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Where can I print my boarding card ?

25/06/2014

Helle Hollis service point

You now have everything planned for the summer holidays, to the smallest detail. The hotel or holiday home is booked; the flights are booked and paid for too.  It is rare that the bargain flight you saw is what you will pay in the end, as often a surcharge for paying with credit card is added or you may even end up paying for an extra suitcase too.

As you get closer to the departure date, you turn on your computer to print the boarding cards … and this is when the unpleasant surprise comes if you don’t want to pay 15 pounds for not having printed your boarding card!  Some airlines are now making it so that the boarding cards can only be printed 7 days before departure, unless you pay an additional fee (now for seating).

This means that you can print your boarding cards for the trip going out but if you are staying more than 7 days you will not be able to print your boarding cards for your return trip.
So there you are relaxing at the pool and wondering where do I find a computer and printer to print the boarding cards?  You might decide to pay the additional fee and be assured to print the boarding cards before you leave from home.
Or you can …

Go to Helle Hollis!.

We have a customer service point in the waiting area where you can check in online and print your boarding card – and of course it is completely FREE.

We recommend though that you come on a day during your holidays to print the boarding card, to avoid any hiccups on your day of departure!  Give yourself time  to get it solved as it might be that other customers have had the same idea. It’s FREE to print your return boarding card at  Helle Hollis Head Office – another of the many benefits of hiring a car with us !

Do not ruin your holiday with speeding fines in Spain!

24/06/2014

car driving

We have already reminded you a few weeks ago that there are many speed limit controls on the Spanish roads, but unfortunately every day we continue to receive a huge number of speeding tickets.

It’s especially two speed control points where we always get fines from, and which we would like to inform you about:

Speed limit control on the road A7 from km 205.2 – km 200
On the coast road A-7 from Fuengirola towards Marbella is at km 205.2 a radar control. It is at the bend at the lighthouse Calaburras. See link

On this stretch the speed limit is 80 km and at the end of the stretch at La Cala de Mijas km.200 the camera will calculate if you have driven an average of 80 km/h. Therefore, it is not enough to slow down at the one speed limit point, but you have to keep the speed limit throughout the journey! And of course the same happens if you come from the opposite direction, from La Cala de Mijas towards Fuengirola.

Speed limit control through the tunnel at Torrox – on the road A 7 from km 287.7 -288.7
The second point is on the A-7 towards Nerja, from km 287.7 to km 288.7.  It is in the tunnel at Torrox where you can drive 100 km/h.  Also in this case the cameras will calculate the average speed through the tunnel and it must not exceed the limit, if it does, a photo is taken as you leave the tunnel and the fine automatically processed.

Should you be so unlucky to get a speeding ticket, remember that Helle Hollis will forward you an information letter with a copy of the fine, so you are informed about the case. It is important to emphasize that it is only when you receive the original fine in your name that you have to pay it.

You can in some cases get 50% discount if you pay within a certain number of days. The payment can be done online at DGT (The Official Spanish Traffic website).  As the website is in Spanish we have translated the procedure into English which we can forward to you.

You are also welcome to contact us by phone or email so we can assist you. Therefore remember, first you will receive a notification of the fine with an information letter from Helle Hollis.  Until this is in your own name you cannot pay it, and this will be a second letter, but from the authority making the fine.  Some municipalities may take several months before they forward a fine and some don’t forward the fine at all.

We wish you safe driving – and great holidays!

Celebration of the Night of San Juan in Málaga

20/06/2014

Bonfire

The Night of San Juan is undoubtedly the most magical night of the year in Andalusia, and especially in the province of Málaga.  It is always celebrated on the night of June 23, that is, the night before the Saint Day of San Juan, which practically coincides with the beginning of summer.

How to spend the night San Juan in Málaga?
The Night of San Juan has been celebrated since the eighteenth century where family and friends gather on the beach around bonfires and grilling sardines.  After enjoying their feast and just after midnight, some rag dolls made especially for the occasion and often representing famous nationalities are burnt.  These are in Málaga called júas (Judas).  Moreover, it has become a tradition to jump over the fire and immediately after, take a swim in the sea or at least get your feet wet and make three wishes.

Significance of the Night of San Juan
The meaning of fire and burning the “júas” is to leave behind bad times, both for people who watch the fire as for the ones jumping over it.  Students, for example, tend to burn the notes and books as the school year has finished, and there are those who write their wishes on paper and burn them or throw them into the sea in the hope that during the summer the wishes will be fulfilled.
The tradition of the ritual of the fire had the purpose to give more power to the sun, as from the beginning of summer, the sun becomes weaker and the number of sunlight hours is once again reduced.

In the old days people were not allowed to swim in the sea until the summer was officially started, so the dip in the sea at Midsummer is a nod to this tradition and is a symbol of purification and cleansing of bad energy. Tradition also says that the temperature and climate on the Night of San Juan is a signal for how the rest of the summer will be.  That is, if there is west wind and heat during the night, most of the summer days will have those characteristics.

The Night of San Juan in Málaga
The celebration of San Juan is typical at the beaches in the province of Málaga.  In the city you will find the celebration on the beaches of “La Malagueta”, “La Misericordia”, “El Palo”, “Limasa”, “San Andrés”, “Sacaba” and “El Dedo”.  In most of them you will find organized concerts, and some fireworks are launched at 00.00 to welcome the summer.

The Night of San Juan in Benalmádena
The Night of San Juan in Benalmádena is celebrated at the same time as the annual fair in  Arroyo de la Miel starts, so one does not only have the beaches, but also on the streets of the town center to visit.  Have a visit though to the beach next to the Bil-Bil castle where you will find bonfires.

The Night of San Juan in Fuengirola
The beach Sohail Castle, near the bridge of “Armada Española” and “Parque Fluvial”, is the place to go for the celebration of San Juan in Fuengirola. You can rent a place for grilling your fish on beforehand so you can organize a party with your friends.

The Night of San Juan in Marbella
The evening of San Juan is celebrated in almost all of the beaches of Marbella, but “El Pinillo” and “El Cable” is the place where dozens of families and groups of friends gather, as well as the beach at the outskirts of San Pedro Alcántara. The chic and famous bars and clubs in the town like El Trocadero and Nikki Beach organize special parties where attendees have to go, usually dressed in white to celebrate the shortest night of the year.

The Night of San Juan in Estepona
The Night of San Juan in Estepona is celebrated on almost all the beaches, although the busiest ones are the beaches of ”La Rada” and “ El Cristo”.  Also in Estepona you will, besides the bonfires, find the preparation of the famous sardines on the beach.

 

New traffic laws in Spain

15/05/2014

Traffic signal

On the 9th of May Spain introduced some significant new traffic laws which we’d like to tell you about.

One of the new law purposes is to harmonize Spain with the rest of the EU countries and that all EU countries should exchange information and cooperate on road safety, traffic violations and fines.

The law is putting especially emphasis on cooperation and exchange of information so that traffic offences committed by an EU citizen in another EU country will be easier for the Spanish Traffic  Authority to charge as for instance with speeding fines.

Another important aspect for foreign residents is that one’s private car must now be registered on Spanish plates.  Previously there was a gap in the legislation which made it difficult to charge fines to foreign residents when their car was registered with foreign number plates.  This amendment will come into force during the month of June.

You’ll find the other changes here:-

Drinking and driving:  The fine remains at 500 euros and the driver will lose 6 points however if the driver is double or over the permitted level or if it is a repeated offence of driving under the influence of alcohol then the offender will be charged 1.000euro. (0.50mg/l is maximum alcohol permitted).

Drugs and driving: It is no longer necessary to prove that the consumption of drugs influence on driving as there is zero tolerance of drug use. The fine will be of 1000 euros and the driver will lose 6 points.

It is obligatory to participate in alcohol or drug test whether you are a pedestrian or as driver and as compulsory it is no longer necessary that there has been an accident or traffic violation to perform the test.

Forbidden to use any devices to forewarn of speed radars.  The fine will be 200 euros and the loss of 3 points on your licence.

Fine for collisions with wildlife: The driver will be held responsible for killing or hitting an animal in the street.  The only exception will be if there has been a hunt in the area in the preceeding hours.

Fine without being stopped by the police:  The police can give a fine without having to stop the vehicle and identify the driver.

Longer time to benefit from a discount for paying the fine:  You will have up to 20 days to pay the traffic fine and obtain a 50% discount.  Before it was only 15 days.

The police can now immobilize the car if for example the child sitting in the front seat if under the age of 12 years and/or under 135cm tall.

At Helle Hollis we unfortunately see many parking and speeding fines coming in from our clients so therefore we ask you always to respect the traffic rules. Please remember that you as the driver of the car is the only one responsible for any traffic offenses and the fines will reach you in your home country.

Drive safe during your holidays!

The Seville Fair also called April´s fair – a must to see

2/05/2014

Fair in Seville

One of the many wonderful things about  Andalusia is the locals have such a zest for life and enjoy their wide range of fairs, amongst them is probably the most internationally renowned Seville fair also called ” Feria de Abril” or “Feria de Sevilla ” .

The Seville fair goes way back to 1847 when it lasted for three days.  In 1952 the fair was extended to last for six days as it is of today and each and every hour is enjoyed!

The tradition says that the fair is held two weeks after the Easter celebration, so sometimes it falls within May like this year, when it takes place from the 6th of May until the 11th of May.

How can I find the fair?
The Seville Fair is held in an area which the locals of Seville call “Real de la Feria“. It is a 1.200.000m2 large area in the district of “Los Remedios” where there are hundreds of “casetas” or tents set up.  These tents can either be public or privately hosted.  If they are public anyone can enter, while the private tents require that either you are a member to the association running it or accompany someone who has admission to the tent. The streets of the fairground are all named after bullfighters and are beautifully decorated with paper lamps and literally thousands of colourful lights.

The main entrance to the fairground is characterized by a large shaped arch in the street Antonio Bienvendia.  Every year the main entrance has a new theme and this year’s theme is the “water kiosks”.  The water kiosks were built in the late XIX century when the area had serious water supply problems and many people from the countryside had to go to Seville city in order to collect water.

Over 20,000 light bulbs are used for the main entrance to the fair site and the fair is inaugurated on Monday at midnight when the lights are switched on.  This night is also called “noche de pescadito” (fried fish night) where the casetas open up and fried fish is eaten.

The gastronomy
One of the advantages of visiting the fair is that you can enjoy the great variety of tapas and Andalusian cuisine.  It is especially the Spanish cured ham (jamon serrano ibérico) and shellfish dishes that are mostly preferred – and one should not forget to enjoy a glass of chilled fino sherry or cold beer to accompany the food.

Music and dance
Dancing in the casetas spills over into the streets with almost all of the ladies in their blazing coloured flamenco dresses – the sound of sevillanas music vibrates through the fair.

Horse carriage ride at El Real
At the fairground you will see many horse carriages and riders even though the town hall  has restricted access of these so there is room for both pedestrians and horse carriages at the fairground.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get a ride in a horse carriage.

The Attraction park
Next to the fairground site there is an amusement park with attractions for children and adults. This part is called the “Calle del Infierno”  300.000m2 of pleasure and fun!

How do I get to the Seville fair?
With your Helle Hollis hire car it is easy to get to Seville.  From Malaga Airport it only takes 2 ½ hours on the motorway.  You can take the A-92 to Seville and then the bypass SE-30 to get to the fairground site.  Click here to see where the fair of Seville takes place.

Parking
During the week of the fair, the town hall has provided a public car park with space for 10,000 cars quite close to the fairground site.  Another alternative is to park the car a little further away from the fair and then take the local bus or taxi to the site.

Mobile phone chargers at Helle Hollis client waiting area

2/04/2014

Helle Hollis mobile chargers

Once again we are proud to introduce another new initiative to make it even more comfortable for you in the client waiting area.

We have now free for you to use mobile phone chargers in the waiting area so you don’t have to worry if you need to charge your phone on the way to pick up your rental car or when you are returning the car.

You will probably now wish that we would take longer time to prepare your rental contract, so you will have time enough to charge your mobile …!

Another benefit from Helle Hollis that makes car hire to a stress-free experience

MORE NEW cars in the fleet !

31/03/2014

Opel Astra

Next week will be very hectic at Helle Hollis as once again we take delivery of many new car models.  We are pleased to let you know that we are one of the few local car hire companies on the Coasts that renews its fleet regularly so you always will enjoy the latest models to drive in.

In our smallest car group (B) arrives Toyota Aygo the perfect city car with low fuel consumption.  Despite its small size it’s a comfortable and safe model to drive fully equipped with airbags and anti-skid system, not to mention airconditioning and radio with CD.

In the popular compact family car group E we take delivery of the Opel Astra model with all extras such alloy wheels, and assisted parking to make your holiday more relaxed and parking even easier.
C4 Grand Picasso

Do you want to drive a station wagon model, then in group S we’ll also have Citroen C4 Picasso with features such as panoramic windscreen, bluetooth, 6 airbags and 537L boot. The backseats are three individual seats which makes it even more comfortable for those backseat drivers!

For bigger families the 5 +2 seats, Group J, we will have the fully equiped Grand C4 Picasso. This elegant model has lots of technical features as touchscreen driver interface.

And for the bigger group or large family wanting to travel together, we are getting Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI model with seating for 7 people (Group K ). This model is equipped with Bluetooth, cruise control, air condition and parking sensor.  A really lovely, luxury model to drive in.

At Helle Hollis you will have a wide selection of new car models to drive, so do not wait anymore and reserve your car now.

Easter processions in Malaga

31/03/2014

El Paso Benalmadena

During the Holy Week in Spain, the Easter processions are a great experience to watch. In every city and village there are programs for when the various processions take place – starting on Palm Sunday.  You can find free apps to download where you can see detailed routes for each procession, search under the Spanish word for Holy Week: “Semana Santa” or visit the tourist offices where you can get further information.

In Malaga city all processions come along the Alameda Principal, following the pedestrian street Calle Larios, and part of the street Calle Granada.  It is a distance of almost 900 meters which is also known as the official Easter procession route.  From there each procession will continue to other parts of the city.  Usually the procession starts in the late afternoon and continues until the early hours of the following morning.
Elpaso_benalmadena_easter

An alternative to the Easter processions is to see El Paso in Benalmadena Pueblo. Benalmadena Pueblo has the tradition to perform a play which deals with Jesus’ life and death, where the participants are adults and children from the village.

It takes place on Easter Thursday and Good Friday from 11 am to 2.30 pm in a natural park next to the Buddhist temple and the Butterfly museum.

Since the play takes place outdoors it depends each year on the weather conditions if the play will take place or not.  The play is very atmospheric with the alternation between speech and songs.  Despite the fact that the play takes place in Spanish it’s easy to   follow.  The entrance is for free and there are parking facilities.

Read more here.

At Helle Hollis – we have no hidden extras !

12/02/2014

Girl with carkey

A recent study from ANEC (European Consumer voice in standardisation)  shows that when hiring a car abroad many travellers experience uncertainty about the final rental price, if there are hidden extras and the fuel policy.

At Helle Hollis we often hear and read about various types of “scam” other car hire companies use when they advertise a very cheap rental rate.  We are therefore very keen to show that we have clear and transparent pricing with no hidden extras.

Firstly, we have a fair fuel policy where you only pay for what you use as we refund every remaining quarter of unused fuel.  You have 100 % flexibility as you decide whether you want to return the car with a full tank and get the full fuel amount back, or for example, return the car with a quarter of a tank and then get that amount refunded.

Moreover, our transparent pricing also clearly shows you if  there is a night service fee or the excess amount on the insurance when you input your reservation details in full.  When you receive your booking confirmation and click on its confirmation link you will easily see detailed what you have to pay for your rental.

We continuously carry out our customer satisfaction survey and now monitor on past performance too, so we are pleased to see that our customers gives 90% score for staff attitude and 85% score for the courtesy bus service.

As a thank you for participating in the customer satisfaction survey all customers  participate in a monthly draw for one week’s free car hire and for the month of January the lucky winner was Mr. Haugen from Norway.

Next time you are shopping around in preparation for your holidays then remember that if you want to begin your holidays with no stress and fair fuel policy then choose Helle Hollis !  Helle Hollis – car hire with peace of mind!

Book your car here

Carnival in Malaga !

12/02/2014

Carnival Malaga 2014

Carnival time is getting closer – fun entertainment with no age restrictions, where both old and young can participate and have a ball!

This year Malaga’s Carnival takes place from the 22nd of February till the 2nd of March.  Here you have some suggestions for carnival events that you can participate in and experience the carnival atmosphere in Malaga city.

In the evening of 22nd of February from 9.30pm the official election of the “king and queen” of the carnival is chosen with a lightshow at the Plaza de la Constitución.

On Sunday the 23rd of February at 12pm  at the same place there will be a children’s contest for the best costume, along with free carnival activities for all children.  From approx 5 pm in the afternoon in the centre of Malaga, there is a fun procession for all those dressed in costume.

If you don’t want to dress up, you can still enjoy the atmosphere as you will find special tapas and drink offers during the carnival time. For around 2,50 Euros enjoy some local  tasty tapas and drink to keep your strength going!

The following Saturday, March the 1st  at around 8 pm  the “Flower War” will take place in Calle Larios ( the pedestrian shopping street in the centre of Malaga).  Everyone is welcome to participate so don’t miss getting some free flower petals and confetti to throw. It is a custom from Malaga which has been continued since the old days when the workers threw flowers at their lords who  participated in the carnival .

From 9.30 pm in the evening  the drag queen competition takes place and from midnight of the carnival is celebrated in discos and bars with fancy dress competitions.

Finally, on Sunday the 2nd of March from noon head towards Plaza de la Constitucion where there is free tasting of fried anchovies “boquerones” and you will be able to see Calle Larios the great “El Boquerón“.  In the afternoon the huge effigy is carried in a funeral procession  to the La Malagueta beach where it is burned and then a large firework display ends the carnival festivities for another year.   Carnival takes place in the same period in almost every city in Andalusia, so you have a great opportunity to experience it, even if you are not coming to Malaga.  In Cadiz, which celebrates Spain’s oldest carnival, it will take place from the 27th of February 27 till the 9th of March.

Hire your Helle Hollis and experience the Spanish carnival !