Flaten – Erstavik – Nacka reservat
The Stockholm Classic
Direction: Heading East
Percentage: 90% gravel
Route designer: Olivier Henrat
The area of Nacka and Erstavik is well known to any gravel-ers from Stockholm and
its surroundings. This route which I partly use to take for my commute to and from
work took a whole new dimension the first time I met Gerry Askefalk. Eternally
thankful for having me to open my eyes to what became one of my favourite
This ride will have you starting and finishing at the Kaffestugan Torpet in Örhem with
good car parking possibilities close by. The place goes into hibernation between
October and March but is otherwise opened between 10:00-17:00 Friday through to
Sunday.This could be reassuring to know, because the ride can definitely be of the sporty
type and although being one of our shortest loops, it is rather demanding terrain!
Starting with the West side of Flaten, you are directly thrown into a roller coaster of
winding roads with beautiful views, which leaves you torn between carrying along
because the terrain is so damn fun to ride and stopping to admire the scenery.
Tough situation to be in, right? Well get used to it because this is only the appetiser!
After a first punchy climb (right after a kolonilott area) and a slightly sketchy descent
at about 2,3km in, you will be led to cross under the road 229 (Tyresövägen) to
reach, just on the other side, the Ältasjö with a very nice wooden bridge. Right before
it begins, don´t miss to turn left to avoid the stairs or else you will find yourself forced
to take a short swim!
Leaving Ältasjön, you might appreciate a 2 km stretch of tarmac to let it all sink in
and fuel up. There´s loads more to come….
The tarmac suddenly disappear and you are welcomed back into the forest with very
fast and compact gravel roads leading you to Erstavik. Follow the directions and you
will be rewarded with a very refreshing view on the turquoise sea always offering
amazing contrasting colours.
There´s a slight price to pay for this view though… In order to avoid a proclaimed
private property, we will direct you on a slightly root-y single track where (unless
technically gifted), you will have to put your foot down and push for a couple of
meters. Take the opportunity to train your remounting skills!
Back on track and it´s the same dilemma: pretty views over Erstavik combined with a
playful terrain with big rollers and short but steep climbs.
Passing by the South of Lundsjön-Dammsjön, there will be short portion of bicycle
lane to ride until you reach Saltsjöbadens Golfklubb which we will follow through the
The surface you will have under your tyres will mainly be smooth gravel. Only at
some rare occasions you will have to pick your line between smaller rocks.
Small rocks, however, there will be plenty of in the rather tough climb coming at you
after having crossed road 260 (Ältavägen). You will certainly ask yourself why on
earth we had to guide you there but the answer is not long awaited!
The descent coming is guaranteed to have your pulse raised! Rather flow-y and with
small jumps over rocks, oh boy this is a thrilling highlight for the adrenaline junky!
In order to calm down a bit, we head now towards the shore of Källtorpssjön. Very
often trafficked by walkers, take this moment to catch your breath back up and why
not take a dip if the weather allows for it!
Our front wheel will be then pointing towards a elljusspår with again great undulating
tracks through the forest. Bear in mind that there could be walkers and joggers on
the track not expecting and not even hearing a crazy gravel-er blasting through! Show
respect, be friendly and consider that you represent to them the Swedish gravel
community! Thank you!
Crossing back Ältavägen (crossing in the curve with limited visibility and cars coming
up quite quickly is rather not recommended!), you will find yourself on a larger
smooth single track bringing you to Axvallsvägen. Yes, it’s asphalt, yes it´s quite steep
but there are still worse places to be biking!
The entering back in the Nacka nature reserve is made on, yet again, very wide and
compact gravel roads passing by Björkhagens Golfklubb with its café and restaurant.
Why not considering a stop to enjoy the view down towards Söderbysjön?
What´s next to come is another highlight of this route. Two rollers followed by a
wooden bridge. The view is certainly nice there but still, it would be a good idea to
keep your momentum for the punchy and twisty climb coming!
After a few more steep ascends and a lot more fun, you will reach back to
Ältasjön to cross back under Tyresövägen.
You will be struck by the splendid views over the main beach at Flaten. Why not
other dip? Why not another fika?
The rest of the trip will hold the same standard. We doubt however that you will think
for one second that this ride is boring! After more wooden bridges, more tight corners
and leg burning climbs, you can empty out what´s left of energy you have got in you
on a serpentine double track leading you right back to where you started.
Pretty certain you will be looking back at this ride thinking: “hell yeah! That was so
much fun!”. Because after all, this is all what biking is about!!