Norway might be most famous for it’s dramatic landscapes in Northern Norway and beautiful fjords in the west. These places may be a photographers main locations to visit in Norway, but the east of Norway also has some beautiful scenery and history to share. One of my go-to seascape locations here in the east is a beautiful beach called Mølen. I would most definetly not recommend going here to get your tan on and sunbathe, as this is the beach in Norway with greatest density of pebbles in Norway. In other words not the most comfortable place to lie down. If you however are interested in beautiful nature and fascinating history stretching back to the last ice age, I highly recommend visiting this unique beach. Before I give you some tips about photographing Mølen, lets dig a little into the interesting history. Either you like cultural or geological history, you’ll find it both. If you are just here for the photography tips, you may skip past the next part, even though you will miss out on some fascinating stories!
It’s said that Mølen holds some of the most majestic history in all of Norway. In a total there is found 230 cairns, where 16 are up to 35 meters in diameter and about 200 small ones are lined up along the shore. It is believed that chiefs and their servants were buried here. The cairns found nearest the sea are dated back to the late Iron Age and Viking era. It was believed that the cairns further up on the beach dated as far back as to the Bronze age, as this was theoretically possible, but later research concluded that all the cairns go back to the Iron Age. There is still a lot of mystery around the cairns and their sizes. Most likely the larger ones were given to the most powerful people whiles ordinary people were given smaller ones. It’s also believed that the smaller cairns aligned parallel along the shoreline was made to honor warriors that died at sea.
As I mentioned above, Mølen has during the last three years become my Go-To spot for seascape photography. It’s about a two hour drive from my home, so during the summer it can be a little tiring with our super late sunsets, but it’s always worth it. I’ve been here in pretty much all conditions; stormy, winter, rain, cloudless, summer. I’ve gotten all kinds of sunsets, some horrible and some beautiful. The fun part about visiting this place is that I somehow always stumble across something new. On my first trips to Mølen I usually only visited the pebble beach itself, and did not explore much around. I walked back and forth on the super comfortable pebbles (….) and often found myself drawn towards the larger stones by the shore. I recommend spending some time walking up and down the beach, looking for details. It may seem like it’s the same all the way, but once you start paying attention to the small details, you will find so many places to photograph. It could be the waves rolling over the pebbles in a nice way, maybe it’s a rock that looks really different or maybe you find some driftwood to play around with!
The sun sets in line with the shore line, so getting down to the water is often a good idea for a nice sunset shot. With the weaves crashing in over the pebbles you are set for some action in your shot. Be aware that the weather out here may often be a little rough, and strong winds or big waves are common. In fact, being here on a stormy day when the waves are big and mean could be perfect. Seeing the weaves crushing over the rocks and listening to the weird yet beautiful sounds made from the stones rolling underneath the surface is an experience you late will forget. Walking east and off the beach, you can explore the shore and stumble across so many different scenes in such a short time. Coming here in late spring you will be treated with some wonderful wildflowers, and not just a few! My favorite area on this beach has definitely become the left side during my last visits. It’s just fascinating that you’re able to find something new each time!
When to visit
In all honesty, Mølen is worth a visit at any season. During the winter, spring and fall you can get some badass storms, meaning huge waves and raw nature. During these seasons night photography is a great option too, as there is minimal with light pollution. During late spring and summer, night photography is not that ideal due to the brighter nights. Spring is wildflower mayhem. Get down and personal with the flowers growing along the shore, or just enjoy it’s beauty. Since it’s on the east, and just around a small cliff, not that many people come here. Summer is a great time for walking around exploring the beach in the sun. It is more traffic during warm summer days, but you should be able to enjoy the scenery in peace even during the busiest days.