Geography & Maps
The continents of Europe and Asia form the Eurasian landmass. The continent of Europe sticks out from the western end of this landmass. It looks like a giant peninsula. Inside Europe are other peninsulas like the Balkan Peninsula, the Iberian Peninsula, the Italian Peninsula and the Scandinavian Peninsula; which all goes to explain how Europe got its nickname - the peninsula of peninsulas. Europe is both a continent and a region.
Europe is the home to the Alps, a huge and high mountain range, which provided a natural barrier. Europe borders several seas, including the Mediterranean and the Baltic. There are many waterways, including some very long rivers like the Danube and the Rhine, which allowed for easy trade and irrigation. The central part of Europe is rich with forest land, which provided building supplies of wood and bark. Between it's natural bounderies, beautiful waterways, ample building supplies, and a varied food supply, it's no wonder that many early tribes of people found Europe an especially nice place to settle down and raise a family.
The geographic areas of Europe as designated by the United Nations is broken up into four large geographic regions - Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe. There used to be a region called Central Europe, but these days, it's north, south, east, and west. Another way to look at the regions of Europe is to use its major landforms - the Baltic Region, the Alpine Region, the Danube Region, the Mediterranean Region, and the Scandinavian Region. One of my favorite regions is the Black Forest Region.