Cretan long distance busses are superb. They're actually coaches, air conditioned, comfortable, fast. Everything a bus should be. And they're so punctual too, and connecting services wait for you. They have large luggage areas under the coaches too, to stash cases and large bags, and also to carry parcels - the bus service doubles as a parcel carrier for the post office. British bus services have a lot to learn from the Cretans.
We took the bus from Rethymnon to Chania, Bali, Irakleon and Agios Nikolaos and from Agios Nikolaos to Sitea. Every trip was a pleasure and every trip went without incident of any sort.
Local busses are different. They're a bit more battered and beaten, not so comfortable and not anything lke as punctual. We took the local bus from Agios Nikolaos to Elounda a couple of times and it was always late. One didn't show up at all.
Moral: You can reply on the big buses - don't count on the small ones though!
Agios Nikolaos is a stop on the route of several major ferry companies. The Lane Line ferry called in every day on its way to wherever it was going. I don't know its exact route, but what I do know is that the morning one goes on to Sitea, another port in Eastern Crete. We went to Sitea by bus one day, which takes a coastal road, and the ferry shadowed us the whole way. I think the journey time was nigh on identical between bus & boat. Wife would have preferred to have come back by ferry, as the coastal road is very spectacular and not for those who are afraid of heights. Or dying bus crashes.
Agios Nikolaos is not short of taxis, as you can see here, nor are those taxis battered old wrecks!
Like all other parts of Greece that we have been to, taxi fares are pretty reasonable and the fares to stated destinations are fixed rather than metered. Signs by the taxi ranks show these fares. We only used the taxi once, from the bus station to our hotel. It turned out to be a walkable distance, but at the time we had no idea where the hotel was. This is the exact situation where you expect to find you paid through the teeth, but we didn't. It was a paltry 2 euro for the fare, most of which was accounted for by the luggage charge. Very fair indeed,
I'm sure there are better car rental agencies than this one! Well, it does say "Economy Car Rental" and I suppose you get what you pay for!