The analysis of aerosol microphysical properties profiles at different European stations is made in the framework of the ChArMEx/EMEP 2012 field campaign (9–11 July 2012). During and in support to this campaign, five lidar ground-based stations (Athens, Barcelona, Bucharest, Évora and Granada) performed 72 h of continuous lidar and collocated and coincident sun-photometer measurements. Therefore it was possible to retrieve volume concentration profiles with the Lidar Radiometer Inversion Code (LIRIC). Results indicated the presence of a mineral dust plume affecting the Western Mediterranean region (mainly Granada station) whereas a different aerosol plume was observed over the Balkans area. LIRIC profiles showed a predominance of coarse spheroid particles above Granada, as expected for mineral dust, and an aerosol plume composed mainly of fine and coarse spherical particles above Athens and Bucharest. Due to the exceptional characteristics of the ChArMEx database, the analysis of the microphysical properties profiles temporal evolution was also possible. An in depth analysis was performed mainly at Granada station because of the availability of continuous lidar measurements and frequent AERONET inversion retrievals. The analysis at Granada was of special interest since the station was affected by mineral dust during the complete analyzed period. LIRIC was found to be a very useful tool for performing continuous monitoring of mineral dust, allowing for the analysis of the dynamics of the dust event in the vertical and temporal coordinates. Results obtained here illustrate the importance of having collocated and simultaneous advanced lidar and sun-photometer measurements in order to characterize the aerosol microphysical properties both in the vertical and temporal coordinates at a regional scale. In addition, this study revealed that the use of the depolarization information as input in LIRIC in the stations of Bucharest, Évora and Granada was crucial for the characterization of the aerosol types and their distribution in the vertical column, whereas in stations lacking of depolarization lidar channels ancillary information was needed. Results obtained were also used for the validation of different mineral dust models. In general, the models better forecast the vertical distribution of the mineral dust than the column integrated mass concentration, which was underestimated in most of the cases.