I want to walk the Samarian Gorge but can't find a cheap holiday in Chania, is it possible to do in a day trip from Rethymnon?
Yes, no problem, you can use the local buses or excursion buses. If you use the local buses I think you may have to change in Vrysses on the way back to Rethymnon just check with the bus station/drivers on the day.
Timings will be broadly similar to those for Chania as it's very roughly the same distance.
elliechoir, if you use the search facility with the words "samaria rethymnon", you'll find a lot of threads about transport between the two.
From memory, a lot recommend either an organised excursion, or else staying in Chania overnight.
There are daily trips starting from May, it takes about 2 hours to come to Omalos, than the walk and than return by boat and bus again. It's a long day because it starts early. All excursions on Crete can be done, the only one to do it organized is the Samaria Gorge, think also about Imbros and St.Anthony www.nat-adv.gr
Its doable from Rethymnon - just a long day if you don't have a car.
A car with the Samaria is usseles, because there you will not return the same day to pick it up after thelong walk. In the evening there are no busses to Omalos and also taxi drivers are not happy with this ride at night on a mountainious zig zag route with hardly any lights. Do it organized !!
Yes as Albert says your car will be stuck at the top of the Gorge and you will not be able to get back to it
The best way to go Samaria Gorge is to get a public bus the first one in the morning to Vrisses then another bus will get you to Omalos where the gorge start.
Bellow is the time table of busses:
Or you can do it with orginized bus where you can find tickets in most of hotels or tourist offices.
if you do it with public busses, than the time you start to walk will be around 10.00 am. In the summer temperatures can go up as high as 40 celsius., once again do it organized !!! it doesn't cost much more, you will walk alone, guides just follow the group and, no chance to miss a bus and ussually pick up from near your hotel, early in the morning, so the walk starts at 8.00 am and you will have 7-8 hours to complete the gorge. ALL excursions are possibel with a car, except SAMARIA
It's easier to book and do on a one day excursion with the ferry trip and bus back to your point of origin.
I've always used the local bus and they arrive about 08:00 at the starting point for the Samaria Gorge walk from the various origins, certainly from Paleochora, Sougia and Chania. The bus from Rethymnon is similarly timed. Summer only so you won't see it in the timetables now.
The majority of buses are indeed excursion ones, and a continuous stream arrives around then, however if you are centrally placed in those places there is no disadvantage to the local bus.
There are rooms for rent in Ag. Roumeli, Loutro, and Chora Sfakia. Going west in Sougia and Paleochora.