Russia – officially the Federation of Russia – is the largest country on earth and covers one-eighth (6.6 million square miles) of the world’s inhabited land area. It has a population of 143.5 million people and its territory extends from Eastern Europe to Northern Asia.
Occupying the majority of the Iberian Peninsula and sharing land borders only with France, Andorra, Gibraltar and Portugal, Spain is one of only three countries to have both Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines. The country also has numerous island territories including the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean.
Bordering Norway to the west and Finland to the north-east, Sweden occupies the central swathe of the Fennoscandia region. With a 7,000 kilometre coastline on the Baltic Sea, Sweden was once the centre of a dominant northern European empire.
Officially named the ‘Swiss Confederation,’ Switzerland is a landlocked, mountainous Central European country bordered by France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. It is dominated by the Alps, with Zermatt the distinctively pointed Matterhorn mountain (4778m) being the most well-known landmark.
The United Kingdom is made up of Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland. Although geographically small, it has a long history and rich cultural heritage. In the colonial era the British Empire stretched around the globe, and immigration from its former colonies and the European Union has made the UK an ethnically diverse nation.