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European Vacations

Take a Tour of Europe

Europe is the second smallest continent, with an area of 10,400,000 kmē (4,000,000 square miles). Its borders are much disputed, reflecting cultural and political factors instead of geographical ones. There is much here for the traveller to enjoy, with a bewildering array of diversity and culture, cosmopolitan cities and spectacular scenery.

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

* Western Europe - Benelux, the British Isles and France;

* Northern Europe - Finland, Iceland and Scandinavia;

* Central Europe - Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia and Switzerland;

* Eastern Europe - Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Baltic countries, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Ukraine;

* Mediterranean Europe - Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Spain, Turkey and Vatican.

Europe is geologically and geographically a peninsula, forming the westernmost part of Eurasia. It is conventionally considered a continent, which, in this case, is more of a cultural distinction than a geographic one. (National Geographic, however, officially recognizes it as a separate continent.) It is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, and to the east by the Ural Mountains and the Caspian Sea (for more detailed description see Geography of Europe).

When considered a continent, Europe is the world's second smallest continent in terms of area, with an area of 10,600,000 kmē (4,140,625 square miles), making it larger than Australia only. In terms of population it is the third largest continent after Asia and Africa. The population of Europe in 2003 was estimated to be 799,466,000: roughly one eighth of the world's population.

Getting Around Europe

Europe's Political History

Take a European Vacation