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Indian Ocean

Summer 2012: Sun guaranteed

Head to the far south of Italy for sun-drenched days on Puglia's beaches. Long Travel (01694 722193; long-travel.co.uk) is offering free B&B at Masseria Torre Coccaro, near Fasano, for children aged up to 12 this summer. This 39-room five-star hotel is set in a 17th-century masseria that counts a chapel among its charming buildings.

Traveller's guide: Seychelles

Scattered across 650 miles of the Indian Ocean, these tropical islands offer superb beaches, dramatic scenery and a benign climate.

Telefónica win third stage in Volvo Ocean Race

Spains Telefónica became the first team since Steinlager 2 in 1989-90 to win the first three legs of the Volvo Ocean Race when they held off the challenge of Groupama sailing team to arrive first into the Chinese port of Sanya on Saturday.

Deals of the week: Barcelona, Brussels, Indian Ocean islands

Less than £200... Summer flights

Spanish airline Vueling has announced it is due to start direct flights from Southampton to its main hub at Barcelona's El Prat airport from 23 June this year, just in time for the summer season. Tickets to the Catalan capital – with its vibrant Gaudi architecture, gourmet cuisine and glorious beaches – are available to book now via the website, with return fares starting at €140 (£116). Vueling.com

More headlines

Secret talks to return islanders after 40 years

British diplomats are negotiating with the Americans to ensure exiled inhabitants of the Chagos Islands are offered the chance of jobs on the strategic US airbase of Diego Garcia, The Independent can reveal.

Coral: Lost at sea?

Coral reefs support a quarter of the world's marine life, but rising ocean temperatures are killing them. The impact of their decline could be huge, says marine biologist Olivia Durkin

The Maldives: Enjoy the splendid isolation while it lasts

My eyes are stinging from the salty water which is seeping into my snorkel as I navigate the shallows. The odd fish flits past. I’m heading, I hope, in the direction of the renowned house reef at the Lily Beach resort at Huvahendoo in the Maldives. So far so pleasant, but unspectacular.