World Facts

The Longest Rivers in Europe

The Volga River is Europe's longest river, with 3,530 km of length.

Hundreds of rivers flow through the continent of Europe. Some of the rivers form boundaries between different European countries while other rivers are important sources of water for agriculture and fish. Some of the rivers are also rich in valuable minerals and organic compounds. Many rivers are also marked by some of the interesting physical features like the waterfall and canyon. The estimated number of rivers in Europe is 1,352. The longest rivers in Europe are listed below.

Five Longest Rivers in Europe

Volga

The Volga is the longest river in Europe, flowing to a length of 3,530 kilometers. The river originates from the Valdai Hills and flows through Western Russia before emptying into the Caspian Sea. It forms Volga River System along with its tributary, draining an area of approximately 1.35 million square kilometers. Part of the river freezes every year for about three months. Volga River is an important reservoir for natural gas and other minerals.

Danube

The Danube, the second longest river in Europe, originates from the Black Forest in Germany and covers a distance of 2,857 kilometers before flowing into the Black Sea. It flows through four capitals; Belgrade, Vienna, Budapest, and Bratislava. The river drains an area of approximately 801,463 square kilometers. The Danube has about 300 tributaries of which 30 are navigable. It is an important source of water to about 10 million people in Europe.

Ural

Ural River has a course covering 2,428 and flows through the countries of Russia and Kazakhstan. It originates from the Ural Mountain in Russia and discharges into the Caspian Sea. Ural River drains an area of approximately 231,000 square kilometers. It freezes in late November and begins to melt in April. The river serves several important purposes including navigation and power generation.

Dnieper

The Dnieper River rises near Smolensk in Russia and flows through three countries including Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus before emptying into the Black Sea. Its course covers 2,201 kilometers and drains are an area of approximately 504,000 square kilometers. The Dnieper has up to 32,000 tributaries of which 89 are at least 100 kilometers long. Several dams and hydroelectric power station are also constructed along the river. 10% of Ukraine power is generated from Dnieper River.

Don

Don River is approximately 1,923 kilometers long and rises in Novomoskovsk Town, Russia, and empties into the Sea of Azov. Ancient Greek photographers viewed it as a boundary between Europe and Russia. It was also home to Amazon of Greek Mythology. Don River drains an area of approximately 425,600 square kilometers. It has several tributaries including Krasivaya Mecha, Veduga, Bityug, Chir, and Black Kalitva.

Other significantly long rivers in Europe are Pechora, Northern Dvina, Kur, Dniester, and Eibe River. These rivers are at least 1,245 kilometers long and also drain a large area.

Estimating the Length of a River

The length of a river depends on many factors and variables including the choice of the source of the river. Some rivers may have more than one source. The come source used is the most distant source. The length of a river may also vary if the river has curves and the scale used in tracing the curves. The length of a river may also change over time, due to canalization, the creation of reservoirs, and change in the water course.

The Longest Rivers in Europe

RankRiver Length (km)
1Volga3,530
2Danube2,857
3Ural2,428
4Dnieper2,201
5Don1,923
6Pechora1,809
7Northern Dvina1,803
8Kur1,364
9Dniester1,362
10Elbe1,245

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