Castillo de San José

Castillo de San José

CACT Lanzarote >

Castillo de San José

Ctra. los Castillos, 35500 Arrecife, Lanzarote

OPEN 365 days a year

San José Castle is located in Puerto Nao, a strategic enclave in the bay of Arrecife. Known as the “Fortress of Hunger”, it was built under the reign of Charles III for defensive purposes on the island of Lanzarote.

Two centuries later, César Manrique directed its refurbishment to house the International Museum of Contemporary Art, MIAC, establishing it as the first contemporary art museum in the Canary Islands.

In December 1976, the International Museum of Contemporary Art MIAC was inaugurated, and since then it has offered visitors an outstanding collection of international, national and Canarian artists, a program of temporary exhibitions and cultural activities. The museum is complemented by a spectacular restaurant with stunning views of the bay offered by the semi-circular glass construction of the building.

Visiting time

60 minutes.


We recommend taking pictures of the facade of the building (an 18th Century fortress), the external gardens, the upper terrace and the view to the sea from Restaurant Castillo de San José. The use of a flash is not allowed when taking photographs inside the museum in order to avoid damaging the works of art.


Museum schedule *
11:00 h a 18:00 h

Restaurant, Castillo de San José *
With free access and exterior entrance.

Wednesday to Saturday: 12:30 to 23:30. Uninterrupted service.

Sunday to Tuesday: from 11:00 to 18:00

Bar – Cafe

Sunday to Tuesday: from 11:00 to 18:00

Wednesday to Saturday: from 11:00 to 23:30

901 200 300


The Art, Culture and Tourism Centers are in the process of removing architectural barriers and adapting for people with reduced mobility. Part of the center can be accessed.


Free access for children under 7 years old.

It has comfortable highchairs for children in the restaurant. Baby changing tables are available in toilets.


Unfortunately, due to health regulations, we are unable to allow pets in our establishment except for guide dogs for visually impaired persons.

We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.

Virtual Tour

The Restaurant

San José Castle presents one of the best restaurants in Arrecife to eat, have a drink or enjoy a coffee in a unique atmosphere.

Designed by César Manrique and impregnated by the essence of the Lanzarote artist in each of its corners, its gastronomic proposal puts in value the work of the men and women of the primary sector of the island.

From the Canarian tuna ceviche and “el Pescado de Manrique”, to the “revuelto conejero”, or the Canarian tomato salad, papaya and tapenade: in its kitchens the recipes that have been part of the history of the island are transformed, reconverting them into honest and creative dishes that highlight the local product and incorporate avant-garde techniques, while preserving intact the aromas and flavors that distinguish the Canarian gastronomy, and in particular, that of Lanzarote.

The desserts transport the sweet tooth to the flavors that sweetened the childhood of every local, while surprising with unique and surprising nuances, highlighting, for example, the pastry cream millefeuille, the handmade olivine ice cream from Montaña Rajada or the goat’s milk and cherry yogurt.

In addition to its menu, which is frequently updated according to the availability of local produce and seasonal changes, the restaurant has a tasting menu, vegetarian menu and children’s menu.

The wine menu  offers only the best Denomination of Origin wines of Lanzarote: a range of white, red, sweet and sparkling wines that are perfect both for pairing a meal -which the service will be happy to suggest- and for having a drink and sharing a snack at sunset.

Restaurant Opening Hours

Wednesday to Saturday: 12:30 to 23:30. Uninterrupted service.

Sunday to Tuesday: from 11:00 to 18:00

Bar-Cafeteria Opening Hours  

Sunday to Tuesday: from 11:00 to 18:00

Wednesday to Saturday: from 11:00 to 23:30

* For groups and special events write by email to our department commercial department

The Museum

International Museum of Contemporary Art, MIAC

San José Castle, recognized as an Asset of Cultural Interest and Historical Heritage of Spain, houses the headquarters of the MIAC, International Museum of Contemporary Art on the island of Lanzarote.

The upper hall of the Castle permanently houses the MIAC Collection, which consists of important pieces by international painters and sculptors such as Tápies, Guerrero, Torner, Zóbel, Sempere, Gordillo, Rivera and Le Parc. This is followed by the Canary Island Artists Room, made up of Óscar Dominguez, César Manrique, José Dámaso, Cristino de Vera, María Belén Morales and Manuel Millares. Finally, the Pancho Lasso Room, a space in honor of the local sculptor that gathers some of the most emblematic works of his artistic career, which began in the 1930s.

The MIAC’s mission is to promote knowledge and public access to contemporary art in its various manifestations. For this reason, in addition to the permanent collection, the lower hall hosts an ongoing program of temporary exhibitions and public activities  that offer the public a reflection on comteporaneity.

  • The majestic entrance to the Castle, where the moat, the drawbridge and the striking sculptures forged in iron, bronze or steel, by national and international artists, take center stage.
  • The MIAC Collection, located in the first room inside the Castle, contains interesting works of painting and sculpture, welcoming the visitor with “Une agitation reposant”, a beautiful piece of Carrara marble by the Cuban sculptor Agustín Cárdenas.
  • Continuing the tour, the Canary Artists Room, a space of great interest to learn more about regional authors such as María Belén Morales, José Damaso or Manuel Millares.
  • The Pancho Lasso Room where we can immerse ourselves in the work of the Lanzarote artist and delve into some of his most representative pieces, such as “Pájaro” (Bird, a monument to peace), “Monumento a la Música” (Monument to Music) or “Mujer y niña (Maternidad)” (Woman and Child, Maternity).
  • The upper terrace of the castle, from where we can admire the port, we find “El Sueño I” by Chirino and we can imagine the nights of vigil of those who stood guard at the sentry boxes.
  • The winding interior staircase that leads to el Aljibe, a mysterious space of white walls and black stone where the sculpture “La Semilla”, beautiful and awe-inspiring, resides.
  • Once in the restaurant, the views through its luminous and spectacular glass window, a privileged space where the view is lost in the Atlantic horizon.
  • The first-floor bathrooms: an ode to the beauty so typical of Manrique that surprises the visitor with a space open to the rofe (volcanic sand), flowers, plants and sea.
  • The first-floor terrace, where we can enjoy the sea views, the iconic sculpture of the artist Ackermann and the emblematic pebble stairs, surrounded by an original Canarian garden.
  • The virtual visit  offered by the International Museum of Contemporary Art MIAC, only for those who cannot discover it physically or wish to explore it twice.
  • Plan a meal at the restaurant, the best place in Arrecife to connect with the five senses through its seasonal Canarian cuisine, zero-kilometer product and high-quality raw materials.
  • Attend one of the temporary exhibitions or public activities organized in the hall on the first floor of the MIAC, a space for reflexion and discussion of contemporary art and culture in today’s society.
  • Enjoy a glass of wine from the island accompanied by a variety of tapas, such as almogrote-cheese croquettes or the assortment of cheeses of the island, especially when the golden tones of the sunset cross the window.
  • Celebrate an event and try the tasting menu, an exquisite proposal where the quality of the raw material is the best protagonist.
  • Attend one of the concerts that enliven the evening during a special dinner, and why not, toast with one of its famous cocktails and give a luxurious closure to the night.