Europe is the world’s second smallest continent. The area is 10,180,000 square kilometers, which represents 6.8 per cent of the land area.
The highest mountain is Elbrus, 5633 meters above sea level. The lowest point is the Caspian Sea beach, 28 meters below sea level. The longest river is Volga with 3685 kilometers, and the largest lake is Ladoga at 18 180 square kilometers.
The name Europe is of uncertain origin and significance, and may be Greek. In the 600’s before our era (BCE), it was used as a designation in places in Central Greece. One of several explanations is that Europe is a Semitic word for sunset, in Hebrew “erab”, “evening land”.
States and territories
Europe is often divided into the regions of Western Europe, Northern Europe, Central Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, and is divided into 48 states and one territory (Gibraltar). 12 states are monarchies, the others are republics.
Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia and Transnistria are de facto independent with little or no international recognition.
Biggest European Countries by Land Area
Below is a list of all the European countries, in order of land area size. Russia is the biggest country while Nauru is the smallest one.
|Rank||Country Name||Land Area (km²)||Density|
|27||Bosnia and Herzegovina||51,187||64.49|
The whole of Europe’s border with Asia is not firmly defined. The Ural Mountains are considered a clear boundary to the east. The boundary further can be drawn at the northwest border of Kazakhstan, the northwest bank of the Caspian Sea, the Great Caucasus, and the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. In the south, the Mediterranean and the Gibraltar Strait form a divide towards Africa. In the west, Europe borders the Atlantic, the Norwegian Sea, the Danish Strait and the Greenland Sea. In the north, from west to east, Europe borders the Arctic Ocean,Barents Sea and Cara Sea.
Europe is the westernmost part of Eurasia, west of Asia. Europe’s largest stretch east-west is approximately 5,000 kilometers and the largest stretch north-south is approximately 4250 kilometers. The area is approximately 31 times larger than Norway’s area.
Europe’s northernmost point is the northern tip of Frans Josef’s land in Russia. The northernmost point on the mainland is Kinnarodden on the North Kinn Peninsula in Finnmark. The southernmost point is the island of Gavdos south of Crete ; on mainland Punta de Tarifa in Spain. The westernmost point is Fajã Grande on the island of Flores in the Azores; on mainland Cabo da Roca in Portugal. Europe’s easternmost point is Mys Flissinski (Cape Flissingsky) on Novaja Zemlja in Russia; on the mainland an unnamed peak in the Ural Mountains.
Europe can be considered as a strongly cut peninsula on the Eurasian continent. The continent is characterized by large peninsulas with the Scandinavian peninsula, the Pyrenees peninsula (Iberian peninsula), the Balkan peninsula and the Kola peninsula as the largest. About a quarter of Europe’s area is peninsula. The peninsula and the intersections mean that most European countries have a relatively short distance to the sea. To the south are the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian islands.
There are several major inlets such as the Aegean, the Bay of Biscay and the Baltic Sea with the Bothnian Sea.
A number of large islands belong to Europe, including Spitsbergen, Iceland, the British Isles, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and Crete, but the island of the Republic of Cyprus is listed in the lexicon under Asia.
Europe’s total coastline is approximately 78,000 kilometers.