Al Profondo Blu

SICILY

Porto Palo di Menfi

  • 6 Sleeps
  • 3  Bedrooms
  • 2  Bathrooms
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About the Villa

A delightful beachfront summer house ensconced in a private nature reserve.

Set on a gorgeous, secluded stretch of sandy beach, Al Profondo Blu takes its name from the enticing colour of the sea that gently caresses the surf just beyond the garden gate. Sun-baked Mediterranean maquis, shady trees and succulent plants make up the 15 hectares of private nature reserve that envelope the house in a cocoon of fragrant tranquility, providing the perfect retreat for those wishing to get away from the rigours of everyday life.

"Fantastic location and perfect outside space.” SW, UK, June 2019

Internet Connections Explained

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All The Thinking Traveller's villas have some kind of Internet facility and, where possible, we try to ensure that this is an ADSL broadband Wi-Fi connection.

However, some rural areas and those far from the main towns and cities have not yet been connected to the high-speed broadband network. Therefore, in some of our villas we offer an alternative type of connection (specified in the amenities table of each individual villa page). 

Please note that although we work very hard to provide reliable internet service at our villas, these services are potentially erratic and can fail due to network failures completely out of our control. We regret that we cannot accept responsibility for loss of connection due to such network failures.

Here is some information about the most common connection types:

ADSL Broadband

This is by far the fastest and most reliable connection type available and uses traditional copper wires. In the UK, ADSL is most commonly referred to as broadband. It is suitable for most surfing requirements. Generally an ADSL line is only available within two miles of a telephone exchange, so in rural or more remote areas it usually not available.

An ADSL Internet connection in a villa can then be distributed using a Wi-Fi router, allowing a wireless connection with one or more device, or by a cable, which can be plugged into most laptops.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with an ADSL broadband connection.


3G WiFi Internet routers

In some of our villas, 3G Wi-Fi Internet connections are provided by a small router unit that uses the 3G mobile network, similar to that used by many mobile phones. The unit receives the signal and retransmits it wirelessly making it possible for a few devices to connect at the same time. 3G Wi-Fi units work best in the immediate area around them (i.e. they won’t create a Wi-Fi environment throughout the entire villa) and so the best connection will be within close range of the unit, usually in the same room.

The signal may be affected by weather conditions (i.e. strong winds or storms), and the overall strength depends entirely on the service provider's presence in the area. We cannot accept responsibility for slow or absent signals.

Please note that 3G Wi-Fi is provided for basic Internet browsing and checking of email only. Guests are requested not to download large files such as movies or make Skype video calls, as most units have a maximum monthly data usage of 10Gb.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with a normal ADSL connection. 

 

Mobile Broadband Internet Dongles/Keys

Dongles, or Internet keys, can be slotted into a USB port on your computer and use a data SIM card to connect to a 3G or other data network, normally supplied by mobile phone networks. At the villas where this is provided, clients are usually requested to buy their own data SIM card and top up as they go (details of where and how to purchase one are provided in the House Guide you will receive before departure).

The signal may be affected by weather conditions (i.e. strong winds or storms), and the overall strength depends entirely on the service provider's presence in the area. We cannot accept responsibility for slow or absent signals.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with a normal ADSL conection. 


WiMAX / Satellite connections

WiMAX and satellite Internet connections have performance levels similar to cabled ADSL hi-speed Internet connections. Wi-Fi access within the property is provided by a special modem-router. WiMAX and Satellite connections are present in our villas when there is no normal cabled broadband infrastructure in the area (still quite common in more remote areas). These kind of connections may be affected by atmospheric conditions, however, so we cannot guarantee that the signal will be as constant as cabled connections. The connection speed of this type connection in our Ionian Island villas is a little slower and comes with a limit of Mbs, so guests are requested not to download large files, stream films or use Skype to make calls.


Connecting to the Internet abroad using your smartphone or tablet (roaming)

As of June 2017, there are no roaming charges for EU citizens (with an EU provider) travelling within the EU. 

If you are travelling from outside the EU and wish to use your smartphone or tablet while on holiday, here are a few tips for cutting down on foreign data-roaming charges:

The first thing to do is to check with your provider to see if there are any special deals available (there's usually something on offer). You should also make sure your phone is unlocked (you can ask your operator to do this) if you wish to buy a foreign SIM card while you're away.

If there are no suitable deals available from your operator (and your phone/tablet has been unlocked), we recommend you buy a local prepaid data SIM card (details of where and how can be found in your House Guide). It might also be useful to bring a cheap handset, put your UK SIM into the cheap handset and the local data SIM into your smartphone, so that any data you access will be charged at the local rate. If you do buy a local SIM, most smart phones can then be used to provide a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing data access for up to five devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Finally, when abroad, switch off 3G, switch off ‘data roaming’ on iPhones or switch the priority to Wi-Fi rather than 3G on Symbian devices, thus avoiding charges when your phone attempts to access emails.

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Amenities

  • Accommodates (max)  6
  • Bedrooms  3
  • Double beds  2
  • Flexible doubles/twins  1
  • Bathrooms  2
  • ... of which en suite  1
  • Daily maid service 
  • Cook 
  • Pizza chef 
  • Garden gate beach/sea access 
  • Air conditioning ¹
  • Open fireplace 
  • Safe 
  • Washing machine 
  • Dishwasher 
  • Microwave oven 
  • Satellite TV 
  • Stereo 
  • DVD player 
  • Satellite Wi-Fi Internet [i] 
  • Barbecue 
  • Wood-burning pizza oven 
  • Private Parking 
  • Table tennis 
  • Shopping service 
  • Sea views 
  • Easy walk to beach/sea access 
  • Walking distance to restaurant(s) ³
  • The Thinking Traveller local support 24/7 
  • Exclusive beach club access ²
= yes/present = optional/on request
¹ in bedrooms and living area
² entrance fees apply
³ La Pineta, one of the area's best restaurants, is about a 3.5km walk away along the sandy beach below the house

 

Inside: accommodation at Al Profondo Blu is all on one level and is accessed from a shady, sheltered courtyard. The first thing you notice on entering the house is the view straight out to sea from the large, luminous open-plan living and dining area. French windows bring in the sunlight and provide access to the delightful seafront terraces. Next to the dining area is the the well-equipped, traditional Sicilian kitchen, which also opens onto the seafront terrace and the inviting al fresco dining area. A corridor leads from the living area to the sleeping quarters, where there is a double and a double-twin bedroom sharing a shower room and the master bedroom with its own en-suite shower room.

Outside: the focal point for guests at Al Profondo Blu is without doubt the large panoramic sea-view terrace. Cushioned sofas are arranged to maximise the views from under shady gazebos, while the al fresco dining area is served seamlessly from the indoor kitchen, an outdoor wood-burning pizza oven and a barbecue area. A gentle path leads for about 50m from the terrace down to Al Profondo Blu's truly unique feature: a sea gate opening onto a divine sandy beach. There are few, if any houses in western Sicily that have such easy access to such a quiet beach and even in the height of summer you will find only a few people on 'your' stretch of sand. Turn right along the beach and you'll soon be at La Pineta, one of the best seafood restaurants in the area. Behind the house is a large sheltered courtyard terrace, offering an alternative dining and relaxing area, a table tennis table, and a cool, shady wood that is part of the 15 private hectares of pristine nature reserve. Paths lead around the grounds, making it perfect for anyone wishing to run off their pasta or stroll amongst the fascinating variety of indigenous Sicilian flora that flourishes unperturbed in the reserve.

 

Think About

Al Profondo Blu is ideal for nature lovers looking for silence, peace and relative isolation.

Cycling in the Menfi area is a very pleasurable pastime, thanks to both the quiet back roads and the purpose-built cycle track along and around the old railway line between Menfi, Porto Palo and Sciacca (running very close to Al Profondo Blu). We’d be delighted to have bikes delivered to your villa and, if anyone in your group is an inveterate pedaller, arrange for a local guide to show them the best routes.

The property is accessed via a track which leads for about two hundred metres from the nearest asphalted road.

The owners' donkeys and mouflons (a type of sheep) are left free to roam the reserve. They are not dangerous and cannot get close to the house, which is surrounded by a wood fence.

Guests staying at Al Profondo Blu have privileged access to Planeta's exclusive Beach Club at Lido Fiori in Menfi (entrance fees apply).
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