Relief of Europe – Map and Features!

At its 10,530,751 km², the continent of Europe is the second smallest continent and covers only 7% of the total land area. Geographically, Europe can be considered a peninsula of Asia, but because it has gone through a unique cultural evolution, it is seen as a continent in its own right. Despite its small size, Europe presents a wide variety of shapes and reliefs, among them peninsulas, mountains, gulfs, seas and islands.

If you want to know more about relief of europe and you want to describe this information, we suggest you check it out relief map of Europe by ProjectEcolo!

European relief features

The continent of Europe is located in the northern hemisphere, mostly in the western region and it is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea to the south. In the east, it touches Asia and in the west it is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Together with Asia, Europe forms the Eurasian supercontinent.

let’s see all the features of the European terrain :

  • The dominant relief in Europe is the plain : it covers about 66% of the territory of Europe. The European Plain has an average low altitude of 340 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by mountainous areas, some older and more eroded, others younger and higher.
  • The rthe southern regions are more mountainous : the northern regions, which extend to the east, are flatter.
  • L’Europe is a combination of contiguous peninsulas and islands : in fact, geographically, Europe can be considered as a peninsula of Asia.
  • The border with Russia is demarcated : this border is to the east and is surrounded by the Ural Mountains.
  • He has one wide variety of ecosystems and species : because of its wide variation in comfort. Learn all about the different types of ecosystems!

In Europe, there are mainly 4 types of accommodation:

  • mountains
  • plain
  • massifs
  • ribs

In the rest of our European accommodations article, we will look at the 4 types of European accommodations.


This type of relief is distributed throughout central and southern Europe. It is located at high elevations and is characterized by rocky slopes. The mountains of this continent can be classified as follows:

  • In the north: the mountains are older and therefore decaying.
  • In the south: the mountains are newer and not as eroded, and here the highest elevation is found.

Some examples of mountainous terrain: the Alps, the Balkans, the Carpathians, the Caucasus and the Pyrenees. Mount Elbrus, which ends at 5,642 meters above sea level, is the highest peak in Europe and forms, along with the Ural Mountains, the border between Europe and Asia.

Discover other types of relief!

Relief of Europe - Mountains


As their name suggests, plains are flat areas. Populations have historically settled in the plains. Some plains, such as Paris or London, are called “basins” because they are ancient sinkholes that were filled with continental sediments when the waters receded.

The plains found in Europe are:

  • great plains of Europe : it extends from the Pyrenees and the coasts of the North Atlantic to the Urals in the East. They cover almost half of the surface of Europe.
  • Great Hungarian Plain : with an area of ​​100,000 km2 and a height of 200 meters. It covers the territories of Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia and Croatia.
  • Plain : it covers an area of ​​46,000 km2 and is located in northern Italy. It is bounded to the north and west by the Alps, to the south by the Apennines and to the east by the Adriatic Sea.


This is the oldest and most damaged type of relief. It is more common in central and northwestern Europe. The massifs are not very high and they rarely exceed 2,000 meters and their peaks are quite rounded. The landscape of the massifs, like that of the Castilian plateau, is very varied and characterized by a series of low and worn mountains separated by valleys.

In the massifs, we can see:

  • The Grampian Mountains.
  • The Cumberland Mountains.
  • The Pennine Channel in England.
  • The Massif Central.
  • The Ural Mountains.
Relief of Europe - Massifs


Europe has 43,000 km of coastline, which can be Atlantic or Mediterranean depending on the sea. When the mountains reach the coast, high cliffs are formed, as in Norway, Scotland and the Cantabrian Sea. On the other hand, when there is a plain, the coasts are low, as in the Netherlands and Denmark. In all cases, these are water-cut ribs.

On the other hand, on the coasts, there are other types of relief, such as:

  • Peninsulas : such as the Scandinavian, Iberian, Italic, Balkan and Jutlandic peninsulas.
  • gulfs : as in Botnia, Biscay, Finland, Leon, Genoa and Venice.
  • Caps : such as North Cape, Finisterre, Matapan and St. Vincent.
  • Straits : such as the Straits of Gibraltar, Sicily, the English Channel and the Bosphorus.
  • He is : such as Iceland, Great Britain, Ireland, Balearic archipelago, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete and Cyprus.

If you want to read more articles like European reliefwe recommend you consult the category Unusual facts about nature.


  • Geography of Europe. Available at:
  • Geography of Europe: introduction. Available at:
  • Europe: features, relief, hydrography, climate and landscape. Available at:
  • Soothe climate of Europe. Available at:
  • Geography of Europe. Available at:

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