Most people can probably name the longest rivers in the world. However, what about the longest rivers in Europe? You might be surprised to learn that many of the most recognisable names are not amongst the top ten. So, counting down from 10:
10. Dnister (1370km)
The 10th longest European river begins in Ukraine, flows through Moldova and then back into Ukraine, before reaching the Black Sea. There are numerous versions of its name. The source of this river can be found in the Ukrainian region of the Carpathian mountains.
9. Belaja (1430 km)
The first of several Russian rivers on this list, the name is usually transcribed as Belaya. It begins in the Ural Mountains and joins with the Kama River near a city called Neftekamsk.
8. Oka (1480km)
Russia’s Oka River takes 8th place, and should not be confused with the much shorter river of the same name, found in Siberia. This Oka is a tributary of the Volga, and the vast majority of its length is navigable. The capital city of Moscow is located on a tributary of the Oka River.
7. Kama (1805km)
The Kama is a tributary of the Volga River, flowing through Russia until their confluence is reached. Where they join, the Kama is actually larger than the Volga.
6. Pečora (1809km)
Usually written as Pechora, it flows through Russia from the Ural Mountains to the Arctic Ocean.
5. Don (1870km)
Located entirely within Russia, the Don is the fifth longest river in Europe, flowing into the Sea of Azov. Historically, it has been considered the border between Europe and Asia, the home of the legendary Amazons from Greek mythology, and its estuary may have been the source of the Black Death.
4. Dnieper (2210km)
The 4th longest river in Europe is the Dnieper, which flows to the Black Sea via Ukraine and Belarus, from its source in Russia. It is very important to the economy of Ukraine, both as a hydroelectric power source and because it is navigable. The Dnieper-Bug Canal connects it to other European rivers.
3. Ural (2428km)
The Ural River has its source in the Ural Mountains of Russia and Kazakhstan, flowing through these two countries until it reaches the Caspian Sea. It is usually considered to form part of the boundary between Europe and Asia.
2. Danube (2858km)
Probably the most recognisable on this list, the Danube is in second place. It has the distinction of flowing through the greatest number of countries of any river in the world, a total of ten. It originates in the Black Forest region of Germany, and makes its way southeast to the Black Sea. Four capital cities (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade) are found on its banks.
1. Volga (3531km)
The longest river, the Volga, flows through Russia to the Caspian Sea. Regarded as Russia’s national river, 11 of the country’s 20 largest cities, including Moscow, are located within its drainage basin. Russian folklore often refers to the river as “Mother Volga”.