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Summer Rates 2015 are now ready!

25/09/2014

Summer

Already missing the sunny days and warmer weather? Why not start planning for next year’s Easter and summer holiday?

We’ve had many customers enquiring about summer 2015 rates, and have hurried up to get them published so you can book your summer holiday car already.

There’s no point in telling you again that each year we sell out of the most popular car groups despite increasing our fleet for the past 4 years.  If you want to make sure that your particular car group is available when you’re planning to come on holiday, then as the saying goes “there is no time like the present” and we recommend you to book your car now.

Remember that you do NOT have to pay in advance and we never charge a cancellation or amendment fee.

Avoid falling in the speed trap!

25/09/2014

Car driving

Now you need to take extra care so you do not get a speeding ticket.

The Spanish Traffic Authority has without notice changed the criteria’s for giving speeding tickets.

So far, there has been a radar error margin of 10% which was to the drivers benefit before a speeding ticket was given.

If, for example, the speed limit was of 120km/h, one could in fact run 130 km/h before given a speeding ticket. This “grace margin” has now been reduced, so that the fine will be given at 126 km/h in the case of a fixed speed trap, and at 128 km h in the case of a mobile speed trap.

Essentially this means that the “grace” margin has been reduced to 5% by fixed speed traps and 7% of mobile speed traps.

In the case, where the road limit is less than 100 km/h the grace margin is now 5 km h of fixed speed trap and 7 km/h at a mobile speed trap.

As always we want you to end your holidays with a smile and without any unnecessary surprises, so therefore be sure to respect the speed limits to avoid costly fines and points.

 

Where can I print my boarding card ?

21/09/2014 | 7 comments

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 Head Office at Malaga Airport!

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 !

(We only offer this service from Helle Hollis Head Office at Malaga Airport)

Luna Mora in Guaro

3/09/2014

Luna Mora Guaro

One of the major events on the Costa del Sol is “Luna Mora” in Guaro which takes place during the weekend from the 06.09-07.09 and the weekend 13.09 –14.09.

Guaro is a small Spanish village which is located 40 km from Malaga, via Coin – and 20 km from Marbella via Monda. Click here to find the driving description.

For now many years Guaro  is celebrating a festival where the village is transformed into the Al-Andaluz époque with over 25,000 candles that will light up the village streets when darkness falls.  The village people ensure that Guaro is beautifully decorated for this event.

You will find a Moorish market, theater plays, entertainment and exotic gastronomy with the magic from the thousands of candles. In addition, there will be flamenco music concerts which tickets must be ordered in advance and is held in the village auditorium or you can listen to other music groups that are playing in the village streets.

Guaro has arranged plenty of parking spaces outside the village, and a shuttle service is going back.

Get more information here

Rio Chillar in Nerja !

29/08/2014

Rio Chillar Nerja

I actually always knew that there’s a really nice hike from Nerja – up the Chillar river.  I also knew that it’s a very popular destination, especially for local hikers, picnickers and fresh water swimmers – and perhaps this is precisely why we have taken so along to visit the river ourselves.  I think we prefer to experience nature without too many distractions.

However, it was not until one of Ingelise’s friends uploaded photos of her river hike on Facebook, that we got real curious – we decided that the time was right and to have a closer look for ourselves.

The day was marked in the calendar and Sunday August 3rd  we set out -relatively early in the morning for a Sunday.  The GPS in our Helle Hollis rental car was set for Calle Mirto in Nerja – about an hour’s drive from Malaga following A7 towards Motril.

Having parked the car properly, we started our 5-hour-unforgettable-hike where we walked, almost constantly, in the river itself.

We began from the disused quarry where there is a guarded parking space for 62 cars.  At this stage the river is not very well defined.  The river bed is mostly wide and the river itself is only a small stream that meanders in and out.  This stretch is managed easily without challenges at all (apart from trying to avoid getting wet feet) and within half an hour we reach the hydropower plant.

On this occasion, one of the floodgates were open, so those who liked or needed it could have  a huge shower from the heavy gush of water bursting out of the water channel that channels Nerja’s drinking water to the storage tanks.
Rio Chillar nerja
The river narrows     (Privat photo: Hans Hugo From)

Now the river narrows and it becomes inevitable to walk with your feet in the actual water.  The water reaches your ankles – and it now seems foolish having tried initially to avoid getting our feet wet.  The temperature of the water is comfortable and does not at any time feel cold.

After another hour’s hike the river narrows further, and is in some places only about a meter wide.  On either side raises the polished marble walls several meters into the air.  It can be difficult to determine exactly, but I am convinced they raise at least 3 storeys high above our heads.  Feels a bit like being in a cathedral.

This part of the river is incredibly exciting, and you are constantly surprised over what awaits you round the next corner.  The water level here reaches in some places to the knees, and the river bed offers the occasional obstacle in the form of small rapids and fallen logs – mostly of decorative nature.  The light is broken beautifully in the clear water, and the interplay of light and shadow is extremely beautiful.

After half an hour the river widens again, and we reach the first pools where it is possible to swim.  The number and frequency of the rapids increases, and the river bed offers bigger and more challenging obstacles – but none big enough to require crawling on all four.  This stage of the river is lined with flourishing oleander.

Rio Chillar water
One of the many small rapids        (Photo cc: Hans Hugo From)

After totalling just over 2 hours of hiking we reach the first real waterfall.  Here it is really possible to swim.  The water is crystal clear and very inviting. Here we took our own packed food which strengthened us for the return journey which we began immediately after.

Rio Chillar Nerja Pool
The first waterfall and large pools      (Photo cc: Hans Hugo From)

We were lucky to set out relatively early. This meant that during much of the time going upriver we had the landscape to ourselves. On the return trip on the other hand, there was heavy traffic of “oncoming hikers” who were actually quite loud and annoying to the overall experience of nature.

Rio Chillar Nerja
We are not alone home on our way home!   (Photo cc: Hans Hugo From)

In spite of this, we saw some of the most beautiful scenery we have ever seen in Spain. I cannot believe that we have been waiting 17 years for this.

Subsequently, I found out that we could have hiked even further up the river and that there are even bigger and more beautiful waterfalls.  But we do not regret that we turned back when we did.

Although we are experienced hikers and used to the mountains, it is a lot different walking in water.  We both admit that we were pretty beat when we returned at 15:30 to our Helle Hollis rental car and headed back to Mijas.
Rio Chillar nerja
A well deserved rest                  (Photo cc: Hans Hugo From)

Filled up to capacity with unforgettable, beautiful and positive impression – that we can live on for a long time – or at least until our next trip in 14 days to Capileira in Alpujarras where we have planned another  hike from Mulhacen to Trevelez.

Facts
The car hire you naturally rent at   www.hellehollis.com

Set out Calle Mirto is easily found.  Turn away from the sea at the Burriana roundabout in Nerja and follow the signs to the market “mercadillo”.  Continue along the parking and turn left at the end of the road.  You come to a concrete road that leads under the highway bridge.   At the end of this concrete road the hike starts.

Parking
There are 62 monitored parking spaces at the end of the concrete road.  If these are all taken there is parking alongside the Market in Calle Mirto.

Duration of the hike
From the parking lot to the waterfall we took 2 – 2.5 hours of hiking at a steady pace.  Retracing our steps for return, a total of 4 – 5 hours of hiking.  Plus breaks for taking pics, admiring the views and eating.  Medium difficulty.

The hike is suitable for all ages – even children down to 7-8 years. It’s fine that you can turn back whenever you want or whenever you have had enough. However, you owe it to yourself at least to walk the first half hour up to the hydroelectric power plant where the scenery becomes really interesting.

Start as early as possible. 08:00 is not too early. The longer you wait the more people.

What you need to bring
It is essential to wear good trainers with a good sole.  I would not recommend you to wear worn out old shoes as they tend not to have much grip left.  Not that the stones in the flood are very slippery – but anyway better safe than sorry!

Water and a packed lunch.

We love our hiking poles and made frequent use of them, especially to estimate water depth and also great to have an extra point of support.  Hiking poles can be purchased at any Decathlon store in Malaga for as little as 12 € for a set.

To learn more about the tour please feel free to contact
Hans Hugo From,
Director, Helle Hollis Car Rental
hhfrom@hellehollis.com

 

Malaga Fair 2014

7/08/2014

Malaga Fair 2014

The Málaga fair, also called “Feria” in Spanish is just around the corner.

This year the fair will take place from the 16th to the 23rd of August and in between there is a local holiday in Málaga on the 19th of August.  (Shops and museums will be closed that day).

The inauguration of the Málaga fair takes place on Friday the 15th at midnight with a massive fireworks display on the “La Malagueta” beach, located next to Muelle Uno.  Then there is the free concert with the music group “Andy & Lucas” once the fair is officially open.

Over the following days you can join in with the fun and dance during the daytime in the centre of Malaga.  Just follow the stream of people to Calle Larios at the heart of the city which is always adorned in blazing colour and where you must take a photo – you will hear it before you see it!  The side streets and alleys will also be buzzing with feria makers. . Around 18.00hr each day the city centre winds down and the fair moves to the outskirts of Málaga on the big fairground called “Cortijo de Torres”.  You will find the fairground next to Malaga congress centre and if you are coming along the A-7 you can follow the signs for “Feria”

At the fair ground you will not only find “casetas” (tents) where you can enjoy flamenco music and tasty tapas, but there is also a large area with fairground attractions and rides for children and adults.

It is relatively easy to park next to the fairground as there are large parking areas provided.   But it is obviously easier to find a parking space earlier rather than later in the evening  as masses of people arrive later from 22.00h as the fair goes on practically all night. The parking time is unlimited for only a small donation of 1€ to the disabled association.

And as usual, we remind you that if you have to catch a flight in the evening during the “Malaga fair week”, then we strongly recommend that you plan plenty of extra time to arrive to the Airport as  there are usually queues to and from the access roads on the motorway to the fairground area.

Have a fun Málaga Feria!

Do not ruin your holiday with speeding fines in Spain!

24/06/2014 | 1 comment

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 | 2 comments

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.