Europe consists of a diverse set of countries that each have their own identity, language and culture. Below is a rough grouping of these countries into regions:
Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, & Greece)
The Balkans have a rich, though often turbulent, history with wonderful nature, charming multicultural towns, impressive monasteries and citadels dotting the hillsides, mighty mountains sprinkled with a liberal dose of beautiful forests and pleasant lakes.
Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)
Three fascinating states that have glorious beaches along an extensive coastline, mediaeval old towns, and beautiful natural scenery. Estonia has linguistic and cultural ties with Finland.
Benelux (Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands)
These supposedly flat states have a lot to offer the traveller. The Netherlands is known for its clogs, cheese, tulips and windmills, and for its liberal attitudes and painters. Belgium is a multilingual country with beautiful historic cities, bordering Luxembourg at the rolling hills of the Ardennes.
Britain and Ireland (Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, United Kingdom)
Britain is a diverse patchwork of native and immigrant cultures, possessing a fascinating history and dynamic modern culture, both of which remain hugely influential in the wider world. Ireland has rolling landscapes and characteristic customs, traditions and folklore.
Central Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland)
Straddling east and west, Central Europe is the region where Germanic culture meets Slavic culture. It is home to innumerable historic towns, fairy-tale castles, beer, forests, unspoiled farmland, and plenty of mountain ranges, including the mighty Alps and Carpathians.
France and Monaco
The world’s most popular tourist destination and geographically one of the most diverse countries of Europe. Some of its tourist attractions include Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sports resorts of the Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy, and the rural landscape of the Provence. The country is also known for its gastronomy (particularly wines and cheeses), history, culture and fashion.
Turkey and Cyprus
Counting the most amount of sun-hours in Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean is a haven for beach-goers, party-people and cultural enthusiasts alike.
Iberia (Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal, Spain)
The Iberian countries are great destinations for their rich and unique cultures, lively cities, beautiful countryside and friendly inhabitants.
Italian Peninsula (Italy, Malta, San Marino, Vatican City)
Rome, Florence, Venice and Pisa are on many travellers’ itineraries, but these are just a few of Italy’s destinations. Italy has more history and culture packed into it than many other countries combined.
Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus
Russia is a country of vast, empty expanses that spans all the way east to the Pacific Ocean. Ukraine is a diverse country that has a lot to offer, from the beach resorts of the Black Sea to the beautiful cities Odessa, Lviv and Kiev. North of Ukraine lies Belarus, a country unlike anywhere else in Europe.
Nordic countries (Denmark, Faroe Islands, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden)
Spectacular scenery of mountains, lakes, glaciers, geysers, waterfalls and volcanoes. Finland is culturally distinct as it has a language unlike the Scandinavian languages.