A main attraction of Vendee villas is the sunny climate with access to miles of safe, sandy beaches. Many are lifeguard patrolled and designated ‘blue flag' beaches. Les Sables d'Olonne is the largest seaside resort and one of the safest on this coast. Alternatively La Tranche-sur-Mer to the south is another good family beach backed by dunes and forests and well served with watersports operators and cafes. Bretignolles-sur-mer is a favourite surf beach with waves that reach 15 or 16 feet, watch out for rocks though, this one is for experienced surfers only - but it's also a great spectator sport. Don't miss a peep back to holidays of the past at Plages des Dames at Ile de Noirmoutier - it still has the original 20th century wooden bathing huts that ladies used to change in privacy.