The Best Morocco Books, Films, Blogs and Podcasts
One of the great pleasures of travel is enjoying other people’s knowledge and impressions of the place you’ve just been to or are about to set off to. Here are some of our favourite books, films, blogs and podcasts about this fascinating country.
We are kicking off with Adventures in Morocco, From the Souks to the Sahara by Alice Morrison. Alice’s book gives you a real flavour of the country with an insider’s insight into the people and the culture with Alice’s unique down to earth and funny take on life. The book covers all the main areas you are likely to visit and some that are way off the beaten track. Alice discovered a lot of Morocco through Epic and you’ll find many of the characters from the company mentioned in the book. If you’re interested, Epic can recreate one-of-a-kind adventures which reflect Alice’s own exploits and journeys around the region, as we have supported her on many of her adventures with advice, tips and trip planning.
For a change of mood, check out Tangerine by Christine Mangan. It’s a sharp-edged mystery set in the winding alleyways of Tangier of the 1950’s which will keep you reading as you unravel the secrets of a toxic friendship.
Which brings us nicely on to Richard Hamilton’s comprehensive history of the city. Tangier: From the Romans to the Rolling Stones. Richard reveals the raw underbelly of the city as well as taking you through its history-filled streets in what could be described as a piece of literary archeology. See our interview with Richard about Tangier below:
Former Ad Man and regular visitor to Morocco over the past 15 years James Von Leyden has just published his first book, ‘A Death in the Medina’ – seeing a gap in the market for a detective thriller set in Marrakech. Rumour has it that James will be following up the book with two more in the series set in Tangier and Fes.
Tahir Shah is a fabulous writer and his book The Caliph’s House is a great account of his family’s move from grey-skied London to the craziness of Casablanca. There’s a ghost too!
You all know what is coming first…. Casablanca. One of the all-time classics, this stirring tale of resistance and courage during World War ll does not date. If you don’t feel your heart stir when the citizens stand up and sing The Marseillaise in Rick’s Bar, then you may be in need of medical attention. You can actually have a drink or a meal at Rick’s Bar in Casablanca too – it has been lovingly re-created from the film set.
Another Classic and way ahead of its time in terms of portraying the trials and tribulations of a woman travelling independently far way away from home, is ‘Morocco’. It stars Marlene Dietrich as the love-torn performance artist who has taken a ferry over to Tangier for her job and falls for emotionally unavailable Legionnaire Gary Cooper, during the French occupation, only to run off into the sunset at the end – with him or someone else… you’ll have to find out.
Hideous Kinky is a light-filled romp through the hippy ‘magic bus’ era of Morocco. Kate Winslett does a great turn as a ditzy bohemian bringing her two young daughters into the craziness of Morocco in the 70s. Worth watching for the kaftans alone
The Sheltering Sky is a 1990 British drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci starring Debra Winger and John Malkovich and is visually stunning and viscerally moving. Based on the novel by the famous Tangier based writer, Paul Bowles it will leave you with an overwhelming impression of the stark truths and illusions of the desert.
Still saddened by the end and ending of Game of Thrones? Never fear, so much of it was filmed in Morocco that you can revisit many of your favourite scenes! Stand and look over the slave city of Yunkai just as Daenerys did, with dreams of conquest and then pop down for a cup of mint tea. If you are interested in visiting the film site – just let the Epic team know and we will sort it for you.
There are lots and lots of blogs to choose from – and of course, we hope you will read more from ours – but just to give you a sample – here are a few we love.
Amanda, the writer of MarocMama introduces herself and her site. “I’m Amanda. A curious, world travelling mom of two boys. On MarocMama you’ll find inspiration to eat amazing food, live globally, and explore the world with us. We’re a Moroccan/American family living in Marrakech. Come with us on our adventures!” Well worth a peruse
If it is art and design you are interested in, then Maryam Montague’s blog will provide you with lots of beautiful thoughts and images to enjoy. Maryam and her family founded Peacock Pavilions, a beautiful venue on the outskirts of the city and also founded Project Soar, a wonderful project that empowers girls. Give yourself a treat with Maryam Montague.
Colin runs a property company in Marrakech, buying and selling riads and also overseeing developments. He has a different slant on things and his blog is always refreshing to read and full of practical info as well as the latest riads for sale (if you fancy a bit of property porn).
There is also this excellent property blog Grant Stoner Rawlings which is a wealth of information on everything from building regs to which are the best books on art and design.
Last but not least, we would be remiss if we left out podcasts from our list.
We are big fans of Mandy Sinclair’s interviews with a whole variety of Moroccan movers and shakers in Why Morocco which comes out bi-weekly Mandy in Morocco It’s full of really interesting thoughts and reflections on the country from those who live here.
And we will end as we started, Alice has just launched her new podcast Alice in Wanderland which is tales and adventures from Morocco’s wild bits! From the cow living under her bedroom, to the depths of the Sahara, you’ll be immersed in the adventure.
We hope you enjoy these offerings but do let us know in the comments if you have a favourite you want us to add. And, don’t forget, if you see/hear of something you want to do or somewhere you want to go, we can arrange it for you through Epic.
Happy reading, watching and listening.