Las Palmas is the seaside capital in the north of Gran Canaria, with a variety of barrios for visitors to explore, the most historic being La Isleta, where the Spanish stood up to Sir Francis Drake's naval attack. Activities include shopping in the pedestrianised Triana area, or discovering the beaches or Nature's Bandama Cauldron.
As Gran Canaria is said to have the second best climate in the world, it is a good year round destination. The north of the island is a little cooler and rainier then the south. Temperatures can be cooler from mid-October to March with perhaps strong winds. As for holiday and festival time, the carnival takes place in Maspalomas and other places in February or March, with celebrations on the beaches and zigzagging through the streets. On 30th May the Dias de Las Islas Canarias (Canary Islands' Day) takes place on all the Canary islands with concerts, parties and traditional activities such as Canarian wrestling. A national holiday takes place on 12th October - Día de la Hispanidad / Fiesta Nacional de España (Columbus Day) - with events and parades.
The main tourist resorts are on the South Coast. There are many surf schools on the island, and it's good for mountain biking. Try the local cuisine such as papas arrugadas con mojo, salty potatoes with red or green sauce, which is often eaten with fish. Groceries are generally a little less expensive than in the UK. You can get a set lunch menu from about 10 EUR.
From Gran Canaria Airport you can take Bus 1 to Puerto de Mogan, costing about 7 EUR, or Buses 5 or 66 to Faro de Maspalomas at around 5 EUR. Bus 11 goes to Agüimes for around 2 EUR, while Bus 36 or 90 go to Teide at around 2 EUR. Bus 60 goes to Las Palmas and Bus 91 goes to Playa de Cura for around 3 EUR and 6 EUR respectively.
Accommodation can be found in hostels starting at around 20 EUR while 3 star hotels start at about 40 EUR. For getting about, the local bus companies are Globalsu and Guaguas. A short journey single fare costs about 1.40 EUR. Taxi prices start at a basic price of about 5 EUR for 3km with 1 EUR for each kilometre thereafter.