Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise – A 9 Hour Bike Ride Around Bora Bora

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Bora Bora Bike Ride

Deserted Road in Paradise!

Emily Jablon: After breakfast, Daraius and I had plans to go for a glass bottom boat tour, but the trip got canceled because of the high winds and strong currents.  So we rented bikes and went on a bike ride around the island.  It was very easy to rent the bikes from the Intercontinental Thalasso, but there were slightly cheaper options right outside of the hotel (there were two shops within walking distance).

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Bike Rental Outside the InterContinental La Moana

The bikes came with baskets and a lock and key.  The lady who rented the bikes gave us her phone number (it was on the bike key chain) and said to call her if anything happens.  I scheduled a spa appointment at 6:00 pm for both of us since we’d be tired after biking around for the entire day.

Daraius:  We were ready early in the morning for our glass-bottom boat tour, so we decided to rent bikes instead.  I love riding bikes and set my mind on biking around the entire island.  What could be more fun than biking around an idyllic tropical island, right?  Bora Bora is only 18 miles in circumference, so I thought this would be a short easy ride, except that I went on a route with the wind blowing against us, instead of with us.

It cost only 2,200 XPF (~$24) to rent a bike for the entire day.  This was by far the cheapest activity we had in Bora Bora.  We rented the bikes through the activities desk at the InterContinental Thalasso, but picked the bikes up at the InterContinental LaMoana on the main island.  We took the free shuttle boat between the Thalasso and LaMoana.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Map of Bora Bora

Emily Jablon:  We soon biked past a small real estate shop and peered against the glass to look at the house prices in Paradise.  365,000 euro for a bungalow on its own motu was certainly cheaper than some of the houses we had seen in Orange County.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

House on a Motu

Emily Jablon:  After about 15 minutes on the bikes, Daraius got a flat tire on his bike.  We went into a nearby shop and called the lady who came with a new bike within 15 minutes.  She only had an electric bike left (without a basket), so we took that one instead.  I rode the electric bike and Daraius rode my bike.

We stopped at the famous restaurant Bloody Mary’s but it was closed since we there early in the morning.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Biking Outside Bloody Mary’s

The Moon guide to Tahiti said that there was a viewpoint just after the restaurant, but we couldn’t find it.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Emily Outside Bloody Mary’s Restaurant

We did find a chained off dirt road with angry dogs barking and a local woman warning us about the “chiens” (dogs in french) to so we went back to the main road.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Trying to Find the View Point

We then cycled on to Viatape, or the main shopping area and got some souvenirs.  As we kept cycling, we noticed two supermarkets.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Biking Towards Viatape

We went in to each one and found much lower prices than what we paid for water and snacks at the touristy boutique shops.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Emily Outside The Super U

We went for lunch at Restaurant St James which had a nice view but the food was not very good (and it was a little expensive too).

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Lunch at Restaurant St James

Daraius ordered mahi mahi with coconut sauce.  I had a Power Bar and bacon flavored Pringles, and ordered a trio of chocolate, vanilla, and pistachio crème brulee.  With my fish allergy I have to be careful and on a remote island cannot afford to take risks.

We continued our bike ride around the island (Daraius was stubborn and wanted to make the full loop).  We saw fruit stalls on the road.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Fruit Stalls on The Road

We had just had lunch, but the glutton Daraius stopped to buy banana bread.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Banana Bread by the Side of the Road

We passed docks where they were unloading containers from ships.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Bora Bora Docks

After we passed Viatape the road was mostly empty and we had absolutely gorgeous views.

We could just stop by the side of the road…

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Pulling Off to the Side of the Road

…and sit by the beach and realize how lucky we were to be surrounded by such beauty.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Deserted Beach

We drove by what appeared to be private overwater bungalows.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Private Overwater Bungalows

And saw more beautiful views.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

A Beautiful Day

We saw boats and…

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Fishing Boats

…stopped to smell the mangoes on the trees.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Mango Trees

And chill out under the coconut trees.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Chilling out Under the Coconut Trees

After 4 to 5 hours, we realized that we were a little too ambitious to cycle the entire island since the wind was blowing against us. We were more worried about making it back in time for the 5:30 pm boat back to the Inter-Continental Thalasso for your spa appointments (we’d forfeit the money if we didn’t show up).

If we had two electric bikes it would have been fine.  The wind was pretty strong and Daraius couldn’t keep up with the electric bike.   Our loop took ~8 to 9 hours and we only made a few short stops for lunch, shopping, and chilling out.

Bora Bora Bike Ride

Flowers in Bora Bora

Daraius did most of the manual cycling (poor honey).  I offered my electric bike to Daraius several times, but being a man he refused (sigh!).  So I took pictures of the flowers while waiting for Daraius to catch up.  But towards the end, when we realized that we were very close to the end, Daraius switched to the electric bike.

After our bike ride, we took the boat back to our resort, and went for a massage and pedicure.  I’m not sure I’d do this again on a regular bike (the electric bike was easier), but it is great story to tell our family!

Daraius:  I’d totally do this again, except that I’ll be more careful about which direction the wind is blowing!

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30 responses to “Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise – A 9 Hour Bike Ride Around Bora Bora

  1. Um, the island is more or less circular, right? Wouldn’t the wind be against you half the time, whichever direction you went, and with you the other half? And are the electric bikes more expensive to rent than the pedal kind? {I understand yours was a replacement, but if we wanted to cruise instead of sweat, do you know what that cost?}

    Great trip report, hopefully with more to come. Tahiti dreaming on such a winters day…..

  2. Thanks for taking a picture of the wind. Now the wind won’t blow anymore.

  3. @Ace: lolz, best Sunday morning laugh in recent weeks!

    • @Robert Hanson – That’s true, but we had the wind blowing against us on the (slightly) uphill section towards the end. We also spent more time than we realized going into shops, eating, and chilling out, so the wind blowing against us on the loop back didn’t help, since we had to be back by 5:00 pm. The eclectic bikes weren’t much more expensive. I want to say not more than double the price of the regular bike or ~4,400 XPF or ~$46 for the entire day.

      @ace @CodeAdam10 – Just let me know if there is anything else you’d like to make disappear. 🙂

  4. Daraius and Emily, I love your trip reports! Can’t wait to read the rest of this one. I’m dreaming of Bora Bora…. 🙂

  5. Darius! I loved the post about the your 9 hour tour around Bora Bora. I, too, just rented an electric bike while in the Costa Brava area of Spain and loved them, too bad you didn’t get two of them! Also, I wanted to point out that I love the fact that Emily is smiling in almost every photo. What a pleasant life partner you have picked! Also, It like the fact that you guys write honestly. Trips to foreign places are not always easy and so you let the readers know right off the bat what was easy and what was hard. As far as ace and codeadam10, grrrr, they drive me crazy with their negativity, but they do add to your # of visits of your website, so they only drive traffic to your website, which makes the laugh on them! 🙂

  6. Having been out of the country for so long and busy with my own travel blogging, I have missed reading your blog for a while, and just read this post first today. Buth then I started reading the post about you missing your flight for this 2nd honeymoon and you describing Emily. See what I mean by having a pleasant life partner! You are so lucky. Mine is not so pleasant and would have been furious with me if I had done such a thing. You are truly blessed!

  7. You need to wrkout my boy. Lol

  8. No surprise, you made my blog again:-)

    Pretty impressive what you have done with the blog and keeping a full time job. The biggest test would be when a baby comes along;-)

    In the past six months I have had two clients divorce. They used to be so in love. Enjoy the good times and may you be blessed with only good times…which is highly unlikely as you age, just ask pointsandtravel and moi;-)

  9. OK, so the point is that it’s better to go one direction, rather than the other. For those of us who are hoping to “someday” get to Bora Bora ourselves, which way is the best one to go ? Following the hints in the article, and using Google Maps, it seems you went clockwise from the La Moana aka to your right, but recomend going counter clockwise, aka to the left from the hotel….

  10. @Robert. Or spit on your finger and see which way when pointed the wind dries it.. bike the other way and then hope by second half of the ride the wind has died or shifted lol

    • @Mike – I sure do!

      @TravelBloggerBuzz – What an honor. 🙂

      @Robert Hanson @mike fein
      – We went clockwise and I’d still go that way again because it had less uphill sections than going counter-clockwise. But it really is up to luck on the day you set out. You’ll be fine with the electric bike (it has 3 speeds) as long as you pace yourself well if you’re trying to come back by a certain time.

  11. Great report! I love reading your trip reports, please keep them coming.

  12. Heaven! I love the freesia flowers pictures…

  13. I, too, love your reports! When we were on Bora Bora 23 years ago for our honeymoon, we stayed at Moana. We rented a scooter which seemed pretty popular there at the time — are they still? Hubby drove and I sat on the back. I was terrified because he was driving wayyyy toooo fast!! The funny thing is, we thought WE drove around the entire island, but I don’t recall it looking like anything you’ve pictured here, so now I’m not sure! LOL One other key point here: Hubby thought I was overreacting to his need for speed. Well! As we boarded our flight from Bora Bora to Papeete, there was a young man on our flight all bandaged up and in tremendous pain on his way to the hospital in Papeete. We asked his father what had happened. Guess what? Scooter accident…..

    It’s hard to describe the beautiful water of Bora Bora and what it is like to stay in an over the water bungalow — there is nothing like it! Thanks again for sharing, you two. 🙂

  14. Is that a he or a she in the first photo? Pretty ugly whoever it is.

  15. The IRONY that you were too early for Bloody Mary’s! LOL

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  21. Thank you Daraius and Emily for posting your experience with this activity.
    My wife and I followed your lead and rode around the island yesterday.
    We walked to the end of the IC Le Moana drive where the shop across the street wanted 1300 XPF for a half day rental of black half-suspension Mountain Bikes. The shop keeper indicated the loop around the island was a 2 to 2.5 hour ride. He recommended counter-clock-wise (looking from space). My wife wasn’t interested in his bikes at all, wanting a bike with a basket. We walked down to the girl renting outside the Maitai Hotel and my wife selected an electric with a basket. Maybe it was the bike Emily rode?! The girl also recommended a counter-clock-wise loop, explaining that since they drive on the right side of the road, you’ll hug the coast whereas the other way you’ll be further from the beach and will have to cross traffic every time you want to pull over to take a picture. I wanted to save the money since the 3500 XPF rate for a daily rental (half day not available) was almost triple. I walked back to get a Mountain Bike for myself. I used to ride quite a bit and was once told by a Cat 2 rider “Hey, you’re pretty good for a hairy-legs” so I figured I’d keep up with my wife, no problem. It might not have been too bad except I wasn’t wearing bike shorts and the black bikes were all small frame sizes so even with the seat adjusted max out it was way too small for me. I agree this is a good outing but would definitely recommend the electric bikes. Plan on a three hour loop. Bring water. And know, this is not laying out at the Thalasso. After the ride, re-reading your post, I can’t believe you didn’t mention more about dogs, chickens, dogs, speeding cars, and dogs. Most dogs we saw didn’t look very happy or healthy. It seemed every single beach bungalow had a dog and that dog had a couple dog friends. We saw dogs running across the road, laying out sunning themselves on the street, near the street, on boats, on docks… everywhere. Fortunately, the only two dogs that seemed ferocious and wanted to chase us were chained down. The big pack of ten or so dogs at the entrance to the dump eyed us and made us a little nervous but they didn’t bark. The human locals were all friendly with a quick smile and greeting: “Ia Orana (yo-rah-nah).” I’m glad we did the ride. My wife did it for me. I would not have pushed it without your post as a prompt so Thank You again!

  22. Hi Daraius! Thank you for the informative posts!

    A couple questions about your visit to Bora Bora:

    1. The Super U market… where is this on a map? Is it North or South of Chin-Lee Magasin? Near the Vaitape dock/tourist center?
    2. Do they sell alcohol at the Super U? How about at Chin-Lee?
    3. From your image on Intercontinental Shuttle Boat times (between Le Moana and Thalasso), it appears the last boat back to the Thalasso is at 10pm. What other options are there to get back to Thalasso if we choose to stay out at, say, Bloody Mary’s late into the night?

    Thanks for the help!!!

    • @John T – Thanks so much for sharing your ride experience and the bike tips. We did see a few dogs but they let us be, so I didn’t think much of it. We’re used to stray dogs when we travel, but would have mentioned it if they were mean dogs. We rarely came across many cars once we crossed out of the Viatape area. I guess we’re used to all that when we visit India. Glad you and your wife had a fun time!

      @William S – It is North of Chin Lees. I believe both shops sell alcohol. I’m not sure what to do if you stay out later than 10:00 pm besides charter a private boat back! If your hotel is on the main land, you can take a taxi back, but you need a boat to get to any of the hotels on a Motu.

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