Arboviruses represent a significant burden to public health and local economies due to their ability to cause unpredictable and widespread epidemics. To maximize early detection of arbovirus emergence in non-endemic areas, surveillance efforts should target areas where circulation is most likely. However, identifying such hotspots of potential emergence is a major challenge. The ecological conditions leading to arbovirus outbreaks are shaped by complex interactions between the virus, its vertebrate hosts, arthropod vector, and abiotic environment that are often poorly understood. Here, we systematically review the ecological risk factors associated with the circulation of six arboviruses that are of considerable concern to northwestern Europe. These include three mosquito-borne viruses (Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, Rift Valley fever virus) and three tick-borne viruses (Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, and louping-ill virus). We consider both intrinsic (e.g. vector and reservoir host competence) and extrinsic (e.g. temperature, precipitation, host densities, land use) risk factors, identify current knowledge gaps, and discuss future directions. Our systematic review provides baseline information for the identification of regions and habitats that have suitable ecological conditions for endemic circulation, and therefore may be used to target early warning surveillance programs aimed at detecting multi-virus and/or arbovirus emergence.