Granada and Toledo are both great places to visit for the history buff.
On my tour through Spain, Portugal and Morocco I fell in love with Spain. I had read much about the history of Spain so it was good to know something about what I was about to see. but not nearly as enjoyable as reading more when I got home and had seen these places.
Toledo is simply beautiful and is full of historical old buildings. Granada has the tombs of King Ferdinand and Queen Isobella, the very ones who sent Columbus on his way to discover America, to finally drive the Moors out of Spain, to drive the Jews out as well, a ruthless pair but who did much to unite their country and make it strong. Do read their history before you visit Spain, it will make your visit so much more fascinating.
Seville is another simply beautiful city with its' magnificent cathedral and fine homes with flowers, spires, wrought iron gates, lively streets making it a delight. I found that Madrid, although it too has magnificent buildings, was just another very large and busy city and didn't have the charm of the smaller cities.
Salamanca is in the north of Spain, a very old city with ancient buildings housing universities which have been there forever.
If you have a chance to visit Portugal as well, Lisbon and its' surrounding area is very interesting and beautiful. It is the place I would like to go back to some day.
Spain is far more Catholic than Italy. Every church or cathedral we visited had a madonna dressed in beautiful clothing and a wig made of human hair, in fact most madonnas have a whole huge wardrobe of clothing to wear on various holy days, and women in charge of their wardrobe room who change their clothing. The madonna is on display and venerated much more in Spain than is Christ, which was a bit of a surprise to me.
Dinner in Spain is served very late in the evening, in fact Spain's entire time frame is far different than in North America. They dine and party until the wee hours, sleep late, work for a few hours before their long mid-afternoon break of a meal and a siesta during the hottest time of day when shops and banks are also closed, then begin the next part of their day in the late afternoon.
Everywhere we went in Spain there were festivals and parades of the beautiful Spanish people dressed in their finest--especially the women and children. Women wore brightly coloured dresses, with flowers in their well groomed hair, and children were dressed just like adults, girls in colourful dresses and flowers, boys in formal attire complete with bow ties. A lovely sight to behold as they danced and made their way along the streets accompanied by music that just made me want to get up and dance too.
Spanish food is wonderful and tasty. I enjoyed every single meal I had there, especially their breads.
I envy you your trip to Spain and hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I'd go back in a heartbeat, but there is so much else to see I probably never will. Bummer.