Looe is 20 miles (32 km) west of Plymouth and seven miles (11 km) south of Liskeard, divided in two by the River Looe, East Looe (Cornish: Logh) and West Looe (Cornish: Porthbyhan, lit. "little cove") being connected by a bridge. Looe developed as two separate towns each with MPs and its own mayor.
The town centres around a small harbour and along the steep-sided valley of the River Looe which flows between East and West Looe to the sea beside a sandy beach. Offshore to the west, opposite the stonier Hannafore Beach, lies Looe Island.