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The peninsula contains the Cooley Mountains, the highest of which, Slieve Foy, is also the highest peak in County Louth at 588 metres (1,929 ft). To the north is Carlingford Lough and the border with Northern Ireland; to the south is Dundalk Bay. The peninsula is ringed by the R173 regional road.
The peninsula is geologically diverse, with 440-million-year-old Silurian greywacke sandstones in the northwest and southwest, 340-million-year-old limestones in the east, and 60-million-year-old volcanic rocks forming the Cooley Mountains.
In Irish mythology Cooley (Old Irish Cúalnge) was the home of the bull Donn Cuailnge, and the site of the Táin Bó Cúailnge "Cattle Raid of Cooley". Ancient monuments in Cooley include the Proleek Dolmen, whose capstone weighs an estimated 35 tons (31.75 tonnes), and a Bronze Age gallery grave, both near Ballymascanlan.
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