by , SmarterTravel Staff
Morocco: Marrakech (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on November 14, 2010. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, Alitalia, Bing Travel, Bulgaria, destination, Expedia, family travel, Go-today, hotel, Italy, Jaclyn Liechti, Lonely Planet, low season, Marrakech, Mendocino, Morocco, Orbitz, Philadelphia, Rome, Sofia, Travelocity, vacation package, winter.

If your travel aspirations are a little more far-flung, consider Morocco this winter. Summertime weather and holidays result in crowded streets and higher prices, making winter a quieter and less expensive time to go. Plus, high temperatures range comfortably from the low to upper 60s, though the varying climates allow for skiing in the Atlas Mountains and swimming in Agadir. And, you can explore medieval architecture in the city of Marrakech, or go ultra-modern at relaxing Casablanca spas.

I compared six-night packages to Marrakech, and found savings of up to $860 during the off-peak season.

Package Off-Peak Rate Peak Rate
Philadelphia to Marrakech $1,312 $2,172
Chicago to Marrakech $1,561 $1,723
Seattle to Marrakech $1,625 $1,897

Off-peak rates are based on travel from January 4 through 11; peak travel prices are based on travel from June 21 through 28. All packages were found using Orbitz and include taxes and fees.

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This North African country was a Top 10 Country for 2010 pick for Lonely Planet, and tourism is expected to double this year compared to last, so it might be best to visit before major crowds come. Last-minute deals on packages to Morocco abound, including $300 off the 18-day Treasures of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco package from Insight Vacations, departing December 26; and more than $200 off the 16-day Spain, Morocco, and Portugal package from Trafalgar departing November 27 or December 27. For a more independent vacation, many hotels offer seasonal promotions. For example, at the Angsana Riad Bab Firdaus in Marrakech, stays between November 15 and December 22 receive a free night, and when you upgrade to a suite between January 6 and February 12 you will earn a free night's stay. Stay four nights for the price of three through December 18 at the Kasbah Tamadot. And at the Riad Bab Firdaus, stay four nights for the price of three from November 15 through December 22 and January 6 through February 12.

For more information, visit Frommer's guide to Morocco.

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