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Nefertari – First Queen of Ramesses The Great

Nefertari was Known as “Lady of Grace,” “Lady of All Lands,” “Wife of the Strong Bull,” “Great of Praises” and many other nicknames, Queen Neferati was one of the most famous Egyptian queens and an iconic women of Ancient Egypt.

Ramesses II, like other kings of Egypt, had a large harem of wives. However, at any time only one wife was given the honor of being his ‘chief queen.” Although he would take eight of these queens over his lifetime, Queen Nefertari was his first and most beloved. Ramesses was incredibly devoted to Nefertari and was obsessed with her beauty. All of the best Egypt tours will include the story of Ramesses and his admiration for his wife, as this love story is so important to Egyptian history.

Nefertari is Not an Ordinary Woman

The affection that Ramesses had for his wife, which is clearly evident in the adoration painted on the walls of her lavish tomb, shows that Egyptian royal marriages were not always based on power, alliances or conveniences. In some cases they came from a deep and meaningful love. Nefertari was no ordinary woman and Ramesses wanted the world to know how special she was to him. Nefertari was a highly educated woman and she had the ability to read and write hieroglyphs, which was quite a rare skill at the time. She put her intellect and talent to use in diplomacy, corresponding with other important royal figures of the time. Her origins are not really known, other than the fact that she was a member of the nobility.

Nefertari’s Tomb – A Sight to Behold

Considering how important Nefertari was to Ramesses in life, it comes as no surprise that an impressive tomb was constructed for her in death. Known as QV66, it is one of the most spectacular constructions in the Valley of the Queens. It is known by historians as the “Sistine Chapel of Ancient Egypt.”

As you enter the tomb in the West Bank of Luxor, a flight of steps cut into the rock leads you into the antechamber which is filled with paintings based on the Book of the Dead. These are some of the best-preserved and most beautiful paintings in any Egyptian tomb, so they are a very popular stop on any Egypt tours.

The ceiling of the tomb is painted with thousands of tiny stars. Large representations of Anubis and Osiris fill the chamber, as well as imagery of Neferati being presented to the gods. There is also a painting of Nefertari coming before the god of writing and literature, which symbolizes her writing skills. As you continue down to the burial chamber, you would have seen the red granite sarcophagus of the queen – if it had not been looted many years ago.

Ramesses also built amazing temples in honor of Nefertari, carved from the cliffs at Abu Simbel in Nubia – located just south of Thebes. Visible for miles, these colossal temples were designed to fill any visitor to the region with awe – as they still do to this day. Visiting both of these stunning monuments is an absolute must when you are exploring the area on Egypt tour packages.

FAQ

A-8 days in Egypt, including a Nile River cruise and professional, private guides, will cost approximately $1,500 per person. Not bad considering this estimate also includes private guides for all of the sites and attractions.


A-There is no FCO advice against travel to Cairo, Alexandria, the tourist areas along the Nile, and the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada. The section of the country between the Nile and the Red Sea is also considered mostly safe.


A-If weather is your primary concern, the best time to visit Egypt is during the northern hemisphere fall, winter or early spring (October to April), when temperatures are lower. To avoid the crowds at ancient sites like the Pyramids of Giza, Luxor, and Abu Simbel, try to avoid peak season (December and January).


A- An Egypt visa is required for most travelers including American and British passport holders. Americans and citizens fro 40 other countries can obtain an Egypt visa on arrival at the Cairo International airport at the bank kiosks before the immigration counters for $25 USD and are valid for visits up to 30 days.


A-Pants, Capris, Leggings, and Shorts...Basically, as long as your knees are covered, you are good. So whether you choose pants or capris, you will feel comfortable and remain respectful. Local women wear long pants or skirts.


A-On our Egypt tours that travel south to Aswan, include 3 or 4 night Nile cruise as standard. There is always the option to upgrade to a 5 star Luxury Nile cruise, which offers well–appointed and outward facing cabins.


A-The fixed deposit amount is 25% of the tours total price Except for Egypt Christmas tours, new years and other peak seasons where the deposit goes up to 50%.