The Highest Mountains of Europe

 

The United Nations proclaimed 2002 the International Year of Mountains. It wanted to increase awareness of mountain ecology and the way of life of mountain communities. Read more!

 

In December 2005 the European Charter for Mountain Quality Food Products was signed by the EU in Strasbourg. This agreement over what should define a mountain quality food product will help ensure accurate labelling and better protect a niche European food market.
 

The students of the 2AK (2005/06) carried out a research on the highest mountains in all European countries. For general information worldwide, the list of mountains offered by Wikipedia is an interesting resource but by far not complete. Two other good resources are Peakware - The Mountain Encyclopedia and Peakbagger. The latter includes lists of high mountains per continent.

The Open Encyclopedia Project and Welt in Zahlen offer good quality information on countries worldwide, among them also geographical data. A very interesting website full of information is the German site Europas Berge.

 

Of course, there are some very flat countries which do not really have mountains, but in these cases the students tried to find the highest point of the country in question. Now come with them on a trip around Europe, and you will see marvellous landscapes! We all know, how careful we have to treat these landscapes, therefore Mountain Forum, a global community of individuals and organisations, is promoting regional and global action towards equitable and ecologically sustainable mountain development.

 

The Mountain Partnership is a voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain people and protecting mountain environments around the world. Launched at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in 2002, the Mountain Partnership taps the wealth and diversity of resources, information, knowledge, and expertise of its members (44 countries, 14 intergovernmental organkizations) to support positive change in mountain areas.

 

 

 

 

EU member states
candidate countries
mini states
non-member states

EU member states

AustriaEstoniaItalyPortugal
BelgiumFinlandLatviaRomania
BulgariaFranceLithuaniaSlovakia

Croatia

GermanyLuxembourgSlovenia
CyprusGreeceNetherlandsSpain
Czech RepublicHungaryMaltaSweden
DenmarkIrelandPolandUnited Kingdom

 

Only on very rare occasions the Großglockner does not have clouds around its peak.

The highest mountain of Austria is the Großglockner (3798m), which is not only the highest mountain in Austria, it also counts among the highest peaks in the Alps.

From the village of Heiligenblut you have got a marvellous view of the mountain.

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There are no mountains in Belgium. The country is divided into three geographical zones: low Belgium in the north (with an altitude of below 100m), middle Belgium (between 100 and 200m in altitude) and high Belgium (between 200 and more than 500m in altitude). At 694m, the Signal de Botrange is Belgium's highest point.

 

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The highest mountain of Bulgaria is called Musala (Мусала, 2925m). It is located in the Rila Mountains and is also the highest of the whole Balkans.

 

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The highest mountain of Croatia is called Dinara (1831m). The Dinara is part of the Dinara mountain range, which forms the border between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and  whose highest mountain is called Troglav (1913m). The latter is located in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 

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The highest mountain of Cyprus is called Olympos (1950m). It is part of the Troodos mountains. On top of the mountain you can find a series of long range radars.

 

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The highest peak of the Czech Republic is located on the border to Poland and is called Sněžka (Schneekoppe, 1603m). it is the highest peak of the so-called Riesengebirge (Giant Mountain) which is home to the legendary Ruebezahl.

 

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The highest hill of Denmark is called Yding Skovhřj (173m) in Jutland. Another high point, a little bit lower, an the interesting hill called Himmelbergjet. This is only 147m high.

 

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The highest mountain of Estonia is called Suur Munamägi (Big Egg Mountain, 318m). It is also the highest peak of all three Baltic states. It is located near the village of Haanja in the south-eastern corner of Estonia, close to the borders of Latvia and Russia. On the peak there is an observation tower.

 

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Finland’s highest mountain is the Haltiatunturi (Halti, 1328m), which is located in the province of Lapland on the border to Norway.

 

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The Mont Blanc (White Mountain) or Monte Bianco (4810m) in the Alps, is not only the highest mountain of France and Italy, but  of western Europe in general. Its height is about 4810m, but experts claim that this varies from year to year by a few meters, depending on snowfall and climate conditions.

Parts of Mont Blanc clearly lie in France and others in Italy, but the France claims to be the home of the mountain top; in some French maps, it is fully within France. In a convention between France and Kingdom of Sardinia, signed in Turin in 1861, the border was fixed on the highest point of the Mont Blanc, but often the French maps do not agree with this solution.

 

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The highest mountain of Germany is called Zugspitze (2962m). It is located in the Bavarian Alps on the border between Germany and Austria, and offers numerous activities for hiking, skiing etc.

 

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Mount Olympos (Mount Olýmpos/Óros Ólimbos, 2917m) is the highest mountain of Greece (2919m according to new measurements). It is noted for its very rich flora with several endemic species.

 

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Hungary's highest peak, the 1014m high Kékestető, located in the Mátra Mountains in northern Hungary. The mountain and its surroundings are a favourite tourist destination.

 

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The Carrauntoohill (1039m, often spelt Carrantuohill, and also known as Corrán Tuathail in the Irish language), is a mountain located in County Kerry, and the highest peak of Ireland. It is the central peak of the Macgillicuddy's Reeks range. There are two other peaks in this range which are higher than 1000 m (Beenkeragh, 1010 m; and Caher, 1001 m). 

 

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The Gaizinkalns is 312m high. It is Latvia's highest point, and it is six meters lower than Estonia's. The Latvians obviously wanted to compensate for that by building a bigger tower on the hill. However, apparently they ran out of money before the tower was finished, and it has been slowly falling apart.

 

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The highest point of Lithuania is called Kalnas (292m). It is more than just a hill, it has become a symbolic place, a place of pilgrimage, where people put up numerous crosses.

 

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The highest point of tiny Luxembourg, is called Kneiff  (559m), but officially the Burgplatz is often named as the highest point of the country, as this is a more specacular place for tourists.

 

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The Vaalserberg (Mount Vaals), a hill of 321m, the highest point in the Netherlands. It is located in the province of Limburg, at the southeastern most edge of the country in the municipality of Vaals, near the eponymous town, some 3km west of Aachen.

 

The Vaalserberg is also noted for being the location where the borders of three countries intersect, giving its summit the name of Drielandenpunt (Three-Country Point) or Dreiländereck in German. The three countries are the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany . This border intersection has made the Vaalserberg a well-known tourist attraction in the Netherlands with a tower on the Belgian side (Boudewijntoren) offering a grand panorama of the surrounding landscape.

 

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The highest point of Malta are the Dingli Cliffs (Ta´Dmejrek, 253m) on the southern coast of the island.

 

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The highest mountain of Poland is called Rysy. It is located in the Tatra Mountains. It has got three peaks. The middle peak (2503 m), the north-western peak (2499 m) and the south-eastern peak. (2473 m). The north-western peak is the highest point of Poland. On the peak there is the border between Poland and Slovakia.

 

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The highest Mountain of Portugal is the Pico Alto (Mount Pico, 2351m), located in the Azores Islands.

 

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The highest mountain of Romania is called Moldoveanu (2544m). It is the highest peak of the Făgăraş Range which are part of the southern Carpathian Mountains.

 

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The highest mountainn of Slovakia is called Gerlachspitze (Gerlsdorfer Spitze/Gerlachovský Stít, 2655m). It is also the highest mountain of the whole Carpathian Mountains/Karpaten.

 

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The highest mountain of Slovenia is called Triglav (2864m). It is the centre of the Triglav National Park. Its name, "three-headed", describes its shape as seen from the Bohinj valley.

 

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The highest mountain of Spain is the volcano Pico de Teide (Mount Teide 3718m), located on the island of Tenerife. It is also the third largest volcano worldwide. The last eruption took place in 1909.

 

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The highest mountain of Sweden is the Kebnekaise (Cauldron Crest, 2111m). It is located appr. 150km north of the northern polar circle, west of the city of Kiruna.

 

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Ben Nevis (1344m) is the highest mountain of the United Kingdom. It is situated in the west of Scotland, close to the town of Fort William, near the Loch Linnhe. Ben Nevis   is one of 284 Munros. Legend has it, that the weather is often not very agreeable up there.

 

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EU candidate countries

Icleand

Montenegro

Turkey
MacedoniaSerbia 

 

The highest mountain of Iceland is a volcano called Hvannadalshnúkur (2119m). It is located on the huge glacier Vatnajökull.

 

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Macedonia and Albania share their highest mountain, the Korab (Mali i Korabit, 2764m). Albania and Macedonia do not really agree concerning the exact height of the mountain. The Albanians say, that the Korab is only 2754m high.

 

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For a long time Bobotov Kuk (2522m) in the Durmitor mountain range was thought to be the highest peak of Montenegro. But during the last years researchers found out, that some mountains on the border between Montenegro and Albania are even higher.

 

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The highest mountain of Serbia  is called Daravica (2656m). It is part of the Prokletije Mountains, located in the very south of the country, on the Albanian border.

 

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Mount Ararat (The Great Mount Agri, 5137m), the highest mountain of Turkey, is a snow-mist capped volcano, located in the far northeast of the country, 16km west of the Iranian border and 32km south of the Armenian border. Legend has it, that it is was on this mountain where Noah's Ark came to rest after the great flood.

 

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Mini States

Andorra

Monaco

Vatican City (Holy See)

Liechtenstein

San Marino 

The highest of Andorra is called Coma Pedrosa (Pic de Coma Pedrosa, 2946m). It is located in western Andorra, in the Pyrenees.

 

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The highest point of Liechtenstein is called Grauspitze (Grauspitz, 2599m). It has got two peaks, the Hintergrauspitz (2574m) and the Vordergraupsitz (2599m) and is located on the Swiss border.

 

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The Chemin de Revoires (163m) is the highest point of tiny Monaco. From the city of Monaco, it can only be reached by elevator.

 

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The highest point of San Marino is the magnificent Monte Titano (749m).

 

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The Vatican Hill (75m) is the highest hill within the borders of Vatican City. According to the legend, Saint Peter, the first Apostle, is buried somewhere in this area.

 

But as the Lateran Treaties of 1929 granted extra-territorial status to a number of places which are located in Italy but belong to the Vatican, the highest point of the Holy See is the summer residence of the Pope, Castel Gandolfo (426m), which is located in the Alban hills, around 20km south-east of Rome.

 

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non-member states

Albania

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Norway
ArmeniaGeorgia

Russia

Azerbaijan

Kosovo

Switzerland
Belarus

Moldova

Ukraine

The highest point of Belarus is called Dzyarzhynskaya Hara (346m).It is located west of Minsk, near Dzyarzhynsk, in the village Skirmuntava. The hill was named after Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the NKVD/KGB, who was born in western Bélarus and is still celebrated as a national hero there.

 

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The highest mountain of Armenia is called Mount Aragatz (4090m).

 

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The highest mountain of Azerbaijan is the Bazarduzu Dagi (4485m), which is also located in the Caucasus Mountain Range near the Russian border.

 

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The highest mountain of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Maglic (2386m), which is located in the south west of the Herzegowina, in the Sujetska National Park, on the border of Montenegro.

 

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The highest mountain of Georgia is called Shkhara (5201m). It is located in the Svaneti region along the Russian frontier, 55 miles north of the city of Kutaisi, Georgia's second largest city. The summit lies in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range to the south-east of Mount Elbrus (in Russia), Europe's highest mountain. The slopes of Shkhara are heavily glaciated. The summit is a popular destination for climbing/trekking, but weather hazards include frequent thunderstorms.

 

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The highest elevation in Kosovo are the Lybeten mountains.

 

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Moldova is a rather flat country. The highest point is called Balaneshty (429m).

 

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The highest mountain of Norway is called Galdopiggeh (Galdhřpiggen, 2469m). It is the highest peak of the Jotunheimen mountain range.

 

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The Elbrus (5642m) is not only the highest mountain of Russia, it is also seen by many people as the highest mountain on the European continent. It is twin-summited volcano lying just north of the main crest of the Caucasus Mountains.

 

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The the Dufourspitze, the crowning peak of the Monte Rosa range (4634m) is the highest mountain of Switzerland. The summit of the Dufourspitze is located appr. 160m west of the Italian border. Most people think, that the Matterhorn (4478m) is the highest mountain of Switzerland, but they are wrong.

 

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The highest mountain of the Ukraine is called Gora Goverla (Hora Hoverla, 2061m). It is part of the Carpathian Mountains, located in the eastern Beskides.

 

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© Susanne Pratscher and the students of the 2AK (2005/06)

 

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