Bodies of Water in or Near Russia and Europe


Geography plays an important role in understanding the separation of continents throughout history. The major bodies of water surrounding Europe and Russia, both inland and the outer shores, hold vast quantities of fish, underwater land formations, global currents and weather hotspots. The northern coasts of Russia and Europe are particularly icy and dangerous and harbor some of the world's largest whales.

Southern Europe and Inland

  • The North Atlantic Ocean borders Europe to the west, creating the Bay of Biscay between Spain and France, and leading up to the Celtic Sea around the United Kingdom. From the eastern side of Spain to Italy, the Balearic Sea feeds into the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas on the western coast of Italy. On the southern tip of Italy, the Mediterranean Sea and Ionian Sea border Italy and Greece, with the Adriatic Sea along the eastern coast of Italy.

Northern Europe

  • Above the United Kingdom, the North Sea also borders Germany, Denmark and Norway. Beyond the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea creates the rocky, heavily channeled coast of Norway. The Norwegian Sea also borders Iceland and Greenland. As the coast of Norway rounds off around Sweden, the Norwegian Sea becomes the Barents Sea, bordering the northern shores of Russia.

North Russia

  • The Barents Sea and Kara Sea create the major bodies of water for Northern Russia. Several icy islands sit in the midst of these waters, which inevitably leads to Laptev Sea in the northeastern side of Russia. Inland, on the other side of Sweden and Finland, the Baltic Sea forms the coasts of these countries as well as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As North America's tip comes closer to Russia, the Laptev Sea becomes the East Siberian Sea, then forms the Chukchi Sea.

Eastern Russia

  • Off the eastern coast of Russia, the North Pacific Ocean creates the ice-filled waters of the Bering Sea. The vast expanse of water between North America and Russia spans thousands of miles. The Sea of Okhotsk is also hundreds of miles wide and marks the coasts of Magadan to Kamchatka Peninsula to Sakhalin Islands.

Major Lakes in Europe

  • The major bodies of water in Europe are known for size and beauty. The two largest lakes in Europe are in Russia. However, the fourth largest lake in Europe is Vanern, located in Sweden in the province of Vastergotland, Dalsland. Vanern has a total surface area of 5,650 square km. Saimaa is another one of the larger lakes, located in Finland, with 13,000 islands and waterways. Other top tourist destinations in Europe include Ohrid Lake in Macedonia, Lake Como in Italy, Lake Bled in Slovenia and Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. Plitvice is a particular natural wonder, as the waters of the lakes are bright, Caribbean blue.

Major Lakes in Russia

  • The Caspian Sea makes it way into Russia but also resides in four other countries, including Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Russia has the largest lakes in Europe, including Baikal, which is 30 million years old and 1,627 m deep, making Baikal the oldest and deepest lake in the world. Russia has two other very large bodies of water. Ladoga has a surface area of 18,1350 square km. Lake Onega has a surface area of 9,890 square km.


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