How did Homo sapiens get to Europe? We must recall that during the various ice ages, the coastlines of the Mediterranean would have been much closer. A land bridge across Gibraltar or a path through Sicily may have allowed direct travel. Other possibilities include through the Near East and then from Anatolia or perhaps through the Arabian Peninsula.
During the Paleolithic period, we see a number of sites throughout Europe where both Neanderthals and Cro Magnon groups survived until perhaps 20-15,000 years ago. The last major ice age would have driven some of these populations southward to concentrations in Iberia, the Balkans and the Caucuses. From there they then migrated northward again as the ice cap retreated 12,000 years ago. The genetic remnants of the initial concentration and the re-migration may still be found in the populations of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe.