The fairly small and rugged Pieniny Mountains are the jewels of the Carpathian range. Built from Cretaceous and Jurassic limestone, they are characterised by a distinct terrain.
The park extends over the most attractive part of the mountains – the emerging steep quasi-islands called the Pieniny Właściwe. The preservation of this area started prior to World War II, but the park gained its current name only in 1954. Precipitous peaks, small rocks, regal gorges and the scenic Dunajec Valley that cuts through the mountains serve to create a realm of enigmatic beauty. Among these, Okrąglica (982 m asl), situated in the Trzy Korony (Three Crowns) massif, is the highest peak of the park. Limestone bedrock, and the extensive geomorphologic diversity coupled with the fairly low altitude of the mountains, helps to support a wide variety of flora. Apart from the beech and fir forests, the park is distinguished by its flowery meadows (with a number of different species including a couple of varieties of orchids) and the grass upon the rocks. The latter has sheltered two endemic species (found only in the Pieniny range): Taraxacum pieninicum and Erysimum pieninicum, and the relict Dendranthema zawadskii which grows in the vast areas of Central Asia and only in the Pieniny Mountains in Europe. A great diversity of wildlife is another characteristic feature of the mountains. It is estimated that half of the species recorded in Poland live here, most of them insects. Lynx and wild cat can also be found prowling beneath the forests’ canopy. The mountains also provide a habitat to the eyries of the eagle owl, the lesser spotted eagle and the golden eagle. However, what makes the site so popular and unique is the scenic landscape emphasised by the park’s logo, which includes the Dunajec waters cascading down the mountain peaks.