The 37-year-old was a free agent following his release by Everton at the end of the season and becomes Eddie Howe’s sixth summer signing.
Frenchman Distin offers a wealth of experience having made more than 200 appearances for the Toffees as well as enjoying spells with Manchester City, Portsmouth and Newcastle.
Boss Howe told Cherries Player: “I see Sylvain playing a similar role to the one Ian Harte played.
“Off the pitch, he is someone the younger players can turn to in times when they need to speak to someone who has seen it and done it.
“Ian was invaluable to us in that respect last season and the season before when he had experience in the Championship and no one else had.
“Sylvain now takes on that role and on the pitch I still think he has a huge amount to offer.
“He still has his athleticism and is technically very good. We are very pleased to have him.”
Distin holds the record for the most appearances made by a foreign outfield player in the Premier League, with his current total standing at 457.