Occupying centre stage will be isles such as Pizhala, Kadamakudy, Chatanad and Thantonnithuruth, many of which have traditional ‘pokkali’ farms, apart from prawn and fish farms.

Ernakulam District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has unveiled a slew of land and backwater tour packages to showcase the tourism potential of hitherto unexplored islands in the city’s backyard.

Occupying centre stage will be isles such as Pizhala, Kadamakudy, Chatanad and Thantonnithuruth, many of which have traditional ‘pokkali’ farms, apart from prawn and fish farms. Toddy tapping too is in vogue here.

Two of the five new and re-launched packages include tours which would take visitors through the backwaters, lagoons and hitherto unexplored pristine islands on the city’s northern parts. Till now, tourist boats were focused on the Vembanad backwaters, covering Fort Kochi, Mattancherry and other areas. As a result, numerous picturesque islands in the backyard of the Periyar were neglected.

Summer vacation

“Apart from helping these isles find a place in Kochi’s tourism map, we intend to cash in on the oncoming summer vacation, when city folks show a marked preference for day-long tours. The season also sees domestic tourists visit Kerala, to escape the harsh summer in other States,” said T.N. Jayasankar, DTPC Secretary.

Full-day package

Food and refreshments are complimentary for the Rs.800 per person one-day backwater tour package. In addition to the little-explored islands, the extensive tour includes a visit to Dutch Palace and Jewish synagogue in Mattancherry, St Francis Church in Fort Kochi, Wellingdon Island and Bolghatty Island. It would end with a cruise up to the mouth of Arabian Sea.

The agency has also readied other packages like a Rs.250 sunset boat tour up to the sea mouth, a Rs. 250 sight-seeing tour of heritage locales in West Kochi and a Rs.750 DJ music cum dance floor tour (where buffet dinner too is served).

Land tour

It has slashed the tariff for its land tour – ‘Seat in Coach’ package from Rs.550 to Rs.499.

The tour begins at 8.30 a.m. and ends by 3 p.m., after covering Hill Palace museum, places in Fort Kochi and Mattanchery.

“Any type of vehicle can be arranged for the tours, depending on the number of people. Drivers of smaller vehicles double up as guide, while professional guides will accompany guests in buses,” said Faizal, Director of Great Asia Tours and Travels, DTPC’s authorised service provider.

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