Kozara National Park is a beautiful natural reserve located near Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, situated in the northwest part of the country. It was established in 1967 and covers an area of around 33,000 acres (approximately 13,500 hectares). The park is named after the mountain it encompasses, Mount Kozara, which is the dominant geographical feature in the area.

The park is renowned for its diverse flora and fauna, beautiful landscapes, and historical significance. It is characterized by dense forests, meadows, and numerous streams and rivers that flow through the area. The lush forests in Kozara National Park consist mainly of beech, fir, oak, and pine trees.

Kozara has a rich history, dating back to ancient times, and has witnessed significant events throughout the centuries. It holds a particularly poignant historical significance due to the events that occurred during World War II. The area was a site of fierce battles and significant loss of life during the Battle of Kozara in 1942.

Lisina, top peak of the Kozara National Park, BiH
Lisina, top peak of Mount Kozara, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Martin Brož, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, the park serves as a popular destination for nature lovers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy various activities such as hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, and wildlife watching. There are also marked trails and viewpoints, providing stunning panoramas of the surrounding landscapes.

In addition to its natural beauty, Kozara National Park offers opportunities to explore its historical and cultural heritage. The park features monuments, memorials, and museums dedicated to the Battle of Kozara, serving as a reminder of the region’s tumultuous past.

Hiking trail in Kozara National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Hiking trail in Kozara National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina. elektronak, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The tranquil and pristine environment of Kozara National Park makes it an excellent place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse oneself in the tranquility of nature. It is a testament to the country’s commitment to preserving its natural and historical heritage for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

Map of Kozara National Park

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Getting to Kozara National Park

You can get to Kozara National Park from Banja Luka which is the nearest international airport.

To get to Kozara National Park from Banja Luka, you can follow these steps:

1. By Car: The most convenient way is to drive. The national park is about 50 kilometers (approximately 31 miles) northwest of Banja Luka, and it takes around 1 hour to reach by car. You can use GPS or follow road signs for Kozara National Park.

2. By Public Transport: If you prefer public transportation, you can take a bus route from Banja Luka to the nearest town or village close to the national park, such as Prijedor. From there, you might need to arrange for a taxi or inquire about local buses or shuttles that can take you to the park.

Remember to check the current bus schedules and availability of transportation options before your trip.

Monument to the Revolution "Mrakovica", Kozara National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Monument to the Revolution “Mrakovica”, Kozara National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina. elektronak, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marathon in Kozara National Park

The Kozara Marathon, also known as Kozara Ultra Trail is held in the stunning Kozara National Park, offers a thrilling and challenging experience for both seasoned and less experienced trail runners. Despite being categorized as one of the lower mountains, Kozara stands tall with its vastness, breathtaking beauty, abundant sources of drinking water, and a diverse range of natural beauty.

This exhilarating marathon takes place from the scenic setting of Kozara’s Mrakovica. In this marathon race, 200 passionate participants come together to embark on the extraordinary adventure. The 41.34-kilometer-long track winds its way through the park’s enchanting landscapes, offering a perfect blend of natural splendor and rugged terrains.

For the runners who dare to take on this demanding trail, the journey is undoubtedly a test of endurance and skill. The challenging course demands physical strength, mental fortitude, and an unwavering determination to conquer the scenic but rigorous paths of Kozara National Park. As the clock starts ticking, participants have 10 hours to overcome the undulating terrain, pushing their limits to reach the finish line.

Throughout the marathon, participants are treated to awe-inspiring views of Kozara’s unspoiled wilderness, making it not just a physical feat but also an unforgettable experience.

Kozara Grand Prix



When to Visit

The favourable times are spring, summer, and fall. Fewer people visit the national park in winter. This park is not still famous like some others, so you don’t need to be too concerned about crowds.