At the gates of the « Côte sous le vent » a series of coves with clear waters and beaches are dotted alongthe coast , punctuated with rocky and abrupt headlands. Between the sea and the mountains, amongst these lands of contrast and wild reliefs, the little village of Deshaies offers charm and authenticity, a relief of Guadeloupe « from days gone by » as the West Indians say, from a time when people had time to spare.
Coiled up in the hollow of a deep cove and surrounded by hillsides, Deshaies is a charming little fisherman's village. Far from contemporary agitation and crowds, this site is miraculously preserved, as if suspended in a dream world. Peaceful and calm, punctuated only with the shouting of children fishing in the port, Deshaies is a haven where it is nice to stop, to soak up this nonchalent atmosphere so typical of the West Indies, to eat on the terrace of the restaurant « Chez Racine » or to drink a ti-punch while watching the sunset at the back of the bay. Here, you need to find the time to forget about the time.
The suburb of Deshaies opens the gates of the « Côte sous le vent ». This région which stretches from Sainte Rose in the north-west of Basse terre to Baillif at the southern point, was, until recently, not very well served by public transport and was relatively well protected from urbanization and mass tourism. From now onwards, equipped with road infrastructure, this region is slowly opening up to tourists for the enjoyment of amateurs of wild and authentic nature.
A magnificent road, where rocky peaks alternate with coves with turquoise water, offers exceptional views. First, the latter runs along the beach of Cluny, a superb stretch of coralian pink sand, bordered with tree trunks. Some days you must be extra careful as the sea can be agitated and waves can make swimming dangerous. Then, the road gains height and offers a panoramic view over the small island of Kahouanne. A clearing on the side of the road enables you to stop and take a few snapshots. Further along, the beach of La Perle bears its name well : it is a setting of reddish-brown sand alongside a crystal colored sea.
Before you arrive in Deshaies, the Grande Anse beach stretches before you, most certainly the most beautiful beach of the Basse-terre, but also the longest. Bordered with palm trees it offers welcoming shade, especially to picnic amateurs who particularly enjoy this setting. Here, no concrete or facilities, just wild nature and quiet. But, in exchange for this triumphant nature, swimming is not supervised and even if the atmosphere is a family one, you must still watch over your children when they are swimming. When the sea swells with waves, it is even recommended to adults not to swim. Finally, behind this rocky overhang which separates it from the beach, the cove of Deshaies offers to fishermen and yachtsmen the security of its deep and protected waters protected by the hilside surrounding it. As a popular spot for deep sea divers, the surrounding regions abund in cayes and other popular sea curiosities. On your way out of Deshaies, don't forget to go and visit the Botanical Garden (Jardin Botanique). In the heart of a 10 acre property belonging to Coluche, a French comedian, this garden, with its explosion of colors, offers a huge variety of tropical plants (800 plant species), but also 11 animal species in partial liberty, a lake of pink flamingos, aviaries, a torrent, a village of parrots… An enchantment for adults as well as children !
Calm and family oriented, the « windy coast » is today a popular region for its wild charm and authenticity and Deshaies is its best representative.