There was once a time long ago: a time before Iceland was called Iceland. That’s not to say it hadn’t experienced its fair share of names - Snæland, Garðarshólmi, Eylenda, but not yet Iceland. It was still waiting for someone to find a name that would stick.
So, along came Hrafna-Flóki; otherwise known as Raven-Flóki; a Norwegian Viking who had heard of a new land. He set off Westwards in search of it, with his daughters, a few friends and three ravens in tow.
From Western Norway Flóki sailed to the Shetland Islands, but encountered tragedy along the way as one of his daughters is said to have drowned. The other was married on reaching the Faroe Islands, so daughterless and still searching for land; Flóki continued on and released his ravens to show him the way.
It quickly transpired that he had been wise to bring three, as the first flew back to the Faroe Islands, and the second flew back inside the boat, refusing to go. Third time lucky, the last raven flew away westwards and never came back, showing Flóki there must be land ahead…
He forged on past Reykjanes and he and his friends Þórólfr, Herjólfr and Faxi set up a camp in Vatnsfjörður at Barðaströnd. After a boiling hot summer Flóki was unprepared for how cold the land would become in winter, so he hiked up the tallest mountain he could see (believed to be Nonfell) and waited for the spring to bring warmer climes.
From his high vantage point Flóki spied a large fjord full of drift ice – Isafjorour - thereby deeming Ísland or Iceland a fitting name for the new country.