Topography: The Alpine Mountain System runs through northern and western Slovenia; valleys and rivers mark its. Slovenia.

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1 Slovenia. Slovenia, a relatively new country, established its independence in This nation, approximately the size of New Jersey, was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Yugoslavia. Borders: Slovenia is bordered by Austria to the north; Hungary to the northeast; Croatia to the northeast and south; and Italy to the west. A small southwestern portion of the country has a coastline along the Adriatic Sea. Climate: Slovenia has a Mediterranean climate along the coast. Its summers range from hot to mild. Its winters are cold in the eastern plateaus and valleys. Topography: The Alpine Mountain System runs through northern and western Slovenia; valleys and rivers mark its

2 Croatia. eastern areas. Croatia, located in southeastern Europe, is a little smaller than West Virginia. Most of the twelve hundred islands in the Adriatic Sea lie near Croatia's coast. Croatia controls most of the land routes leading from the Aegean Sea and Turkish Straits to Western Europe. Borders: Croatia's borders are the Adriatic Sea to the west; Slovenia to the northwest; Hungary to the northeast; Bosnia and Herzegovina to the south and southeast; Serbia to the east; and Montenegro to the south. Climate: Although some of Croatia benefits from a Mediterranean climate, the climate here is mainly continental. Coastal areas have mild winters and dry summers. However, the continental climate prevails elsewhere in the country. Most places experience cold winters and hot summers. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Topography: The country's landscape varies. It is mountainous along the Hungarian border with highlands and low mountains along the Adriatic coast and islands. Like its neighbor, Bosnia and Herzegovina is just a bit smaller than West Virginia. As its name might suggest to you, it is a nation divided. The area near Croatia and Montenegro has been settled by Croatians and is called Herzegovina. The western portion of the country has been settled by Serbians. Borders: Bosnia and Herzegovina is bordered by Croatia to the north and west; by Montenegro to the southeast; and Serbia to the east. A small section (20 km/12.4 mi.) has a coastline along the Adriatic Sea. Climate: Bosnia and Herzegovina's climate varies depending on the nearby physical features. Areas at high elevations have short, cool summers and long harsh winters. Winters in the coastal region are mild and rainy. The rest of the country has hot summers and cold winters. Romania. Topography: The country's terrain is covered by mountains and valleys. When the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia united in 1859, they called their new country Romania. This nation in southeastern Europe is a little smaller than Oregon. It controls most of the land routes between the Balkans, Ukraine, and

3 Moldova. Borders: Romania is bordered by Hungary to the northwest; Ukraine to the north and east; Moldova and the Black Sea to the west; Bulgaria to the south; and Serbia to the southwest. Climate: Romania's location near the Black Sea affects the country's climate which is primarily continental. Snow and fog are frequent during its cold, cloudy winters. Showers and thunderstorms commonly disrupt its sunny summers. Serbia. Topography: Romania is a mountainous country. The Carpathian Mountains separate the Transylvanian Basin from the Plain of Moldavia on the east. The Transylvanian Alps separate the Basin and the Plain in the south. Serbia, a country a bit larger than South Carolina, once made up the bulk of the former country of Yugoslavia. This landlocked country controls one of major land routes connecting Western Europe to the Far East and Turkey. Borders: Serbia is bordered by Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east, Macedonia to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania to the west. Climate: Serbia's climate is both continental and Mediterranean. The north's continental climate brings cold winters and hot, humid summers. Other places also have cold winters with heavy snow and hot, dry summers and falls. Montenegro. Topography: Serbia's landscape is diverse. Rich fertile plains cover the north; basins and mountains dominate the eastern terrain; and mountains and hills mark the southeast's geography. Montenegro, a tiny nation, just a bit smaller than Connecticut, gained its independence from Serbia on June 3, Borders: Montenegro is bordered by Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest and north, by Serbia to the north and northeast, by Albania to the southeast, and by the Adriatic Sea to the southwest. Climate: Although the inland region receives heavy snowfall, Montenegro's climate is predominantly Mediterranean. It is hot and dry in the summer and fall and cold in the winter. Topography: Steep rugged mountains and plateaus border Montenegro's narrow, jagged coastal plain.

4 The Southernmost Balkan Countries Kosovo. Kosovo, the newest independent country (at the time of this writing) declared its independence from Serbia in February This small nation is about the same size as Connecticut. Borders: Kosovo, a landlocked nation, is bordered by Albania and Montenegro on the west, Serbia to the north and northeast, and Macedonia to the southeast and east. Climate: Kosovo's climate is mainly continental, giving it warm summers and cold winters. Bulgaria. Topography: Most of Kosovo is mountainous. The Sar Mountains, one of the nation's most popular ski resorts, borders Macedonia. Two large plains also lie within Kosovo one in the west and one in the east. Just a bit larger than Tennessee, Bulgaria is strategically located near the Turkish Straits. It controls important land routes that connect Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Borders: Bulgaria is bordered by Romania to the north; the Black Sea to the east; Greece and Turkey to the south; and Macedonia, and Serbia to the west. Climate: Its mainly continental climate gives Bulgaria cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Topography: Bulgaria's terrain is mostly mountainous with lowlands in the southeast and the north. Macedonia. This landlocked country is a bit bigger than Vermont. It lies on a major land route connecting Western and Central Europe to the Aegean Sea and Western Europe to Southern Europe. Borders: Serbia forms Macedonia's northern border, Bulgaria lies to the east; Greece to the south; and Albania to the west. Climate: Macedonia's winters are cold with heavy snowfall; its summers and falls are warm and dry. Topography: Macedonia's mountainous landscape is covered with deep basins and valleys and is divided by the Vardar River. In the south are three large lakes Ohrid, Prespa, and Doiran.

5 Albania. Albania, a nation a bit smaller than Maryland, is located on the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian and Mediterranean Seas. Borders: Albania is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest; Serbia to the northeast; Macedonia and Greece to the east; the Ionian Sea to the south and southwest; and the Adriatic Sea to the west. Climate: Albania's climate is mild with cool, wet, cloudy winters and clear, hot, dry summers. The country's interior is wetter and cooler. Topography: Small plains run along Albania's coastline. Mountains and hills cover most of the rest of the country. Connections Greece. Greece is a country that defies simple regional classification. Due to its location, it shares physical and human characteristics with both the Southern European region and the Balkan region. For this reason, Greece is inincluded in the discussion of each region. Greece, a country a bit smaller than Alabama, is a peninsula. Its territory includes approximately two thousand islands. Borders: Greece is bordered by Albania to the northwest; Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north; Turkey to the east; the Aegean Sea to the southeast and south; the Mediterranean Sea to the south; and the Ionian Sea to the west. Climate: Greece benefits from hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Topography: The terrain of Greece is mostly mountainous.

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