a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Biking Around Bora Bora
Biking Around Bora Bora

Biking Around Bora Bora

Biking Around Bora Bora

After an amazing trip to Moorea in 2022, we spent 8 days exploring the main island and lagoons of Bora Bora in 2023. There are many great things to do when traveling to Bora Bora: diving, snorkeling, hiking, kiting, paddling, biking, and relaxing.

We spent one lovely afternoon biking around Bora Bora and had a blast!

Rental Bikes in Bora Bora
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Table of Contents

Renting a Bike

Before traveling across the Pacific, we had a few activities in mind while visiting Bora Bora. But being a cycling enthusiast, I just had to spend a little bit of time exploring the island on two wheels.

Additionally, I was able to rope the whole family in on this adventure! As a group of four, we were looking for a place to rent some bikes for the day.

Rent Bikes from Roulette Matira
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Roulotte Matira (snack stand)

Searching online for bike rentals wasn’t very helpful, but a morning run definitely was. It turns out most places have beach cruisers for rent if you just stop in and ask. Within a mile of our rental house, there were multiple places with bike (“velo” in French) rentals (“location” in French). It will literally say “velo location” for “bike rentals” if your French is rusty.

“Velo Location” = “Bike Rental”

Most of the bikes for rent are not fancy. They are single-speed beach cruisers with pedal breaks and may wobble a little. However, you don’t really need anything else for island riding.

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Our rental bikes!

We grabbed four bikes from the Roulotte Matira snack stand across the street from the Matira public beach.

Each bike cost 1500 CFP (circa $15) to rent for the day (most rentals are 1500-2100 CFP daily). The owners of the snack stand helped us adjust the seat heights and we were off for the afternoon.

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Roulotte Matira with rental bikes

Other places we saw bikes for rent near us included:

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The Lucky House

The Route Around Bora Bora

The main road around Bora Bora is about 19.5 miles (31 km) long. There are a few side roads into the interior of the island that you can venture down but they become very steep, very quickly. These side roads would have been too much on our single-speed rental bikes!

Route around Bora Bora
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We Started Our Ride Near Matira Beach.

The only side road we explored was on the far south end of the island where the Matira Public Beach Pavilion is (across from Roulotte Matira where we rented our bikes). There isn’t much down this road except for the InterContinental Resort and some Airbnbs. If you are into kiting, the Kite Surf School Polynesia boat is located here as well.

This is also a place where you can get onto the water to float or paddle out to the Coral Gardens.

Biking around Bora Bora
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Resting at the top of the ONE hill!

Be Prepared for a Big Hill.

On the northwest end of the island there is one big hill to climb. It is relatively steep at 156 ft (47 m) so be ready to build some speed as your approach or be prepared to walk.

At the top of the hill and on the corner, there is a small hike to see a couple of the remaining cannons from WWII. This brief hike may cost 500 CFP, but it is a beautiful view and definitely is worth the trek, especially if you like history. Note that there is not much parking at the top of the hill if you arrive by car.

Otherwise, the rest of the loop around the island is relatively flat in elevation.

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Short Anau Canons Hike

The road around the island is well maintained black top. Sometimes there is a bike/pedestrian lane but most of the time it is just a two lane road.

Generally, the traffic around the island is light with a maximum speed limit of 60 kph (37.5 mph).

The only place that got a little bit dicy was in front of the Chin Lee Supermarket in Vaitape. Road traffic is busier here, but manageable.

Biking around Bora Bora
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Places to Stop

The roughly 20-mile trip around the main island of Bora Bora took us approximately 3-hours. It was really 2-hours of riding with 1-hour of stops along the way.

The first stop we made was at a little grocery on the north end of the island. Unfortunately, their refrigerator was broken, so we left without a cold drink.

The next stop along the way on the north end of the island was at the Naval Museum Bora Bora. This is a small, one room museum with many ship models. There is no cost to enter, but feel free to leave a donation.

On the far north end of the island, where the Popoti Hike begins, the hike guide sells fresh fruit, fresh coconuts and coconut ice cream. We stopped to enjoy a coconut and learned a little bit about the Popoti trek. It is a private road, so you will need to hire a guide or pay to enter.

On our return to Matira Beach, we made one final stop for ice cream. Just south of Viatape there is a homemade gelato shop, Iaorana Gelato. We had a few scoops of delicious ice cream to recharge. If you are hungry for more after the ride there are also burgers and pizza on the menu.

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Post ride walk on Matira Beach

Preparing for Your Ride

Although the elevation is minimal and the road is in great conditions, you should definitely prepare before heading out for a ride.

Also remember to apply ample sun screen and to reapply a few times throughout the route.

I will repeat this for those that are not from the tropics… sun screen. Sun Screen! SUN Screen!! SUN SCREEN!!!

Moreover, large hats and sunglasses are highly recommended. There is minimal shade along the road and the reflection from the water is intense around the entire island.

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Finally, remember to bring plenty of water and snacks. Although it is only 20 miles, the sun is strong and you will definitely need some refreshments along the way. There very few places to stop and purchase refreshments on the north or west sides of the island. Keep that in mind before you depart!

Final Thoughts on Biking Around Bora Boar

This was a really great adventure and a great way to spend the afternoon. If you are looking for a fun afternoon activity, bikes offer an easy way to explore the island.

I recommend taking your time and stopping anywhere that looks interesting! Maybe save the hikes for another adventure, but definitely take time to get out of the sun or to cool off in the water if you have the chance.

Overall, this is a great way to see the island at a slower pace.

Have fun exploring Bora Bora by bike!

Thanks for reading. ~KiteBikeVan

Biking around Bora Bora
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