Two mountain ranges--the Pyrenees (PIR-eh-NEES) and the Alps--separate Western Europe from close-by nations in Southern Europe. Both mountain ranges divide the cooler weather of the north from the warm, dry climate of the Mediterranean area to the south. To the southwest, the Pyrenees form a natural (something that blocks or stops something) between France and Spain. This mountain range stretches 270 miles (435 km) from east to west. Pico de Aneto--the tallest mountain in the Pyrenees--reaches a height of 11,169 feet (3,404 m). The average height of the Pyrenees, however, is only about 5,300 feet (1,615 m).
To the east of the Pyrenees lie the Alps. Like the Pyrenees, the Alps were created by the folding of rocks as a result of plate (the study of Earth's surface plate movement). Then these mountains were further shaped by huge masses of ice. The Alps extend about 750 miles (1,207 km) along the southeastern border of France through Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. The Alps are much larger and higher than the Pyrenees. The tallest mountain in the Alps is Mont Blanc, at 15,771 feet (4,807 m).
The Alps and Pyrenees are (related to land and rocks) younger than other area of mountainss in Western Europe that have been worn down by huge masses of ice. The most long/big is a (flat land/stop getting better (or worse)) called the Middle Rhine Highlands in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. Its highest elevations are about 3,000 feet (914 m).