Tour operators return to Tunisia so check out this value for money all-inclusive seven nights in Hammamet and more deal

Below, the swathe of soft sand is dotted with loungers as gentle waves lap the shore.

The hardest decision? Whether to take a dip in the lovely indoor pool, stroll along the seashore or simply collapse on to my private lounger, cocktail and trashy book in hand.

My Hammamet experience is heavenly.

It’s hard to believe that nearly three years ago, 30 British holidaymakers died in a devastating terror attack on the Tunisian resort of Port El Kantaoui.

Now, after a two-year ban, British tour operators are back in the country offering the good-value sunshine breaks that made the North African hotspot so popular.

Thomas Cook was the first major operator to resume selling packages and I was among the first to join passengers on the new holidays to the country.

After a week of unbroken sunshine, a ridiculously friendly welcome and relaxing hotel stay combined with a taste of the country’s stunning natural and cultural gems, my pre-trip nerves had been beautifully banished.

Increased security measures are obvious from the moment you land at Enfidha International Airport.

Like many transport hubs worldwide now, there were armed police but that didn’t detract from the warm welcome.

Tunisia has markets where tourists can haggle for spices and trinkets without feeling hassledThe transfers and excursions are all accompanied by armed police escorts, which is reassuring for tourists.

And the welcome didn’t get any less sincere when we arrived at the Sentido Le Sultan.

Just outside the main resort, this modern hotel dazzled in the strong afternoon sunshine and on entering the hotel’s cool lobby, we are soon handed a welcome cocktail by friendly, smiling staff.

Le Sultan is one of three Sentido resorts in Hammamet — only sold by Thomas Cook and reserved exclusively for its customers.

Our room was immaculate with crisp white bedlinen and contemporary Moorish touches that reminded you of the resort’s North African origins.

The balcony, with its cool marble floor, was huge with enough room for a table and comfy rattan chairs, parasol and two loungers.

It is an all-inclusive resort, which means you have food and drink on tap 24/7 as well as a wide range of pools, bars and spas for the adults and everything from archery, snorkelling and even horseriding for the kids.

The resort’s main buffet restaurant served up a decent variety of authentic Tunisian and more family-friendly European fare with fresh seafood, grilled meats, pizzas, pastas and salads.

The all- inclusive package offers a selection of dishes that include Asian a la carte and seafood and drink on tap 24/7In a week’s stay, you can eat in the Asian a la carte restaurant once for dinner and enjoy a taste of the local seafood in the speciality restaurant one lunchtime.

And of course, kids will appreciate the cakes and ice cream served every afternoon.

Handy in the winter months is the indoor pool, which is heated and has access to the incredible spa with its own Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.

But come summer, it will be the vast outdoor pool keeping you cool and, of course, the wide stretch of beach complete with shady palms and even the chance for a camel ride.

Tourists can also take a camel ride at sunrise through the SaharanBut for a real taste of Tunisia, our two-day overnight trip to the Saraha was a highlight.

The well organised trip takes you into the desert and beyond.

First stop was the mosque at Kairouan before we clamber aboard 4×4 jeeps to explore the troglodyte houses near Tozeur that are instantly recognisable to any Star Wars fan.

We spend the night at the Hotel Ras El Ain in Tozeur — a modern hotel built in traditional style overlooking a shimmering lake.

After a buffet dinner it was early to bed with a 4am wake-up call.

But who minds getting up in the middle of the night if you are rewarded with the chance to ride a camel through the spectacular Saharan dunes at sunrise.

After an hour and a half atop these gentle giants, we leave the sands and head to a Berber village to experience a way of life that seemingly hasn’t altered for centuries.

We’re welcomed into the cave homes and offered freshly cooked bread, olive oil and a drink — again with warm smiles and laughter.

You can capture the stunning Tunisian sunrise on the excursion to the Sahara desertAs we make our way back to the coast and our hotel, we stop off at the astonishing Roman amphitheatre at El Djem.

After another day of simply relaxing at the hotel, we were keen to discover more of Tunisia.

The picturesque village of Sidi Bou Said is a whitewashed tumble of houses punctuated with vibrant blue doors and window frames.

It could give Greece’s trendy Santorini a run for its money.

Don't miss your chance to buy some of the many herbs and spices you can add to your own home cooked dishesHistory buffs will love the chance to discover the Roman city of Carthage but for me, it was the chance to wander the slightly more modern souks of Hammamet itself that appealed.

Prepare to haggle for the chance to bring home spices, salt trinkets and some very authentic “designer” gear.

But unlike some destinations, you don’t feel hassled and every transaction is completed with a smile.

Although we were on an all-inclusive package, it was too tempting not to try the restaurants in Hammamet itself.

My tip? Head for Le Barberousse in the medina. Our candlelit dinner of fresh seafood while drinking in the fabulous sea view was impossibly romantic.

From the wonderful reception the moment the plane touched down in Tunisia to my missing-you-already departure, having experienced the beauty of this country, I can wholeheartedly say this trip was one of the most memorable, and safest, experiences of my life.

Go: Tunisia

GETTING / STAYING THERE: Get seven nights’ all-inclusive at the 4 star SENTIDO Le Sultan in Hammamet from £445pp.

Including flights from Gatwick on April 25. Departures from other UK airports available.

To book, see or call 0844 412 5970.

OUT & ABOUT: Thomas Cook offers a two-day Sahara Explorer tour from £90per adult and £45 per child.

Or a one-day Carthage and Sidi Bou Said tour from £32per adult and £16per child.


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