When my daughter was little she desperately wanted to swim with dolphins.

But only in Tunisia did her dream finally came true.

The look on her face as she and her brother got up close and personal with these beautiful, gentle creatures brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat.

Although several holiday destinations around the world offer the same experience, in Tunisia there are no long waiting lists — we booked just a few days earlier — and it is excellent value at less than £50 for a 45-minute session.

The treat was an optional extra during a Thomas Cook excursion appropriately called African Dream, which included a visit to the Friguia Zoo, where camel rides are also available.

A holiday in Tunisia — a fusion between Africa and Mediterranean Europe — offers something for everyone.

It’s an easy two-and-a-half hour flightaway, with the same time zone as ours.

The big attraction of Tunisia this year, say tour operators, is that it is one of the few countries to benefit from the Arab Spring — from the tourists’ viewpoint at least.

The country is calm and prices are comparatively low.

Hoteliers, in particular, learned a harsh lesson when national revenues from tourism plunged by about 50 per cent in 2011 to around £800m.

Tunisia has so much for culture vultures and history buffs to explore.