Náttfari escaped when Garðar set sail to the Hebrides from the newfound island which he named Garðarshólmi, now known as Iceland. When Gardar Svavarsson left Iceland after a winter's stay in the spring of 870, moving east towards Norway, a boat drifted away. On the boat were Náttfari with a slave (thræll) and a bond woman (ambátt). [1][2][3][4] Garðar reached the shores of Iceland on the north coast. Náttfari found a place for them to live now known as Náttfaravík, a cove on Skjálfandi Bay which are situated directly opposite to the town of Húsavík.[4][3]The earliest account of his story is found in the 9th–10th century Icelandic work Landnámabók (Book of Settlements).[5]


  1. ^ a b Gudni T. Johannesson (9 January 2013). The History of Iceland. ABC-CLIO. pp. 6–7, 19–20. ISBN 978-0-313-37621-4.
  2. ^ Nuttall, Mark (2012). Encyclopedia of the Arctic. Routledge. pp. 902–. ISBN 978-1-136-78680-8.
  3. ^ a b Friedman, John Block; Figg, Kristen Mossler (2013). Trade, Travel, and Exploration in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 1611–. ISBN 978-1-135-59101-4.
  4. ^ a b Short, William R. (1 March 2010). Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas. McFarland. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-0-7864-5607-9.
  5. ^ Pálsson, Hermann (1 January 2007). The Book of Settlements: Landnámabók. Univ. of Manitoba Press. pp. 17–. ISBN 978-0-88755-370-7.