Gites in the Vendee are great for family holidays with plenty to do and see. The sunny climate and miles of blue flag beaches make the Vendee a more easily reachable alternative to the South of France. The local towns are steeped in history, La Roche sur Yon was developed by Napoleon in 1804 using his favoured neoclassical, imperial style. It was actually named ‘Napoleon' for a time but reverted back to the original village name in 1870. Les Sables d'Olonne is a lovely beach resort with plenty of good restaurants and a seafront promenade that fills with street performers and traders on summer evenings.