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.

Best for reluctant downhillers: Sainte Foy

I have to admit that I'd never enjoyed skiing. So the prospect of our first "family" trip to the Alps, with all its potential for hellish whingeing from frozen, bruised children, left me feeling distinctly – well – chilly. And why blame the children? Let's face it, zooming down icy mountains at breakneck speed just isn't my thing. With a string of disaster stories behind me I was horrified I'd be unmasked to my offspring as a quivering, lily-livered wreck, at least when faced with a snow-covered slope, unable to subsume my own fears and grumbles for the benefit of their holiday enjoyment. After all, what kind of a mother am I?

Sport on TV: Sue out in cold but boys from the white stuff back on form

Poor old Sue Barker. Last week she might have expected some days in the sun at the Australian Open in Melbourne, given that Murray mania was rearing its curly head again, but where did the BBC send her? Freezing Tallinn in Estonia, to cover the European Figure Skating Championships (BBC2, Sunday).

Get on the VIP list in Val d'Isère

Andrew Tong lives the high life in the French Alps thanks to a new ski package that won't break the bank

Quarter of skiers still drunk morning after

Almost a quarter of skiers are unknowingly taking to the slopes still drunk from the night before, a survey today shows.

To the wild frontiers: America's backwoods ski resorts offer new challenges

Forget the flat, icy slopes of Killington in Vermont, or the speed traps and over-eager ski patrols of Vail in Colorado: the real beating heart of the US ski industry has always been the powder-laden, character-filled and downright scary resorts that cling to America's steeper mountains. Some of these towns have histories stretching back to the gold-rush days, others are authentic cowboy hang-outs where Stetson hats outnumber beanies. Yet more are mining settlements that happen to back on to incredible slopes. All share the small-town Americana culture that Springsteen sings about, and tend to be as wild and carefree as their bearded patrons.

On The Road: Battling snow and wind in search of the perfect surf

The sat-nav screen illuminates the dark cab of the Land Rover. We sit in the lay-by just off the coastal road cocooned in down-filled jackets, the hammer of the diesel engine replaced by the ticking of the motor as it cools. The road traces a narrow line between the deep crystalline Japan Sea and fractured, vertical rock faces. At times there's enough room for two cars to pass, just. The single strip of cracked asphalt weaves through cavernous, twisting tunnels only to emerge into the bright light of yet another hidden cove.

Album: Vampire Weekend, Contra (XL recordings)

A feast of Soweto shimmer and tropicalia translucence

'Car snowboarding' stunt condemned as reckless

Police today condemned thrill-seekers who have been dangerously "car snowboarding" on icy roads.

2010 begins with big chill

Some took to the slopes to celebrate the new year, others took to the water

Enjoy some fun and Games at Vancouver's city limits

All eyes are on Whistler ahead of the Winter Olympics, but there are resorts even closer to the host venue. Colin Nicholson reports

Learning the slopes: Kitzbühel is the perfect place for a novice to get to grips with the Alps

Don't be put off by the child prodigy skiers or the heavyweight schnitzel-based dinners.

Games review: Tony Hawk Ride

Shaun White is already the biggest name in snowboarding, and now he's aiming to raise the bar even higher

The kid who won Olympic gold at just 19 and spawned a whole new level of hero worship

Ski gear: Ready to wear this winter

There are ski accessories out there to cater for every need. Mark Harris makes his selection

Beginner's Guide To: Winter sports insurance

With the ski season just around the corner, it's the time to start thinking about your travel insurance if you'll be hitting the slopes this winter. Yet most policies don't include cover for winter sports as standard so it's essential to make sure you will be insured for whatever snow-based activity you'll be partaking in.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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