Europe is the second smallest continent, larger than only Australia. The largest country in Europe is Russia, and the largest country wholly in Europe is Ukraine. The smallest country in Europe, as well as in the world, is the Vatican City.
Europe is separated from Asia by the Ural Mountains in Russia. The eastern part of Europe is largely flat, and in the north heavily forested. Southeastern Europe, or the Balkans, is mountainous. The Alps separate the Italian Peninsula from the rest of Europe, and the Pyrenees do the same for the Iberian Peninsula. The Scandinavian Peninsula in the north is mountainous and forested.
The largest island in Europe is Great Britain in the British Isles. Other islands of the British Isles include Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, and the Channel Islands on the coast of France.
Greece also has many islands. Crete is the largest Greek island. The Ionian Islands in the west contain Corfu and Ithaca, the home of Odysseus. The large islands of Euboea and Lesbos lie off Greece's east coast. The Dodecanese Islands in the south contain Rhodes.
The western Mediterranean is dominated by the Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily and the French island of Corsica. The Balearics, containing Majorca, Minorca, and Ibiza, also form a large chain off the coast of Spain.
The Alps are located in northern Italy, southeastern France, Switzerland, western Austria, and southern Germany. Mont Blanc, on the French-Italian border, rises to more than 15,00 feet. The Alps also contain Monte Rosa, the highest point in Switzerland, the Matterhorn, and the Zugspitze, the highest point in Germany.
The Pyrenees cut off the rocky Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe. The tallest peak in this range is Aneto. However, the tallest mountain in the Iberian Peninsula is Mulhacen in the Sierra Nevada.
Russia has many of Europe's longest rivers, including the longest, the Volga. Moscow is located on the Moskva River, and Saint Petersburg is on the Neva. The Don flows through the southern steppes, and the Upper Dvina and the Pechora go through the forests of northern Russia.
The Vistula and the Oder run through Poland. The Danube empties into the Black Sea, and meanders through much of Central Europe, flowing through Vienna along the way. The Dnieper in bisects Ukraine and is heavily dammed.
The Po River forms one of the most fertile regions in Europe, the Po Valley. The city of Rome lies on the banks of the Tiber River. The rivers of France include the Seine in the north, the Garonne in the west, and the Rhone and the Rhine in the east.
Bodies of waterEdit
Europe is bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The English Channel separates Great Britain from France. The North Sea is located between the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Norway. The Baltic Sea separates the Scandinavian Peninsula from Poland and the Baltic states. The Mediterranean Sea is between Southern Europe and North Africa.