Ireland is a part of Europe, the second smallest continent in the world. Europe is surrounded by the icy Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Ireland is one of the few island countries in Europe. Mainland Europe is made up of many of the countries from France to Italy. Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are known as Scandinavia. Spain and Portugal are called the Iberian Peninsula. Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg are known as the Benelux countries.