Coastline refers to the area where the sea or ocean meets land. Countries with lengthy coastlines enjoy several advantages over others with short coastlines or those without coastlines (landlocked nations). The presence of long coastlines with natural harbors eases trade and transport with other nations. Countries with coastlines also usually have a thriving tourist business in the coastal areas. More livelihood opportunities like coastal fishing are available for people living in the coastal areas of the nation. Thus, it comes as no surprise that some of the most densely populated areas of the world are located in the coastal regions.
Here is a list of the countries with the longest coastlines in Europe.
Norway has the second longest coastline in the world and the longest one in Europe. The coastline is 58,133 km long. The coastline of the country is highly rugged and indented. The coastline of Norway is regarded as its most remarkable feature. It attracts tourists from all corners of the globe and several cruise lines arrange cruises along the scenic Norwegian coastline. The fjords, islands, fishing villages, and ice-covered landscapes further north add to the beauty of the coastline.
A constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland has the second longest coastline in Europe and the fourth longest in the world. The coastline is 44,087 km long. Since Greenland is an island, it has coastline along its entire periphery. It also has numerous smaller islands within its territory. Greenland has coastlines along the north Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean.
Greece has a coastline of 13,676 km which is the longest coastline in the Mediterranean Sea Basin. The country has the third longest coastline in Europe. The coastline of Greece is well known for its clean and clear offshore waters and excellent beaches. The coastline also features coastal caves, sheltered coves and bays, and more. Tourism is well established in the region.
The UK has an extensive coastline of 12,429 km that includes the coastlines of Great Britain, Ireland, and other smaller islands. The country has coastlines along the North Sea, Celtic Sea, Irish Sea, and the English Channel. The nation’s coastline has several geographical features like bays, islands, peninsulas, and headlands and is heavily indented. Due to the indented nature, the coastline of the UK is longer than many other countries of similar size. All places in the nation are within 113 km of the coast. The coastal areas of the UK also host over 3 million people.
The coastline of Italy is the 14th longest in the world and fifth longest in Europe. It is 7,600 km long. The country has its coastline along the Ionian, Adriatic, Ligurian, and the Tyrrhenian seas. It also has coastlines along the Strait of Sicily and the Sea of Sardinia. The country also has several islands like Sicily, Sardinia, Elba, and others.
Croatia has a coastline of 7,368 km which is the 15th longest in the world and the most broken one in the Mediterranean region. The mainland coast of Croatia along the Adriatic Sea is 1,777.3 km long. The country also has 1,246 islands and islets with a total coastline of 4,058 km. Karst topography characterizes the landscape of large parts of Croatia’s coastline.
With a coastline of 7,314 km, Denmark’s coastline is the 16th longest in the world and the 7th longest in Europe. The coastline of the mainland part of Denmark is actually only 1,701 km and the coastlines of the country’s 1,419 offshore islands account for the rest of the figure. Due to the small width of the country, no location in the country is more than 52 km from the coast. The coastal landscape of the nation keeps changing constantly due to the human land reclamation projects, erosion, and sedimentation.
Other Nations with the Longest Coastlines in Europe
Iceland, Spain, and Metropolitan France are the three other European nations with the longest coastlines in the continent. These countries have a coastline length of 4,970 km, 4,964 km, and 4,853 km, respectively. Iceland is an island country that has coastlines along the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean. The Mediterranean coast of Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and has a highly profitable tourism industry based in the coastal area. France has coastlines along the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, English Channel, and the North Sea.