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Lying just south of Samos and just east of Ikaria, Fourni is, like Leros, a jigsaw piece hoping to be put in its place. The harbour on the west coast is backed by a charming village with two main streets lined with mulberry trees and with shops, though these are little more than village cottages – little sign of plate glass. The bustling water-front is lined with tavernas and at least three restaurants, most specialising in fish.
There are excellent sandy beaches within easy walking distance of the harbour, though small caiques operate a transfer service in high season. The energetic will enjoy the memorable walk along the spine of the island which brings with it fantastic views across to Samos, Turkey and Ikaria; and, at the far end, the delightful village of Chryssomilia, half of it high on the hillside, the other half down by the sandy beach. The odd caique and a small ferry which meanders between Fourni, Ikaria and various ports on Samos, can save you from having to do the walk in both directions.
More walking and more beaches are on hand down the southern peninsula but, before that, is the sheltered bay of Kampi with a modest hotel and a few tavernas which make it the obvious place for a relaxing day of sun, sea and liquid refreshment; it’s less than half an hour on foot from the harbour and is where the summer caiques take you.
Reaching Fourni can sometimes be a challenge; for some reason the hydrofoils are susceptible to sudden outbreaks of thalassophobia which can leave you over-indulging at the bars and cafes on the horseshoe harbour-front of Pythagorion on Samos, the gateway airport island for Fourni; but any inconvenience is rewarded by the exceptional charm of Fourni once you get there. Obviously Fourni can be combined with a stay on Samos.