Mapper » Europe
Europe (photo by Wikimedia Commons)
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The Benelux region comprises three neighboring monarchies -- Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Originally swampland, much of the region was reclaimed through an extensive system of waterworks, including dikes and canals. The region became a major trading center in the 1600s, and much of this heritage remains in the region’s historic cities.
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwestern coast of continental Europe consisting of two major islands, Great Britain and Ireland. These are among the world’s most visited regions with famous landmarks, ancient historical sites, global cities, quaint towns, beautiful countryside, and unique natural environments. English-peaking visitors are guaranteed of being able to communicate everywhere within the region.
Central Europe forms the heart of the continent, with the Alps acting as a transition zone between the Latin, Germanic and Slavic cultures. While ethnically distinct, the countries of Central Europe share important historical and cultural connections, especially through the German and Austro-Hungarian empires that pre-date WW1.
Eastern Europe comprises the easternmost countries of Europe and includes the portion of Russia that lies west of the Ural Mountains and Ural River. All countries in the region were once part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War, but today most have shed this historical legacy, and many are part of the European Union.
Nordic Europe is the largest region in Europe, but its most sparsely populated. The Nordic nations share many cultural traits including elaborate welfare states and high rankings in metrics of national performance. The geography of the region is extremely varied, including the Norwegian fjords, the Scandinavian Mountains, the flat, low areas in Denmark, archipelagos off Sweden and Norway, and many lakes and moraines.
Southeastern Europe comprises the eastern countries of Mediterranean Europe, including Greece, Cyprus, and the Balkans. Greece is the most popular travel country in the region, known for its islands, beaches, and rich history. The Balkan states have their own attractions, with charming towns, impressive monasteries and citadels dotting the hillsides, extensive mountains, and beautiful forests and lakes.
Southwestern Europe comprises some of the most popular travel countries in the world– France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Among the many reasons to visit are its extraordinarily rich cultural heritage, as well as its scenic countrysides and quaint villages that extend from lowland farming areas to the high Alps. Its Mediterranean climate is milder and dryer than other parts of Europe.