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Fourni

Fourni of Corsees, is a complex of island and islets in eastern Aegean sea. Geographically, you can find them on the west-southwest of Samos, in a four mile distance from the island and on the east of Ikaria, far away six miles. It covers a total area of 45.247 acres and its permanent residents are about 1.469. Administratively belong to the Prefecture of Samos and its headquarters are in the town of Fournoi.

The largest between this island cluster, are Fourni, Thimena and Agios Minas, while permanently inhabited are only the first two. What characterizes those islands is their coastline that covers 120 kilometers, which exceeds the coastline of Samos island, despite the fact that its extent is comparatively much larger.

The coastline of Furni includes both steep shores, as well as picturesque bays and coves. Many of those coves and bays are closed by small islets conforming this way a safe place where ships can be insured no matter the strong winds.

In antiquity, they used to be called Korasiai Islands, while during the Hellenistic period a philosopher named Porfyrious, mentioned them as Corsees, a name that they retain up to nowadays. A Venetian geograopher named B. Bordone (1537), called them “Fourneli”, which actually means small Fournoi. Other names given to them during the centuries are Fortiole, Melanthi and Koursi.

The evidence we have for Fourni in antiquity is minimal. During the Byzantine period, the island was abandoned and was used as a hideout by pirates!

Besides the fact that there is some evidence to prove that Fourni during the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic era used to be a great town, what we know with certainty, is that the island was permanently inhabited in 1770 AD, probably by Ions and Milesians.

The four quarries existing in the area are part of the local history. The excavations made in the quarry in Petrokopio location, have brought to light significant archaeological findings which reveal the historical significance of the island,

Dealing with the sea is given to the residents of the island, most of who are sailors or engaged in fishing, a work that during the past decades has emerged as the most important economic activity. This importance can be proved by the contemporary Greek fishing fleet, which ranks Fourni island among the greatest fishing centers of the country.

The annual output is usually over 2.500 tons of fish, most of which is of first or second class, which means fine quality. Apart from fishing, another also important activity in Fourni, remains the livestock and beekeeping, while agriculture has gradually been eliminated.

Fourni is famous for its fresh fish, offered by the rich fishing activity of the locals, but also for its steep coastline.

You should rent a boat and ask the boatman to take you to the beaches of Petrokopio, Saint John, Vlychada or Keramidous, or take the ship to Chrisomilia.

Worthy observation of the area is the flora and fauna, the uniqueness of which has integrated Fourni into the European project NATURA 2000.  There are many different kinds of herbs thriving on the island, with dominant the thyme, such as the savory, the sage, the heather, the lentisk, the strawberries and the fida and of course there are also plenty olive trees growing in the island’s valleys. Remarkable is the presence of mandrake, which is rarely met in other places of Greece.

This island of barren track will take you to the deep blue of the Aegean sea and will definitely enchant you with its characteristic blue and white painted houses and striking oxymoron simplicity. After wandering the streets in Fournoi, choose one of the cafes on the beach to enjoy your coffee, or go to one of the picturesque taverns to taste fresh fish in a completely tranquil setting.

On the road to the village of Kambi, make a stop at “Tris Mili” (Three Mills), and enjoy the breathtaking view of Aegean Sea, which is studded with many islands.

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