From new non-stop flights and 'Place Pins' to photo workshops and air bridges

Snow report

Some years ago I emerged spluttering with cold and damp into a raging blizzard above Val d'Isere. It was two weeks before Christmas, the weather was dreadful, the snow was deep. Our hardy troupe of early season skiers were ecstatic. It looked as if a perfect winter's skiing lay ahead.

Where is this year's ski sensation?

You might be surprised. By Stephen Wood

Mountain men take to the field

James Corrigan looks at the world's newest footballing nation: Andorra

Football: The cynical managers, now long in the tooth, might tell Hoddle that he is wasting his time and will, inevitably, be let down

The dressing-room at a football club is a very special type of place for those granted entry. It can even become a player's second home. It is a club within a club, with very few secrets.

Shopping for a chalet

To own a home on the side of a ski slope, with only a few metres of crisp snow between your front door and the ski lift, must be the dream of many a passionate skier. Skiing is, of course, an expensive sport, but if you buy a chalet or apartment in a good location you can cover your costs by letting it out when you are not there.

Cycling: Tour pays tribute to Anquetil

The 1997 Tour de France, which will start in Rouen in honour of the late five-times winner Jacques Anquetil, returns to its roots with an almost entirely French itinerary.

Sanchez Vicario faces tax investigation

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario is under investigation to establish whether she has been breaking Spain's tax laws by declaring herself a resident of the fiscal paradise state of Andorra, the national daily El Mundo said Wednesday.


"We've had such a nice year - the special offers encourage you to go and see a catholic selection. The theatre itself is very welcoming, very user-friendly."

No more fog on the Tyne

There's more to theatre on Tyneside than the 'Wor-Geordie's-down- the-pit-again' school of drama, as Clare Bayley finds out from Alan Lyddiard, the artistic director of Northern Stage. Plus, below, we profile new talent in the North-east

Resort of extremes BOROVETS: CHEAPEST

For worthwhile skiing at low, low prices, eastern Europe has no rivals. Italy may be good value, and duty-free Andorra the place for a low-cost riot, but in terms of cost, eastern Europe is in a different league. No doubt in future the chilly mountains of several eastern European countries will accommodate interesting ski resorts, but for the moment Bulgaria is the prime territory, and Borovets is its most impressive resort.

Travel: So, how was it for you?: Ski schools are a very varied lot. Chris Gill ponders the problem of measuring their relative merits

HOW CAN you tell which ski schools are good? Turn to the pages of the serious ski resort guides such as the Good Skiing Guide or my own Where to Ski and you'll find appropriately serious-sounding evaluations of ski schools, based on reports sent in by holiday-making correspondents. I know of no better approach. But the resulting advice is generally of limited value.

Where shall we meet: Bar Gansa

Inverness Street is that market in Camden where the vegetables sit on stalls rather than loitering in crushed velvet and sunglasses. This bar has a frontage so narrow as to afford only two tables, but is positively Tardis-like inside.

Creativity: One, two, three, four, five, A Range Rover did I drive

THANKS to the diligence of readers, this week we are able to offer a complete compendium of modern nursery rhymes. Tim Crosbie comments: 'Nursery rhymes are supposed to be based on some mild form of political satire,' but he believes that modern children are more open, direct and frank about life than previous generations. That spirit is reflected in his contribution:

Spain's divas tackle real tragi-comic roles

IT IS tragi-comic enough to make an entertaining opera. Reaction to the fire that destroyed Barcelona's Liceu opera house last week has all the elements. There may even be a cameo role for the Prince of Wales.

The Week Ahead: Gatt set for its last lap

IT IS the last lap for Gatt and Sir Leon Brittan, the EU's chief trade negotiator, and the US Trade Representative Mickey Kantor meet today in Brussels to try to clear the remaining obstacles to a world trade deal before next week's deadline. The Americans are going some way to meet French objections to the Blair House accord on cuts in subsidised farm exports, and if there is agreement on agriculture, the rest may fall into place.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...