World Facts

The Longest Coastlines in Europe

A list of European countries by length of coastline.

A coastline is a thin piece of land that borders the sea along a continent or island. It keeps deforming and reshaping, meaning that its features are always different all the time. Each continent has a coastline, for example, Europe, which is located in the Northern Hemisphere, has coastlines to the north, west, and south. The coastlines include the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea respectively. Here is a description of countries with the longest coastlines in Europe.

Longest Coastlines in Europe

Norway

Norway has the longest coastline in Europe which extends a distance of approximately 103,000 kilometres. The coastline borders the north of the Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. In fact, Norway’s coastline is the second longest in the world. Due to the Gulf Stream and the westerlies winds, the coastline experiences higher temperatures and precipitation as compared to other regions and hence attracting tourists during the winter periods.

Russia

Russia is second in line with a coastline of 37,653 kilometres in length. Its coastline is the fourth longest coastline globally. Russia borders both the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as several seas including the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and the Sea of Azov. Russia's territory also includes any islands and archipelagos that extend its coastline.

Greece

Greece is found in the southern part of Europe, and it has a coastline of 13,676 kilometres. It is the third longest coastline in Europe and the eleventh longest globally. Moreover, the coastline is associated with many islands.

Other Long Coastlines

The United Kingdom has the fourth longest coastline in Europe. The coastline is the twelfth longest coastline worldwide and is characterized by peninsulas, islands, bays, and headlands. The fifth longest coastline in Europe is Italy’s coastline that covers a distance of about 7,600 kilometres. Croatia follows on the sixth position with a coastline of 7,368 kilometres long. Denmark and Turkey come on the seventh and eighth positions respectively. The lengths of these countries’ coastlines are 7,314 and 7,200 kilometres respectively.

The ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth in Europe are Iceland’s, Spain’s, France’s, and Estonia’s coastlines respectively. Iceland’s coastline is 4,970 kilometres while that of Spain covers a distance of 4,962 kilometres. France’s coastline extends over 4,853 kilometres along the Mediterranean Sea, which is to the south eastern part of the country. Estonia’s coastline is 3,794 kilometres long and is found to the eastern of Baltic Sea. Inlets, bays, and straits characterize this coastline.

Next on the list is Sweden with a coastline of 3,218 kilometres long. It is followed by Ukraine’s coastline, 2,782 kilometres, in the fourteenth position. It runs through the shores of Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. Germany’s coastline, which is 2,389 kilometres long, is ranked the fifteenth longest coastline in Europe that runs through the Baltic and the North seas. Portugal, Ireland, and Finland have shorter coastlines ranked at the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth position in that order. They complete the list with the lengths of 1,793, 1,448, 1,250 kilometres respectively.

Impacts of Coastlines

The advantage of coastline to a country is that it provides transport facilities in the form of harbours. Ships transport imports and exports docked at the coast, hence promoting trade. On the other side, global warming has led to rising of water levels in the seas and oceans, which has led to widespread displacement of people along the coasts. Besides, water pollution due to settlement along the coasts and industrialization has led to a threat to marine wildlife.

The Longest Coastlines in Europe

RankCountryLength of Coastline (Km)
1Norway103,000
2Russia37,653
3Greece13,676
4United Kingdom12,429
5Italy7,600
6Croatia7,368
7Denmark7,314
8Turkey7,200
9Iceland4,970
10Spain4,962
11France4,853
12Estonia3,794
13Sweden3,218
14Ukraine2,782
15Germany2,389
16Portugal1,793
17Ireland1,448
18Finland1,250

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