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swiss alpine goat Europe ranks sixth in land size.  Only the continent of Australia is smaller.  Europe covers 4,010,000 square miles (10,400,000 square kilometers) and takes up 2% of the Earth's surface.

Europe is bounded by the Arctic Ocean to the North, the Atlantic Ocean to the West, the Mediterranean Sea to the South and the Ural Mountains and Caspian Sea to the East.  It comprises 43 countries.

The topography of Europe varies greatly despite being limited to a small area.  There are several mountain ranges, including the Alps, the Balkans, the Urals, the Pyrenees, and several smaller ranges.

Big Ben London The Alps run along south-central Europe for almost 700 miles.  The Balkan Mountains, which cover much of the Balkan Peninsula, are home to Mt. Olympus, the highest peak in Greece.  This mountain is a major part of Greek mythology and was once considered the home of the gods.

The Urals form a border between Asia and Europe and run 1,640 miles (2,640 kilometers).  The Pyrenees also form a natural border.  They run between France and Spain and extend over 250 miles from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea.

The highest point in all of Europe is not located in any of these well known mountain ranges.  Mt. Elbrus, which stands at 18,481 feet (5,633 meters), is part of the volcanic Caucasus Mountains.  This range stretches from the Caspian to the Black Sea.

Europe has several well-known rivers.  There is the Danube that starts in Germany and forms the border between Romania and Bulgaria before emptying into the Black Sea.  The Po, Italy's longest river, flows west to east through northern Italy and empties into the Adriatic Sea.  The Rhine and the Rhone both originate in Switzerland and run through the surrounding countries of Germany and France.  The Thames river runs straight through London before emptying in the North Sea.

Europe is home to a number of plateaus, highlands, and plains.  Most notable is the North European Plain.  This fertile land area runs in a crescent shape from the Alps to the Baltic Sea, from whence it continues into the Scandinavian countries and Russia.

Another area of interest is the Scandinavian Shield.  This extremely rocky area was ground down by passing glaciers thousands of years ago.  The area is now home to thousands of small lakes and rivers.

Europe is known for its stunning architecture and unique cultures that vary from country to country.  Cities like Paris, London, and Florence, among many others, draw tourists year after year.

Europe Map

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Interactive Europe Map

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European Countries

The table below lists the countries of Europe and their capital cities, and also features convenient links to maps and detailed information about each European country.

European Countries And Capitals
Country Name Capital City
Albania Tirana
Andorra Andorra la Vella
Austria Vienna
Belarus Minsk
Belgium Brussels
Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo
Bulgaria Sofia
Croatia Zagreb
Cyprus Nicosia
Czech Republic Prague
Denmark Copenhagen
Estonia Tallinn
Finland Helsinki
France Paris
Germany Berlin
Greece Athens
Hungary Budapest
Iceland Reykjavik
Ireland Dublin
Italy Rome
Latvia Riga
Liechtenstein Vaduz
Lithuania Vilnius
Luxembourg Luxembourg
Macedonia Skopje
Malta Valletta
Moldova Chisinau
Monaco Monaco
Montenegro Podgorica
Netherlands Amsterdam
Norway Oslo
Poland Warsaw
Portugal Lisbon
Romania Bucharest
San Marino San Marino
Serbia Belgrade
Slovakia Bratislava
Slovenia Ljubljana
Spain Madrid
Sweden Stockholm
Switzerland Bern
Ukraine Kiev
United Kingdom London
Vatican City Vatican City

See the CIA World Factbook home page for information about this helpful geopolitical resource, and visit this map of Europe website for more Europe maps and European travel information.

Detailed Country Maps

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Europe Map and Geography