Sunshine and nightlife! It's impossible to mention the Balearic Islands without conjuring up images of stunning yet busy beaches and the huge night-clubs of Ibiza which are popular with a young, cosmopolitan crowd. But there's more to the islands than meets the eye. Despite the summer crowds and lines of hotels, the Balearic Islands, just off the coast of Valencia, have managed to preserve their unique identity: historic Mallorca, unspoilt Minorca and quiet Formentera. Even lively Ibiza is home to small unspoilt creeks. The cuisine here, including specialities such as the ensaimada (a typical Mallorcan brioche), is also considered to be among the best in Spain, with little international influence. Finally, diving enthusiasts, mountain bikers and hikers will be in their element on any one of these idyllic islands.