News French actor Gerard Depardieu poses with people from Estaimpuis during a ceremony held in his honor at the Chateau Bourgogne

Mayor of Estaimpuis credits French star with boosting the economy, creating jobs and bringing new visitors to the small corner of Wallonia

Katy Holland: The jolly business of house swapping

Are we there yet? If you’ve got it (a home, that is), flaunt it

Beer and blogging

Now there’s a combination! Even better, it’s a combination that will be featuring right here, when the winner of a travel-writing competition organised by brewers SABMiller, in association with The Independent, begins posting in early March.

Andrew Buncombe: Silence descends on the noisiest city

Dhaka Notebook: I wonder whether Dhaka's reputation might be somewhat unfair

The orphan, the nanny, and a tale of hope from Mumbai

Son of the rabbi killed in the terror attacks is building a new life in Israel with the carer who saved his life

Holy war strikes India

35 Christians killed and 50,000 forced from their homes by Hindu mobs enraged at Swami's murder

Katy Holland: Learning a language should be fun

Are we there yet? How to get the family talking

Shhh, keep it to yourself, the Algarve's great for a holiday

Get a taste of the coast's quiet side at this stylish resort

'Rockefeller' is wanted German

A man charged with kidnapping his daughter in Boston is a German who lived in the guesthouse of a Los Angeles-area couple who disappeared in 1985, a sheriff's spokesman said.

'Dead' husband wrote protest letter to council

Pretending to be dead would presumably involve keeping your head down and avoiding the attention of authorities. But not in the case of John Darwin.

B&Bs move into the realm of the internet

Any room at the inn? Savvy B&Bs don't rely on leaflets in the tourist office to bring in business. Today, it's all about the internet. Mark Rowe reports

The five best walks in mainland Scotland

The West Highland Way

Bear watching in Finland: A very close-up adventure

If you go down to the woods of eastern Finland today, you're sure of a big surprise, says Juliet Rix

Another tragedy in backpackers' haven as Briton dies of suspected drug overdose

There was little left to show of a life cut short in a £2-a-night hotel room just a stone's throw from paradise. There were some old T-shirts, a handful of undeveloped films and a battered journal filled with jottings and sketches. The rest of Michael Harvey's belongings had been taken away by police looking for clues.

Scarborough, Royal Court, London

Fiona Evans's play Scarborough won a Fringe First at last year's Edinburgh Festival, where it was a talking point because of its subject-matter – a dirty weekend in a Scarborough B&B involving a female PE teacher and a pupil 14 years her junior – and the uncomfortable intimacy of its staging. A tiny space was transformed into a dingy room in a faded seaside guesthouse, with the audience, turned into voyeurs, pinned against the walls.

Ethical: Uttarakhand, India

For many people, the most rewarding aspect of travel is experiencing other cultures. However, too often those other cultures are not themselves rewarded, the tourist's money going straight into the tour operator's pocket.

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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 15 May 2015
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen