Although we do not know when the town was founded, the origins of Bédar date back to the Moorish period, when it was part of Vera. Serena was the name of a village, the oldest and most important village in the present municipality. During the Moorish period Serena was independent from Bédar, but after the uprising the Moriscos were expelled in 1570, leaving Serena completely uninhabited. So in 1575 deserted Serena was annexed into the municipality of Bédar. There is a mosque which was used for many years as an olive-oil mill.
Bédar was repopulated with farmers from neighbouring villages, such as Vera and Mojácar. It was under the Vera jurisdiction until it became an independent village in 1765.
In the nineteenth century, there was an economic revival in Bédar, and its appearance changed due to mining. This became the third most important mining area in Andalucia after Filabres and Alhamilla. The mines produced iron, zinc, copper and lead, the latter being the most important. To transport the ore, in 1888 the first overhead cableway in the province was built, it ran from El Pinar to Garrucha beach, where a blast furnace had been installed in 1860. In 1896, a railway line was also built to Garrucha, where a pier to load the ore onto boats had been erected. After the First World War, the mining activity gradually declined until the 1930s, when it ended.