THE VILLAGE OF BENDADA
Bendada is a village located within the inland mountains of Portugal, where small towns and historic castles are strung together along dirt roads, farmland, and some of the most scenic natural settings imaginable.
Bendada’s idyllic and picturesque environment provides the ideal location to focus on music, culture, and outdoor activities. The village of Bendada lies at the base of Nossa Senhora do Castelo, a mountain that is perfect for hikes and whose ancient ruins, such as a well-preserved Roman fountain and road, can be explored with just a short hike from the village.
From Bendada, it is easy to access the numerous attractions the region has to offer. Pristine medieval cities and castles, such as Sortelha, Sabugal, and Belmonte, are just a few minutes away by car. Bendada is also surrounded by two breathtaking national parks: the Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela, the largest nature conservation area of Portugal, and Serra da Malcata, with a stunning lake and river beaches.
THE BENDADENSE COMMUNITY
The heart of Bendada is without a doubt its welcoming and warm community. While residents of the surrounding villages have been migrating towards the cities, the Bendadese community has remained strong and loyal to its traditions and values.
Thanks to the entrepreneurial efforts of its local residents, Bendada has been experiencing a cultural revival in recent years, hosting several and periodic successful events and initiatives.
Music has always played an important role in Bendada, where the Sociedade Filarmónica Bendadense is one of the oldest and leading music education institutions in the region. The Sociedade Filarmónica Bendadense (Bendada Philharmonic Society) was formed in 1870 to bring the community together to perform vocal and instrumental works for woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
Since its foundation, it has continued to give the entire region opportunities to gather together, learn from each other, and perpetuate this region's musical and cultural traditions. It is also a great place to share knowledge between generations, with older musicians teaching their craft to the young ones.
In 2012, Sociedade Filarmónica Bendadense won a grant from the European Union to build a state-of-the-art music school, named Casa da Música, with soundproof practice rooms and a beautiful glass-walls concert hall overlooking the valley. This new facility has since become the home of the International Bendada Music Festival, which takes place in Casa da Música every Summer during the third week of July. The Bendada Philharmonic Society has always offered strong education in wind instruments and singing, cultivating many musicians who have gone on to become professionals throughout Portugal. The Bendada Music Festival has been proud to add to the school’s reputation, bringing a high level of string, piano, and chamber music instruction each summer.
STAYING IN BENDADA
The local community of Bendada is a core supporter of the Festival, and kindly serves as guest families for the students of the Festival, hosting them in their houses.
Bendada does not have hotels. Visitors to the festival can find convenient accommodations in any of the neighboring villages located just a few minutes away by car, such as Trigais, Belmonte, Sortelha, and Sabugal. For more information visit our Tourism page.
HOW TO REACH BENDADA
Departure: Lisboa-Santa Apolónia Railway Station (1100-105 Lisbon, Portugal) or Oriente Railway Station (Av. Dom João II, 1900-233 Lisboa, Portugal)
Arrival: Covilhã Railway Station (Rua Professor António Esteves Lopes, 6200 Covilhã)
Length: 4 hours and 20 minutes
Tickets: 17.50 Euro
Bus Line L09 - Operated by CitiExpress
Departure: Sete Rios Station (1500, R. Prof. Lima Basto 133, 1500-423 Lisbon, Portugal)
Arrival: Belmonte Bus Station (Belmonte, Portugal)
Length: 4 hours and 6 minutes
Tickets: 18.50 Euro http://www.citiexpress.eu/sites/default/files/af_horario_9_a4.pdf
Departure: Porto-Campanhã Railway Station (4300-173 Porto, Portugal)
Arrival: Guarda Railway Station (6300-841 Guarda, Portugal)
Length: 3 or 4 hours (express train or regional)
Tickets: 21 Euro
Bus Line L01 - Operated by CitiExpress
Departure: Porto (Porto, Portugal)
Arrival: Caria Bus Station (Caria, Portugal)
Length: 3 hours
Tickets: 14.30 Euro