Île de Nuku Hiva aux Marquises

Mehdi Gabrillargues - pro cyclist

Mehdi Gabrillargues

Passionate about sports since his childhood and a regular participant in bike competitions around the world since he was 18, Mehdi Gabrillargues chose to settle in French Polynesia for its relaxed lifestyle. Although he made his career as a champion on a classic bike, in 2016 Mehdi became a pioneer in the field of electrically assisted bicycles (EAB) in French Polynesia, opening the first E-bike store in the territory.

The popularity of electrically assisted mountain bikes is now proven in French Polynesia, where Mehdi has opened six stores so far. In order to support the service providers wishing to offer E-bike tours in the islands, he has also become an E-bike trainer in French Polynesia. E-bikes are now a new way to discover the Islands of Tahiti. The E-bikes are available for rent or as part of guided tours. It's an efficient way to do some green tourism while enjoying the most beautiful Polynesian landscapes. 

After more than 20 years spent in Tahiti, Mehdi Gabrillargues has many projects in mind, and always the same passion for the islands he explores every day:

« I still feel a bit like I'm on vacation since I've been here, it's amazing!»

Are you passionate about sports? Or maybe you just want to try the electric bike to experience a unique stay in French Polynesia? Discover the Islands of Tahiti through the eyes of a sportsman, an explorer, a passionate man: Mehdi Gabrillargues reveals his own Polynesia through his main passion, mountain biking.

Mehdi Gabrillargues faisant du vélo dans la montagne

Rent an electrically assisted bicycle (EAB) to explore French Polynesia

Mehdi Gabrillargues considers the EAB as one of the best ways to visit the mountainous islands of French Polynesia (Society, Austral and Marquesas Archipelagos): "It is important to visit the mountains as much as the sea when you are in the islands, it is really complementary. [...] The electric bike is ideal to explore French Polynesia, it makes the relief of the islands much more accessible for everyone! For example, you can ride with your family. Each member of the family will have a different assistance mode, but it allows both regulars and less sporty people to ride together." Thanks to this assistance system, adjustable according to the abilities and energy of each individual, no one is left out! You can easily explore the most beautiful hiking trails in Tahiti with your friends and family.

Rent a bike for a day, a week, a month, or book a guided tour and discover Tahiti, Moorea and many other islands: "E-bike is represented in 16 islands (Raiatea, Rurutu, Huahine, etc.) in our stores and through service providers who rent our bikes or offer guided tours accessible to all."

"There is a lot to do in Tahiti and Moorea. In Tahiti there is the Belvedere, for example, where you can eat at the restaurant at the end of the tour, the La Mission tour, where you will find paths to do some more technical riding, or the peninsula and Vaipahi. In Moorea, the bike ride around the island is a popular excursion, and there's also the pineapple route and the X-Terra competition trail, which is a big, easy and very accessible trail, shaped like a spider web."

Vue sur une baie de l'île de Nuku Hiva (Marquises)

Live a unique sporting experience in the Marquesas

"In French Polynesia, there are many perfect places for biking, but the Place To Be is really Nuku Hiva, in the Marquesas!" After Tahiti and Moorea, Mehdi's playground extended to the Marquesas Archipelago: wild and majestic, these islands are like no other. The impressive cliffs, the black or white sand beaches, the luxuriant vegetation, the large Marquesan tiki and the numerous archaeological sites give the Marquesas a very special charm.

"It is really the New Zealand of French Polynesia: there are many different landscapes! Forests, canyons, desert, beaches... So we created a concept of E-bike tours in Nuku Hiva: we ride our bikes in the morning, and in the afternoon we do other very different activities, like fishing, for example. Our second E-bike concept takes place over 5 days and 350 km. Caravans follow the participants with a cook and everything you need to eat and sleep, and we ride around the island. It's very beautiful, we cross all the sceneries, and it remains accessible and family oriented."

Vue aérienne sur des personnes faisant du vélo en montagne

Cycling across Tahiti

Tahiti's hiking trails have no secrets for Mehdi. And if he had to choose only one route accessible to all, it would be the well-known "route traversière", linking two coasts of the island, from north to south: "For a family outing, I recommend the traversière going from Papeno'o to Mataiea. It's a guided tour (with certified E-bike instructors) during which we cross Tahiti from one side to the other, with an incredible landscape during 45 km. It's great! There is a tunnel that takes you from one scenery to another, with a different climate and vegetation, there are waterfalls, you will go uphill, downhill and ride on flat roads. You can swim, stop to take pictures, and just enjoy... it's a really fun day!"

Vue sur les montagnes de Tahiti

Go to the summits of Tahiti

Climbing the Polynesian mountains will give you the opportunity to have another point of view on the wonderful landscapes around you. Some hikes allow you to discover the island of Tahiti at 360°! With an E-bike, you can ride to the top of Mount Marau, at an altitude of 1,500 meters: "You realize that you are really on an island: you have an incredible view, you can see everything, the orange tree plateau, the diadem, the lagoon and the city...". 

For the more experienced hikers, the hike up Mount Aorai is another exciting challenge. Some parts of this long hike are very difficult and require the supervision of a hiking guide. But at 2000 meters of altitude, your efforts will be rewarded by one of the most beautiful landscapes of French Polynesia: "Being on top of Aorai in the morning, with the sea of clouds and the city in the background... it's incredible! The view is simply magnificent."

Corbeilles remplies de fruits locaux (bananes, mangues, carambole, etc..)

Taste the local flavors

After all these sporting adventures, let's get some energy back with the delicious Polynesian delicacies. Indeed, the key to any successful trip to French Polynesia lies in your plate! In this regard, Mehdi has a very simple advice for all visitors: "Taste all the natural ingredients here. Fruits and fish are delicious. Tuna for raw fish and sashimi of course, but also mahi mahi (dolphinfish), sweetlip emperor, red mullet... and barbecued lobsters! The red meat is often imported from New Zealand, but it is delicious, of very good quality, and affordable."

In his suitcases, Mehdi always brings vanilla from Taha'a to his family and friends: "Like pearls, it's a must-have to offer to family and friends in mainland France."

To enjoy all these flavors, Mehdi has some great spots in Tahiti: "I like the restaurant l'O à la Bouche (in Papeete), the Lotus (at the InterContinental Hotel in Faa'a), and Café Maeva in Papeete and Vaipoopooo (Punaauia), run by Cedric Wane."