Active discussions

Old threads about Europe's hierarchy can be found in the archives.


Whoah, I completely missed this earlier, but why was Northern Europe renamed as "Scandinavia"? Because, technically speaking, Iceland and Finland are not in Scandinavia. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:58, 25 November 2008 (EST)

As I understand it definitions differ over whether Iceland and Finland are included under the name. And I believe the preference for the name derives from our general preference for names with historical/cultural significance, rather than bland directional names. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 23:11, 25 November 2008 (EST)
I don't see why Finland is shoudl not be there but maybe Iceland can be It's own region? (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 23:13, 25 November 2008 (EST).
Because Finnish is not a Scandinavian language? Finland is not on the Scandinavian peninsular? The Finns are not a Scandinavian people? Finland is not a Monarchy? Because they drink more Vodka than the rest of Scandinavia combined - and hence group better with Russians? because of their liberal gun laws? because they've fought a century old struggle to rid themselves of Swedish influence? Oh the reasons are many....
Anyway I still find that it's mainly people of the Nordic countries who care about the correct usage of the term, whereas for the most part, the entire rest of the world (except perhaps people from the Baltics) are happy to slap the Scandinavia label to Finland and Iceland as well. I personally think it's just fine to call the region Scandinavia - "The Nordic countries" seems a bit arbitrary. (WT-en) Sertmann 00:21, 26 November 2008 (EST)
And let me just clarify that the vodka thing is an attempt at some humour, seems everything is misunderstood these days --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 00:30, 26 November 2008 (EST)
I, personally, don't really mind either, but there are quite a few people who do... (WT-en) Jpatokal 12:40, 26 November 2008 (EST)

It seems to me that arguments like the above are beside the point. Wikivoyage is supposed to be traveler-centered, and from the viewpoint of most travelers, surely Scandinavia includes Finland. I believe every standard guidebook on Scandinavia (Frommers, Rough Guide, etc.) includes Finland, which I cite not to argue that Wikivoyage should do it just because they do it, but as further evidence that in the opinion of almost all professional travel writers and guidebook publishers, who ought to know, travelers expect Scandinavia to include Finland, and that's why Wikivoyage should too. Iceland is a little more ambiguous, but travelers are going to consider it part of Scandinavia if it's in any region. (WT-en) Sailsetter 13:52, 26 November 2008 (EST)

Exactly, I would have never grouped Finland w Russia but I always thought it of Scandinavia. It seems to have a smilar culture from my view. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 13:56, 26 November 2008 (EST).
Nobody is disputing that the Nordic countries belong together. The problem is the label "Scandinavia", which is, strictly speaking, inaccurate. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:36, 1 December 2008 (EST)
The meaning of a word, any linguist or lexicographer will tell you, is determined by its usage. As I've pointed out, in the travel industry in the English speaking world, the word "Scandinavia" in actual usage includes Finland. (WT-en) Sailsetter 11:04, 2 December 2008 (EST)
Strictly speaking, all these regions are inaccurate. Central Europe is not the real center, the British Isles include Ireland and Moldova is not close to the Balkan Mountain Range. However, for the traveler and for most people, these regions are easily recognizable and make sense. Besides, not even Denmark belongs to the Scandinavian Peninsula, and it would be logical if it was included. (WT-en) Globe-trotter 09:41, 4 December 2008 (EST)
So if guidebooks and many people include Finland and Iceland in Scandinavia, wikivoyage should use it as well? If something is wrong, it doesn't make it less wrong if many make the mistake. With such a point of view wikivoyage should claim a brick to be round if just enough people claim a brick to be round, or maybe wikivoyage should state that you can see the great wall of China from the moon, which indeed alot of people think... False facts doesn't make wikivoyage useful to people. Scandinavia is Only Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Nordic countries are Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland (And Fareoe Islands, Åland and Greenland). Check [1], [2] for ref. -- 08:50, 22 March 2009 (EDT)
There is no straight answer to this, and claiming you have the absolute truth is a bit headstrong don't you think? to quote your own source:
"Worldwide, casual and unofficial use of the term "Scandinavia" is a common reference to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, but also includes Finland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands"
Or look up in any English language dictionary or encyclopædic source, and I'll bet you it will mention Iceland and Finland in there as well. Since we cater to English speakers here, I still find the common English International definition, to be the correct for a project like ours, exactly because we are not wikipedia, but a travel guide. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 16:21, 22 March 2009 (EDT)
To me who lives in Norway. Scandinavia is Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The Nordic countries are Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland, Åland Islands, Faroe Islands. But what is important is what makes sense to the visitor. So if Scandinavia is all the five countries to the visitor, thats OK for me. Anyway we can't call the article The Nordic Coutries. The Nordic perhaps... (WT-en) ViMy 20:41, 22 March 2009 (EDT)
I'm refering to the Scandianvian and Nordic usage of the terms, which should be respected. If there is some common thought-messup with nordic-scandinavia that doesn't make it right to continiue placing false info on wikivoyage, like i already pointed out. Loads of people think the great wall of china is visible from the moon, is that reason good enough to write it as a fact? Anyway if you want the "absolute truth" you have to refer to the usage of the terms in Scandinavia and in the Nordics. Just as a note, The Netherlands is extremely often incorrectly called Holland, but wikivoyage uses Netherlands. It's also a matter of respect, i doubt that all finns or icelandics likes to be called scandinavians, just like sami's don't like the term lapp or inuits on Greenland don't like to be refered to as eskimos.-- 04:42, 23 March 2009 (EDT)
We're actually a fair amount of Scandinavian regular contributors to Wikivoyage (I'm Danish - and fully aware of local definition), and no one has had any raving objections about this before. It's basically the same discussion as below, though, I still think you'll be hard pressed to find any Finns or Icelandics who would find a regional label as Scandinavia on collaborative travel guide hidden away on the internet, to be offensive. Anyway, the way this place works is by consensus, so if you find sufficient support for your view, we'll change it, but for now there is definitely no clear consensus on the change. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 07:37, 23 March 2009 (EDT)
Right, this should make everybody shut up --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:40, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
While I don't think you needed to be quite so harsh, I agree that that website clears up any arguments pretty succinctly. Now if only we could get the Irish and British tourism boards to do the same thing... (WT-en) LtPowers 09:29, 8 April 2009 (EDT)

Geographically eastern half of Iceland and Greenland is not part of Europe so if this is being defined geographically that those arias should not be included.

So we all agree that the definition should be from a cultural standpoint? Than what about Greenland. Culturally its connection is no less than Iceland's. The Nordic console is the only organizations that connects all these countries together politically and culturally. And by its name alone it describes the area as the Nordic Countries, not the Scandinavian Countries. And by that cultural definition Greenland should be part of this page. Many Icelandic travel companies sell tours to Greenland. Einsiol (talk) 05:47, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

No, the definition should be what is best for the traveler. Greenland is not in Europe, so from a traveler's perspective it doesn't make much sense to include it in a European region. Iceland is only half in Europe, but the other half is (obviously) extremely close to Europe, and thus it's reasonable to include it in a European region. We have many cases where common sense is not sufficient to determine a regional breakdown, but this isn't one of them. LtPowers (talk) 16:29, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
(My comment on Scandinavia talk page:) From one perspective the "Scandinavia" label is functional and not problematic, there is a redirect and readers are informed that "Nordic" is the accurate term for what is covered - from the traveler's perspective the "most common English name" is fine. From another perspective it is unsatisfactory to sustain a misconception or an inaccurate terminology. Historically the concept of Scandinavia was limited to the southern part of the peninsula (plus Denmark), and encyclopedias points out that "Scandinavia is erroneously used about all Nordic countries". In Norway (and many other countries I guess), "Holland" is a common (perhaps the most common) name for the Netherlands, the Wikivoyage article is still called Netherlands. Likewise, "Burma" redirects to Myanmar (interestingly, Wikipedia still uses "Burma"). Even if Wikivoyage is not an encyclopedia and the heading of the article is not a big deal, I don't think it is right to maintain an error. Regards, --Erik den yngre (talk) 18:08, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

British IslesEdit

British Isles should not be one of the sub-regions of Europe for the following reasons:

  • This is likely to cause offence to some with a different world view, particularly those from Ireland who may view the word association with Britain as inaccurate and offensive.
  • The term is archaic and not accurately defined by any modern worldwide standard.
  • There is specific benefit to the traveler of using this grouping, unlike some other contentious regions which reflect the reality of the situation to the traveler.
  • Wikivoyage already has its work cut out defining regions and boundaries in those areas of the world where they are subject of wars, and centuries of bitter disputes. This is one that is just unncessary

Suggest replacing the term with just United Kingdom and Ireland

--(WT-en) Inas 22:56, 18 December 2008 (EST)

I disagree. British Isles is a common (over 30 million Google hits) geographical term and a valid region. In particular, the Isle of Man is technically not part of the UK, hence not of "United Kingdom and Ireland". Where would it fit in your scheme? (WT-en) Pashley 23:54, 18 December 2008 (EST)
Yeah, the only way I can see to resolve this would be to have a region: The [[British Islands]] and [[Ireland]]. But that seems a little silly. I really prefer not to cave in to cartographic politics when trying to write travel guides. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 00:06, 19 December 2008 (EST)
British Isles is a common term to define this region and easily recognizable for travellers. Even in Ireland people know immediately what you mean. If the Irish have a problem with this term, that's too bad because there is no appropriate alternative. British Isles is the only term in common usage. (WT-en) Globe-trotter 14:05, 21 December 2008 (EST)
The only alternative is Atlantic Archipelago. This is a politically correct term, used in some scientific documents and mostly in Ireland. But it's not a common term to travellers. (WT-en) Globe-trotter 06:27, 23 December 2008 (EST)
Though some dictionaries may define British Isles as including Ireland, in fact in the travel industry the phrase doesn't seem to be used that way. Almost all guides I've seen to the region use "Britain and Ireland" or some variant thereof: there's Let's Go the Budget Guide to Britain & Ireland, Charming Small Hotel Guides: Britain & Ireland, Michelin Red Guide 2008 Great Britain & Ireland, The Oxford Guide to Literary Britain and Ireland, and others. I've only rarely seen travel guides titled "British Isles," and the few that I have seen don't include Ireland. If we're going to appeal to common usage in standard travel guides, then we should use "Britain and Ireland" or "UK and Ireland" rather than "British Isles" for the region. (WT-en) Sailsetter 11:12, 23 December 2008 (EST)
I suggested British-Irish isles on the talk page, if British isles won't fly, that's the 2nd best option imho. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 12:54, 23 December 2008 (EST)
Agreed. As far as I can tell, "British Isles" is pretty unambiguous as far as what territory it covers; the only possible objection is political rather than geographic or vernacular. With apologies to the Irish, the fact remains that Ireland and Britain are the two largest islands in the British Isles. Sertmann's suggestion seems the most reasonable compromise if the widely understood term is for some reason unacceptable. (WT-en) LtPowers 20:43, 5 January 2009 (EST)
No, there's another possible objection described two lines above by me: the de facto standard among professional travel publishers in both their books and on their related web sites is "Britain and Ireland," not "The British Isles." (WT-en) Sailsetter 19:05, 8 January 2009 (EST)
Admittedly, I discounted that term because it's exclusive of several territories we wish to include in our region. (WT-en) LtPowers 20:11, 8 January 2009 (EST)
Sailsetter is entirely correct: the term "British Isles" is rarely if ever used in travel guides covering Ireland (for the obvious reasons). Where the guide covers Ireland and Britain, then "Britain and Ireland" is by far the most common term. I have never seen the term "British Isles" used in an Irish travel guide, particularly one written by Irish writers. My Lonely Planet guide springs immediately to mind, but even British based tourist organisations such as this expressly use 'Britain and Ireland' rather than "British Isles". 22:18, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Again, "Britain and Ireland", however many other guides use it, is exclusive of islands that we wish to cover, islands which collectively are known, even in Ireland, as "British Isles". (WT-en) LtPowers 13:44, 19 January 2009 (EST)

I'm cutting the Gordian knot. The article has been moved to British and Irish Isles (after deleting the copy+paste that was already there). I'm leaving the redirect as an extremely likely search term. This should be a reasonable compromise. See Project:Votes for deletion/January 2009#British Isles for the deletion discussion. (WT-en) LtPowers 08:49, 26 January 2009 (EST)

"British and Irish Isles" is a ridiculous overtly political term, it is not a common term at all. "Britain and Ireland" would be way more logical. Just look here which definitions are used (from Wikipedia): [3]. :(WT-en) Globe-trotter 10:13, 26 February 2009 (EST)
Again, for the third time, "Britain and Ireland" does not include several islands which we want to include in the region. (WT-en) LtPowers 19:07, 26 February 2009 (EST)
I think you're being unnecessarily pedantic here -- from the traveler's point of view, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are a part of Britain, and obviously part of any region that covers the UK and Ireland. I also think that "Britain and Ireland" is the most common, the most obvious and the clearest name for it, and that the consensus here is definitely leaning in that direction.
Let me reiterate, though, that I think a region article for the two is unnecessary. Just "Britain and Ireland" will do fine. (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:47, 27 February 2009 (EST)
And in what region would we place the Channel Islands, then? (WT-en) LtPowers 08:29, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Under United Kingdom, obviously. (Yes, I know they're Crown Dependencies and technically not a part of the UK, but who gives a shit?) (WT-en) Jpatokal 10:24, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I agree with Globetrotter. "British and Irish Isles" or "Atlantic Archipelago" are absurd. I do think we need a minimal region article here, just links to other pages, and I think it should be called "British Isles". That said, there's almost no need to link to it; most links can be to Britain and Ireland. (WT-en) Pashley 06:06, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I agree it should be "British Isles"; that's the accepted geographic term, at least to anyone who isn't Irish. But that created an awful lot of dissension as you can see above and in the AfD. So I included Irish Isles as a compromise. That's how we do things here. I had thought it had worked, too, but Globe-trotter has seen fit to reopen this can of worms. (WT-en) LtPowers 08:29, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I'm OK with having British Isles as a disambig page, but I don't see what value it adds to make it a full-fledged region level: virtually all the content would just duplicate the UK and Ireland articles. (WT-en) Jpatokal 10:24, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I'll just repost this from the talk page here: Yeah, and expanded section on Irish sea ferries, Ireland-Northern Ireland border practicalities, details on implications of the Common travel area for foreign visitors travelling between the two countries, are all subjects that I think could be covered in greater detail than in the country pages, with good results. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 10:31, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Sigh, this issue had seemed at rest and peaceful. British & Irish Isles gets the point across, serves a purpose per User:Sertmann, includes all the little territories we want to include, should not offend anyone who lives anywhere within the realm of reasonableness. Fin. I hope. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:22, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Why all the focus on the fact that the Channel Islands are not part of "Britain and Ireland"? When most travelers hear "Britain and Ireland", they think of the Island of Man and the Channel Islands belong with that grouping. Finland (and geographically even Denmark) is not a part of Scandinavia. Yet, we include it in there. Moldova is not part of the Balkans, yet we include it in there. We do that there, because it's a logical grouping to the traveller. And there, barely any complaints are heard, while here it's suddenly a big issue. 12:38, 12 March 2009 (EDT)

I'm sorry my solution was not satisfactory to all. I would like to make another proposal: what about "Ireland and the British Isles"? That clearly separates Ireland from the dreaded "British" appellation, without inventing the term "Irish Isles". (WT-en) LtPowers 08:38, 13 March 2009 (EDT)

No! Our policy is to use "the most common English name". I think that is a good policy. It seems to me that we should follow it here, so "British Isles" is obviously the correct choice.
However, "Britain and Ireland" or "United Kingdom and Ireland" may be better choices to avoid offending people. They may not be the most common terms for the region, but they are combinations of standard terms and other guides use them. Those are worth discussing.
As for "Atlantic Archipelago", "British and Irish Isles", or ""Ireland and the British Isles", none of those are in common use and therefore I do not think any of them should even be considered as possible titles. (WT-en) Pashley 10:26, 13 March 2009 (EDT)
If I may, "Ireland and the British Isles" is also a combination of standard terms. I don't see how that's any different from "Britain and Ireland" in that respect. (WT-en) LtPowers 13:45, 13 March 2009 (EDT)
Ireland and the British Isles strikes me as incorrect, since Ireland is part of the British Isles. I prefer the British and Irish Isles fudge, as we have it now. Although it may not be in very popular use ([4]), even if it is not, it remains very much an accurate name.
A title like UK & Ireland, or Britain & Ireland obscures the purpose of the article, as it raises the question of why we don't just keep the articles separate entirely. The reason is that they are part of the same archipelago, which can support a useful article in terms of geography, cultural history, and transport. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:19, 13 March 2009 (EDT)

So, the geographically-correct term is not usable for political reasons. The remaining commonly-used terms are incomplete. And the remaining terms that actually describe the scope of the article are not commonly used. Rather sticky wicket here, eh wot? (WT-en) LtPowers 10:00, 14 March 2009 (EDT)

The geographically correct term is the commonest English name and should be used. See Evan's comments the first time this came up; I agree completely.
The main reason we now have a problem is that you chose to "cut the Gordian knot" instead of waiting for a consensus. You also invented, apparently out of thin air, a new term "British and Irish Isles" that had, as far as I can see, not even been mentioned in previous discussion. If I had not been on holiday and away from the computer at the time, I'd have immediately reverted that. I know your intentions were good, and trying for a compromise is basically a good idea, but you do need consensus before making obviously controversial changes.
I'd say the article should clearly be moved back to "British Isles". That's our policy; use the commonest English name. My idea of compromise would be agreeing to use "Britain and Ireland" instead, of course with "British Isles" as a redirect. (WT-en) Pashley 10:49, 22 March 2009 (EDT)
He didn't grab it out of thin air - I came up with that name, as an attempt to compromise, though I like British Isles way better, and it wouldn't make us look like complete idiots, as wikipedia, BBC, Encyclopædia Britanica Microsoft Encarta, Merriam Webster, Urban Dictionary,, Princeton University , Oxford University already uses the term, and Google gives 24 million hits for the term - although there is also a compressive article describing the dispute here - basically saying that on government level, Ireland discourages use of the term. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 11:11, 22 March 2009 (EDT)
I interpreted the status quo as inherently unstable and therefore in need of some sort of change so that a consensus could be developed. I would love to have this article at the geographically correct term, but my understanding is that that is violently unacceptable to some users here. (WT-en) LtPowers 16:41, 22 March 2009 (EDT)
You are right that it's problematic, but only for political reasons. "British Isles" is the most common term, but unacceptable for political reasons. However, we cannot just make up terms that don't exist. That's why "British and Irish Isles" cannot be used, it simply doesn't exist. There are no "Irish Isles", there is only one Irish island called Ireland. So instead, I thought "Britain and Ireland" would be a good compromise, indicating the importance of these two big islands in the region. Sure, there are some other minor islands as well, but every traveller would almost instantly connect them with Britain and Ireland, as they are the largest and most dominant. Like the Isle of Man is laying in between them. And Jersey and Guernsey are British crown dependencies. 07:17, 13 April 2009 (EDT)

We are pretty much bound to the alternatives list given here [5], as those are recognizable terms for travelers. British and Irish Isles is not in that list, it's not recognizable, nor used anywhere, sounds way too overtly political correct and ridiculous, so it has to change. British Isles is unacceptable because of Irish objections. Britain and Ireland was not acceptable because of the Channel Islands and Isle of Man not being included (though I did not find this a problem, others did).

What about British Isles and Ireland? It is in the list of alternative terms, it fixes the whole Ireland-dispute-thing and still manages to be recognizable because of the sentence British Isles in it.

(WT-en) Globe-trotter 11:22, 3 August 2009 (EDT)

Fine with me. The redundancy doesn't bother me a whole lot, and it might keep the Irish happy. (WT-en) LtPowers 22:12, 3 August 2009 (EDT)
I dislike all the fudge options. For my money the two titles that work are Britain and Ireland and British Isles. Yes I know Britain and Ireland has technicalities re the IOM and CI but that's irrelevant from the traveller's perspective. I'd prefer British Isles as that's the correct term, but Britain and Ireland is an acceptable compromise. British and Irish Isles is not a tolerable compromise. :-) Now, I'm very aware of the need to try to form a consensus but I fear this knotty issue isn't going to get one. How about if we rename to Britain and Ireland for the time being and then I can sleep at nights without grinding my teeth knowing the Irish Isles are up there on the server, for all the world to see, making me ashamed to have my name as a contributor? ;-) (WT-en) Andyfarrell 15:27, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
It's starting to grow on me but for completeness I would much prefer any of the other options. (WT-en) LtPowers 21:39, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
I'm with Andy here. As I see it, "British Isles" is obviously correct. If we are going to bow to political correctness (we shouldn't), then "Britain and Ireland" is the way to do that. None of the "fudge options" are worth considering. (WT-en) Pashley 22:56, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
I've renamed the page to Britain and Ireland. My reasoning is that British and Irish Isles was a unilateral action which didn't fit the consensus or serve the traveller, while I accept that LtPowers did it with the best of intentions. Even if Britain and Ireland doesn't end up being the permanent name I feel certain it is closer to consensus than the former name. (WT-en) Andyfarrell 05:41, 15 August 2009 (EDT)

I see the isin's havn't successfully moved. Can anyone help me with that please? (WT-en) Andyfarrell 05:45, 15 August 2009 (EDT)

You need to go to every single article under Britain and Ireland and move them manually. (WT-en) Jpatokal 06:57, 15 August 2009 (EDT)
Ah. Hopefully caught them all now. (WT-en) Andyfarrell 08:52, 15 August 2009 (EDT)
I'll see what I can do. I support Britain and Ireland as well, as it's a neutral geographic term. (WT-en) Globe-trotter 06:54, 15 August 2009 (EDT)

I still think "Europe : Britain & Ireland : Ireland" looks silly, sigh --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 07:09, 15 August 2009 (EDT)

Yes, and it needlessly excludes several outlying islands. (WT-en) LtPowers 09:46, 15 August 2009 (EDT)

Aegean ArchipelagoEdit

Would anyone have any raving objections to create this region for Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. I know Cyprus technically isn't within the Archipelago, but practically and culturally it certainly is. And not having a proper region messes up the hierarchy. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 05:24, 30 January 2009 (EST)

I think it's fine as is. I don't see a need for a region to tie together the three, and agreeing on a name would be hard to impossible anyway. "Archipelago" is misleading, since the vast majority of Greece and Turkey are not islands. (WT-en) Jpatokal 05:48, 30 January 2009 (EST)
I also see serious objections to this. First, "Aegean Archipelago" isn't a term in general use among travel guides, or geographers, or the general public. If you said "Aegean Archipelago" to most people, their reaction would be "Huh?" I myself have traveled extensively in parts of the areas mentioned above, and if you asked me about the "Aegean Archipelago," I'd have no idea what you were talking about. Secondly, the countries in question do not in fact constitute an archipelago, either in the strict geographical terminology sense, or in the commonly used sense, of the word: an archipelago describes a concentrated group of many small islands, especially if they are in a chain: the places mentioned are only three, which is not "many," and only one of them is an island, and the one that is an island is a large, not small, island, and even if they were all three small islands, they would be too far separated from each other to be considered an archipelago. (WT-en) Sailsetter 10:41, 30 January 2009 (EST)
I've never heard about "Aegean Archipelago" and I don't think others have as well. Sounds like a constructed name instead of a popular one. (WT-en) Globe-trotter 10:09, 26 February 2009 (EST)
How about Northeastern Mediterranean? It’s mostly the Mediterranean which defines this group –and the travel scene of each individual country– after all, and they are –and no other country– located in its northeastern corner. -(WT-en) Vidimian 13:10, 21 March 2009 (EDT)
Sorry, but I don't think this term is recognizable enough. I wouldn't think of Greece and Turkey when I heard it. (WT-en) Globe-trotter 07:25, 13 April 2009 (EDT)

France grouped with "Latin Europe" instead of Benelux?Edit

Hi all,

Sorry to open this controversial topic again. First, I would say that I appreciate all the time you spent discussing the Europe hierarchy which is definitely a can of worms and I am pretty happy with the final result map. Still... I find weird to group France with Benelux and leave Italy alone as a single region. I would suggest to leave Benelux alone and group France with Italy and Iberia in a region called Latin Europe (I think we should forget geographical names like Western, South-Western, Southern or Mediterranean, and rather choose a cultural name which "Latin" sums up very well to me).

The major drawback I can see is the unbalanced resulting regions. Yes, Benelux alone is very small but it's a very common grouping within the EU and we already have the Baltic States and Caucasus as small regions too so why not?

And yes, Latin Europe would be quite big but the four countries, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, have much more in common (latin language, roman catholic religion, wine culture) than France with Netherlands. An alternative could be to leave France alone like Italy, but that may be too much splitting and I find nice to see each country as part of a bigger set to avoid jealousy :).

Now, if everybody is tired of those endless debates, I'll leave it like this (but probably change the French version though... :)

If there's no objection, I can modify the map and the page. (WT-en) Joelf 12:21, 19 December 2010 (EST)

France is so big and influential, I think it deserves a region of its own. It is the largest tourist destination in the world. As of current, there is no France and the Benelux page, so this in practice already is the case. If anything, we could give the Benelux and France a different color on the map and the problem is solved.
I also think France does not completely belong to "Latin Europe". Large parts of France are Celtic (northwest) or have a Germanic tradition (northeast). To me, Paris feels more like a Northern European city, but that could be subjective. You name some defining factors making France "Southern": but "Catholicism" as one of the dividing factors doesn't hold up, as France has more in common with the Benelux as both regions mainly consists of non-believers. And in the north of France, beer is a major competitor to wine. Of course the Côte d'Azur belongs to that region, but I think that just shows my point: France is so big, it's better off with it's own region (like California and Florida in the United States of America regional hierarchy). --(WT-en) globe-trotter 01:56, 24 December 2010 (EST)
I take your point: France is definitely not completely "Latin"; Brittany could be grouped with Ireland and Alsace with Germany to some extend but to me, it is still in majority Latin, like Belgium is in majority Flemish and Switzerland in majority Swiss-German. You're right to say that France consists now mostly of non-believers. I'm not sure young Spaniards today are any more believers. I thought more of a cultural state of mind: northern Europe is more "protestant non-believer", liberal, pragmatic, and southern Europe "catholic non-believer", social, ideological, state-driven. Funny though: I was convinced that Netherlands were a typical protestant country but according to Wikipedia, Roman Catholicism is still the largest religion (well: 26 %...). But does it really matter for a traveller? OK, I realize it's not so obvious after all so let's leave it like this for now. I may only change the map colour and split the two items if I have time. Thanks for your input! (WT-en) Joelf 15:53, 27 December 2010 (EST)
Benelux seems a bit on the small side; I'm fairly certain that's why they were grouped with France on the map. (WT-en) LtPowers 16:09, 28 December 2010 (EST)
Fair enough; let's leave them grouped together then. (WT-en) Joelf 23:52, 28 December 2010 (EST)
Being small is not a good reason for grouping them, the Baltic states are also small and separate. I think it's fair to have France and the Benelux separate as they in practice are already. About the Netherlands, of course it was mostly a protestant nation, but most protestants have turned into non-believers, while more Catholics in the South held on to their faith. I also understand your cultural north-south divide in Europe, everyone feels it exists, but I think it goes straight through France, which makes France a hard case to group with either Northern Europe (Germanic/Celtic) or Southern Europe (Latin). --(WT-en) globe-trotter 02:08, 29 December 2010 (EST)
An alternative, to avoid too many items, could be to leave Benelux alone and group "France and Italy" under the same colour but with different links (like "France and Benelux" currently). BTW, (WT-en) globe-trotter, thanks for all your maps; I will translate them little by little. (WT-en) Joelf 22:55, 30 December 2010 (EST)
I also think it would be fine to de-group France and the Benelux. I think the grouping was originally my idea, but it wasn't something I or anyone else had really given much thought to. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:51, 31 December 2010 (EST)
Benelux together is about the size of Lithuania alone, so I don't think the Baltic states are an apt comparison. But I don't really have strong feelings either way; I'm just worried that the Benelux area will be lost on the map when viewed at article size. (WT-en) LtPowers 11:47, 1 January 2011 (EST)
Ok, I've switched France to orange like Italy and Benelux is kept in yellow therefore not really lost on the map to me. If there is any problem, tell me. Happy New Year ! (WT-en) Joelf 23:57, 2 January 2011 (EST)
The grouping of France with Italy to me makes less sense than the grouping with Benelux. I'd be a lot more in favor of having Latin Europe as well. But overall, I think we should just give France a separate color on the map and add a new category. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 14:17, 3 January 2011 (EST)
Done. Yet another alternative, if we want to stick to the 7±2 rule, could be to group Benelux with Central Europe giving specific details about Benelux on that page, and have a dedicated Latin Europe page with specific details of Iberia, France, Italy. (WT-en) Joelf 17:49, 3 January 2011 (EST)
Central Europe is big enough, and Holland and Belgium are clearly Western and not Central anyway. =) I too would prefer fewer regions here on the Europe page, but sometimes we have to bend the rule of seven. (WT-en) LtPowers 20:59, 3 January 2011 (EST)

Grouping the Benelux with Central Europe wouldn't make sense, I've never heard of that before. I am starting to feel more for a Latin Europe, though. It could be a good way to get less regions and I have to agree that they do make a logical grouping (as their language and culture derives from Latin culture). It would also solve the "European Microstates" problem, as all of them are either within Latin Europe or Central Europe. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 19:44, 8 June 2011 (EDT)


Swept in from the pub

I've been reverting a lot of political edits from this user [6]. However, I have to agree somewhat with his removal in Kosovo in the Europe regions list (in brackets at Balkans). Listing Kosovo is logical, as Kosovo de facto is an independent state, and travellers have to deal with Kosovar authorities in order to go there. However, if we list Kosovo in this list, we should also list Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia and Transnistria, as the situation in these de facto states are not really different from Kosovo. So should we either include all of these states or remove them all? --(WT-en) globe-trotter 21:33, 2 September 2011 (EDT)

We should only remove Kosovo if we're going to make it a region of Serbia. Otherwise, we list it because that's how we've defined it as a travel region. Politically, I note that none of the other regions you've mentioned have international recognition on the level of Kosovo, which has been recognized as independent by about 40% of the countries of the world. Of the regions you mentioned, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria are treated as regions while Nagorno-Karabakh and Northern Cyprus use the country template. The latter two should be added if we are going to continue to treat them that way, even though they have virtually no international recognition. (WT-en) LtPowers 08:52, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
That would be pretty random. All these states have limited recognition and all are not recognized by the United Nations. South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transnistra shouldn't be "regions" on Wikivoyage, as they are de facto states with their own rules, immigration policy and currency. However, I'm a bit reluctant on adding them to the Europe page, as we'd have to add a lot of countries on there many people barely know. Also, these political edits are getting annoying, and we'd have less of them if we'd just follow the UN. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 11:32, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
It's not random, unless you assume the decision to go with a country template or region template for those articles is random. And Kosovo has far more international recognition as independent than the other regions you mention. (WT-en) LtPowers 11:58, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
Yes, calling some of those entities "regions" and others "countries" is random, as they are more or less similar. About Kosovo, is that relevant for the traveller that a few more states have recognized Kosovo than have Abkhazia? Both are de facto states that a traveller has to deal with and both are not recognized by the United Nations. If the "degree of recognition" would be of concern, we'd be opening an endless can of worms. How many states should recognize a de facto state before it gets a mention on the Europe page? --(WT-en) globe-trotter 12:12, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
If you consider 75 to be "a few", I suppose you'd have a point. Otherwise, I have to wonder why you're minimizing Kosovo's status. (WT-en) LtPowers 13:38, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
Kosovo is not recognized by the United Nations, just like many other de facto states. Like I said, the amount of other states recognizing a de facto state is not relevant to traveller, as the traveller has to deal with de facto states, whether they are recognized or not. Kosovo is recognized by 75 states, Taiwan by 23 states, Abkhazia by 4 states and Nagorno-Karabakh only by non-UN-states. Where do we draw the line? At recognition by 5 states? Just for the heck of it? The traveller has to get visas and follow the rules of all these de facto states. So we should treat them all equally and in the same manner. I am not "minimizing" Kosovo's status in anyway, I just think that if Kosovo is listed, all these de facto states should be listed. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 14:06, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
But as you said, that opens a big can of worms: "we'd have to add a lot of countries on there many people barely know". Not every breakaway region has to be treated the same. I'm not saying official recognition is the only metric we should use, but by the same token, neither should UN recognition (elsewise, bye-bye Taiwan). It's better to look at each of them on a case-by-case basis. For regions for which we use the country template, we treat them like other countries. For regions for which we use the region template, we treat them like other regions. I don't think there's any objective metric that fits every possible case. (WT-en) LtPowers 14:31, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
Well, there is an objective metric, that is listing all of them or listing none of them. That's why I think all de facto states ought to be included, not just a few we like to pick for no objective reason whatsoever. About those templates, they should all either have country templates or region templates, as they are all states with limited recognition. Calling some "regions" and other "countries" would be arbitrary, as all of them operate like states with their own visas, currency, national anthem, flags, etc. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 14:39, 3 September 2011 (EDT)


I don't think this has been greatly discussed. I'd suggest putting it in with Baltics, rather than Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Any comments?(WV-en) Travelpleb (talk) 15:40, 8 October 2012 (CEST)

Baltic States are part of EU and Schengen, Kaliningrad is part of Russia. Therefore, travel and visa requirements are totally different. Historical and cultural aspects are different as well, because three Baltic States are national republics, whereas Kaliningrad is essentially a Russian region built on the German foundation. You won't find any common information for Baltic States + Kaliningrad (beyond geography and Curonian spit, of course). Atsirlin (talk) 16:08, 8 October 2012 (CEST)
By political/visa reasoning, French Guiana and Reunion should be grouped with France, which is nonsense. Also, a generation or more of Soviet dominion does mean there's quite a lot of common cultural ground.(WV-en) Travelpleb (talk) 16:21, 8 October 2012 (CEST)
It also shares some history with parts of Baltic States, being part of East Prussia etc. 16:34, 8 October 2012 (CEST)
Kaliningrad belonged to Eastern Prussia. Baltic states were part of the Russian empire. Atsirlin (talk) 16:39, 8 October 2012 (CEST)
Wikivoyage says that French Guiana and Reunion have different immigration rules, so they may not be a good example. Alaska would be a better analogy. Your suggestion implicitly means that Alaska should be considered as an independent region and not as a part of US. I don't think it is right.
I can't agree with the cultural argument either. The culture of Baltic States stems from their local nations that were influenced by the Soviet Union. Kaliningrad neither has local nations nor boasts any particular local culture. It is same part of Russia as Vyborg, Pskov, and Smolensk. Atsirlin (talk) 16:39, 8 October 2012 (CEST)
Fundamentally, Kaliningrad is not a Baltic State. Mentioning it in the article as being adjacent to them seems fine, but removing it from the Russian hierarchy would be crazy. --Peter Talk 02:53, 9 October 2012 (CEST)
Having just spent a few days in Kaliningrad on a trip through the Baltics, I am well aware how fundamentally Russian the place is. This is why I think it should be in grouped in the Baltics here. This is a travel guide, not an encyclopedia, and the traveler comes first.
A trip through the Baltics is very much enlivened by a stop in Kaliningrad; whereas the extra expense and hassle of getting a double entry or flight from Russia proper is not worth it. It is after all just another Russian city, and there's plenty of those in Russia.
So my argument is this: Kaliningrad belongs on a traveler's Baltic itinerary, not a Russian one.
(WV-en) Travelpleb (talk) 09:12, 9 October 2012 (CEST)
@Travelpleb: I have travelled to the Baltic states and didn't went to Kaliningrad because to obtain a Russian visa is crazy. I suggest to keep it in the Russian sphere as most travellers will need to face huge amounts of bureaucrac(z)y to visit that place. Yes it is next to the other Baltic states but off-limits to most travellers due to the visa madness by our Russian friends... I think we can only consider it different when russian visa regime would relax. Jc8136 (talk) 09:28, 9 October 2012 (CEST)
Getting a single entry visa is easy enough. Such a visa would let you pass through Kaliningrad but not enter Russia proper (without an expensive flight). This makes Kaliningrad all the more disconnected (from a traveler's perspective) from Russia proper.
Crossing borders and bridging these kinds of gaps is what travel's all about isn't it?
Putting Kaliningrad with the Baltic would help dismantle the Mauer im Kopf attitude that people have towards Russia. (WV-en) Travelpleb (talk) 09:38, 9 October 2012 (CEST)
Of course crossing borders and broaden your own perspective is an essentiell part of travelling but real walls can't be circumvented. Imho Kaliningrad is way harder to travel than to Gdansk. The traveller should note that Kaliningrad is geographically part of the Baltics but that due to visa issues it is pretty hard to get their. E.g. German nationals need to pay at least 75 Euros for a single entry visa and then wait 20 working days (one month!) or pay 150 Euros and wait three days plus at least ten other documents (health insurance, copy of last pay check!!!). Contrary to that restriction all other Baltic states are part of the Schengen visa regime and therefore much easier to travel for everyone. Russia is not North Corea when it comes to visa but they work their way in that direction. I think the traveller should be aware that by all means Kaliningrad is Russia and not part of the Baltics. Jc8136 (talk) 10:35, 9 October 2012 (CEST)
The flight from Kaliningrad to Moscow costs 100€, which is comparable to the cost of the single-entry visa (Jan, things are not generally as bad as you describe, but 70-100€ is a realistic estimate for a seamless visa procedure in Germany). Therefore, I don't think that many travelers will skip the opportunity of traveling into Central Russia once they went through the hassle of visa procedure (not to mention that even Central Russia is way more exotic than Kaliningrad or Baltic states). I know several people who explored nearly every corner of the Baltic States but refused to enter any Russian territory because of the visa issues, customs, concerns about the car, etc.
I think that your suggestion fits well to Russians or to those who do not need a visa for Russia, but such people are, unfortunately, a minority here. I really like our present layout where we mention Kaliningrad on the Baltic States page without elaborating on this essentially Russian region. Otherwise, the page becomes really messy because it will include incoherent information on nations and cultures, as well as lots of stuff about border crossing, visa issues, etc. Atsirlin (talk) 11:28, 9 October 2012 (CEST)
I'm not an expert on the situation for Germans but from a look at Russia's Berlin embassy's website, it says that visa can take 4-20 working days. Companies that help Germans get visas say it takes five working days e.g. [7]. A simple tourist visa in the UK takes that long. The documents are not difficult to put together - you should have insurance anyway and bank statements are pretty simple. British people don't even need those documents. 75 EUR, while not great, is affordable. So the barrier to entry is only the perception that Russia is big, bad, scary and to be avoided.
The price of the visa is cheaper than the 4200 RUB (S7) - 5000 RUB (Aeroflot) flight to Moscow.
Many travelers skip central Russia and just spend a day or two in Moscow or Saint Petersburg and still justify the visa expense. Moscow and SP are crawling with tour groups, have you ever seen a coach load of Chinese in Krasnayarsk or Kyzyl?
Kaliningrad makes an exotic stop on a trip of the Baltics; but it's an underwhelming inconvenience as part of a Russian adventure.
I would love the Baltic article (which is far from complete and does not look like being in any risk of becoming messy) to say that this wierd little slice of Russia is an exciting bonus to a Baltic trip, not a nasty headache to miss out on. (WV-en) Travelpleb (talk) 11:54, 9 October 2012 (CEST)
If you want to advertise Kaliningrad by writing few sentences/paragraphs on the Baltic States page, that's fine with me. Please, plunge forward! But I definitely object to the idea of treating Kaliningrad as a separate travel region rather than a part of Russia. I have checked typical itineraries discussed on the TA and LP forums. Some people do travel from Poland to Kaliningrad and further to the Baltic States, but routes like Baltic States to St. Petersburg are by far more common. And many travelers simply visit Kaliningrad from Poland without even entering Lithuania.
The bottom line is that people coming from US, Japan or other distant countries will rather use their Russian visa for traveling to St. Petersburg. This is a good choice, because Kaliningrad is not nearly as spectacular. Europeans can think of different combinations: Baltic States + Kaliningrad, Poland + Kaliningrad, Poland - Kaliningrad - Central Russia, or even Kaliningrad itself as AirBaltic and AirBerlin have nowadays good connections to different European cities.
By the way, don't you want to create an itinerary "From Poland to Baltic States via Kaliningrad"? That should suit your purpose and make everyone happy. Atsirlin (talk) 14:09, 9 October 2012 (CEST)

@Alexander: Since 2010 Russia has tightened the visa regime for Germans et al as retaliation for Schengen visa requirements. Therefore a tourist visa for Russia is today pretty expensive and especially budget travellers (e.g. backpacker) will avoid it. Its sad to see that walls are raised again but travellers will need to know about the realities on the ground. I hope to see more Russian traveller but the absolute majority of the worldwide travellers will need a Russian visa to get in. As long as this doesn't change, Kaliningrad will only be less interesting for travellers to the Baltic States.

I just want to say that the official visa fee is still 35€, both for Germans going to Russia and for us going to Germany. But in reality you are likely to pay more, and the whole procedure is quite painful. Very sad! Atsirlin (talk) 14:22, 9 October 2012 (CEST)
Alexander: The base fee is 35 Euros but i will praise the lord for a whole day if my colleagues ever get the visa for that price;-) Last russian visa for a colleague cost more than 400 Euros... There are always issues. India is offering visa on arrival for German citizen from 1st Jan 2013 and that would be a great start for Russia. I understand the reciprocity thinking but usually it turns only worse. Really sad to see that these barriers are for political reasons! Jc8136 (talk) 14:45, 9 October 2012 (CEST)

@Travelpleb: Kaliningrad should not be added to the Baltic states because 1. it's Russian territory and integral part of Russia, 2. No visa exception for Kaliningrad (Baltic states are part of EU/Schengen area and nothing like SAR Hong Kong and Macau have) and 3. Russia rules that area (exceptions are made for areas like Abkhazia which legally are part of Georgia but who are self-governed or effectively controlled). The Baltic states article needs infos on the three countries (which are beautiful) and not a wall, that most people will only intentionally get over. Jc8136 (talk) 13:16, 9 October 2012 (CEST)

Very well, I accept your points. Kaliningrad stays behind the curtain.
Out of general interest, you may find this heartening/insightful. [8](WV-en) Travelpleb (talk) 15:15, 9 October 2012 (CEST)
Seen it and good step forward! Hope that (like India and SAR Hong Kong/Macau) in future they find a sensible solution. That would benefit everyone. Jc8136 (talk) 15:46, 9 October 2012 (CEST)
For the record I've heard a lot of "Balts", particularly Estonians complaining that even Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are lumped together arbitrarily, since they share little but 47 years of Soviet oppression. Estonians and the small Livonian minority often consider themselves Nordic, while Lithuanians and partly Latvians consider themselves Slavic. Throwing in Kaliningrad is not going to help on what is already a mess I think, though conversely it could help to underline that the forced marriage is purely for geographical convenience. Sertmann (talk) 20:32, 9 October 2012 (CEST)


Transnistria has been taken out of WV's Moldova hierarchy. This is good: for the traveler, it is a different country. However, it now no longer in the Balkans and dangles free as a first level subsection of Europe. Does this mean it is grouped with Ukraine, Belarus and Russia in the Europe hierarchy? And does this also mean that Europe's "Ukraine, Belarus and Russia" area should be gain the rather cumbersome title "Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Transnistria"? The situation is a little confused at the moment and I think needs some attention. I'm not exactly sure what though.(WV-en) Travelpleb (talk) 20:13, 28 October 2012 (CET)

Please, don't group Transnistria with "Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia". This is not only cumbersome, this is ridiculous=) Personally, I am fine with leaving Transnistria a "dangling" region because nobody knows where it actually belongs to. Transnistria is mentioned as one of European microstates (same as Abkhazia or South Ossetia that are not explicitly listed in Europe). This is enough. --Atsirlin (talk) 20:46, 28 October 2012 (CET)
Transnistria is bigger than Malta, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco, and Liechtenstein, all of which are listed explicitly on the main Europe page. I don't see any justification for hiding Transnistria under European Microstates. It should either be put in with Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, or with the Balkans. LtPowers (talk) 22:23, 28 October 2012 (CET)
Balkans. It's a stretch, but it's easiest. --Peter Talk 22:28, 28 October 2012 (CET)
If you like, add it to the Balkans because this region is a strange combination anyway. But I think that any Transnistrian will be very upset about this "attribution" (same is true for Moldovans, though). In my opinion, size is not an issue. Malta, Andorra and others are officially recognized countries. Transnistria is a disputed territory, and it is marginally interesting for travelers. Therefore, there is no good reason to mention it explicitly. Otherwise, we have to mention all of these strange newborn states and add Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh to the list of Caucasian countries. But then we should also mention Christiania, shouldn't we? --Atsirlin (talk) 00:05, 29 October 2012 (CET)
You're making a good case for adding all of those to the Microstates article, or something like it. --Peter Talk 01:27, 29 October 2012 (CET)
Something like it, maybe, but not Microstates itself. LtPowers (talk) 02:30, 29 October 2012 (CET)
I think Transnistria should be added back to Moldova. We shouldn't set a precedent for breakaway regions to have an article at the top of the hierarchy. What about those outside of Europe, like Tibet, Somaliland and Western Sahara? POLISARIO controls hardly any of the Western Sahara, yet it gets its own article independent of Morocco. While Somaliland is completely autonomous, and is under Somalia. There are many different standards. JamesA >talk 03:17, 29 October 2012 (CET)
The standard is one of de facto control. Wikitravel always recognized de facto control, and unless there's an unanticipated change in consensus, this project, under whatever name, will continue to recognize de facto control and not take sides in political disputes over control of land. Tibet, under the control of China, does not get recognized by this project as an independent country, while Somaliland, under complete control of its own territory, does. Western Sahara is essentially a region of Morocco ("occupied by Morocco" is the phrasing in the Western Sahara article), but part of its territory is under the control of the Polisario, so it gets treated differently, as befits the interests of the traveller - because we need to remember, the traveller always comes first here. And I think the traveller's interest would also tend to dictate that we should group Transnistria with the Balkans, since Moldova is grouped as such and Transnistria used to be de facto part of Moldova and still is widely recognized to be a de jure part of that nation. Any other grouping would seem confusing, I think. By the way, I would think that Abkhazia and South Ossetia should also be listed as countries in the Caucasus region, with disclaimers but otherwise with the same style of listing as the Caucasian countries that the world recognizes - though I won't make this a cause celebre. And getting back to the Balkans article: If Transnistria gets a disclaimer, what about Kosovo? Are we going to judge the degree of legitimacy of a de facto independent country from how many countries recognize its independence? If so, what standard should we apply? (WV-en) Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:51, 29 October 2012 (CET)

FYI, Northern Cyprus is also a part of Europe, and it is not mentioned in the region list. --Atsirlin (talk) 07:49, 29 October 2012 (CET)

So what criteria are we using to determine which de facto nations are mentioned? (WV-en) Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:01, 29 October 2012 (CET)
How about a European de facto states article? We could link it in the same breath as European microstates and avoid listing every last one in the regionlist template. It would work as a sort of extended disambiguation, exactly like the microstates guide. --Peter Talk 14:23, 29 October 2012 (CET)
Do those articles have to be European-specific? I think they'd be better to cover the whole world, and we can list states like Western Sahara, Somaliland, etc. There aren't as many outside of Europe, so the list wouldn't become significantly larger. JamesA >talk 14:36, 29 October 2012 (CET)
I'm not sure have microstates lumped together is particularly helpful. One may travel from Ukraine to Moldova via Transnistria but not via Somaliland - the grouping is irrelavent for a traveler. I think Transnistria (and North Cyprus but we'll save that for later) should belong in a specific subsection rather than being straight under Europe. I think the Balkans, but that's subjective - I went there on a trip through the Balkans. I am well aware that the Slavic Russophone population of Transnistria may not like such a grouping, but it's unlikely that we're considering them as a target readership.(WV-en) Travelpleb (talk) 17:57, 29 October 2012 (CET)
It looks like Transnistria will end up in the Balkans as the path of least resistence. Will that offend anyone greatly?(WV-en) Travelpleb (talk) 15:40, 2 November 2012 (CET)
Balkans sounds fine to me, so many small states and disputes make it a good fit. Sometime i can't believe these issues are still plaguing Europe... Jc8136 (talk) 16:11, 2 November 2012 (CET)
Well, local people will be strongly offended, and it is certainly bad to rattle them. But I don't see any other simple way to solve this problem. --Atsirlin (talk) 16:34, 2 November 2012 (CET)
Balkans it is then. Upsetting any anglophone Transnistrian Wikivoyagers is not much to worry about. It's travelers not nationalists that we're writing for.(WV-en) Travelpleb (talk) 21:46, 2 November 2012 (CET)

Greece in the Balkans?Edit

Currently, Greece is in a quasi-region together with Cyprus and Turkey. Greece should be categorized with the Balkans because

  • Greece is geographically part of the Balkans
  • as few countries as possible should be in quasi-regions without an article
  • Greece has cultural ties with neighbouring Balkan countries

Should we move Greece? /Yvwv (talk) 14:15, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Previously we had an objection that the Grecian islands are not part of the Balkan peninsula, and that Greece is visited on Mediterranean itineraries, not Balkan itineraries. Also, it would leave Cyprus and Turkey just kind of hanging out. Personally, I wouldn't have minded if we'd lumped the Balkans and these three countries together into a single Southeastern Europe page, but we didn't go that route. Powers (talk) 17:50, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Most of Turkey (Anatolia including half of Istanbul) is in Asia according to the common definition. --Erik den yngre (talk) 08:36, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, yes, but we include it in both continents. Powers (talk) 01:26, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Greece is culturally definitely part of Balkans and also the only part lying on something that could be called a peninsula. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Welcome to Wikivoyage. Please sign posts on talk pages (only) by typing 4 tildes (~) in a row. The real question is how would it assist travelers to move Greece into the Balkan region in our coverage? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:38, 7 March 2020 (UTC)

New region: Latin EuropeEdit

Europe has too many regions. Putting micro-states such as Monaco and San Marino on top level, seems a bit awkward. There is not much beyond the trivial to say about Iberia, a region totally dominated by Spain. One solution would be the creation of Latin Europe, consisting of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, as well as Andorra, Gibraltar, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City. This region has a common heritage from the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, the Napoleonic Empire, and the European Union, as well as common languages. Iberia would be deleted. /Yvwv (talk) 17:51, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

Drafted here: [edit] Latin Europe.
Malta speaks a Semitic language, so if it is included I think the first paragraph of the draft would need to be adjusted. —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:08, 9 September 2017 (UTC)
Looks good now – thanks, Yvwv. This seems like a coherent region to me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:49, 9 September 2017 (UTC)
actually, that makes a surprising amount of sense... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:47, 9 September 2017 (UTC)
The region needs a static map. Where are the tools for making those? (By the way, East Africa and the East African Islands) also need one each. /Yvwv (talk) 20:24, 9 September 2017 (UTC)
I support this proposal. ϒpsilon (talk) 07:45, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
@Yvwv: Help for the creation of static maps can be found at Maps and Wikivoyage:Regions map Expedition. I'll go ahead and get started on one for Latin Europe though. :)
-- Wauteurz (talk) 15:04, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

The original discussion that led to (the basic outlines of) the current division is at /Archive#2 proposals. There was a previous discussion about "Latin Europe" at #France grouped with "Latin Europe" instead of Benelux?. To be honest, I still feel Benelux is a little small, and this new continental section seems big (with three of the "big five" [or "big six" with Russia] European countries in it), but as before I don't have strong feelings one way or the other. Powers (talk) 13:45, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

I don't think Italy and Spain are in the same region of Europe, unless that region is either the Mediterranean (not even the western Mediterranean, given Italy's Adriatic coast) or Cold War-era "Western Europe", which is really not a region, as the east-west divide obscured the existence of Central Europe. So Yvwv, while I enjoyed reading your draft article, I think "Latin Europe" is an extra-region. I also don't really see any big problem in giving microstates equal billing with larger states in "Countries" lists and could go either way on that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:51, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
I disagree. Italy and Spain share a lot in common. If anything, France is the odd one out of those three. French is even harder to grasp for someone who speaks Spanish than Italian is. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:59, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
Are we talking about languages or areas of Europe? I don't know Romanian, but I understand it's pretty similar to Italian. That doesn't make Romania and Italy part of the same region. And if you want to talk about languages that are "odd men out", how about Catalan and Languedoc? But no, let's focus on travel areas. How common would it be for a tourist to combine Italy and Spain, let alone Spain and Romania, in the same trip? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:07, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
Moved Latin Europe to the main space, as an extra-hierarchical region. /Yvwv (talk) 22:19, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

Not sure about this one. We need fewer regions. Seen from Northern Europe these countries are part of Southern or Mediterranen Europe (along with Balkans). These countries have a lot in common in my eyes: related languages, life style etc. But Italy and Spain are far apart and not natural to consider for the same trip. And perhaps these countries are too big in size and as destinations. Benelux on the other hand is a bit small --Erik den yngre (talk) 23:48, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

"How common would it be for a tourist to combine Italy and Spain ... in the same trip?" Fairly common on Western Mediterranean cruise itineraries. A Google search reveals a number of overland options too. Powers (talk) 00:35, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
It does sort of make sense.. just France is a latin country, but you are not going to get much Mediterranean feel in the north part... Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:25, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes, true, relevant for Mediterranean cruises. My main objection is that the region (Iberia+Italy+France etc) will be too big, while for instance Benelux is a very small region. France, Spain and Italy rank as no 1, 3 and 5 respectively in number of visitors (global ranking), and 1, 2 and 3 within Europe. --Erik den yngre (talk) 09:28, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
It won't be that much bigger than Central Europe. And arguably we could tag Benelux on there, too. In part on account of the "blue banana" passing through there quite extensively. Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:57, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
The proposed region is much more politically and culturally coherent (when it comes to factors such as EU membership, language and religion) than Central Europe or the Balkans. /Yvwv (talk) 17:03, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Adding the Benelux into Latin of Western Europe is a no-go in my book. As a Dutchman, I can report on have little to do with France. Our cultures are different, our religion is largely different (though that isn't a big factor in Europe of the modern age), and so on. The only thing the Benelux has in common is the early 1800s, when we were part of France. The same applies to our relations to Spain, Italy and Portugal: We aren't associated. Yes, the Benelux region may be small, but that doesn't mean that it should be incorporated elsewhere. The only modification to the Benelux I can think of is dividing the region based on spoken language, but that won't help anything. The Benelux is fine as it is, you can have my word for it.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 18:41, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
If the Benelux really needs to be merged somewhere the British Islands (forming a Western Europe region) or Central Europe (which per 7 2 is already full, though) would be the best alternatives. ϒpsilon (talk) 18:59, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
I am reluctant to agree with that, but it might work, though it seems very arbitrary to me. Taking the Frisian Isles from Germany and Denmark and adding them onto the Benelux makes more sense to me that that. Either way, let's talk about this when the day comes that the Benelux is in a dire need of expanding, if that day ever comes.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 19:06, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
I see no point in merging the Benelux to another region. These countries are a region since they are similar in culture and nature, and can easily be visited in one journey. In any case, the status of Benelux should be another debate. /Yvwv (talk) 19:24, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
To be perfectly clear, I was talking about merging Benelux to Central Europe if anything. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:54, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Let me then conclude this derailment from the original topic that I was only defending the sovereignty of the Benelux as a subregion of Europe after I had seen it being mentioned by several others. It wasn't my intent to send the discussion this way.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 20:10, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
A matrix of some defining features of Latin Europe. While both the euro and Schengen are recent institutions (and likely to change over the years), they are relevant to visitors. /Yvwv (talk) 20:44, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Criteria Portugal Spain Andorra France Monaco Italy SM Vatican Malta Gib. NL Belgium Lux. Switz. Romania Moldova Germany Poland
Roman Empire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Little Yes Yes Yes Partly Little Little No
Romance language Yes Yes* Yes Yes* Yes Yes Yes Yes No Partly No Partly Partly Partly Yes* Yes* No No
Catholic majority Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Partly Little No Partly Yes
Euro as currency Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes
Schengen area (de facto) Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
*=Except endemic minority languages
I think it is quite clear that Benelux belong together and if they are to be grouped into a different region than all of them. And Latin Europe is not a region in which the Netherlands even remotely fit. They do however have quite a few things in common with Northern Germany and England. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:03, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
When it comes to size, Latin Europe has 185 million out of Europe's 742 million citizens (around 25%). The land area is around 1.5 million sqkm out of Europe's 10 million sqkm (around 15%). It has 9 out of the 46 functionally independent countries in Europe; without states with less than 100,000 citizens or not widely recognized (Kosovo and Transnistria), it is 5 out of 39. While the region is large, it is not too large to be practical. /Yvwv (talk) 22:57, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
What about putting Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Benelux together in a sort of "Germanic Europe" region (perhaps a problematic name as it excludes the Nordic countries and the British Isles, but I think both of those are pretty clearly regions unto themselves) and making the balance of the current Central Europe region (which mostly consists of Slavic countries) a region of its own? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:07, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Germany and Poland together have roughly 120 million inhabitants. I don't think the proposed region is too large in terms of population. And I oppose the idea of tearing apart Central Europe. Bad enough that some western sources seem to think Central Europe is only a single country or doesn't exist at all. Hobbitschuster (talk) 01:28, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Although I'm fine with trying to organize things better, I sort of feel that we are never going to find a satisfactory way to divide up Europe that suits everyone. I'd suggest leaving things as they are and focusing energies elsewhere. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:37, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
But what is there to say against Latin Europe in principle? And maybe we can put Greece into the Balkans as well? We'll probably have Greeks complaining about that a lot, but from a geographic standpoint, that's the peninsula Greece is on. Hobbitschuster (talk) 09:34, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
There is no perfect way group countries/destinations into regions. If we want to reduce the number of regions, Benelux is a much better candidate for merger than France, Iberia and Italy. These 3 receive about 35 % of all tourists in Europe and about 15 % of the world's tourists. So from a tourism perspective this is a huge region. The Baltic states is a second candidate for merger. Perhaps leave as is for now. --Erik den yngre (talk) 12:07, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Why is it important or a good idea to reduce the number of regions? I, too, tend to think that the current regional division of Europe is OK. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:32, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
There are too many regions that basically consist of a single country... Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:31, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
A deeper question: Why have regions at all? Why not just stick to continents, countries and cities?
IMO, regionalization has many practical uses for our material.
* Cognitive information structure. For the average human mind, it is difficult to get an overview of many objects in a list; the typical threshold is around 7-10 objects. Tree structures are useful; however, sticking to a specific numeral width for the whole geographic hierarchy is sometimes impractical (as it leaves some sub-state regions with only trivial information), but it can be widely applied.
* Itinerary theming. Specifically useful for a travellers' guidebook, as many journeys are either planned within a selected geographic region ("Let's go to the Caribbean for spring break!" "OK, where?") take place within one.
* Easy access to generalized information. Some city and country articles are overburdened by advice, which applies not only to that destination, but to a greater region. Much of the information for neighbouring countries (such as Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and so on, can be described in depth in an article about a collective region. /Yvwv (talk) 18:54, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Let's keep in mind here that we're talking about Continental Sections, not Regions as our geographical hierarchy defines them. Continental Sections, since they are groupings of Countries, are unavoidably going to be less coherent as travel destinations than Regions in general. Powers (talk) 21:26, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Why? National boundaries are just as arbitrary lines in the dirt as any other kind of boundary. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:16, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Well their origin may be arbitrary, but today they mark divisions that have very real effects on the people living and visiting either side. Powers (talk) 14:05, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
The subsequent discussion from my last comment just really reinforces my view that attempting to reoganise the regions and countries is a lot of effort for no actual benefit to Wikivoyage at all. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:27, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
I agree. Furthermore, I think the current regions are fine. While we'll never find a perfect solutions, the current division is as good as any and makes sense. Drat70 (talk) 00:51, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
And when it makes sense to have regions that are essentially one country in order to serve the traveller, why on Earth would that be a problem? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:04, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Does it serve the traveler, though? There are undoubtedly things that Italy Spain and France have in common. And currently the only place where we can say and which has any likelihood of ever being read is in Europe or the various country articles. I mean the only thing that would change if we were to make Latin Europe hierarchical right now would be the breadcrumb. In fact we could even retain Iberia if some are so attached to it... Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:00, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
As the three of us have written much of the Iberia article, we seem to have some relevant experience of writing about continental section. My impression of writing about Iberia, is that it mostly becomes an article about Spain, with occasional references to Portugal; mention of Andorra and Gibraltar becomes a bit forced. Latin Europe is different; much can be said about the region in general, without one specific country overshadowing the others. By the way, the Latin Europe article is already longer than Balkans. /Yvwv (talk) 13:29, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
There are also things France has in common with the Low Countries, Germany and Switzerland, and there are things Italy has in common with the former Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:59, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Are they more than the things France has in common with the rest of Latin Europe? If you'd draw a map of Europe with lines of stuff that's the same and that's different, where would they bunch and where would they fan out? Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:28, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
France shares a language with Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, so that answer should be kind of obvious, no? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:05, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
While linguistic, religious and historical commonalities are all valid bases for grouping countries, from the traveller's perspective, geographic proximity would usually best the other bases (trying to avoid using the t-word). I would group France, Benelux and the British Isles into a Western Europe group, and put Iberia, Italy, Greece and Turkey into a Mediterranean group. Ground Zero (talk) 01:37, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
Your proposed groups feel pretty big to me, but also, Iberia and Italy are not that close and have to be reached through France if you travel over land. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:00, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────parts of Belgium and parts of Switzerland have French as their language. And despite being an official language in Luxembourg, only about 40% there speak French as a first language. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:03, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

And how many speak it well as a second language? And then what percentage of Spaniards or Italians speak French? I don't think you're making a strong argument against France having clearer connections with other Francophone countries, especially Belgium. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:30, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
The groups are large, as is necessary if we want to keep to 7±2. Creating an Eastern Europe including Russia/Ukraine/Belarus with the Baltic and Caucasus countries would leave us with six supergroups. While Mediterranean Europe may not be geographically proximate, the countries have a fair number of other similarities. Ground Zero (talk) 20:40, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
7+2 is superseded by ttcf. "What regions best serve the reader/traveler?" is the question we should be asking and addressing. France goes well with the Low Countries, IMO. I can see a grouping of Italy, the former Yugoslav countries, Albania, Greece and Turkey. I don't really see Iberia being part of that, as it's contiguous with France. If Iberia really isn't a viable region (and I'm really unconvinced it isn't), it could be attached to France. But, really, what's the problem with a clearly-defined geographic/cultural/historical region in which one country is predominant? Iberia seems like an obvious region to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:12, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
The problem with Iberia is that it's an extra level in the hierarchy that doesn't provide much benefit to the traveler. Powers (talk) 21:28, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
I don't want to be a naysayer, but what is this specific purpose of this exercise? Are we going to help anyone by changing the current structure?
The feeling that 'hey, these countries totally should belong together in my own personal understanding of Europe' isn't actually reason enough. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:45, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
I think it's primarily aesthetic, reducing the number of standalone countries in the list of Continental Sections. Making the list shorter also has advantages for comprehensibility of the division. Powers (talk) 23:48, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
I do think that a better organization of countries would look better, and therefore improve the user experience, i.e., it would best serve the traveller, or else I wouldn't argue for it. And I am sure that ttcf motivated the Latin Europe proposal even though I disagree with that viewpoint. I am a little fed up with people playing ttcf as a trump card as if only they know what serves travellers best. But I don't think that were going to get consensus on this, so we should problem accept things as they are and move on. Ground Zero (talk) 00:27, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
I guess the use case eludes me. I just don't see why someone's experience navigating the current "Europe > Iberia > Spain" would be improved by "Europe > Latin Europe > Spain". It isn't citing ttcf to ask what the actual benefit would be. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:51, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Ground Zero, I never argued that only I know what serves travelers best. Please assume good faith and avoid straw man arguments. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:05, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Ikan, re-reading your comments above, I see that you didn't. Sorry. It was late and I was venting about other discussions where I see people doing that. I should have read more carefully before responding. Ground Zero (talk) 10:51, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
It's OK. Sometimes, things can get frustrating here. When that happens, it can be good to take a break and do something else for a while before coming back. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:49, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Which breadcrumb is more useful depends on what we can tell in the continental section article that is not better (or redundantly) told in the individual country articles, and on whether travellers want to get an overview of the region covered. The latter is partly a question of whether the region is treated as a single destination by the traveller, but including more countries is no problem as long as the information is relevant for the "destination region" (and the country list does not become too long).
In some cases, such as the Benelux, we also want to have articles on country groups that are commonly treated as an entity. If lumping Benelux together with France we'd be forced to tell about the entity in the continental section article (where it is irrelevant for those not specifically going there) or in all the country articles (creating redundancy).
--LPfi (talk) 06:47, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Apparently, there proposal has some support, but not broad enough to make the change. However, with the current situation in Catalonia (and possible subsequent events), there is a high probability that the map of Europe will change soon. Let us keep status quo (with Latin Europe as an extra-hierarchical region), and re-evaluate in a year or so. /Yvwv (talk) 18:42, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

I think one of the reasons why such proposals are now made more commonly than they once were is that more people look at our region articles and try to improve them. And in some cases they think the best improvement would be a different regional division. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:12, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

  • Checking in from Talk:Latin Europe to reopen this topic. What I said there: IMO this article's point is to explore from the traveller's POV the contiguous westernmost portion of Europe, that, by historical chance, today is populated by speakers of Latin-derived languages. This is a geographical, not linguistic, distinction. This is about a chunk of Europe to which Romania belongs linguistically but not geographically; thus, Romania is included in the Balkans article to which, geographically, it belongs. However, our Romanian and Moldovan readers have a point, a big one, of feeling offended by being excluded from "Latin Europe", and are likely to go on perpetually making edits for its inclusion. Readers born and raised in the Francophone chunks of Belgium and Switzerland, forever Latin since the Roman Empire times, have every reason for this same complaint. This name, instead of being an elegant solution to Wikivoyage, is actually very problematic. I support a name change, to a purely geographical determination, "southwestern Europe" or whatever term on which consensus is achieved. Ibaman (talk) 15:40, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
    • Agree. Not a good name, and I don't think it is a common way to refer to these countries. And I still think it is too big a region. I think the Iberian penninsula (incl the islands and Andorra) should be a separate region. Erik den yngre (talk) 22:06, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
Southwestern Europe works fine.ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:36, 3 May 2020 (UTC)

Latin Europe revisitedEdit

It seems that neither Catalonia nor any other entity in Europe will become functionally independent within the immediate future. Europe has seven articles about continental sections. Each of them, with the current article length by bytes: Balkans (15,747), Baltic states (14,111), Benelux (12,818), Britain and Ireland (28,191), Caucasus (19,188), Central Europe (29,848) and Nordic countries (72,575). The Latin Europe article is currently 21,239 bytes long. /Yvwv (talk) 22:50, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

  • The current division of Europe works fine as a way to organize information, but I still think there is some imbalance in the hierarchy: Some regions are very big, others small. France, Spain and Italy are the worlds top destinations measured in number of visitors. --Erik den yngre (talk) 23:27, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
So what's being argued here? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:42, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

Regional overhaulEdit

I suggest that we make a few changes to the current regional division of Europe. First, I think that we should merge the purple residual category of Greece, Cyprus, Northern Cyprus and Turkey into the Balkans. Greece and Thrace are geographically, historically and culturally part of the Balkans, whether they like it or not. And as (Northern) Cyprus must go into some region the obvious candidate is that it joins Greece and Turkey into the Balkans. (Perhaps the Asian part of Turkey can be shaded on the map to emphasize that it is not part of the Balkans or Europe). Secondly, I think that we should create an "Eastern Europe"/"Ruthenia" region-article for Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. This region would be dominated by Russia, but on the bright side it really makes sense as a region, with mutually intelligible languages, a common history in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, a common cuisine, and all of them being neighbors found outside of Schengen. Thirdly, I strongly support making Latin Europe part of our regional breakdown. For tourists interested in the Mediterranean cuisine, beaches and classical architecture, they are natural substitutes. In the words of the article lede: "For some non-Europeans or Britons, the idea to 'do Europe' might be limited to these countries only." I'm sure that many of our readers think in these terms, and giving the Latin Europe article a more prominent place would help them to sift the information more easily.

There are also two more general reasons for this set of proposals. First, they would reduce the number of regions in Europe from 12 to 9. According to our own 7 2 policy, which is based on sound reasoning, we ought to avoid overly long lists. Europe is one of our most exposed articles, and will act as an exemplar for other regions, so it is especially important for us to follow this policy here. Secondly, the new breakdown would ensure that no countries are listed immediately below continent level, while all countries are listed two steps below continent level. (That all belong to one region, but none to more than one region). Currently some countries are listed immediately below continent level while others are not. Some of these are major countries considered regions in their own right (like France), while others are smaller countries which are currently not covered in any region articles (like Belarus and Cyprus). This inconsistency and asymmetry strike me as very intuitively unappealing. It weirdly puts France and Cyprus "on par" with Central Europe in our hierarchy. I'm convinced that a symmetrical and consistent breakdown would make a more organized and more thought ought impression on our readers, and make it easier for them to find their way around our hierarchical breakdown.

The resulting breakdown would give us three huge regions (Latin Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe), three medium sized regions (Britain and Ireland, Nordic countries and Balkans) and three smaller regions (Benelux, Baltic states and Caucasia). I know that some have objected to the huge difference in size between these regions, but to me the two benefits greatly outweigh this one drawback. To some extent this problem exists with the current breakdown as well. To get around it we would have to either split Central Europe, or merge the smaller regions. I would strongly object to either solution. Splitting Central Europe would just further increase the number of regions, and as the small regions are all well-established geographical entities, and share a lot of history, cuisine and identity, it would be a huge loss for us to merge them.

I apologize in advance for opening up this Pandora's box again. MartinJacobson (talk) 08:06, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

Latin Europe is my creation, and I let the article speak for itself.
Greece and Cyprus could go with the Balkans. Turkey (including North Cyprus) should be categorized with the Middle East, but be referenced as part of Europe in the Europe and Balkans articles.
Russia, Ukraine and Belarus indeed have much in common. Still, the Russia-Ukraine conflict seems far from being resolved; which means that border crossing will remain difficult for visitors, de facto and de jure borders might change, and disputed entities such as Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk might or might not be functionally autonomous in the future. I would say that we keep Belarus, Russia and Ukraine directly below Europe, without grouping them into a region. Also, we have not settled the issue of Russian Asia. While Russia could still be described as a country in the Europe and Asia articles, the Russian regions east of the Urals could be organized with North Asia. /Yvwv (talk) 15:28, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
My proposal is this. It would reduce the region list to nine items. The Iberia article would be merged with Latin Europe.
Latin Europe is a good idea. When it comes to Balkan, it already has so many countries that it shouldn't get more of them. Instead Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Caucasus could form a Southeastern Europe article. Central Europe and the Nordic countries are optimal as they are now. The Baltic countries could, together with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus form an Eastern Europe article, but they could also stay as they are. Likewise the British isles and Benelux could form a Western Europe article or they could stay as they are. These are my 2 cents. Ypsilon (talk) 17:07, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
Visiting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is very different from visiting Russia and Belarus, when it comes to immigration laws, money handling, transportation, and contact with police and other authorities. There is no practical reason to merge them into a region; it would also seem as a provocation against the Baltic states' political and cultural independence. /Yvwv (talk) 17:41, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
That's all very true, I was just looking at the thing from a geographical point of view. Ypsilon (talk) 18:15, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
I wouldn't support putting Greece in the same region as the Caucasus. Of course it's true that Turkey includes much of the Caucasus, including large parts of historical Armenia, but Greece does not. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:38, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
I took the liberty to direct the Urals, Siberia and the Russian Far East to the pseudo-article Asian Russia. They are now breadcrumbed to Asia. /Yvwv (talk) 04:51, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
I made a preview of my proposal in User:Yvwv/Europe. A map by User:Wauteurz has Latin Europe marked. The Greece/Cyprus/Turkey pseudo-region needs to be recolored. /Yvwv (talk) 21:15, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Ypsilon I see your point about the Balkans being too... well... Balkanized... To make matters worse I think that Slovenia should probably be moved from Central Europe to Balkans. It made sense to group it with Central Europe when it was the only former Yugoslavian state in the EU, but since Croatia also joined the Union, and is on route towards membership in the Schengen, I think that it makes more sense to list Slovenia with the other countries in former Yugoslavia. One way mitigate the problem would be to split up the way we present countries in the Balkans article, for example dividing the country list into Western (former Yugoslavia) Eastern (Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Transnistria) and Southern (Greece, Albania, Turkey and Cyprus).
Yvwv, I agree that traveling around Eastern Europe might be difficult right now, but I still believe that it makes sense to create an Eastern Europe article. They share several travel topics, like cuisine and history, but I also think that it is good, just for the sake of consistency. It looks weird to me to create region articles for all regions but one. It would also helfull for formal stuff, like petscans and article status. I guess that current policy, if strictly interpreted, would require us to make Belarus (but not e.g. Germany) usable status before making Europe guide status... MartinJacobson (talk) 14:10, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── My main objection is the notable imbalance in size of these regions. Central Europe and in particular Latin Europe are huge in terms of population, diversity and destinations. Baltic states and in particular Benelux are small. So: What should be the criteria for these groupings? Geographical proximity? Similarity in terms of imigration, prices etc? Erik den yngre (talk) 21:24, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

Some pointers are given in Wikivoyage:Geographical hierarchy#Dividing geographical units. Essentially, the five guidelines it mentions is the 7 ± 2 rule, traditional definitions, political or legal definitions, geography, and language or cultural definitions. I also think that Yvwv made a nice summary in a 2017 discussion above. Regions are particularly good for cognitive information structure, itinerary theming, and easy access to generalized information. I would say that all of Latin Europe, Benelux, Baltic states, Caucasus, and Eastern Europe satisfies these criteria well.
Maybe the case could also be made for a "balance"-criteria. In particular, I agree that regions in which one sub-region entirely dominates completely tend to not work very well. A region article for "France and Monaco" would just be a duplication of France, with some occasional mention of Monaco. To some extent the Iberia region might suffer this problem. But I do not think that Latin Europe would dominate Europe to the extent that Europe would just be a duplication of Latin Europe. MartinJacobson (talk) 23:46, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure the regional division is ultimately that important, as long as it's clearly coherent, but there is a big problem with a "Latin Europe" region that I don't think has been mentioned in this thread: Aren't Italy and France #1 and #2 in terms of number of tourists (even visitors, maybe?) in Europe? And then when you add Spain, which has to be in the top 10 if not higher than that, that region really dwarfs all the others in amount of traffic, doesn't it? Again, I sort of think "whatever" on this, in that to a large extent, so what if this is how Wikivoyage divides Europe into regions? Very few people are likely to do a search for most of the extra-national regions, anyway, with a few exceptions that are much more commonly thought about than "Latin Europe" (e.g., British Isles, Scandinavia, perhaps Benelux and perhaps regions like Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and maybe the Balkans). But if you're looking for problems with this proposal to redivide Europe, there you have it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:45, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps not important, with some exceptions such as the Baltics and Scandinavia. I guess few would consider "visiting Latin Europe", visitors go to France (incl Monaco) or Italy (incl Vatican), or regions/cities within these. France, Spain and Italy are on the top five list of toursists. France and Spain are #1 and #2, ahead of USA. Central Europe is similarly a not very practical frame for planning. Erik den yngre (talk) 13:38, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Turkey is already categorized with the Middle East. Just linked Eastern Thrace to European Turkey. /Yvwv (talk) 08:40, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

I really think it's a mistake using political considerations in defining regions ("it's difficult to cross the border", "as a provocation against the Baltic states' political and cultural independence"). We should focus on geography as the main criterion. After all, we include Israel on the Middle East, and we don't see that as a threat against its independence from the mainly Arab and Islamic states in the region. Should we take Kosovo out if the Balkans? It's difficult to cross the border with Serbia, and Serbia refuses to recognizes its independence. Should the island of Cyprus be split between two regions? Armenia and Azerbaijan don't get along, but we lump them into one region. And what about Ireland's historical and justifiable grievance against Britain? Yet we put them in one region. Let's focus on geographic groupings. Geography is an observable fact, and leave out political considerations which are contentious and may be transitory. Ground Zero (talk) 12:31, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Agree. Politics change, but places and areas stay. But I still think we need to look at criteria or purpose for grouping countries into regions. What is informative from the travellers' perspective? --Erik den yngre (talk) 14:59, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
I generally agree, but Europe per se is a political designation. The continent is really Eurasia, and the Indian Subcontinent has a much stronger scientific justification to be treated as a different continent than Europe does. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:07, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

I've read the entire thread, and here are my 9 (pseudo)regions:

  • Nordic countries (pretty obvious)
  • Benelux (pretty obvious)
  • Baltic states (pretty obvious)
  • Britain and Ireland (geographic grouping)
  • Latin Europe (cultural grouping, see above)
  • Central Europe (pretty common grouping)
  • Balkans (pretty common grouping)
  • Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova (for some reason I think these countries have a lot in common)
  • Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (cultural grouping)

About the size of Latin Europe and Benelux? Well, like above, Latin Europe is not nearly enough to dominate Europe, and they do share a lot of culture. Splitting this into France, Italy and Iberia would result in 11 regions. On the other hand, Benelux and the Baltic states are widely recgonized groupings and I don't think it will make much sense if we merge these. The SmileKat40! (*Meow* chat with me! | What did I do?) 09:30, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

East Slavic nationsEdit

Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are yet to be included with a continental section. They have a common linguistic and cultural heritage, and would be reasonable to describe collectively. Disputed territories within the same cultural sphere include Transnistria, Crimea and Donbass. There is no clear name for this region; but East Slavic nations could do. /Yvwv (talk) 23:48, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

What is wrong with Eastern Europe, which covers Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, now? What would be the advantage to travellers of changing the name? Ground Zero (talk) 01:22, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, the current division seems OK to me. If we could consider changing anything, it might possibly be to move Transnistria from Balkans to Eastern Europe, but that hardly seems essential. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:17, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Currently Eastern Europe is a redirect to Europe, though. Should we turn it into a continental section article? —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:56, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
I didn't realize that. Yes, I think we should, though with the caveat that during the Cold War, "Eastern Europe" was generally synonymous with the Warsaw Pact countries, and that has to be mentioned in the "Understand" section. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:35, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
After the break-up of the east bloc and Soviet union around 1990 countries like Hungary and Czech republic tried to distance themselves from the old "East Europe" concept. But I guess for the younger generation east europe is no more associated with Warsaw pact or communist Europe. I am not sure if "East Slavic" is good. Russia is of course dominated by russians and the russian language, but only 70-80 % of the population is russian and there are lots minority languages with an official status. I thin "Eastern Europe" is the best, even if that means "Central Europe" has been shifted somewhat east (perhaps fair given that the geographic centre of Europe is presumably somewhere in Belarus or Lithuania....). Erik den yngre (talk) 09:42, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree that Eastern Europe would be a better name than focusing on the Slavic element. But practically speaking wouldn't the content of this hypothetical region mostly amount to "Russia +", given the country's overwhelming size and dominance? I don't think we necessarily need this article, especially if it would largely duplicate content from the country articles. Furthermore, how realistic is it to visit Russia and Ukraine on a single trip? I believe Russia and Belarus have open borders with one another (though perhaps not for foreigners), but Russia and Ukraine are hardly bosom buddies at the moment, and most of their mutual border is either a war zone or under some other tension (e.g. Crimea).--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:31, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Good points. A separate article is not needed I guess, the area is too big to be considered as one destination. Belarus is more or less an appendix to Russia, visiting Minsk and Moscow on the same trip is perhaps natural. Erik den yngre (talk) 10:39, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Russia (without Crimea) has 142 million inhabitants. The remainder of the region (Crimea, Ukraine, Donbass, Belarus, Transnistria) has around 56 million inhabitants; so while they are a minority, they are still significant. The current situation in Crimea and Donbass might create new countries or functionally autonomous territories. In that case, there would be a sufficient amount of East Slavic nations to motivate a region. /Yvwv (talk) 11:07, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Created the East Slavic nations article. It is currently extra-hierarchical. /Yvwv (talk) 11:58, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I remain skeptical of the need for this (not because of population, but the comparative size of the countries and the travel problems already mentioned), but if you can demonstrate it works as a continental region, then I'll change my view.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:04, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

I dont think it is a good idea to use "slavic", better use the map than ethnicity. I recommend move to "Eastern Europe". Erik den yngre (talk) 15:22, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
The fact that you are unlikely to visit two countries in the same region because of war or enmity between them doesn't make them not in the same region. Try crossing the border between Israel and Syria or Lebanon. Nevertheless, all 3 are in the Middle East. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:51, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree with Ikan Kekek. Also, I think Eastern Europe is a better title than East Slavic nations – the latter sounds like an ethnological categorization instead of a travel region. —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:41, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Return to "Europe/Hierarchy" page.