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Fourni in Greece
Fourni belongs to - together with Chios, Ikaria, Lesvos, Oinousses, Psara, Samos and Thymena - the Eastern Aegean islands. Lesvos is the largest island (1,636 km2, 90,000 inhabitants) in the group of islands, and Thymena the smallest (10 km2, 130 inhabitants). Fourni has about 1,450 inhabitants spread on 32 km2. The highest mountain measuring 514 meters above sea level. The main village, Fourni town, has about 1,100 inhabitants. The nearest neighbouring island is Ikaria.
View of Fourni village which is one of the island's two villages.
Fourni is one of twelve islands in a small unofficial group of islands, the group have nine small islands and three large, the larger islands are Agios Minas, Fourni and Thymena. Fourni and Thymena are the only islands that are inhabited. To complicate things a little, I can mention that the group of islands is called Fourni, and the island that this guide is all about is called Fourno. But for the sake of simplicity we write Fourni about Fourno.
Fourni consists of several small islands. Kambi beach in the picture.
The name Fourni means "oven" in Greek, I do not know exactly where the name come from, but probably it has to do with the shape of the harbour bay, if you use your imagination it looks a little as if it were shaped as an oven. A funny detail is that the village of Pythagorion on the neighbouring island of Samos, formerly was called Tigani, which means frying pan in Greek.
What makes Fourni so special is the island's small size, the natural charm and good-natured islanders. When you meet people they exchange friendly greetings and after a few days, you feel like one in the team. The island is quite barren, the landscape is beautiful and walking friendly and some of the beaches are quite good.
Fourni is an ideal island for those who are looking for peace and quiet, who like to hike, who appreciate to eat good Greek home cooking at cosy tavernas, and who prefer quiet days and evenings rather than unruly ditto. Families with children have in recent years discovered that Fourni also is a child-friendly island. Friends of mine are travelling back year after year, the children love Fourni and the parents want me to keep quiet about the island. But I can not do that. :-)
Many of the inhabitants are fishermen, the fishing-fleet is unusually large for such a small island. The catch is sold for good money to the mainland, mainly to Athens, but of course some of the catch remain on Fourni. So if you like fresh fish and fresh seafood, you have definitely come to the right island. Fourni has experienced a small increase in number of tourists in recent years, it has led to that some islanders have changed their profession and opened pensions and the fishing nets have been put on the shelf. But it will take time before the increasing tourism will be noticeable, because the tourism on Fourni is still in its infancy and the Greek everyday life dominates.
The evenings in Fourni village is absolutely gorgeous.
If I could decide, Fourni should mean welcome instead of oven. This is what I wrote on my blog when I and Camilla returned to Fourni after six years of absence:
"When we had installed ourselves in our room we went for a stroll in the village. Most of it was the same. Even the people was alike, just a few years older. Just as we were. The warm welcome was also the same. Fourni means "oven" in Greek, but should mean WELCOME. For that is how you feel when you get off the ferry - the island seems to say welcome home."
I believe and hope that you feel welcome when you come to Fourni. I do not know anyone who have not liked Fourni, so the probability is in other words that you also will do it.
The port beach in Fourni village.
You can read more about Fourni via the links at the end of this page. A short summary of that information comes here:
It is easy to travel to Fourni, although there are no package holidays. The easiest way is to go by air to Samos and travel on by ferry. The second best option is to fly to Athens and fly on to Ikaria, and continue by ferry. Scooters and cars are available for rent during mid and high season.
Fourni can only brag about two villages: Fourni (the port village) and Chrysomilia in the northern part of the island.
The island's beaches are of good quality, some are hard to reach and can be reached by beach boat or on foot. The beach in the port consists of pebbles and is popular with both islanders and tourists. The best beach is Kambi beach. Other beaches are the one below Chrysomilia, together with Elidaki, Petrokipio, Vitsilia and Psili Amos.
There are not so many material sights, almost just sensuous, like to relax with a good book and look out over the sea. But if you really are interested in ancient marble quarries and Roman sarcophagus, you have some to explore.
Almost all hotels and pensions are in Fourni town. There are also some accommodations between the village and Kambi beach, as well as at the mentioned beach. You will likely be met by letter of rooms as you disembark in the port.
READ MORE ABOUT FOURNI
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