Just below the narrow passage between Ikaria and Samos there is the island complex of Fourni. With three bigger islands, Thimaina, Fourni and Agios Minas, as well as numerous islets which are mainly on the southern part, it is a beautiful travel destination.
Despite their small size, their heavily indented coastline, which is nowhere else to be found in the Aegean to such an extent, forms continuous oblong bays that penetrate deep into the land, creating many natural and safe places to anchor, where there are excellent beaches with crystal clear waters. Numerous coves, ideal for nautical tourism and overnight stay on board, which are able to satisfy every desire, are expecting us to discover them.
The port of Fourni is just opposite the island of Thimena. It is extremely big, occupying the entire north side of the bay that shares the same name, with two extra docks in its cove. A large one, where the tourist boats tie and a short one nearby. The special feature of the harbour of course, is the particularly big number of ships and fishing boats, which belong to one of the largest fishing fleets in Greece.
This port, hidden below the sea trees of the coastal road, has a unique vividness. The coffee shop, the taverns and cafes are fullof groups of locals and visitors all day long, for whom the shops in the port are the meeting point before setting off for one of the numerous beaches on the island. Around the harbour, there are the village houses, stretching upto the foothills.
We followed the main paved road that starts from the port around which the central market of Fournoi is formed. Perhaps this is the most picturesque part of the village, with the typical berry trees alongside on the right and left, while next to the whitewashed trunks there are the coloured doors of the small shops and low houses.
After a few minutes we found our selves in the small central square, under the shade of the perennial plane tree, with the traditional coffee shop and the amazing bakery. It is avery beautiful spot on the island, which we picked of course to have a coffee.
Whenwe got supplies in food and water, we went happily down the cobbled street and were once again in the harbour. We stored our stuff in the inflatables and set sailtowards the west coasts.
In the west coasts
First of all, we stopped as usual at the marvelous Kampi, which is just below the port.To avoid sailing around the islet Kisiria, we carefully crossed the very narrow and shallow passage of the eastern end and passing by a small bay on our left, we slowly entered its green waters. The few houses that are scattered on the hillside and the big sea trees on the beach,whose shade attracts many people, create a very beautiful picture. On the west side of the bay, there is a fairly large concrete dock where we can tie, while on the opposite side there is the small pier that divides Kampi into two separate beaches: the large Kampi on the north and the small Kampi on the east, where there are several small fishing boats offshore.
After we enjoyed swimming, we all gathered under the stern-tent. We were anchored in the middle of the bay and it was time for a refreshing coffee. As we put together glasses with water and ice cubes, some repetitive sounds of continuous squelch behind us disturbed the calm waters. We turned to seein surprise a quitebig bream occupied in jumping out of the water, while a few metres ahead, a swarm of fish in panic making long leaps, tried to save themselves from their predator. We have seen many times small fish scattered in panic and because of their impetus they end up on the rocks, but a bream jumping out of the water was an unprecedented spectacle.
Continuing the exploration of the diverse coasts on the west side of Fourni, we arrived at the far southern cape. At a distance of only three miles, there are seven consecutive narrow bays that penetrate deep into the land, forming beautiful and safe anchorages. In each of them there are two or three deserted beaches offering us many options for an overnight stay. We chose the small sandy beach of Agios Ioannis Thermastis to spend the rest of our day. We had decided to spend the afternoon fishing, so we dispersed on the surrounding islets. Three pounds of fish in total had just come out of the water and now were a nice assortment on our small grills. Laying a big tablecloth in the sand and making improvised seats, weall spread around, and tuned to the lovely songs on a radio station. With the necessary company of ouzo, we spent a wonderful evening.
The next day, after a brief stop at the port toget ice supplies we headed to the bay of Chrisomilia, on the northwest part of the island, where the second village of Fourni is located. It is built high on the hill with a small harbour on the eastern side of the bay, which is fully covered with fine pebbles. A number of sea trees across the coast, below which there are the tiny verandas of the very small low houses, just a few metres from the seashore and the small colourful boats that rest on the deep blue waters form a magnificent picture, which through its simplicity reveals the authenticity and the grandeur of the Greek islands.
On the east of the bay Chrisomilia, we reach a small beach, which at first glance is of no particular interest. However, while we approach, the waters are gradually getting green, while the numerous sea plants spread in every direction beneath the surface of the calm sea, creating a spectacular image. It is really worth tying in the small dock and climbing the few steps that leadup to the church of Agios Nicholaos.
We spent the whole day reading and swimming in the warm atmosphere of this small cove, while on the small dock we could barely place a table and some chairs in order to set up our living room, which was surrounded by the sea on all three sides.
Deep inside, however, we started feeling an insatiable desire for new adventures. Unable so far to find a way to quench our thirsteven temporarily, we left the island of Agios Minas, while our bow was pointing at Agathonisi, the far northern island of the Dodecanese.