Cycling: Corsican start for 2013 Tour

The 100th staging of the Tour de France will start from Corsica in 2013. It will be the first time the Mediterranean island has hosted a stage in the prestigious three-week race. Corsica is the only metropolitan region of France never to have hosted a stage and more details are set to be revealed next month.

Vanishing kingdom: Byzantium under siege in 1204

History: Countries of the mind

Hands up anyone who can find Burgundia, Borusia or Etruria on the map. You can't. Neither they nor the dozen other mostly forgotten European countries in Norman Davies's Vanished Kingdoms (Allen Lane, £30) exists.

Simon Calder: The company remains a robust and going concern

Suppose, at the start of the year, you had 100 shares in Thomas Cook. At £2 each, you could have made enough for a package holiday to the Med. While there are still plenty of £199 deals, selling the shares at yesterday's price would not even buy a one-way ticket on the Gatwick Express.

Album: Hespèrion XXI / Jordi Savall, La Sublime Porte: Voix d'Istanbul (Alia Vox)

"Dialogues between East and West, between two worlds and two seas" is the apt subtitle of this fascinating CD, which reflects the cultural melting-pot which Istanbul was in its medieval heyday.

Elegant: Massimo is a sepia-tinted tableau of steam-age glamour

Massimo Restaurant and Oyster Bar, The Corinthia Hotel, 10 Northumberland Ave, London WC2

It happens sometimes in a foreign city. You leave the tawdry, neon-lit sprawl of the main drag and wander down an unpromising side street, only to stumble across The Perfect Restaurant – golden and gorgeous and oozing relaxation and low-key glamour. Emerging hours later, as though from a dream, you forget to note the name of the restaurant or the street, and when you return, you never manage to find it again.

Flower power: Salvador Dali in Cadaques in the 1970s

Costa Brava: The coast that keeps it surreal

After 50 years, has the Costa Brava fallen off the map for British travellers? Simon Calder returns to the place Salvador Dalí once called home

The 10 Best cooking pots

Serve up delicious dishes with these top choices

Stay The Night: Hotel Lone, Istria

The classic Istrian hotel of the Seventies was the unlikely cue for this high-design property. Karen Glaser explains

Simon Kelner: Would we be so calm if it was snowing in summer?

This is supposed to be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. What would Keats make of this autumn, sweltering in the unremitting sunshine, reading newspaper headlines that proclaim Britain is hotter than Barbados, or Hawaii, or Mars? He, like most of us, might not be a climatologist, but I think he'd recognise there's something weird going on.

Phew, what a record-breaking scorcher...

With beaches packed, barbecue sales soaring and warnings of traffic jams on the roads, Britons look set to enjoy summer's last hurrah in style this weekend – even if it is officially autumn.

British-based Rán win Audi MedCup in Barcelona

Victory was sweet for the British-based Rán winning the Barcelona Trophy finale of the Audi MedCup series. It crowned a debut season for Skype founder Niklas Zennström in his 52-footer and completed the treble of back-to-back Fastnet Race wins and the Mini-maxi division of the world series in Porto Cervo.

Zennstrom continues upward march

Is Skype founder Niklas Zennström on a roll? Having won the Fastnet Race, he jetted his crew across to Sardinia and Porto Cervo to win the mini-maxi division of the maxi worlds and then to Catalunya.

Turkey expels Israel envoy over flotilla raid row

Turkey announced the expulsion of Israel's ambassador yesterday and the freezing of military relations in response to the Netanyahu government's refusal to apologise for the lethal raid it authorised on a Gaza-bound flotilla 15 months ago.

Corsica: Beach bliss on a wild isle

After the summer crowds have dispersed, Corsica's idyllic coastal campsites are free to enjoy in perfect peace, says Tristan Rutherford
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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 23 January 2015
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
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Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

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Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
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Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

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Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
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The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea