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The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical geographical, phytogeographic or climatic approach. Most Southern European countries border the Mediterranean Seamarker.

Geographical definition

Geo-Political Southern Europe
Mathematical Southern Europe
Geographically, Southern Europe is the southern half of the landmass of Europe. This definition is relative, with no clear limits. The Alps and Massif Centralmarker mountains constitute a physical barrier between Italy and France and the rest of Europe.

Countries geographically considered part of Southern Europe include:

Iberian Peninsulamarker

Southern France

  • (not including the North, Alpine and Atlantic parts but including: Corsicamarker)

Italian Peninsula

Balkan Peninsula


Political definition

[[Image:Europe subregion map UN geoschme.svg|right|thumb|250px|Southern Europe as defined by the United Nations(marked green):

For its official works and publications, the United Nations Organization groups countries under a classification of regions. Southern Europe, as defined by the United Nations ( the sub-regions according to the UN), comprises the following countries and territories:

Climatical definition

Southern Europe's climate is that of the Mediterranean climate, which has become a typically known characteristic of the area.

The area presents similar landscapes throughout, including:
  • dry hills
  • small plains
  • pine forests
  • olive trees

The area which is considered climatically Southern Europe is:
  • (coasts)
  • (coasts)
  • (southeast coast, and the island of Corsicamarker)
  • (except the Po River plain and Alps region)
  • (northeast and southern two-thirds)
  • (south)
  • (southern half and eastern coast)

Phytogeographical definition

The European floristic regions
Southern Europe's flora is that of the Mediterranean and Submediterranean, which is typical for this area. The Mediterranean and Submediterranean climate regions in Europe comprise the following countries and territories:
  • (the southern and southeastern part, and the island of Corsicamarker)
  • (the southwestern part till the Balaton lake)
  • (the southern half)
  • (only the southern part along the Danube river)
  • (except for the northwestern part)
  • (only Ticinomarker)
  • (only the southern part of Crimeamarker)

Linguistic Southern Europe

Countries of Southern Europe by main national language(s):

Romance languages

South Slavic languages

Greek language

Germanic languages

Albanian language

Semitic languages

Turkic languages


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