Travel Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

The number of Brits planning to go to Sochi in Russia for the Winter Olympics in three weeks' time will be minimal. Apart from the usual Russian visa requirements, flights are limited, a special "spectator pass" is required in a bid to combat security threats and prices for accommodation and the top events are very expensive.

Ten best ski essentials

Whether you’re sticking to the nursery slopes, bolting down a black run or heading off-piste, we’ve got all the gear to keep you warm and looking cool...

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Skiing: Kostelic increases lead in cup standings

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia extended his runaway start to 2011, winning a men's World Cup slalom yesterday for his fourth victory in 15 days.

Skiing: Kostelic's fine run continues in Switzerland

Croatia's Ivica Kostelic races downhill on his way to victory in the World Cup super-combined slalom race in Wengen, Switzerland yesterday. It was Kostelic's third victory in 12 days, stretching his lead in the overall World Cup standings. "I'm just riding on this wave and going from race to race," said Kostelic.

Skiing: Kostelic sluices home to secure overall top spot

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia completed his excellent week by winning the latest slalom round in the World Cup in Adelboden in Switzerland to move to the top of the overall standings.

Skiing: Walchhofer flying in farewell season

Austria's Michael Walchhofer added another victory to his farewell season yesterday, becoming the first skier to win the gruelling World Cup downhill on the Stelvio course three times.

Briton dies in Alps ski accident

A British man has died in a skiing accident in the French Alps.

Space-age 'huts' for Alpine trekkers irk the traditionalists

An unwritten rule of the mountains states that anyone in need can take refuge in the solitary huts dotted across the world's higher peaks.

The Essential Skiing Guide: The rest of Europe

Almost every country in Europe – even Croatia, Cyprus and Portugal – has at least one ski area. And as well as the "big four" Alpine nations, UK tour operators offer holidays at dozens of resorts in eastern Europe, the Pyrenees and Scandinavia.

A Room Swept White, By Sophie Hannah

When young television producer, Fliss Benson, is suddenly put in charge of a ground-breaking documentary about miscarriages of justice involving a string of cot deaths, alarm bells ring.

Skeletons (NC)

The spirit of Charlie Kaufman lives but doesn't quite soar in this eccentric metaphysical comedy from Nick Whitfield.

Cycling: Vogondy holds off Sicard charge

Nicolas Vogondy of France won yesterday's fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine after breaking away in the last 2km of the final ascent.

Disability sport to get £10m funding rise, says minister

Disability sport is to get a £10m boost from Sport England, the Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said at the weekend.

Skiing: Miller calls halt to season as ankle injury takes its toll

Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller has decided to end his season, a week before the World Cup finals in Germany. The American skier ducked out early to rest a sore right ankle, and said he hopes to discuss his future with the United States men's coach Sasha Rearick.

Skiing: Gisin holds off Vonn to claim surprise victory

Switzerland's Dominique Gisin was a surprise winner of the Crans Montana Super-G at the weekend in the final event before the World Cup finals at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Winter Olympics in Brief: Razzoli follows the Tomba tradition to take gold for Italy

Giuliano Razzoli gave Italy its first gold medal of the Vancouver Games with victory in the men's slalom. Razzoli, making his Olympics debut, led after the first leg and clinched gold with a combined time of one minute 39.32 seconds to become the first Italian man to win an Alpine medal since Alberto Tomba in 1994. Croatia's Ivica Kostelic took the silver 0.16sec back and the bronze went to Sweden's Andre Myhrer, 0.44sec adrift. Austria's Benjamin Raich, the defending champion, was fourth but the American Bode Miller lost his chance of becoming the first man to win four Alpine medals at the same Olympics when he straddled the fifth gate in Saturday's foggy conditions. "It's a dream, I worked a long time for this day. It's incredible," said Razzoli.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links