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Travel Europe

Anyone who has been to Europe or dreamed of going will recognize the great cultural variation within relatively small areas. Soon every traveler will develop admiration for culture and natural beauty of the fascinating Old World.

Europe has a long history of cultural and economic achievement, starting as far back as the Palaeolithic, although this is true for the rest of the Old World as well.

The origins of Western democratic and individualistic culture are often attributed to Ancient Greece, though numerous other distinct influences, in particular Christianity, can also be credited with the spread of concepts like egalitarianism and universality of law.

Europe defies easy categorization, with its compact size and complex history. The following are five (loosely defined) regions in Europe:

European Regions:
  • Western Europe - Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France;
  • Northern Europe - Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark;
  • Central Europe - Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland;
  • Eastern Europe - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Ukraine;
  • Mediterranean Europe - Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Spain, Turkey and Vatican City.
Physically and geologically and in terms of shape, Europe is a collection of connected peninsulas. The two largest of these are "mainland" Europe and Scandinavia to the north, divided from each other by the Baltic Sea. Three smaller peninsulas (Iberia, Italy and the Balkans) emerge from the southern margin of the mainland into the Mediterranean Sea, which separates Europe from Africa. Eastward, mainland Europe widens much like the mouth of a funnel, until the boundary with Asia is reached at the Ural Mountains.

Land relief in Europe shows great variation within relatively small areas. The southern regions, however, are more mountainous, while moving north the terrain descends from the high Alps, Pyrenees and Carpathians, through hilly uplands, into broad, low northern plains, which are vast in the east. This extended lowland is known as the Great European Plain, and at its heart lies the North German Plain. An arc of uplands also exists along the northwestern seaboard, beginning in the western British Isles and continuing along the mountainous, fjord-cut spine of Norway.

Because of political, cultural and geographical differences, there are various descriptions of Europe's boundary. Therefore, in some sources, some countries are not included in Europe, while the other sources do include them.

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