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It is said that if you are looking to experience old Greece up close and travel back in time, Fournoi is the place to be. Once known as "Corseoi Islands", after corsairs, i.e. pirates, the islands were an ideal base for pirates in the Middle Ages, because of the several little fjords and hidden beaches where their ships could be concealed.
Fournoi is not just one island, but a an archipelago of twelve small islands in Greece, which lie between Ikaria, Patmos and Samos. The two largest of this island group, Fourni and the Island Thimena (or Thymena) are inhabited, as well as the smaller eastern island Agios Minas.
On the main island is the largest village and main ferry port, which has the same name as the island, Fourni with aproximately 2000 inhabitants. The second largest village on the island Fourni lies in the north and is called Chryssomilia. It is slightly smaller than village of Thimena on the nearby island. The spot is pregnant with history: there are ancient finds scattered all through the island dating back to the Ionians, Classical and Hellenistic times. The Cyclopean wall with traces of an Acropolis on the Hill of Ai Giorgis, the remains of the ancient temple at Kamari and the remains of homes on the sea bed, the shrine to Poseidon at Agia Triada in Chryssomilia, the ancient quarry at Petrokopio. Islands of fishermen and honey bee keepers, so friendly and hospitable, providing guests with all the basic comforts within the cosy athmosphere of the village of Fourni, with its small churches, shops and appetizing restaurants.
Nourish yourself with the coveted Fournoi honey, which owes its renown to the abundant thyme and sage that thrive on the island, as well as local cheeses “in wax” and “in brine". The primary occupation of the locals, be that as it may, is tied to the sea. The island has an extensive fishing fleet – superfluous to its size – and has morphed into one of the most significant fishing centres in the Aegean, welcoming its guests with all manners of savory fish-based cousine, such as the Common Dentex, the Pink Dentex, the Common Pandora, the Dogtooth Grouper, as well as sea food and lobsters. In Campos, the island's main village, you may indulge in the beloved soft drink bottling workshop, as orange soda is everyone's favourite refreshment here, have a taste from the bakeries (fournoi in Greek) and browse the charming tavernas, patisseries and shops selling traditional products.
Kampi, a near kilometer away, by the three windmills – a historic point of the island – will greet you with its more recently raised structures that are used as inns or hostels. The untouched beach, with fine sand and salt cedars throwing rich shadows, is a refreshing swimming experience, in between blissful naps, which have become part of this island's lifestyle. Be prepared to be dazzled and enchanted by Chryssomilia. Only 15 kilometers from Chora, it makes a heaven out of peace and peaceful, with numerous beaches all around and the most scenic fishing boat haven in the entire Aegean.
Before leaving the island where time has stood still, a walk around little Thymaina and endearing Keramidou is imperative. A small independent island of 150 individuals, unaffected by the tourism improvement of late decades, it unselfishly provides images of tranquility and peace to those who set foot upon it.
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