Deshaies is a charming little fishing village of the Guadeloupe archipelago located northwest of Basse-Terre. His village with his creole houses is nestled at the bottom of a bay protected by the mountain. Its known history dates from the seventeenth century, at the time of the 1st settlers. According to the record, the Genoese sailor would even halted in the bay and will be supplied with water in the river. Hayes was then part of the parish of Grand Cul de Sac, which extended the current municipalities of Pointe-Noire Deshaies, Sainte-Rose and Lamentin Baie-Mahault. According to 1671 records, Deshaies included 24 houses, including that of Mr Potherie who built a mill and a sugar factory on the site of the current village. The name of The Hayes would an aboriginal who gave his name to the river and cove of the village. During the sugar crisis of 1686, the economy declined. Faced with frequent attacks by English pirates of looting, the place is gradually depopulated. So the people who remained turned to food crops and small livestock. The center of the parish was not at the current location is Grande Anse, which was in the seventeenth century the religious and administrative center. It was not until 1730 that the town settled in Anse Des Hayes, it was decided to build a church that was then easily accessible by boat.
The eighteenth century was marked by multiple invasions of pirates , wars with the English. Before these attacks and looting repeatedly , the area remained isolated, this is how the militias were formed and defense points created in Gros Morne , the Battery Point and Point Ferry. (you can still see the guns of Battery Point and Gros Morne ) At the end of the old regime, the most important mass consisted of 726 against 137 slaves and 54 free white color.
In 1789, it was the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era was detrimental to development contrary to Deshaies . From 1803 Deshaies undergoes further attacks of English with the naval battle . The looting that followed the following year as well as epidemics and fevers of the marshes who succeeded provoked a strong exodus of the population. Thus in 1822 the territory numbered only 494 souls. The abolition of slavery in 1848 radically changed social relations. The town lived some periods of considerable tension between owners and workers. The commune due to its isolation was particularly marginalized until the 2nd World War. Deshaies was almost exclusively turned to the sea , carrying to Basse-Terre in traditional sailing canoe charcoal produced on site. This predisposed to the trades of the sea.
" The coast under the wind grateful " is the inscription on the memorial that will be on the commemorative terminal opening the Route Nationale 2 in 1957. This RN2 connects Deshaies to its natural and administrative environment . The road was fatal opening up to shipping . Deshaies are then found an opportunity to develop the holders assets for the future : the tourist economy . In the 60 opens the existing hotel Langley Fort Royal built on an old defense site at Point Wind bottom . The tourism industry has created multiple complementary activities ( water sports , sport fishing, hiking , scuba diving ...) and the development of cruise tourism makes Deshaies an internationally popular tourist destination .