A physical map of Europe shows the natural geographic features of the continent. Mountain ranges, bodies of water, and islands are shown, sometimes alongside the man-made boundaries of nations.
Peninsulas, islands and narrow strips of land give Europe a unique shape that is clearly illustrated on a physical map. The physical map illustrates the relative elevation of different parts of the continent. Mountain ranges such as the Pyrenees, along the border of Spain and France; the Alps in Central Europe; the Carpathians in Eastern Europe; and the Caucasus, along the Asian border, appear in visual contrast to the low-lying areas in countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands. Plains, such as the North European Plain and the Eastern European Plain, comprise a large portion of Europe.
The map also shows the many individual bodies of water that surround the continent, such as the Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea, North Sea, and Bay of Biscay, as well as those within the continent, which include the Black Sea, Loire River, Danube River and Rhine River. Europe's many islands, including the British Isles, Faroe Islands, Shetland Islands, Malta and Sicily, also appear.
A physical map may also include the man-made boundaries of Europe's many individual nations and cities.