General information on Europe, including all the things you need to know useful for a trip or a holiday in this continent, visiting the countries that compose it.
Europe in short
- Number of component states: 43
- Area in sq km: 10,396,747
- Population: 686,011,000 (first half 2001)
- Religion: mainly Christian (93% among Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox)
Where is it
Europe has an area of approximately 10,396,247 sq km, equal to the fourteenth part of the land. Extreme points of continental Europe are Nordkinn (Lapland) to the north, Capo da Roca in Portugal to the west, Punta de Tarifa (Spain) to the south, the innermost point of the Gulf of Kara to the east.
A massive part is contrasted by an articulated part, made up of islands (8%) and peninsulas (27%). The outline is very jagged and has 37,900 km of coastline.
Six types of climate are distinguished.
- Atlantic climate: affects the territory from northern Norway to northern Portugal and includes the British Isles, most of France, the Netherlands, the western coasts of Denmark, Germany up to the Oder. It is characterized by mild winters, not too hot summers, limited temperature excursions, abundant rainfall.
- Transition climate: moving from the western to the central regions, the oceanic influence subsides, the winters become colder, the higher temperature range; the rains, not too abundant, are more abundant in summer. Southeast Germany, Poland, the upper and middle Danube basin, the internal countries of the Balkan Peninsula and Bulgaria have this climate.
- Eastern European climate: it is also called sarmatic, because it affects a large part of the Sarmatic Lowlands. It has long, harsh winters and hot summers, modest rains, mostly summer. Rivers freeze for 4-6 months a year and snow covers the ground for a long time.
- Pontic climate of southern Russia: summer temperatures increase and temperature excursions are high. The soil is covered by steppes. The climate is sub-desert around the Caspian Sea
- Mediterranean climate: it is characterized by mild winters, not too hot and dry summers, mainly winter rains. In summer the sky is long clear. Winds are not uncommon, such as mistral and bora. It is limited to the coastal regions of Crimea, Thrace, Greece, Dalmatia, Italy, southern France and the peripheral areas of the Iberian peninsula.
- Arctic climate: it is characteristic of the northernmost regions; temperatures are low all year round, with frequent snowfall and frozen soil.
Europe does not have very long streams.Recommended readings
- Artimino (Tuscany): what to see
- Giulianova (Abruzzo): what to see
- Alessandria (Piedmont): what to see in 1 day
- Corigliano Calabro (Calabria): what to see in the medieval village
- San Galgano (Tuscany): what to see
The main ones are the Volga (3531 km), the Danube (2860 km), the Rhine (1326 km) and the Po (626 km).
From the north, proceeding south, it can be divided into 5 almost parallel bands:
Tundra area: mainly there are small shrubs, mosses and lichens
Boreal forest area: for the most part there are conifers
Temperate forest area: prevalence of broad-leaved trees such as English oak, beech, chestnut, elm and maple
Steppe zone: grasslands extend
Scrub area: in coastal regions with Mediterranean climate, evergreen trees and shrubs prevail, characteristic are maritime pines, holm oaks, cork oaks, broom, heather, myrtle, mixed with brambles that compact the bush.
The various regions of Europe are not characterized by typical animal species, due to the numerous exchanges that took place.
Only a few species are exceptions including moose and reindeer, in the northernmost regions, the bison, which is found only in Poland, the wild boar, commonly found in central and southern areas.
More characteristic is the alpine fauna, mainly represented by ibexes, marmots and chamois.