Corris lies on the west bank of the Afon (river) Dulas, which here forms the county boundary between the counties of Gwynedd (formerly Sir Meirionnydd/Merionethshire) and Powys (formerly Sir Drefaldwyn/Montgomeryshire), Powys being to the east of the river. The Afon Deri runs through the village before joining the Dulas. The ancient Roman road between northern and southern Roman Wales, Sarn Helen, probably ran through the village. The settlement now known as Corris was at one time known as Abercorris (spelt Abercorys on some early maps), when the old turnpike road from Dolgellau to Machynlleth ran through the village. The modern A487 trunk road was built by the quarry owners in the 1840s and bypasses the village.
Further up the Deri valley is the village of Corris Uchaf (Upper Corris).
The area is known for its natural history and for its industrial heritage. The Corris Craft Centre at Braichgoch showcases the work of local craftspeople. Several former slate mines penetrate the hillsides, and parts of what was once Braichgoch Quarry can be visited on a tourist trip called "King Arthur's Labyrinth". Two miles south of Corris is the Centre for Alternative Technology.
The narrow gauge Corris Railway from Aberllefenni used to pass through Corris, meeting a feeder tramway from Corris Uchaf at Maespoeth Junction. Corris Station was unusual in British narrow gauge railways in having an overall roof covering the main line through the station. The slate was carried through Machynlleth to be shipped from quays at port at Derwenlas and Morben on the River Dyfi. The line from Corris to Maespoeth Junction has been restored, and passengers are carried by steam train on this section, with plans to extend further south in due course. Much of the abandoned route northwards to Aberllefenni and southwards to Machynlleth can still be traced.
Out of the many chapels in the village, only Salem remains open for worship, along with Holy Trinity Church. Corris was formerly a part of the parish of Talyllyn, but the church now shares its vicar with Pennal, while local government is provided by Corris Community Council, which serves the villages on the Meirionnydd side of the Dulas valley.
Another notable building in the village is the half timbered Corris Institute, which has recently undergone a major refurbishment, completed in late 2006.