Mountain Ranges in Europe: Notable Mountains, Hikes, And All Things Altitude

Updated: April 21, 2023
european mountain ranges

Europe is home to some of the most incredible mountain scenery and ranges. 

From the awesome Alps that traverse eight Alpine countries: France, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia; to the incredible Pyrenees in the south and Caucasus Mountains in the East. 

On this page you will find information on some of the most notable ranges, mountains and hikes in Europe.

European Mountains

Europe is an incredibly mountainous continent, with around 20% of Europe's landmass classified as mountainous. 

There are over 10 major mountain ranges in Europe, and upwards of 100 minor ranges. 

Starting on the far eastern side of Europe, the Ural and the Caucasus Mountains form the divide between Europe and Asia. In fact the Caucasus Mountains, in a twisted geographic sense, mark the beginning origins of the Caucasian race.

Moving westward are the Carpathian Mountains in Central and Southern Europe. This range is the 3rd longest in Europe at 1,500km (932 miles) and crosses Romania, Serbia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Ukraine.

Into Central and Western Europe, one finds the most famous range - The Alps! This range winds its way through several countries including Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and France; and is home to some of Europe's most iconic peaks, including Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.

Running through Southern Europe are the Apennines, Pyrenees and Cantabrian ranges, whilst in the North one finds Europe's second longest range, the Scandinavian Mountains (1,700 km / 1,056 miles).

Other notable mountain ranges in Europe include the Dinaric Alps in the Balkans and the Scottish Highlands in the United Kingdom.

Top 10 European Mountain Ranges



Highest Point


France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovenia

Mount Blanc (4,810m)


Spain and France

Aneto (3,404m)

Carpathian Mountains

Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Serbia

Gerlachovský štít (2,654m)

Caucasus Mountains

Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia

Mount Elbrus (5,642m)

Dinaric Alps

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Maja Jezercë (2,694m)

Scandinavian Mountains

Norway, Sweden and Finland

Kebnekaise (2,469m)

Scottish Highlands


Ben Nevis (1,345m)

Apennine Mountains


Corno Grande (2,912m)

Balkan Mountains

Bulgaria and Serbia

Botev Peak (2,376m)



Marmolada (3,343m)

Notable European Mountains

Europe hosts some of the World's most iconic peaks and is the playground for climbers, hikers, skiers and mountain enthusiast the world over.

The highest peak in Europe, west of the Caucasus range is Mont Blanc (4,808m / 15,777 ft), however, if one counts the Caucasus mountains in Europe, then Mount Elbrus (5,642 m / 18,510 ft) is officially the highest peak on the continent.

This is corroborated by the famous Seven Summit challenge, which many mountaineers undertake to climb the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, and includes Elbrus as the official highest peak for Europe. Mt. Elbrus is also part of the volcanic seven summits.

Other notable mountains in Europe include the unforgettable Matterhorn (4,478 metres / 14,692 ft) and the famous Eiger-Nordwand (aka Eigerwand or just Nordwand), a 1,800-metre-high (5,900 ft) north face of rock and ice. You can even hike to the seat of the gods if you climb Mount Olympus, Greece, or experience a via ferrata hike up Mt Triglav. Learn more about what via ferrata is.

Highest Mountains in Europe

Mountain / Range



Mount Elbrus (Caucasus)

5,642m (18,510ft)


Dychtau (Caucasus)

5,204m (17,073ft)


Shkhara (Caucasus)

5,200m (17,060ft)

Georgia and Russia

Kazbek (Caucasus)

5,047m (16,558ft)

Georgia and Russia

Mont Blanc (Alps)

4,810m (15,781ft)

France and Italy

Monte Rosa (Alps)

4,634m (15,203ft)

Switzerland and Italy

Zumsteinspitze (Pennine Alps)

4,563m (14,970ft)

Switzerland and Italy

Signalkuppe (Pennine Alps)

4,559m (14,975ft)

Switzerland and Italy

Dom (Pennine Alps)

4,545m (14,911ft)


Lyskamm (Pennine Alps)

4,527m (14,852ft)


Notable Hikes in Europe

Europe offers incredible hiking. From stunning day walks to epic multi-day, high altitude circuit treks, there is literally something for everyone in Europe. 

Trails throughout Europe are generally well marked and accomodation options are plenty, which means self-guided hiking is very popular. 

In our guide on the Best Hikes in Europe, we go into detail on the top 20 hiking routes throughout the continent. 

This is a must read if you are planning a hike in Europe, however, if you already know what country or route you are interested in then use our Quicklinks below to navigate to our detailed guides. 

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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