The Pieniny Klippen Belt extends over 550 kilometres from western Slovakia to the Laborce valley in the East. The Pieniny Mountains are a distinct mountain range 35 kilometres long and 6 kilometres wide in the centre of this Belt; they lie between the Karpaty Zewnętrzne (Outer Carpathians), which are made up of soft sedimentary rock (so-called flysch), and the Karpaty Wewnętrzne (Inner Carpathians), comprised of hard crystal and limestone rocks. The Gorce and Sądecki Beskid mountains are found to the north and the Magura Spiska lies to the south of the Pieniny range. The Dunajec river ravine divides the range into three parts:
* Pieniny Spiskie – extends between Dursztyn village and Niedzica, with the highest peak Żar (883 metres above mean sea level (ASL).
* Pieniny Właściwe – extends between Czorsztyn and Szczawnica and culminates with the Okrąglica peak (982 metres ASL) in the Three Crowns massif. By climbing this summit, a splendid, panoramic overview of the vast area can be gained and enjoyed.
* Małe Pieniny – extends between the Dunajec river (in the victinity of Szczawnica) and the Rozdziela pass in the east. The highest peak of Pieniny is the Wysoka mountain (1,050 metres ASL).
The most attractive part of the mountain range, from both natural and scenic points of view, is the Pieniny Właściwe range. The peaks here are beautifully jagged and the valleys often form rocky gorges. The northern faces slope gently into the valleys; the southern and eastern picturesque limestone cliffs (which are up to 300 metres high) drop down suddenly to the Dunajec river.
Pieniny Właściwe is divided into three physiographic sections:
- Pieniny Czorsztyńskie (Western) – the least scenically beautiful part of the Pieniny, occupies the area between Czorsztyn and Szopka Pass. It is characterized by forests, meadows and small patches of farmland. This western extension of Pieniny rises up to 902 metres ASL (Nowa Góra) and to 856 metres ASL (Macelak).
- Three Crowns massif – the central part of Pieniny Właściwe, stretches from Szopka Pass in the west to the Pieninski Potok valley in the east. In terms of landscape, it's the most varied and spectacularly scenic part of the Pieniny Mountains. Numerous craggy steep slopes and scree scarps provide habitat for unique and remarkable wildlife species.
- Pieninki – this very picturesque ridge covers the area between Pieniński Potok valley in the west and Dunajec valley (near Szczawnica) in the east. The highest summits of this part rise up to 300 metres above the Dunajec water level (Czertezik – 774 m ASL and Sokolica peak 747 m ASL)