The capital of the complex is Fourni Town, which also serves as the main port. There are also smaller settlements in Kamari and Chrissomilia, that come alive only in summer as tourist places. The second village is Thimena, connected by boat to Town. Due to the limited population and the large distance from Athens, the island complex of is not developed in tourism. It is considered an alternative destination with relaxing atmosphere and fabulous beaches. Some can be reached on foot, such as Psili Ammos and Kambi, while the others can be accessed with the small local bus. Due to the secluded location, the beaches of the island are frequented by free campers and naturists.
The history of Fourni begins from the ancient times, yet there is few evidence from that time. The island was known by the name Korsaioi islands and according to the historians, it was first inhabited in the 1st century BC from the Korsets. Archeological findings prove that the island had been inhabited during the Hellenistic times.
These findings include the sarcophagus that was found south of the church of Agios Nikolaos in 1927 and today decorates the square of the village. Also, marble columns of Dorian order have been found in the area of Kamari and lastly remains of a temple of Poseidon has been excavated in Chrysomilia. Throughout the Byzantine Times and the Turkish domination, Fourni was deserted as it became the pirate base of operations. According to some urban legends, many pirates have hidden their treasures in several spots of the island and secluded caves.
In the 19th century, piracy was confronted by the Greek Navy and people could again inhabit the remote islands of the Aegean. Therefore, by the end of the 19th century, the island had been inhabited again. During World War II, Fourni fell under Italian occupation. At that time, many people fled with boats to Cyprus and Egypt.
In the 1950s and 1960s, most part of the local population migrated to large towns in Greece or abroad in search of a better life. Today, the island has about 1,500 permanent residents. The main occupation of the locals is tourism and fishing and in fact, they have one of the best fishing fleets in Greece. The history of Fournoi has been marked by many events throughout the ages.
Museums - Archeological
Although not many evidence is known for the history of Fourni, several excavation have taken place there. Kamari is an old settlement located in the southwest of the island that owns its name to a semi-cylinder dome. In the region, there have been discoveries which prove the existence of a settlement dating back to the Hellenistic times.
One of the most important archeological discoveries in Fourni is the Roman sarcophagus. The sarcophagus is 1.10m tall, 2.38m long and 1.10m wide, decorated with circles and rings. The way the sarcophagus was placed makes the archeologists believe that this was its original location so the region it was founded was actually a cemetery in the ancient years. Today it is displayed in the square of Fourni.
An ancient marble quarry was also found above the beach of Petrokopio, which can be seen till today. In fact, the marble of Fourni was exported to many towns around the Aegean and more importantly to Ancient Miletos. Unfortunately, no museums can be found in Fourni but a walk around the island might get visitors to archaeological discoveries.
Psili Ammos, Kassidi, Kambi, Chrissomilia, Petrokopio, Agia Triada, Ambelos, Bali, Ellidaki, Kamari, Koumara, Town beach, Vitsilia, Vlihada, Agios Ioannis, Keramidou
Religious Monasteries and Churches
The local inhabitants of Fourni have always had a strong religious faith, which is depicted in the numerous churches of the island. Most of the churches in Fourni are newly built. All have a vault whereas the colors that dominate are the white and blue, typical colours of a Greek island. These whitewashed chapels have a nice interior with interesting icons.
Among the biggest churches in Fourni is the church of Agios Nikolaos, dating back from the 19th century and located in the central square of the village. This is the most popular church of the island where locals gather during the religious festivals and other celebrations. The temple is made of wood and painted with green branches.
Also, there is the church of Agios Ioannis, Agia Marina and the church of Evagelistrias which is built in Koumara. The religious festivals are an important characteristic of the local culture where all the locals take part and help in the preparation process.