What are the Baltics and Balkans Countries? It seems that many people confuse these two regions in Europe:  Baltics and the Balkans. I guess they do sound similar. Where do they get their name from? And are how are they different? And what countries are part of the Baltics and Balkans? 

Here is a quick guide to Baltics and Balkans countries with a map:

Let’s start with the map of the Baltics and Balkans as this is the easiest way to see how they are different. Baltics countries are in the north of Europe and Balkans countries are located in the South-Eastern part of Europe.

Baltics and Balkans Countries map with list of countries

Baltics and Balkans Countries map with the list of countries in each region in Europe

1. How many countries are there in the Balkans and Baltics?

Baltics countries are Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. All three Baltics countries are part of the EU.  

All three Baltics countries used to be all part of the Soviet Union until their independence in 1991.

Balkans countries are Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania.

In total, the Balkans incorporate 11 countries. 

To clarify, the first 8 countries used to be part of Yugoslavia until the early 1990s when Yugoslavia splits into independent states.

As you can see on the map, the Balkans is a much bigger region in Europe and includes countries that are part of the EU as well as some countries hoping to join the EU soon (Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia). 

Baltics Countries Baltic Sea

The Baltic Countries are named after the Baltic Sea

2. Where does the name for Baltics and Balkans countries come from?

The name for Baltics comes from the Baltic Sea. All three Baltics countries are located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea.

The name for Balkans is based on the Turkish word Balkan meaning mountains. Naturally, there are plenty of mountains found in this region.

Baltics and Balkans countries map mountains

The Balkans region has been named after the Turkish word Balkan meaning mountains.

3. What language do they speak in Baltics and Balkans countries?

Baltics countries have three individual languages ( Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian) but due to the fact they were part of the Soviet Union, Russian is widely understood especially among the older generation.

As for the Balkans, there are many languages spoken in this region, in fact, is almost impossible to give you a simple answer. Thinks Slovene, Croatian, Albanian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Romanian to name a few.

The climate is also different between Baltics and Balkans countries. Naturally, the three countries in the Baltics are known for very cold and snowy winter, but their summer days are very pleasant.

As for the Balkans, this is a region with a much warmer climate, especially during the summer months. But as there are plenty of mountains, you can always escape the heat.

And that’s it for our quick guide to explain how the Baltics and Balkans countries are different. You might be also interested in our blog that explains how Slovakia and Slovenia differ. Or perhaps you want to know How many countries are there in the world?